Last week my team and I went to K1 Speedway after lunch for our annual Christmas staff outing. We had a great time racing against each other.
Off to the side of the track there’s a giant scoreboard with everyone’s ranking in the race so you can see where you’re at and how you stack up against everyone else in real-time. You can’t see it all the time but it’s pretty visible on certain turns.
After each lap I noticed myself looking up to see where I ranked on the scoreboard. When I noticed I was ahead I felt good about myself. But when I noticed I had fallen behind I worked harder to catch back up.
Before too long I was checking the scoreboard every chance I got, which made it hard for me to make turns well and enjoy the race.
The more I looked at the scoreboard the more I fell behind. But the more I ignored it the better I did and the more fun I had.
And I’ve noticed that in other areas of my life too. The more I catch myself comparing how much weight I’ve lost to someone else or how much more (or less) money they make than me or how many more friends they have I find myself enjoying that aspect of my life less.
But when I don’t look at the scoreboard, that is when I don’t compare myself to someone else or check in to see how much better they are or aren’t at something than me, I’m not only happier but I find myself actually improving and become healthier in those areas.
So the next time you’re tempted to check the scoreboard, whether it’s the size of someone’s house, or how well-behaved their kids are, or how much bigger their (or your) organization is remind yourself not to.
The scoreboard is always in flux. Sometimes you’re ahead. Sometimes you’re not.
But it doesn’t really matter because you don’t win at life by being talented or having more than everyone else. You win at life by being present in the moment and enjoying it for what it is and by helping people with people you love.
Every time you do that you win.