The path to greatness involves the act of winning battles along the way.
These battles can present themselves clothed in many forms, but one thing is for sure: you’ll need to win a consecutive series of them to be successful. Amidst heated competition, our instincts become to attack what is keeping us from attaining what we desire, and to destroy those who stand in our way.
When on a consistent winning streak against the obstacles that are in your way, you’ll want to keep on going and keep on winning. However, in the context of competing against a limited few people, the longer your competition goes without a win of their own, the lower their desire to compete will be. Sometimes, it proves more beneficial to get rid of our opponents by way of sheer domination. Other times, you serve to gain more if you keep them around for just a while longer. If you are in a domain which has few competitors, say for instance a local basketball court at the park, then your opponents’ lack of desire to compete can result in a stunting of your long term fun, and growth.
The growth you experience from competing against others can be either personal or professional, depending on the particularity of your surroundings. Those who achieve the top spot in their chosen path rely on competition to keep them sharp, and thereby keep them on top. Without the competing forces clawing from below, the spot they hold begins to lose meaning and their growth begins to slow.
This article is written to shine a light on the power of not letting those you can dominate figure out that fact. In times when keeping the game going takes precedent over absolutely dominating it, letting people win some battles can save you from having to stop playing prematurely.
Let Them Win to Keep the Party Going
Competition is a good thing when you’re in control of a particular domain. Having your competition dwindle and fade will cause you to do the same if that fact goes unnoticed. In order to maintain healthy growth in any competitive domain, it is necessary to let your competition win a selection of their battles. The battles that they win should not cause irreversible damage to you or your collection of work. Your losses should, however, work to increase your opponents’ morale to stay put for the long game. As the game progresses, keep allowing their small victories to take place, while keeping your focus on the picture at large. Envision the battle as it plays out over hours, days, months, or years. Envision yourself improving with each one of their victories, as they’d serve to challenge you for longer, allowing you to continue improving because of their presence.
Allowing the competitors you can easily dominate to win some, encourages them to build motivation to improve. The longer you keep them around to play the game you’re a part of, the better at it they’ll get. Aside from allowing yourself to continue having fun in whatever the competitive realm you find yourself a part of, you’ll be serving to indirectly set the stage for your improvement too. You’d serve to build up your competitors, in order for them to better challenge you down the line.
Instances in which you’d want to use this tactic resemble having one sibling to play a video game against. Perhaps you’re playing a board game with your friends, or are partaking in an intellectual debate with a friend who you can mentally run circles around. In an effort to keep the party going, if you so desire, it would be effective to entice them to keep playing with a victorious feeling.
It should be said that in order for you to be able to exercise this level control, the environmental factors and difference in skill should be in your favor. If you are in fact weaker than your direct competitors, each one of your losses carries with it danger. Losing involves showing some sort of truth about the state of reality, and even though you may allow your competition to win, some of your weaknesses will begin to show. With these truths, your competition will begin to grow the confidence that comes with discovering your weaknesses.
Once you begin maintaining this sort of control over your competition, you will thereby control the whole domain you’re in. Your competition will begin to believe that the path to overall victory is in sight, while you reap the benefits of practicing for longer.
A prime example of this concept are the tactics used by casino businesses. A perfect ratio for keeping gamblers in their seats while their losses climb exists. Trial and error will help you figure out how to keep your competition around long enough to benefit you. Take note of when your competitors’ motivation levels plummet and when its time to raise it in an effort to keep them in the game.