Only Compete Against Yourself #inspiration

Dear friend,

A practical idea–

Competition is good. The best competition? Self-competition.

You will become less discouraged if you compete against yourself

This is my thinking:

When you compete against others and you lose, you lose self-esteem.

However, when you compete against yourself and lose, you don’t lose self-esteem. Instead, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and try again.


This is what I think:

  1. When you compete against others, you cannot control 100% whether you will win or lose. You can train to your 110% percent maximum, but there are still so many other factors you cannot control. For example if you are a professional bodybuilder, ultimately the judging is in the hands of the judges. Thus when you are competing with others, you can control the effort and hustle you put in, but you cannot control the results.
  2. However, when you compete against yourself, the process is more fun, enjoyable, and you have more control! For example, if it is my goal to deadlift 500 pounds, I can set my schedule, I can set my weekly goals, and whether I succeed or not isn’t dependent on the opinion of others.

Photography and art

With photography and art, we make the silly mistake of competing against other photographer-artists on social media, using likes/followers as a way to keep score.

But this is silly– because ultimately, the number of likes and followers you get isn’t controlled by you. 90% of the power is in the hands of the companies that control these algorithms.

For example, let’s say you and another photographer had an equally-good photograph, and you both uploaded the same picture. But the other photographer gets more likes than you. What happened? It might be that they uploaded the photo at a different, more ‘optimal’ time (perhaps around noon-time, instead of your 9am upload time).

In other words,

Don’t compete in your photography with other photographers, because it is ultimately the algorithm which has controls of the golden scales to determine the ‘victor’ of whoever gets more likes/followers.

Competition is good

I think competition is good. Usually competition pushes us to higher heights. Before they broke the 4 minute mile– nobody thought it was possible. Once it was achieved– then so many more athletes started to hit the 4 minute mile, because it was unlocked in the brain of others:

This is actually humanly possible!

Which means,

Much of what holds us back from achieving certain things in life is self-doubt, or lack of self-belief.

Find inspiration from others to lift yourself higher

Thus competition is good when we look at others for inspiration– when we don’t envy the success of others, but we are INSPIRED by the greatness of others!

In other words,

It is good to have heroes and role-models you look up to — to help you aspire yourself to become as great (and greater) than them!

So no idol-worship. It is recognizing that you are capable of greatness, and capable of achieving GREATER things that has already been done in the past!

Never stop setting the bar higher!



Garden Grove, 2016 cindy project eric kim pink shadow

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