How do we measure up?
When Usain Bolt won the men’s 200-meter gold medal, he jumped out to a fast start and no one caught him.
A bit disappointed at not breaking his own world record, Bolt explained that it was harder for him to maintain his super speed because he did not have someone running ahead of him that he needed to catch.
Similarly, after a snafu in the baton transfer for the women’s 4×100 relay resulted in a successful appeal, the U.S. women’s team ended up re-running their qualifying race on an empty Brazilian stadium track.
Afterwards, the ladies explained how hard it was to push themselves to their maximum without having runners in the lanes next to them.
Competition pushes us to be our best.
Conversely, it is hard to reach our maximum output when we do not have a measuring stick.
Some way to evaluate ourselves.
This is true in racing, in business and in life generally.
Being internally driven is certainly important.
But having a true competitor, someone who wants to beat us as badly as we want to beat them, can help push us to greatness.
For today, let us find a measuring stick, a challenge, something to push us beyond our limits and to greatness.