When I grew up in the 70s and 80s, Sweden had a mixed economy. All utility companies were owned and managed by the state, while most shops and service companies were private. So it wasn’t a capitalist society we lived in and competition wasn’t a big factor. Competition is linked to capitalism. The free market controls which goods and services are to be produced and at what price, which has both advantages and disadvantages. But competition has found its way into many places in our lives.
We compete for workplaces but also within the work, who should be promoted, for example. In sports, it’s mostly about competition and not so much about training and having fun at the same time. Even within the family, you can sometimes experience competition about things. So is competition good or bad for us?
Is competition good or bad for us?
Since waking up and starting to change my life, I’ve started looking at competition from a different perspective than I did before. Like the vast majority of people, I was raised to believe in competition and that it is good for us. Because, it favors our free will to decide for ourselves what to buy and do. That is, everything is about my own choices for how my life will be. That all my fellow human beings are possible competitors. As a trained economist from Business school, I have been trained in how to compete against other companies.
Today, I prefer to see my fellow human beings as possible partners. Because together we can create so much better things because we all have different abilities and skills. Together we are also stronger than if we stand alone. The competition benefits my ego and today I want to live with love for myself and my surroundings. It’s therefor hard to do if I’m going to see everyone as competitors. Competitors automatically become my enemies who threaten my success. Hence, if we are to live in peace, we cannot see each other as enemies.
The fall of capitalism, the fall of competition
If we are to be able to change our way of life, a way that benefits both ourselves and our earth, we cannot continue with capitalism. We cannot continue to produce a lot of goods that we don’t really need. Today we produce more and more, which our social structure requires us to do. As economist I learned that GDP must increase from year to year and to get an increased GDP more goods and services must be produced. I remember so well that during my training I thought that this is not sustainable in the long run. But, what can we do to change our lifestyle?
Every change starts with the individual, that is, with you. Review how you live your life today and what you can do to change. First, look at what products and services are necessary for you? Start by removing the ones that are easiest to remove and choose what benefits our earth the most because that is where our future lies. Choose what is most natural because it is back to nature we need to go.
A simpler life without competition
Choose to live a simpler life by surrounding yourself with things that you really need and that make you happy. In recent decades, we have gone from quite small and modest to unnessecary large. But we can reverse that trend again. You need a lot less than you think. I remember a survey I took part in in the early 90s. If we remove all unnecessary products and only have a couple of choices of each product to choose from, our production would go down a lot. From everyone working 8 hours 5 days a week, it would have been enough for everyone to work one day a week. That says a lot.
Living a simpler life can be very good because you have more time to create and socialize. Time for yourself and your family and friends. A simpler life does not mean a worse life. You only prioritize different, that is, what is important in life. Say you suddenly find yourself in a situation where life is put on hold, then you think about all the moments you missed with your loved ones, not about things you never needed.
Things don’t make you happier, it’s your relationships with family and friends and what you do with them that determines whether you’re happy or not. Change your life too. Together we can change the world.