Can I get lost while developing myself?
This topic is not shy of misunderstanding....I am almost certain that some people that read this will walk away with a different message. We develop individuals every day & I see a trend of confusion in their understanding.
Self development is simplistic in its building blocks. Competition is simplistic in its nature. But these 2 ideas have a love-hate relationship that very few people can separate or recognize. When you try something new...you have a short time to sort out the difference between developing yourself & when you are ready for competition.
To explain this, lets use the following analogy:
Imagine we are playing musical chairs. The chairs are packed in a circle facing inward. In the center of the circle there is a Rubik's cube on a table standing on one corner like a diamond. You will agree that each time you have to sit down on a different chair, you will see a different side of the cube in the middle. Maybe one color only...maybe 2 sides at the same time. The angle at which you see the cube at that moment will be the perspective you have of the cube, until you go sit on another chair.
Lets imagine that the colors of the cube will represent the different sides of self-development & the idea of competition. A standard Rubik's cube has 6 sides. For the sake of the demonstration...lets assign 3 colors of the cube to Self-development & the remaining 3 colors to the concept of competition.
Now lets scramble that cube....!
All the colors are everywhere. That means that the concept of self development & competition are now mixed up & confused. Not many people have figured out how to solve a Rubik on their own without any help. We know there are multiple algorithms that you can learn that will help you separate the colors. They all yield the same result. Each algorithm takes a different amount of time. The only difference 'any speed-cuber will tell you'...is how long it takes to solve it. Here is the catch. If you are working against the clock...you can definitely fail at solving that scrambled cube if your chosen algorithm takes to long.
Why will we also factor in time...like speed cubers do? Because when you try something new...you have a short time to sort out the difference between developing yourself & when you are ready for competition.
Am I the architect of scrambling this cube? Not necessarily...
The way in which something is presented to you can hand you an already scrambled cube like coaching & teaching methods, if competition is introduced too soon & woven into your training too early.
You can also end up with a scrambled cube so spontaneously...like some one just signing up for something new with such a natural/extreme drive to compete before they have even learnt anything. How is this bad?
Here is the effect of a scrambled cube...
The student wants to use every small thing they learn & force it so they can compete with it. That pre-mature desire is also the main culprit why a student want to stop their practice session...because they cant win with something they are still learning to do. You cannot race a bicycle if you are still learning to ride it. They acquire so many bad habits along the way because of their forceful application in order to win. This 'seemingly innocent drive to compete' is making them learn slower & achieve less than someone who focused only on themselves & waited until that thing they have developed is on a presentable & comparable level. The saddest attempt of all in not knowing the difference between developing my self & competing when I'm ready, is the tendency of a student to knowingly surround themselves with people much weaker than they are, in order to feel they are still winning at something or just being better than some one else. That innocent bystander might not even be aware or interested at competing in anything, yet their praises & affirmations they might offer is all they are used for.
If you find yourself competing in your head with an ability that is not honed yet...not developed yet...you are treading on dangerous ground. You are playing a devastating psychological game with yourself of under-achieving, failure & defeat with something that is just not ready to be used. If we can all agree that this is not a healthy situation for our children to be in...we can agree that it is not healthy for any one no matter how old you are! It's not like the psychological components that make this dangerous & distracting have changed just because you are a few years older. Competition has its "own psychology" to prepare for. I taught music for more than 20 years...& I had to separate 2 things for every student...teaching someone to command their instrument...& then how to use & apply their skill on a stage as a musician. Many of my students had no desire to be on a stage, but for those that did, I would never allow a student on a stage if they were not ready yet.
When the thing you have learnt becomes presentable, you are in a healthy place where your hard work can mesomorph into the realm of comparison & competing. Trying to still learn something & allowing your eyes to wonder and 'measure your progress of success', based on other people's attempt at the same thing is such an excepted way of doing today. We are so used to this monkey-see-monkey-run away approach that we over step an invisible line. A line that trick me into competing.
That is as irrational as saying...I measure how I satisfied my hunger based of what the guy next to me ate. I am fully satisfied in my thirst because I drank more water than you...I am fully satisfied in my rest because my holiday was over seas & yours was local....or I cannot be happy in myself because I don't have as many desires in this life like you do... Since when is the success of self-development & fulfillment linked to what some one else did in their life? Since competition was woven into a learning process at the wrong time...
When you see some one doing well at something, you are presented with some ones "very-developed-result" & we immediately compare before we have even started our own learning process. We look at someone else's brilliance (at a very developed stage) and some feel defeated before they've tried. A child cannot see how they could "match" that... so they 'over try' from the start...They think, "my attempt will be less functional" if it doesn't look like that. This is a problem! There is nothing wrong with admiring someone's hard work...but you might be very far away from drawing lines of comparison.
Developing yourself completely also doesn't mean it will result in beating any one at any thing or 'show-casing' it to the world. Some people have self-development & competition so confused, they really believe that if their self-development was successful, they will win...they will beat some one, they will achieve a result that is somehow measured against another persons accomplishment.
Lets turn this statement around...If you don't beat any one at anything, will you still believe you have developed yourself completely? What if your genetic sealing is lower than some one else? It is my opinion that "Winning" has nothing to do with self development. Winning is the result you desire when you compete. Our world is constantly measuring every quantifiable component in our lives. Without giving it any thought...we are using people & their abilities around us as a benchmark...a yard stick without considering how long they have been practicing that craft. If all you want is to compete, you are simply not exempt from first having to develop something that is not only presentable but also so practiced & rehearsed that is it worthy of competition. Then you start the long road of How you are going to win. If your desire to compete is greater than your desire to develop, you have to learn how to un-unscramble your rubics cube as soon as possible so that you don't waste time in your own development.
Self development is an inward focus. A quiet place. An inward intent. A training ground where the world is not watching & not even aware. Blind from other peoples results & deaf to their opinions. It is supposed to create a satisfaction in who you are that no one else can reach & attempt to break down or diminish. If I am satisfied in my own attempt...let those that are not go create a level they desire. If my self development however reaches higher than those around me...it will only be comparable if you choose to go and compete at the right time with those of a similar ability in the right context. You need to unscramble your Rubik's cube with the right algorithm and separate developing yourself from the right time to compete.
The colors are different...the components are different...and the building blocks are different.
Thanx for Listening.