Mini-Bible-Philosophy-Worldview Study (19) Of The Day- On Competing And Staying Humble

Craig Hoffman
4 min readNov 23, 2020
Photo Courtesy of Shuttersnap

Verse Of The Day

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (Galatians 6:4)

Related Quotes

“Religious beliefs evolved by group-selection, tribe competing against tribe, and the illogic of religions is not a weakness but their essential strength.”- E. O. Wilson

“Deep down, my ego always thought that I would outlast a lot of people that I was competing against.”- George Michael

“If it is surely the means to the highest end we know, can any work be humble or disgusting? Will it not rather be elevating as a ladder, the means by which we are translated?”- Henry David Thoreau

Questions For Discussion

Do you consider yourself a competitive person?

Are your friends and family more or less competitive than you?

If you are a church-goer, do you find your church a competitive atmosphere at times?

Is it difficult for you to feel like “somebody” when surrounded by more successful people?

Do you consider your close friends more or less successful in life than you are?

Bonus Verses

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. (Mark 9:35)

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. (Proverbs 18:12)

Commentary- On Competing With Yourself And Others

Craig note- I often waffle as to whether to enter writing contests. I tend to get too competitive.

On Competition And Winning

I’m competitive. I hate losing. I have never won in my life. Think about that. I am 44-years-old, and I have never, ever, ever won. My opponent?


You see I almost never compete against other people. That’s a waste of energy. Years ago, I remember many of my classmates competing against each other. I never got into that.

Okay, I got into that. I tried to crush every classmate I ever had. My goal was to be better than the teachers, not just my peers.

(Fast forward.)

There are tons of foreigners here who live for being better at (insert whatever) than some other foreigners. Seriously, it’s a sport for some.

“My Japanese is better!”

“My job is better!”

“I have traveled to more places!”

“My wife is hotter!”

Okay, so, I use the last one. By the way, it’s true. My wife is pretty smoking. And, yes, she reads my writing from time to time.

I do understand competition with others to a degree. Sometimes, people need an outside measuring stick.

The nearest expat often serves in this role.

New foreigners often do not get the praise/criticism at their jobs they are accustomed to in the West.

“How am I doing?” is a question in Japan that generally goes unanswered.

Nobody wants to make waves with the new foreigner.

Honestly, there is often a low expectation of foreigners. Literally, a breathing, life-like English teacher at most schools is a godsend.

I am not even kidding.

On Being More In Life No Matter Where You Live

I choose to “be more” in Japan. I searched for a time for something here to call my own. And, I finally found writing. Or, rather, it found me.

There are opportunities to make money in writing. But, I turn down all the chicken poop paying writing work. I would (and do) write for free rather than get paid like that.

I am in a position to be picky. My life goes on even if I never sell any books, articles, or make one red yen.

And, I don’t, by the way.

Still, I do come across opportunities for a chance at some public relations. I am interested in that. So, I sit down to decide if I want to go down the competitive route.

I have said it a million times, “You don’t get my ‘A’ game unless you pay for it.”

My blog is whatever I can write 20 minutes and edit in 10 more.

Trust me. I do not fear anybody in the realm of writing.

If I enter a writing contest, I am “in it to win it.” My sole goal is to stomp every other entry abso-Smurf-ly flat.

I have zero interest in second place.

That’s code for, “You lost.”

Yes. That’s ego. If you don’t have an ego, get out of writing. You will never make it as a writer. Unfortunately, my obsession with winning takes some of the fun out of writing. Again, if I win, it is worth it.

But, if I don’t, well, that disappointment sort of hangs with me a good long time.

Please understand, it is not the losing that gets me.

There are many great writers out there. And, sometimes, a novice strikes inspiration to write something wonderful. But, when I lose at (insert whatever) I am left to wonder, “What more could I have done to win?”

With my personality and work ethic, I know the answer is, “Nothing.”

So, I am left with the reality I simply must continue to: “compete with myself.”

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Mini-Bible-Philosophy-Worldview Study (18) Of The Day- On The Patience To Wait For Change And God



Craig Hoffman

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”