I’m a noncompetitive person. When I was in middle school, if a friend of mine liked a boy I also liked, I would totally stop being interested in him, so as to give her what she wanted. Interestingly, this backfires on me a bit in the professional world. So many salespeople thrive on being competitive. I actually like a team-oriented, collaborative environment. I find that most companies give lip service to this, but really go out of the way to foster testosterone-laden pissing contests more often than not.
I like that, in Chapter LXVIII, Lao Tsu agrees with my way of thinking. Isn’t the Tao, after all, about going with the flow?
The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.
The best general
enters the mind of his enemy.
The best businessman
serves the communal good.
The best leader
follows the will of the people.
All of the embody
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don’t love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.
In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.