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I met Professor Arun Ramanathan a few months back (precisely in April). He taught us Corporate Governance and Business Ethics in our MBA. I told him a very practical daily situation I face. Whenever I walk, I am almost running, I notice that I walk very fast that I leave people behind as if there is a kind of competition happening. I am running to – say – win some competition.

Courtesy Nilesh Yeram (my friend)

Courtesy Nilesh Yeram (my friend)

Why are we doing this? Am I alone in this kind of running (not just literal) without knowing where is the end or many professionals – like I do – are just running. Some running for money, some for a next bigger car or home, some others for a better position. Or is it that when people are young they just get in a race, a race no one knows who started but a race in which other peers are also equally involved (at least in the runners mind)? This is how ethics gets shelved in our personal and professional life. We are trying to be something. Is it of any consequence or what are the accolades related to that? It is of no interest in many cases. So the mentality is by hook or crook achieve the results.

Two weeks back Rajagopaul uncleji shared a story with me. This perfectly relates to my discussion with Prof Ramanathan, so, sharing it here.


I was jogging one day and I noticed a person in front of me, about 1/4 of mile. I could tell he was running a little slower than me and I thought, well, I shall try to catch him. I had about a mile to go my path before I needed to turn off. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 yards behind him, so I really picked up the pace and push myself. You would have thought I was running in the last leg of London Marathon. I was determined to catch him.

Finally, I did it! I caught and passed him by. On the inside I felt so good. “I beat him” of course, he didn’t even know we were racing. After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn. I had gone nearly six blocks past it. I had to turn around and go all the way back.

Isn’t that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important?

We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths. The problem with competition is that it’s a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, better behaved children, etc. But realize that “You can be the best that you can be; you are not competing with anyone.”

Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are doing, where others are going. Take what has been given to you. Stays focused and live a healthy life. Run your own RACE and wish others WELL!!!

Is not it a good thing to learn?

Other related blogs

Chinu and the pebbles

Money worth earning

Swasthay – dwelling in oneself

What more you need?

When will we stop?

Why are you doing what are you doing?