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Eye of the Tiger

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    I'm not, by nature, a very competitive person. One of the reasons I like being an engineer is because mostly you're competing against your own goals, or nature, or a particularly tricky problem or something like that, rather than directly against other humans. I like the fact that when I win, it doesn't mean someone else had to lose. Additionally, I generally try to set my goals independent of how well other people do. Obviously I try to keep some perspective, but I'm OK not being the best at something if I can objectively look at my performance and say that I did a good job.

    This is not universal, though. I worked with some attorneys for a while who relished the competition. They ran into it, rather than away from it, and were fully comfortable with their endeavors. It's not just about objectively "big" things either. There is a leaderboard in Angry Birds, and you can bet that there are a number of people jockeying for the top spots on it.

    FOCUS: Are you competitive or not? Are you competitive about some things but not others? If so, what and why?
     
  2. Supertramp

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    That's precisely the reason I'm changing out of engineering, the ultimate conflict doesn't appeal at all.*

    My friend is a top500 Starcraft2 player, coincidentally he loves his MechEng program, and he is the best video gamer I've ever seen - and it's mostly due to his unquenchable thirst for victory. Or, to put it clearly, he hates losing more than anything in the world. He can't come in 2nd place. It took him about week, with a full 5 course-load and good grades, to buy the game and attain 1st place in the highest division. He's equally amazing at any video game you give him 2 hours to learn, he hated Call of Duty MW2 but got all Rainman on our asses within a couple of days.

    Video games and engineering aside, he can be very lax about other things that drive men furious (sports, women, money).

    Eye of the Tiger almost literally blares in my head over only two things: my professional writing/editing and being the most charismatic/charming prick at will.

    For instance: when I see a guy unsuccessfully hitting on a girl. I've had a series of steady girlfriends since my balls dropped but I'll still cockblock and steal from that guy when he's discrediting the male gender with his shitty game. It's stupid and petty but I'd rather be "better" and competitive at a fundamental human drive than video games or a team sport.

    *Kinda downer:
    Also, my maybe/maybe-not bone cancer doesn't really help when I'm considering my future.
     
  3. audreymonroe

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    I'm competitive, but not aggressively so. I care a lot about being successful, having a good (perhaps better) life, and winning in general so I'll work really hard to do that and constantly measure myself up against my competitors. I'll sometimes be a little sneaky in terms of one-upping my colleagues at work or internships, but generally I'm not competitive in the sense of loving to fight to get what I want. There are really only three things I don't like about living in New York. After its cost and general loneliness, it's the constant sense of competition. Sometimes I thrive off it, but when I'm armed with a BFA and groveling for a shitty part-time job because I can't get hired for a real job when I know there are hundreds of more qualified people than me all desperately trying to be a barista I'm not exactly a fan.
     
  4. Kubla Kahn

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    Im flaky about my competitiveness. One, I was raised in a family that wasn't very competitive and who could give a fuck less about competitive sports. Two, Im inconsistent as fuck. Im very streaky when it comes to just about anything, bowling, beer pong, vidja Games, women, what ever. Committing the winning muscle memory/physiological state to memory to be used on a consistent basis has never been my strong suit. Alas I am as average as they come.
     
  5. Disgustipated

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    My answer is: both.

    Normally, running around everyday I'm in no way competitive. Even when I'm in a sporting situation, I'm usually more focussed on having fun and making sure everyone is having a good time.

    However, when it's serious it's on. I will do everything within the rules to win (I abhor cheats) and I will not give up of my own volition. What dictates a situation as serious or not, to me, is pretty hit and miss but it's more miss than hit. It takes me a bit to get revved up.

    The one exception to this is work. Work is always serious. When something gets adversarial, as it can tend to do in my position, I will not stop until I have won. There is no defeat, there is only an opportunity to regroup and make another strike.
     
  6. Guy Fawkes

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    In my professional life I am extremely competitive. Industrial sales is probably the most competitive type of sales you can do. The projects are big, the buyers typically bring in every supplier to bid, and the hierarchy of decision making is almost as a rule confusing and extremely political.
    I came into my profession young enough to watch the "top guys" fall from the top, sometimes badly. They got caught up in the belief that their customers would be around forever (hahahaha) and would keep buying from them, well forever. This is never the case.
    Since our compensation is directly tied to our sales numbers every single person in my field is like a circling wolf. Waiting for me to skip a call I'm supposed to make, or an email I'm supposed to respond to, or a project that I don't follow up on. So I don't make these missteps and try to capitalize on it when others do.
    It's not all worry and wasted energy though. Whenever I get on a plane and fly home after swooping in and plucking an order from a competitor I get a little joy out of thinking about that other salesman (sorry there are like 3 women in my industry) having to fly home with a loss on his record.

    In my personal life I think I might be a 180, especially lately. I'm trying to become ever better at helping people along and maximizing their life. Surprisingly it makes me evaluate and ever improve myself which is what this whole experience is all about anyways as far as I'm concerned.
     
  7. TX.

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    I'm a really competitive person, especially with physical activities. When you're a pro for years you learn that everyone is pretty much on the same talent level. It comes down to the nitty gritty details. I am fiercely competitive because I had to be in order to survive. I was always "on", and everyone else was also.

    I think that's beginning to change, though. It's funny because I've seen many people who are confined to wheelchairs and walkers at early ages. Or I've seen people with head injuries relearning how to walk. You'd think I would appreciate just the capability of running after seeing that. But, my perspective didn't start to change until it became really personal and I realized my injury was pretty serious. It wasn't something I could just baby for a few weeks. I've had many injuries, but I've never had one that required surgery or lasted so long. I haven't been able to dorsiflex my ankle for about 5 months now. That means no running, jumping, dancing, etc. Even riding a bicycle hurts because of the way you use your feet. I can't even walk for very long before I'm in pain. I used to be so competitive, but now I honestly feel like whenever I am out of rehab and fully recovered I'm going to stop for a minute and just enjoy whatever activity I'm doing. I don't think I'm going to care quite as much about what the people around me. So, in that sense, this injury has been a little bit of a life lesson.

    Watch. I'll be "grateful" for about 2 months and then go back to being the competitive bitch that I am.
     
  8. Evolution

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    I'm competitive to a fault. Even when things don't matter the thought of losing or failing drives me insane. Despite the fact that I'm in excellent shape, I can't appreciate it because I know there are people out there who are faster or stronger or working harder. It helps to be in good shape for the field I'm working in (strength and conditioning), because everyone you work with respects you more if you can walk the talk.

    Being competitive has gotten me injured in the past, too. I ran a half marathon with a stress fractured foot, because the thought of backing out made me think, illogically, that I'd quit on stuff in the future if I didn't run it. Hell, even this last weekend, I played a friendly two touch football game despite the fact that I was sore enough to be limping on both legs. I guarded the best athlete on the other team, and made sure he got 0 of the passes that were targetted for him. When I got tripped up on offense and landed on my arm wrong, I wasn't sure I could lift it. The next play I caught a touchdown, one of my three (I should probably look into selling women's shoes).

    Its funny, I've never felt half as competitive doing anything academic as I have anything physical. I feel like being competitive is a huge plus as a personality trait, so long as you don't let it turn you into an asshole over trivial things.
     
  9. lostalldoubt86

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    I'm only competitive when it comes to stupid shit. I don't gamble, I don't boast about my ability to play drinking games, but if you start quoting a movie I have seen before, you will be forever stuck in a game of Quote-off.
     
  10. dubyu tee eff

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    Same. The more meaningless an activity, the more competitive I get. I've punched walls and broken wrists (yes, plural) over games of beer pong. Any board game or trivia game I will be the biggest fucking prick when I win and the worst loser ever. In fact, most of my drunkest nights have been because if I ever lose any drinking I'll immediately demand a rematch and do whatever it takes to get the other person to agree. If I get on a bad run, it's just one rematch after another until I get completely fucked in half.

    School on the other hand I'm always the facilitator of coordination amongst fellow students. Always helping out classmates and organizing times to do assignments together or "I'll do this for you if you do this for me" agreements.

    Eye of the Tiger is my theme music in pointless shit. Anything meaningful and my soundtrack is more like a Bob Marley - Three Little Birds.
     
  11. jennitalia

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    The only thing I ever get moderately competitive about is watching Jeopardy! when I'm by myself. I scream answers at the tv and mutter obscene insults at the contestants when they get a question wrong.
     
  12. Crown Royal

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    I've constantly been in competitive sports since I was six, but I was ALWAYS a "good sport" guy. I never understood people that threw down their sticks or argued with officials until they're blue in the face over house league hockey or beer ball. I've seen parents threaten referees and scrap in the stands and that's simply a fucking disgrace. Sure, winning is fun and everybody like to hold a trophy regardless if it's a silver cup or a wooden trophy made from a Beer Bubba you and you buddy banged togetherfor your annual road hockey tournament (still have it) but you won't die if that doesn't happen. Win, lose, I have fun playing regardless. I once watched half of the opposing roller hockey team we were playing jump the ref in the middle of a game when he ejected their best player for tomahawking our defenseman in the shoulder blade with his stick. Trash-talking your buddies over a meaningless win is fun (and necessary), trash-talking stangers over you latest office softball win is just plain sad. I just don't get it. It's a sport. A GAME. But, that's me.
     
  13. Juice

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    Same, except with Cash Cab.

    I used to be competitive with soccer in high school, but the school and the league our school was in was a joke and no one really took it seriously. Nowadays I get competitive with rifle shooting with my buddies. Nothing better than hitting the range and seeing who is a better shot.
     
  14. lust4life

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    I'll come back to this. And when I do, my post is going to make all of yours look like Durbanite's sex life.
     
  15. Dcc001

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    Not competitive at all. Perhaps its the only child in me - never had siblings to vie for attention or resources with - but it just isn't a personality trait that I possess. I'll follow sports good-naturedly, but ultimately I don't really care who wins or loses.
     
  16. shegirl

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    All I know is fucking Solitaire WON'T LET ME WIN A GAME TODAY! It's pissing me off.

    Noooooope, not competitive at all.
     
  17. TJMax

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    I've never thought of myself as competitive, but then I'll sit down in a poker game with people who aren't very good players, and absolutely crush them. In a five card draw game once, I fired off the maximum raise with a flush, and my friend to my right called... With a full house. This was probably like ten years ago, and I still give him shit about it. In a limit draw game, why would you not come back with a re-raise with a full house?

    I might not think I have a competitive nature, but not putting my best effort into anything I remotely enjoy is an alien concept to me.
     
  18. lhprop1

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    I'm the most competitive person I know. I'm so bad that I'm not allowed to play games at the inlaws house during the holidays anymore because my M.I.L is pretty competitive and I always kick her ass up and down the gameboard and she doesn't like it. I absolutely refuse to "let her win one". That's bullshit.

    There really is nothing like the thrill of playing ball/competing when the score is tight and time is running out. When you're so tired that your legs barely work, yet you're still able to drum up enough energy to yell "give me the ball" and make that one last charge and plant your opponent's ass on the ground. The relief that it's over when the ref blows the final whistle, and the disappointment that soon follows when you realize that feeling is over for another week, season, or possibly for a lifetime. I love competing. I relish the chance to compete and it propels me past previous 'perceived' limitations. Nothing compares to it. Maybe that's why I'm still playing rugby and competing in strongman contests at age 35.
     
  19. Viking33

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    Bring it, bitchcakes.

    I HATE losing. Absolutely hate it. Growing up, I was the kid on the playground that would run up the score in touch football just to prove a point. My dad used to beat my ass wrestling to the point of tears and tell me that the more I cried about it, the more somebody else was wiping off their tears, putting on their big boy pants and practicing to beat my ass. It got to a point where the competitiveness cost me a chance at placing in state my senior year of high school wrestling.

    Tagged for a long read:
    I was wrestling an undefeated hotshot freshman fresh off a junior high state championship. I was 5-0, ranked #7 in the state and was laying a beatdown on the kid heading into the second period. I was up 6-2 (let him up twice to score more takedowns) and chose bottom, hit a standup and the momentum carried us both off the mat. The ref blew the whistle but he picked me up and slammed me onto the gym floor. My knee smacked the hardwood and popped and I sat there for a second thinking "Holy shit, this little prick just blew out my knee... Oh my god this fucking hurts!" My entire extended family, girlfriend at the time and football coach were up in the stands screaming at me to get up. The adrenaline kicked in and it turned from "Holy shit this hurts" to "I'm going to kill this cunt." I was awarded a point for the illegal slam and proceeded to wipe the mat with his tears. I won 18-3 by tech fall (mercy rule if one wrestler goes up by 15 points) and managed to break his nose and bust his lip with a round of crossfaces that bordered on punches. Afterwards, I couldn't walk and later had surgery to repair a torn meniscus and shredded cartilage from the impact.

    I cut the rehab from 12 to 6 weeks in time to make it back for regionals and after a first round bye, my opponent was hotshot again. I started the match the same way I finished the first- using him as a human mat wipe. With a minute left in the 3rd period, I was up by 13 and looking for another tech fall. I hit a double leg takedown and lifted him into the air. I planned on laying him to the mat, taking my two points and going on the regional championship round but he wrapped his arms and legs around me jiu jitsu style and I lost control of him 5 feet in the air. I dropped him with my shoulder into his ribs, breaking four and tearing a muscle in his back. He screamed and coughed, I got called for the illegal slam and as he couldn't continue, I lost by default illegal move. I pleaded with the ref, telling him that it was his stupid choice to wrap around me but rules were rules and I lost. A kid I beat by 2 points went on to place 3rd at state while I sat in the stands watching. I've never felt sicker than watching that.

    Anymore it still carries over into rugby, the gym and the classroom. Rugby speaks for itself but a game of connect four with my little sister? She's not getting 3 in a row, nevertheless four. Family Monopoly has turned into the mafia with backdoor deals, temporary alliances and threats to throw away Christmas presents. I'm fiercely competitive in the classroom (Industrial Design here is the toughest "pound for pound" major because we can literally do anything the other majors can, but more. The kids that can't sketch, build or conceptualize get weeded out quickly so the competitive edge is critical to being a good Industrial Designer.

    As one of my professors put it, "You might be the best in this classroom. Congratulations, you aren't worth fuck all. You're the best in your year? Still not worth shit. Best in the department? Kudos, you still just get a cap and gown. Best designer in your firm or business? Well, cool. You're still not guaranteed anything outside of your happy work place. Best designer in the world? Now we're talking. But you're still not good enough because some other little shit is going to come through the ranks that's better than you. You can be happy when you retire. Until then, get ready to eat some people."

    God forbid you leave a project laying out. Someone will fuck with it to get an edge. Industrial Design is like law school but with crayons and power tools.
     
  20. Allord

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    Anti-Focus: I'm almost totally non-competitive about everything. It actually either really annoys me or amuses me when someone else is highly competitive about something, it just seems stupid to me that someone would care so much about the outcome of something so totally insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I especially hate sore winners/losers, and do everything in my power to make their experience all the more unenjoyable.

    A good example was at my mom's birthday our neighbor, who is a loud obnoxious idiot, came over and was playing a videogame with us at which he is mediocre, but thinks he's great, and I can beat him fairly easily. He made a declarative statement that he hated one of the characters you could choose and questioned the intelligence and sexuality of anyone who would stupidly play as them. Obviously I then chose that character and decidedly handed my neighbor his ass on a platter. He screamed and sputtered for a rematch, and I obliged. After 15 consecutive losses he was red in the face and yelling at the TV while I was laughing at his stupid ass. I told him I was tired of playing and he stormed out of the house.

    Focus: The only thing I'm competitive about is my own activities and self-improvement, I demand a lot from myself and strive for continuous improvement on my skills and abilities in all areas regardless of whether they're strengths or weaknesses, and I get legitimately pissed with myself if I start slipping. This applies equally to things I am good at and bad at, but I tend to focus more time on improving my weaknesses than my strengths. But other people's involvement or level of skill/success relative to mine is completely irrelevant to me.

    Then again, maybe both of these things stem from the fact that deep down I just don't care about anyone but myself, who knows?