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On Being Competitive

Heath Blandford
Heath Blandford

Like most things in life, we can use being competitive to our advantage. We can harness it to assist us in making faster progress towards the outcomes we want.

-- Neel Raman


I grew up playing sports. At 4 years old I was playing tee ball, kicking dirt in the infield and catching bugs in the outfield. I played football, as well. I golfed, I tried soccer, and I even played basketball. I played everything.

But baseball was my passion. I played baseball all through highschool. Select baseball every summer from the year I was 12 until just after my senior year of high school. I was even going to play college ball, but decided to hang up the cleats to focus on my degree.

But it wasn't only sports, I'm an avid video game player. I had the original Xbox, Gamecube, PS2, a computer. I was a very privilaged kid, and I'm very thankful for that.

I always wanted to be the best. I wanted to beat my opponent. I wanted to be better than them, and I wanted to be better than the next person.

That had an effect on me. I wanted to not only wanted to read up on the latest strategies, but I wanted to practice day in and day out. I wanted to play more and more so I knew what to do in certain situations, to get that exprience.

It also started to leak into my school work. I wanted to study more and get better test scores because I wanted to get better grades than my pier.

When I stopped playing baseball in college, all of that changed. I joined a fraternity (which I do not regret in the slightest), I started drinking more, I was exercising less, and I gained weight (which I am still trying to get rid of).

The people I spent my time with changed as well. I spent a lot of time in college just trying to fit in with everyone else and trying to be "good enough" for them to want to hang out with me. It was a bit jarring... I went from being well liked, or "popular, to not even someone's second or third choice to text when they were bored and were looking to hang out with someone.

I should have been spending that time in college figuring out who I was and what I wanted to be, and maintaining my competitive personality... developing myself as an individual rather than trying to pander to people who wouldn't have ever pandered to me.

Bringing it back

So, this blog post is me bringing it back. This is me bringing back my competitive spirit, my will to learn and be better.

But who will I be better than?

The simple, and only answer, is myself.

I've gone too long being stuck in this... complacency where I feel like I'm just okay to be living the life I have right now.

A competitive mindset will push me to be a better version of myself in nearly every way. It will push me to be mindful about my actions and push me to start practicing more on the things I want to excel in.

Changing my mindset

Okay, so, I've made this decision to "be more competitive" and "be better today than I was yesterday".

But how?

I'll be honest. This is the part where I struggle the most.

I struggle with maintaining will power and seeing things through (I bet you could tell by how infrequently I post to this blog).

Here's what I plan on doing:

  1. Building time into my schedule.
  • this means making time for not only personal project, but for things like "going on a walk" and dedicated time for personal projects and continuous learning
  • this is in hopes to at least be 1% better a day
  1. Setting a 4 hour periodical text message to myself to remind myself to "Be competitive" and to "Win".
  2. Spending some time on the weekends evaulating my weekly progress.
  • I'll do this by taking notes on my iPad and reviewing any notes I've taken throughout the week.
  • this is the "watch film on your opponent" I want to replace.

Hopefully folling these steps will keep me on track.

Finally, the end.

As I continute to improve myself, I'll be sure to come back to this post and update it with my improved process.

I want to be better tomorrow than I am today, and I can only do that by taking small steps every day to improve myself and follow my passions and interests.

Until the next one, stay curious.