I Have No Competition

In Blackbelt in Business by Chris Berlow4 Comments

Are you competitive?  I know I certainly am.  I have competed in Taekwondo Competitions since 1983 and still have a strong desire to get back in the ring.  I have been a competitive mountain biker, winning the NY State series in the category two division for my age group.  I have run numerous half marathons, a full marathon, three Ragnar Relay Races as well as a 24 hour mountain bike race.

I love competition!

Here’s the thing; I believe I have no competition!  As I have gotten older, I have learned to keep my focus in front of me and not side to side.  Think about it, if I am in a mountain bike race and I am constantly looking next to me or even worse, behind me, it is definitely going to effect my progress moving forward.  Even when I ran my marathon, I kept on saying the mantra, “Race your own race”.  Mostly because I needed to stay positive as runners 30 years my senior passed me.

In business, it is the same thing.  In my martial arts business, I could honestly say that I do not have competition to contend with.  Now, there certainly are martial arts schools in the area that even offer some of the same programs and services I do.  However, while I am slightly aware of what other martial arts schools are doing, my emphasis and focus is being creative, not competitive.  I choose to spend my time focusing on growth, how to make a better impact for my students and families, and running the best martial arts school possible.  If I put my attention to what the other schools are doing, I would waste my time.  The same energy could have been put to better use focusing on my own school.  Does that make sense?

If you’re in business, put 100% of your energy and attention on what you want to accomplish. Work to have laser focus and tunnel vision so you are not looking side to side, but on your own initiatives and objectives.

The same idea works personally especially when it comes to healthy living.  If you want to live healthier, you have to do it for the right reasons; for you.  Many people get discourage because they work to keep up with social standards set by the media.  In the E-book, “A Tale of Two Ricks”, Rick went on a quest for healthy living because he wanted to have more energy, feel better internally, and ensure he is able to be there for his family and friends.  Not because he was in competition with someone else but within himself.  Other people would inspire him, but his focus was on his own personal health.

One of the reasons why martial arts training is so powerful is because the competition is only against yourself.  You are striving to become a better martial artist then you were before.  By doing so, you are living in the “Creative Plane” not the”Competitive Plane”.  Your attention is focused forward and not on the people next to you.

Final thoughts…Life could be complicated, can’t it.  There is an influx of information out there to develop any area of life you choose; professionally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  If you pay attention to what others are doing all the time, you will miss the things that will propel you forward.  “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality is the sure fitted formula for causing enormous amounts of stress in your life.  If someone has accomplishments in areas you are striving for, let them inspire you but don’t go against them.   I continue to personally focus on assessing where I currently am and where I want to go.  More importantly to enjoy the ride in the process.   It is liberating to know what others are doing doesn’t really concern me.  Therefore, I am free to grow and focus on my own life, because I am always looking forward, not side to side.


  1. Thank You Master Berlow for Your Sage, Insightful and Chaste Vision. It has equal parts Iron and Beauty. It is truly Inspiring. I am often not only looking side to side, but, so much so, I cease to run at all. May We All find the courage to be Ourselves for it is Good and it is Enough.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Anthony. It is very easy to look side to side however when your mission or passion is bigger then you as an individual it is like tunnel vision. For me working with my students and clients in both my martial arts school and Empowered Mastery is the real reason why I do what I do. All the other side noise becomes insignificant when I am focused on what I love to do. Good luck in your quest and thank you for taking the time to read the article. There will be more to follow. Please let me know if there are ever any questions I could answer and I would be happy to do so.

  2. Thank you Sir for your words, wisdom and vision. I plan to do this as we are preparing 6 Degrees Restaurant and Brewery to open this Spring in Ossining. I will repost this and tag my associates, as we are all to be on the page.

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