Enemies aren’t the same as rivals. Enemies are threatening. Enemies harbor danger – real danger – to your livelihood. You’re supposed to get all Art of War on your enemies, not invite them over for wine tastings and charcuterie boards.
Rivals aren’t threatening. A rival is like a collaborator in the art of life. A rival is an enemy you should invite over for dinner. Rivals epitomize the skill you wish you had. Rivals symbolize your possibility for extending your capacity and increasing your competence in whichever game you’re competing in. And competing, by the way, is just a three syllable word for game. It’s not much of a game if the players have no reason to play the game better.
Competing with ourselves is useful only until our personal bests become the world records. But that’s rarely the case. Rivals snap us out of this delusion. Rivals show us the harsh reality of our shortcomings. And it’s because of these disagreeable truths that we should be grateful for those who defeat us most often.
If you’re looking to get better at whatever it is you do, go find some rivals. Though I don’t know where to find them. Craigslist, maybe? FiverrRivals.com? No clue. But I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. Godspeed.