The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Choosing the competition

For years Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal found themselves playing each other on tennis courts. Their tennis rivalry is considered the greatest in the history of the sport.

Every time they played a match against one another they had to ensure that one of both would win. They could also have thought of it as wanting to make sure that the other one loses.

Looking at the broader context, their choice was to decide if they were competing with one another, or if their ambition was to win against the other.

As their rivalry progressed they decided to see it as competing with one another. What they had seen was that through their rivalry their game had become better, their ability to win had grown, and their obligation to deal with losing led to being more resilient.

This choice is independent of the personal relation two people or rivals have. However, both developed a good-natured and gracious personal and professional relationship which most certainly made it easier to make that choice.

When people prefer to see competition as one over the other, they find it much harder to be grateful for their rival’s presence. And maybe it’s denying one’s gratefulness for the opponent’s presence that leads to the desire to win over the other.

How that relationship and its experience are perceived is a choice. It’s the result of choosing the story one tells oneself.




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