The Land of ‘-est’!

The Land of ‘-est’! – By Arnie Wohlgemut

We live in the land of ‘-est’.  Yes, it is true.   Let me explain.

We compare our lives to others.  We want to be the rich-est and the smart-est, have the bigg-est house, the nice-est car or be the b-est dressed.

Living for the ‘-est’ is a mirage – we think happiness is just ahead of us.  But when we get to it, it vanishes.  Focusing on comparison and competition does not lead to success or happiness.  In fact, I have never seen a happy person who competes for these things.  (Oh, except for the fleeting moment when they believe that they are the rich-est, skinny-est, smart-est or the cute-est person in the room.)

All studies show there is strength in a team, but how do you add value to a person, help one another succeed or work as a team if we are self focused?

Vince Molinaro, author of The Leadership Contract, talked about competition and teams when he wrote:
“Excessive competition creates poor working relationships with team members and keeps you from engaging stakeholders in a genuine manner.  If you can’t bring people along with you, you’ll make your life much harder.”

Don’t get me wrong, a little competition is good, but not on the backs of others.

I strongly believe in becoming all you can be – I wouldn’t invest so much energy and time in mentoring and teaching in leadership circles if I didn’t.

But I also believe we need to escape the land of ‘-est’ and invest in the land of ‘-er’.

You know, the place where we make an effort to become a better listen-er, a kind-er person, smart-er, fair-er, and even happy-er.

Folks I know who are kind and generous tend to be much happier and healthier.  They don’t waste their time on competing – they focus on their own goals, becoming a better lead’ER.

My focus is to learn from others – even when there are points of disagreement, there is always a nugget I can take away.  Comparisons are futile – I can always find someone better and not quite as good as me.

The only ‘-est’ I’m after is being the best I can be!