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Beating the Competition May Cost Your Creativity

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
1 min read

Limits are good. They reduce choices from “infinite” to “something manageable.” Without limits, we aren’t capable of proceeding in any productive way. Where would we start?

How those limits are set is absolutely vital. One fatal mistake is to set limits based on what the competition is doing.

Terry Crews explains that he believe’s that “competition is the opposite of creativity.” What he means is that focusing on winning rather than creating effectively limits the possibilities of our endeavors. Put slightly different, rather than making something exceptional, trying to beat the competition keeps us focused on winning.

Winning and creating are completely different. Winning is also is a limiting mindset: it implies that one must lose for another to win. It’s not true.

If you ever catch yourself saying “I want to do exactly what (blank) is doing, but cheaper/faster/better” then you’ve probably succumbed to the trap.

It’s okay to model our success, but it’s not okay to simply pick a target and “beat them.” Creating is much more important, and so is our work.