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Racing against the wrong competition.

We are all running. Running against time and running against each other. In the past one week that I have returned to grad school, I see a mad race amongst some fresh faces who want to out do the others around. A defining goal that someone else sets and you work to achieve that. It is inspiring to learn from others and navigate your options to understand ambition in life. Ambition is like a fuel which burns within you to make you shine and move forward. It enables you to take the strongest step and the most determined mind set in achieving your goal. Ambition is an enabler. But a race against the wrong competitors is a drainer. It consumes your energies but does not give you happiness. You achieve what you think you always wanted, only to realise this is not refuelling you.

Who said race against each other? What you should seek is inspiration from others and race against yourself. Be your own mentor. All achievers have their self doubt phases, they question their judgements and forfeit their victories. I think the biggest challenge that we face in achieving our goals, is not realising what actually gives us happiness. The perception of someone else’s victory does not guarantee satisfaction, it only solidifies your belief in being able to do that. Trusting yourself that continuing to work hard and not getting famished by the competition around will challenge you to change yourself. It will supersede the idea of you valuing yourself on some predetermined actions, but actually love yourself on how much you changed through self evolution.

Let’s race with ourselves yesterday, and this world will become an easier place to live.

Mariyam Raza Haider

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A journalist by training, Mariyam Haider is a writer and performance poet in Singapore.
She is the researcher of the book The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age written by James Crabtree.
Her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Livemint, Feminism In India, New Asian Writing and Kitaab.

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