Beautiful Competitive Spirit

A short time ago I caught an interview with Alison Moyet where she stated her intention to own nothing. She expressed how people might assume she was on “some kind of meltdown.” Her feelings on the subject of ownership were also picked up on by The Guardian: “I really don’t want to own things. It just drags you down” she said.

When someone of note talks of such things it always seems to grab my attention 

In contrast to Alison Moyet, who wishes to own nothing, we have the likes of Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, to name but a few, who seem to want to own everything. Richard Branson, for example, now owns two of the Virgin Islands (Necker and Mosquito) and has a portfolio that can only be matched by the Gods. Indeed, many perceive such heights of success and stature, as something that can only be achieved by Gods. Branson is of course human and a seemingly nice one at that. His philanthropy makes for interesting reading.

Horses for courses

We are what we are and it could be said there’s as much a need for the entrepreneur as there is for the minimalist. Interestingly enough, one of the reasons for Branson’s success, is the paradox of the fearless approach he, and many other fellow entrepreneurs have, toward money. In the early days he had a pathological driving to reinvest everything. The driving wasn’t so much to own large sums of money but to use money in a way that increased his status and power. We could say much of this is down to the size of a person’s ego and their humongous competitive spirit.

We’re all looking to prove something

Both Alison Moyet and Richard Branson are seeking to prove something to others. How successful Moyet can be at owning nothing is something she must prove to both herself and others. Thinking that owning stuff drags you down is surely a belief. Owning stuff drags you down when the belief is there’s some kind of attachment to it. If Branson had been emotionally attached to money (or things) there would have been no growth. Hoarders are the kind of people who believe their possessions define them and have some kind of power. When we believe possessions have power then of course those very possessions begin to have power over us. They begin to own us! I very much doubt Branson has such a belief system. In fact my feelings, are that it’s very much about power and competition, with this individual. You would have to read his book to understand why I’ve come to such a conclusion.

Personally

On one level I’m still seeking to deal with the belief that a competitive spirit is something quite ugly. I find it repulsive to watch competitive sportsmen and women. The reason for this may well lie in a repressed competitive spirit of my own. I’ve no doubt been taught that competitiveness is wrong or perhaps even sinful (religion in childhood). It also relates to a dislike of being beaten by those with a stronger competitive spirit than my own. It’s as if mine was stunted in childhood. Underdeveloped if you like. The answer to this underdevelopment could be to simply give up and adopt beliefs that fit with a non-competitive nature. In other words, rather than seeking to change something that’s seen as a limitation, we can justify being a meek underachiever, through adopting, or embracing, past lessons in religious beliefs. 

Never confuse calm and gentle with weakness

If we want success and riches, a need for healthy competition, is paramount. There can be nothing ugly about a competitive spirit when it’s directed in such a way that it benefits humanity in general. 

Let me explain. We can easily see competitiveness between world leaders, yet this is often something rather twisted, and dark. World leaders who chose to suppress (or conquer) the people they lead, as a means of empowering themselves, or to be seen as powerful by the rest of the world, are employing a very twisted logic indeed. At the root of this logic lies fear. When we understand the sensible, loving way, to use human competitiveness, we have a wonderful formula, for success. All of us can benefit when love is the driving force. 

Own as much as you want just remain unattached

An emotional attachment to other humans is fundamental to our health and wellbeing. Love for others reflects a love of ourselves. When we empower others we do this to ourselves. By contrast, emotional attachments to money or inanimate objects, is certainly only ever going to be a one way street. It is impossible to empower ourselves through loving a collection of crystal vases for example. We would remain extremely shallow and of little practical use to others.

So there we have it, once again it’s clear to see, when the force of love is at the base of all that we do, success is guaranteed.