George and Mary-Lynn

Jungle Love – Living With Coopetition

By Bigg Success Staff
01-31-08

Career Builders

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It’s a jungle out there. Survival of the fittest, as Charles Darwin said. You have to be stronger than someone else in order to win. 

If you want more, someone else will have to accept less. Your victory comes from their loss. We feel good about ourselves when we win. When we beat someone else. We’re better than they are.

There are some dangerous assumptions lurking beneath the surface of these thoughts.

Dangerous assumption #1 – Resources are scarce.

Let’s get this out of the way – obviously SOME resources ARE scarce and only getting more so. It’s also true that AT THIS POINT, you may face some resource constraints.

However, there are more resources in the world than there are great ideas by people who can bring them to fruition! If you have an idea that makes life better for others, you’ll find an abundance of resources flowing to you.

So are resources scarce? Not the ones you need to live your dream life.

Dangerous assumptions #2 – it’s a zero-sum game.
Once again, we recognize that, in select businesses, this is true. For instance, if you trade commodities, you’re in a zero-sum game. The profits and losses will equal each other, netting out to zero.

However, these are exceptions to the rule – most of time, everybody can win if they put their minds to it!

You can focus on getting a bigger piece of pie. However, you’ll find it’s usually more fruitful to find a way to make the pie bigger. You win … so do others. Is that so bad?

Dangerous assumption #3 – Comparing ourselves to others.
Ancient philosophers asserted that “comparison” went along with “pride” and “vanity”.

And we all know that old saying – “Pride goeth before a fall.”

Constantly comparing yourself to others is a recipe for constantly being unhappy. Every time your neighbor gets a new car, you have to have a better one.

You lose focus on what’s more important – striving for your personal best to get what you really want out of your life.

Dangerous assumption #4 – Not competing with yourself.
We should take a lesson from the athletes that competed in the early Olympics. They competed with themselves. They tried for a personal best every time out. They wanted to excel.

It goes along with our favorite definition of success, which comes from the great basketball coach, John Wooden.

You succeed by doing everything you can to become everything you can be.

You focus on you. Beating your own best performance. It’s not always easy to strive for that next level. But it is fulfilling and meaningful!

It’s true that it the world is more competitive than ever. It’s also true that people are seeing more and more opportunity to cooperate. You need to learn to live with coopetition – that is, cooperative competition.

Some people find it easier to compete; it’s cooperation that comes difficult. For others, it’s the reverse. Today’s world requires the ability to do both, sometimes simultaneously.

That’s easier to do when you think of the marketplace as more than a jungle. Can you feel the love? It comes from the joy of being your best and helping others do the same. Win – win!

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