The real competition is LIFE!

“The real competition is LIFE: Ask yourself how you are measuring up!”

This is a quote from my book “Difficult Men: a Book for Women.” However, I think it is a good quote for all of us to ponder.

Certainly one does not have to look at life as a competition, though often we do. This quote is found in the section of my book entitled, “Difficult Men at Work.” It is fairly common for women to feel like they are in a constant competition with men in this country when it comes to big business, succeeding at work in a male-dominating work-force.

I think that in one sense, looking at work/life/raising children/keeping up your yard/keeping up with the Joneses, etc. is a negative thing. One would hope that we could relax into life and enjoy it for what it is, rather than fight for every inch of territory we can from the moment we wake up until, exhausted, we hit the pillow at the end of the day.

I know, personally, that I have been far to competitive with this life; especially self-competitive. It wears on me. However, I, like millions of other Americans, was taught to be competitive. It seems like whatever I did as a child I was thrown into the fray by being compared to my brothers and sister, my classmates, idols and other great people, perfection, and so on.

Something still screams inside of me that “I am not good enough.” I imagine there are many of you out there who feel the same way.

In this sense, life shouldn’t be a competition.

On a more positive note, or from a better perspective, challenging ourselves to grow, learn, to be more kind, more compassionate, more understanding, and so on, is probably a good thing.

What I think I’m getting at here, and I am winging this, is that we need to pick the battles and wars we are fighting in life — for us — to be the best us we can be. Not to be the highest ranked, to have the most money, be the most well-known, and so forth, but to measure ourselves against the best standards we know.

So how are you doing today? Have you been kind? Have you offered someone some help? Have you learned something? Have you grown in some positive way for yourself? For someone else?

Try this: make a list of the battles and wars you really do think are worthwhile. Make your life about measuring up to these — today, tomorrow, and … hopefully many morrows to come.


Joe Koob


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