“I’m telling you up front, I don’t care who wins.” Jason walked to the starting line, bounced a couple times and stretched.

Matt stopped his warmup and looked at Jason like he was speaking a foreign language. “How can you not care who wins? That’s nuts, Man. Why are we even doing this?”

“To help you practice.”

“If you just let me win, how will that challenge me?”

“I never said I was going to let you win. I’ll do my best. If your best is better than mine, happy for you, Dude. If it’s not today, maybe next time. Either way my personal best is an achievement, right?”

Matt shook his head. “Sorry. Losing is failure. Pure and simple.”

“Really? But doesn’t someone have to lose for there to be a winner?” Jason asked.

“Now you’re just messing with my head.”

“I’m not. It’s not hard. Pure and simple, competition isn’t the only thing that motivates excellence. Achievement works, too. Otherwise, you would have to be the winner all the time in everything, and that simply isn’t possible. There is always something that someone can do better than you can. We all have gifts.”

“That’s crap, Man. I’m good at this because I work at it. I train. I make sacrifices. Nobody handed me no gift.”

“Yeah, but the next guy–probably me–could work side by side with you, working on the same skill in the same way just as hard and never be as good. It’s called talent. Natural ability. And it is a gift. Something you are born with. Every person has one.”

“Look, Mr. Philosophy, don’t you have a photography group to meet up with this afternoon? Are you going to race me, or just talk me to death?”

“I don’t care who wins,” Jason said, giving him a taunting grin.

“Fine. You’ll eat my dust regardless. Achieve that!” Matt grinned at him and punched a button on his watch. “Five, four, three, two…RUN!”



A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. ~Ayn Rand


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