Competition vs. Inspiration Part I
What would you choose to shape your life?
Mrs. Agarwal was busy fixing the pleats on her saree, and arranging the sunglasses perched on top of her impeccably styled hair, in the perfect angle.
“Today is going to be my big day!”, she whispered to herself.?“You mean my big day, Mom?”, mumbled her son under his breath.
“Yes! Absolutely son! 9th standard results! It is definitely your big day!”, responded Mrs. Agarwal.
Mrs. Agarwal knew her son was a hard-working, straight A’s kind of student. She knew that for a fact, because she had moulded him to perfection. Rahul Agarwal was always supposed to secure first place in any race, because in Mrs. Agarwal’s dictionary, no other position held any value apart from first place!
Every parent or leader has their own style of motivation, but what you need to understand is that, is your method the right way to use in the long term? Does it help develop the personality of your child or team members? Competition vs. Inspiration defines the difference between a boss and a leader.
Upon reaching school, for the graduation ceremony, Mrs. Agarwal secured her spot in the front row, because it was crucial for her, as the mother of the class topper, to be present in the front row and visibly support her son for making her proud. This is when she ran into Mrs. Banerjee, a carbon copy of Mrs. Agarwal, just a different surname.
Mrs. Banerjee was the mother of Rohit Banerjee, another student running to secure the first position. Mrs. Banerjee had conditioned her son in a manner to ensure that his life was nothing but a race to the finish.
Both the ladies had a silent rivalry, as if they were competing in a race themselves! A race to witness which mother comes out as Mother No. 1; with the perfect child, who attains the perfect score. Despite this silent rivalry, Mrs. Agarwal and Mrs. Banerjee made it a point to chat with each other.
“So, Mrs. Agarwal, did you know my Rohit scored 94.89% in his mock exam? Isn’t that great? It is said to be the highest score in the history of his coaching class!”, Mrs. Banerjee said, with a triumphant smirk on her face.
“Well, Mrs. Banerjee, my Rahul scored 96.93% in his mock test, and according to his coaching professor, that definitely is some kind of a record in their coaching class. He even received a certificate and a medal from his professor!”, responded Mrs. Agarwal, with an even bigger smirk on her face.
Mrs. Banerjee’s smirk vanished and a feeling of sharp jealousy and anger rose in her chest. This was supposed to be her day. This was the day where she could proudly parade her son’s achievements, but unfortunately, it wasn’t going very well...
“Well, these days a few coaching classes have eased down on their mock tests. Only the results of the final exam today can tell us who really performed and who did not!” said Mrs. Banerjee with a slight scowl on her face.
Look on the inside and ask yourself, which one of these two qualities do you identify with??Do you choose to conquer life using competition, or is inspiration more valuable to your way of life. Take time to evaluate your choice of lifestyle and whether it has helped you achieve anything more than just a position in life.
“Does it really matter?”, interjected Mrs. D’Souza.
Mrs. D’Souza was known for her free-spirited and friendly parenting. She was a true believer of inspiration, and inculcated the values of inspiration in her son, Martin D’Souza.
“Does it really matter what number your child scores? Are we labelling our children with just a number? Isn’t it more important to understand what kind of skills and personality they seemed to have developed throughout the entire year? I personally would be more interested to see how my Martin’s skills and personality have developed, instead of just focusing on a number that gets assigned to him...”, responded Mrs. D’Souza.
Amongst all this chatter and discussion, begun the ceremony to graduate the 9th graders, and so began the Principal's speech:
“It has truly been a fruitful year. We have seen students work really hard to achieve their goals and show us what they’re really made of; but amongst all these students, there has emerged a student like no other! He has not only worked hard, but has also shown true dedication and understanding of what he wants to do in life. In the history of our institution, never have we seen a more dedicated and driven student, who has worked hard not only to achieve good grades, but also develop his understanding of the subjects!”
Mrs. Agarwal and Mrs. Banerjee were beaming, halfway out of their chairs, to leap out in joy and clap at the mention of their son’s name.
“And the student I speak of, is Martin D’Souza. You have truly outdone yourself son! Looks like the spirit of inspiration has brought you a long way”, finished the Principal.
It goes without saying that Mrs. Agarwal and Mrs. Banerjee were more embarrassed, than furious. Martin scored a whopping 98.5%, while Rohit scored 97.5% and Rahul scored 97%. Come to think of it, all three numbers are fantastic in terms of a score, and all three boys performed monumentally well, but sometimes, for people who are competition driven, even 99.99% isn’t enough.
This leaves us with the question, is it really worth being disappointed at losing the first place in a competition, or is it better to opt for an inspirational path that’ll take you places even higher than just a number...
Stay tuned for our next article to get an insight.