There’s No Traffic Jam on the Extra Mile
“Nothing can do you so much harm as a lousy competitor. Be thankful for a good competitor.” (Market research pioneer Alfred Politz)
I like competing at the top of my game. The competition is much better at this level. I knew I was advancing my speaking career when I began losing gigs to high-quality speakers. Sometimes, I actually beat them. What satisfaction is there in beating a weak competitor? Of course you will beat the competitor. If you didn’t, you would be weaker than a weak competitor! That reality makes most competitive people shudder.
Competing at the top of your game against the best of the best brings out the best in you. That is vastly different than competing in the arena of those who do just enough to get by. How exciting can that be? There will always be the just-enough masses. These are people and organizations that do just enough to get by. They are less driven by success and more driven by avoiding punishment or failure. That is where the traffic jam is—on the slow mile, not the extra mile.
Win or lose, wouldn’t you rather put your best work on display for the world to witness? Wouldn’t you rather compete against the best with your best? Wouldn’t you rather be known as one of those handful of competitors that leave everything on the field? When you make a decision to compete at the top of your game, you realize that there is no traffic jam on the extra mile.