In 1886 the horse and carriage business was flourishing as one of this country’s most efficient means of personal transportation. In the early 1900’s, Durant-Dort Carriage Company (William C. Durant) was essentially put out of business by Henry Ford when he founded the Henry Ford Company, the first automobile manufacture. The Ford automobile eliminated the horse and carriage era and pushed this country into a new direction.
In the spirit of competition (or capitalism in this case), William C. Durant responded by creating General Motors in 1908, the world’s second largest automobile manufacture, and the country changed forever. Being number one mattered and it empowered competition. Competition is what drives people to be better, to be smarter and to make a better product. Competition is what made this country great.
Today however, we are shifting to a progressive concept wherein we are all put on an equal playing field. A concept where competition is no longer important because we are all winners and there are no losers.
This concept is immersed into our school systems and our children are being taught that it doesn’t matter if they win or lose, as long as they participate. Children no longer receive awards for first, second and third place, they now all receive participation awards no matter how they perform. Youth sports are following suit by making sure all of the kids on the team have equal playing time, despite their skill or interest level. You no longer have to be good enough to make the team; you are automatically on the team if you show up. And during the game, if one team begins to outscore another by too big of a margin, we penalize the winning team and let the other team catch up.
This ideology is creating a society of codling. We are so afraid of offending someone or hurting someone’s feelings or bruising their ego that now everyone is a winner. This is having a devastating effect on society and individuals alike. When you no longer have to try your hardest because you will automatically receive equal compensation or praise you create a society of individuals who are no longer able to help themselves – people who are no longer interested in thriving. There is no need to do better or give full effort because the end result is the same. We are creating people who won’t take control of their own destiny. These people expect to be carried along through life.
Sadly, the real world doesn’t work this way. There are winners in life and there are certainly losers. This is evidently clear if we take the time to look at the world around us. We are perpetuating the issues in society by creating an environment of coddling. People now believe it’s no longer their own responsibly to care for themselves or better themselves. They expect someone else to do it for them. They expect someone else to put them in a position of success and they expect someone else to help them find happiness.
We must realize we are absolutely in control of our own destiny and if we fail or succeed in life it’s because we put ourselves in that position. There is no one to blame but ourselves. We must understand this for ourselves and we must instill these values in our children. It’s imperative we stop the vicious coddling cycle. There is one path to being successful in life. That is a path of hard work and perseverance. No one is going to make you successful except you.
Creating a life of happiness and success is well within the realm for all of us. Sometimes creating that life requires an overhaul in the way we think. We often have to reprogram our brains to rid ourselves of some of the things we were taught earlier in life; like there are no winners and losers. The sooner we make this change in our thought process the sooner we will realize we can put our life on a completely different path. It just takes our full effort instead of waiting around for someone else to step in and make our lives better. General Colin Powell said it best, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.”
There are winners and losers in life and it’s your choice to be either. If you are successful, then there is no doubt you got there through hard work and perseverance. If you are not, then perhaps it’s time to change the way you think. It’s time to realize the way you were programmed to think early on was wrong and has set you up for failure. The good thing is it’s never too late to change the way you think.
Competition has always inspired people to be great, to be better than the previous. Competition promotes greater thinking and new ideas and consequently new growth. This growth created a great nation of people, not because we were all winners, but because someone did what it took to become a winner.