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You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things, to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals. And the way you become sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals is to invoke the healthy competitor within you. Competition’s true essence is meant to be playful and an enjoyable experience, like a child playing tee ball or soccer. So, essentially, you need to become "like a child" again to reach your goals.
A child competes by playing his heart out and doing everything in his power to win the game. But it’s not winning that is his main concern. Sure, it’s a nice reward, and the child will enjoy the "win," but winning is secondary. What’s primary is playing the game for the mere sake and enjoyment of the game. The child is absolutely present in this moment and is concerned with having fun and connecting with others. He looks forward to the orange slices at halftime and playing with his friends during and after the game. Losing has no effect on the child’s well-being nor does winning. Have you ever met a child who sulks after a loss or is overly enthusiastic after a win? No. He is the same playful child he has always been regardless of the outcome. The child is free, and not dependant on external situations to bring him happiness.
We need to take notes on how to be a child again. Because when a child grows up and becomes an adult, his ego thickens and hardens to a protective shell. The world seems like a dangerous place in which the adult has to get "mine" because resources seem scare.
A new level of competition is born and it involves the ego. You compete to be better than the other and have the most in life, as if you can take those possessions to the grave. You jump on the ladder of success and climb to the top so you can look down upon others. It is as if life has become a race to the top of a mountain, and first one to the top wins. There is no regard for consequences. The ego and competition combined will step on anyone and anywhere to achieve his ideal.
When the ego is involved, you have lost the playful nature of competing. Whatever you are engaged in, such as building a career with a corporation, is a means to an end; therefore, life in each moment becomes a means to arriving at your ideal future. You are never satisfied with this moment and seek the "next thing" hoping it will bring you peace and satisfaction. But when the "next thing" does come, are you satisfied? Maybe for a few minutes or a few days or a few months, but eventually the achieved outcome wears off and you are seeking the "next thing" again.
Exhausting, isn’t it? Painful, too - to never be satisfied. So what do you do? Do you keep being the ego-hungry competitor? Or, do you...
The child playing soccer is not competing. He is creating moment to moment in a structured soccer game. That creativity is him kicking the ball and the ball traveling a certain speed and location to scoring a goal. Creativity is the child trusting his intuition and being at a certain position on the field blocking the opponent’s attempt from tying the game.
Creativity is beyond competition and is always a win. That’s because the result is not the focus anymore. You fail when your attention is on attaining results because you’re stuck in an egoic, dualistic reality - win or lose, up or down, right or wrong. What’s important is transcending duality and move into the non-dual realm by focusing on the doing in this moment.
Being non-dual attends to “quality” versus attaining results. The result is going to happen regardless of what you do - not to mention getting results are completely out of your control. Sure, you may have influence over the outcome, but there is chance that the outcome will not turn out your way. Can you predict who will win a soccer game? Can you predict what will even happen in your life tomorrow? No. You can guess and assume, but you cannot be absolutely positive that tomorrow will turn out they way you want.
Give your fullest attention to whatever you are doing in this moment. Be with this moment completely. You give the best of yourself when you are free from the outcome and are present. Be in tune with each sound, breath, and sensation of right now. This will tremendously improve the quality of your doing which will in turn increase the chances of a successful outcome.
“Any ordinary chap” can be creative and transcend competition. Creativity happens with presence and attention to the doing of right now. And it’s those who remain creative that become heroes.
How to Be Creative
Creativity and you are not separate from each other. You are the conduit for creativity to flow in and through. You can rest now, and take the load off of your shoulders. No need to try and be creative because it’s not your job. Your job is to form relationships and allow creativity to flow through the relationship.
When Steve Jobs created the iMac and Apple computers, he did not “create” the computer or the mp3 player iPod. The invention of the computer was around before Apple computers and so was the mp3 player. What Steve Jobs did was find a relationship between two contrasts and bring them into harmony.
Steve Jobs took a massive super computer that filled a room and made it into a compact problem solving and entertaining machine for millions of people. The same goes with the iPod. The technology for making CDs portable were available, and the problems individuals were having with CDs - cannot run with CDs, cannot listen to multiple artist conveniently, etc. - were present. Steve Jobs bridged the gap between individual problems with CDs and the technology of Mp3 to invent the iPod.
How do you become the conduit for creativity?
Instead of thinking, “How can I be creative?” reform the question to, “What new relationship can I form?” Look for two opposite things and form a relationship with them. Find a problem, for example, manipulation and strong arm tactics in business, and create a harmonious relationship by adding spirituality and heart into business. Spirituality and business? How can that be? How can two opposites exist in the same space? That’s what creativity is: two opposites having a relationship with each other. This is only possible and noticeable, however, if you have transcended competition and stepped into the creative being that you are.
If you are stuck in competition, then you are stuck in being the needy ego that accumulates, one-up’s-others, and focuses on its needs. Creativity is blocked. Give all of your attention to the doing of this moment and watch the creativity flow. What will arise is quality in your doing and quality in your life. You’ll realize that you do not do the creating, but are the conduit for the creative force to happen. This is how any ordinary chap sufficiently reaches his goal. He skips the egoic need for competition or “heroism”, and becomes creative.
This article is generously contributed by Nick Pfennigwerth from Big Heart Small Business, helping small business owners connect with their heart and larger vision so that they can make a difference and a healthy profit. At Big Heart Small Business, Nick applies his buddhist, spiritual, zen teachings into growing an authentic, heart centered business without the hype and strong arm tactics.
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© Thea Westra publishes a wealth of material for increased life power, self improvement, inspiration and personal success. Adding wings to our unique journey of life. See her many personal development resources at www.forwardstepsblog.com
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