Competitive What?

Competition can keep quality high and people engaged in their work, but too much competition can kill creativity. When the goal of competition is winning, and when one party not only has to win, but enjoy the other side’s loss, competition becomes bullying.

I’ve seen some ugly competition in my life. Managers pitting employees against each other for a raise, a better office, or an emotional boost. What started as a friendly game ends up as a cut-throat attack, ending with anger, bitterness, or a new job.

yoga poseYesterday, I saw the ultimate irony–competitive yoga. No kidding. The competition involved the difficulty of poses and how long you could hold them. Yoga, or at least the yoga I take, is diametrically opposed to competition. It is a way to bring energy into yourself, to release stress, to challenge only yourself to achieve small victories that also feel physically good.

What’s next–taking steroids to win the yoga competition? I think the whole competitive sports push has gone too far. And I’m saying it right before the Super Bowl, too. Here’s an idea–divide sports into two competitions–those for people who take drugs and steroids and a competition for those who don’t. That will let the pumped up, champing at the bit players have their day, and the lower-key athletes who want to pit their challenges largely around their own skills and drills have a place to compete against others like them.

And for heaven’s sake, if you are interested in competitive yoga, stay away from my mat. I’m meditating, and that, at least for now, is not yet competitive.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at (c) 2008 All rights reserved. Image:


3 thoughts on “Competitive What?

  1. And my yoga mat is prettier and more nicely worn around the edges where countless yogis have hand-worn the edges gently in their deeper concentration. I have it strung up on my wall with some silver spacers.. oh no-wrong post!

  2. I can meditate WAY better than you, so there! Also my kind of meditation (Bon-Kbonq Full-Contact Meditation) is far superior to any other. Bon-Kbonqers are more enlightened than any other meditators, too.

    Please visit and add your name to our petition to add full-contact meditation to the Olympic Games.

    —Pete, I can always count on you to make me laugh in the morning. But I’ve learned not to read your comments while drinking coffee–this will be the third keyboard I’ve spit coffee into this month! –Q

  3. Competitive meditation… hmmm… can I borrow that concept for a story? 😀

    –Only if I retain ALL creative rights, read all your emails, and get the money, because I’m so competitive. –Q

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