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05 December, 2010


Con Petire

The Native Americans more popularly known as ‘Red Indians’ have a wonderful diverse culture compared to the current inhabitants of the ‘new’ America. We can also call the Native Americans’ culture as ‘American Indian’ culture.

In today’s business world, corporate policies are so often dictated by the concern of “Stock Market” response. Also of concern are the quarterly reports and how the media is going to respond to the same. Competition is often perceived as ‘pain’. When the going gets tough in the market place because of strategic or policies of the competition, the phrase used to describe the scenario is ‘cut-throat’ competition – as if competition denotes ‘destroyer’. The reality more often than not is that there is a limitation in our understanding or in our response to the changing scenarios in the market place. The competition has understood or responded better than us. They could grab or create opportunities better than us. Period!!!

The Native Americans dealt with the unfavourable circumstances, let it be natural calamities or an onslaught by an adventurous tribesman or an attack from outside, with different thinking. The warrior culture of the tribe Lokota Sioux believed to ‘respect and honour’ opponents for they are always helping you to become better. They are guiding you to bring the best out of you. God has given you few precious jewels hidden inside. They (competition) help you dig these jewels out. They believed if we get ego involved with our competitors, we become weak, lose focus and alertness. We also lose out on happiness. They were told to enjoy the fights because in the fight they are not defeat their competition, but their own weaknesses to emerge stronger.

On researching the origin of the word ‘competition’ I stumbled upon something that made me smile. The English word competition links to the Latin origin of the word competition – Con Petire, which means ‘to search together’.

It is obvious that the world of competition was never to cut each other’s throat, but to intensely search for excellence. The objective is to stop complacence and arrogance; to grow together in honour, respect and gratitude towards consistent never-ending improvement. If only we succeed in understanding the true meaning of the word ‘competition’, the word will become a safer, progressive, successful and a happier place to live in.

To sum up, when I am willing to put the required intelligent efforts, competition=GAIN. When I want to escape putting the required intelligence and efforts, competition=PAIN.

Source: An Article from “Frozen Thoughts” magazine.

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