About Being Competitive

Success vs. happiness are two separate notions.

Staying strong as a tree.

Recently, I have come across an author who writes 5 books a year (Jerry Jenkins). I must say I am on the other side of the pole here – I write 1 book in 5 years. I have finally realized that comparison with others will get me nowhere. I have also no intention of fighting the so called writer’s block. I will write when inspired and no other way. Of course I must add that I am not making my living by writing. I am a financially (and emotionally!) supported wife. Also: I should not work too hard, otherwise my schizoaffective disorder gets worse. Still, sometimes I cannot comprehend why I get competitive and want to write a book a year?

It should come as no surprise though, for the very essence of the Western world is competitiveness. It starts with school grades. And it continues with competitions in maths and other subjects for the advanced learners. To add some more of the combative spirit there are sport competitions for kids. Some become professional athletes, for whom results are their daily bread. As if all this were not enough, we also have books of records in all possible fields.

However, we must ask ourselves, whether success really makes us happy? Or do we always want more? We must know that at any level above being homeless or addicted or seriously ill, we can stop and say we are happy. Success and happiness are two separate notions.

In addition to that, why do newspapers always give us stories of successful people? Why cannot they also report about individuals who have been honest all of their lives? Maintaining one’s integrity may be more difficult than any career. We can read about honorable people in novels, but the very definition of a novel renders a hero imaginary. And somebody who believes in good people is often told: “You read novels too much. Grow up.” Is this really growing up? Giving up hopes in integrity is supposed to mean to grow up? I do not think so. I happen to believe there are people, who maintain their integrity throughout their lives, yet they do not get any media coverage. They are not interesting enough.

Staying honest is, in my opinion, much more valuable than any success measured in terms of money, titles, awards, records or the number of books one has written.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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