Whole Life Challenge observations

Saturday, October 20, 2012

During the course of the Whole Life Challenge, I've observed some interesting behaviors on the discussion forums.  Part of the challenge is that every single rule can't possibly be made 100% crystal clear.  One such area of discussion relates to receiving communion, and whether the wine and cracker count as lost points for alcohol and grain ingestion.  This is ONE of many, many examples where certain competitors come out to play, saying "OF COURSE" it is a point, you're obviously NOT COMPLIANT.

I am not a Catholic, and I do not receive communion, so this is NOT a personal issue for me.  It is a really good representation of something that I want to talk about. Here's my response to this example and the numerous others I have witnessed.

There are two types of competitor:

  1. People who believe that the competition is for (and against) everyone else.
  2. People who believe that the competition is for (and against) ourselves.
I call Type 1 "zealots."  Excess competitive juice juice sends Type 1 into holier than thou debates (or statements) about "the "right" way to do each thing, interspersed with posts and responses that are designed to highlight how lame and weak other people are.

Type 1 competitors:  If the competition takes you to a place where you find yourself putting down other people to show off how great you are by comparison, then you have lost sight of the purpose of the challenge.  One of the challenge's greatest opportunities is to share this journey with others and support each other toward individual progress and achievements.  Look in the mirror.  You are an asshole.  Stop it.

I "get" the rules, and I respect them.  Beyond that, I have been trying to be sure that I respect other people and their choices, whatever they may be.

For type 2 competitors:  If the rules aren't 100% clear*:
  • If YOU think it is cheating, it is cheating.
  • If you don't think it is cheating, then it is not cheating. 
In the end, you have to be accountable to yourself.  The person I am in the competition to "win" for (and, yes -- often, against) is me.

* You know what they are; don't cheat yourself and stretch the boundaries.  If you know that it's a stretch, then it's probably cheating.


Jilian said...

Great observation!! Being as competitive as I am - I'm surprised how quickly I realized the point of the game and became person 2. You only won or lose against yourself.

Andrea (Sacred Suds) said...

I am not familiar with the Whole Life Challenge, but I am so glad I came across your post (via Twitter). I decided last week to recommit to writing, and to posting on my blog, and I have been diligent and excited about doing both. But when my readers didn't respond much to my most recent posts, I started doubting myself, being that type 1 - looking to everyone else for my validation. Your post reminds me to look to myself in my writing and posting, to do it for me. Love this. Thank you.

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