Ep 48 – Competition is Necessary

ate a whole box of Samoas

I don’t think they’re called that.

They are. They’re called Girl Scout Cookie Samoas.

Are you sure about that?

Simoes Yeah. Sa mo A S. chocolate and coconut. Carmel. I guess maybe, maybe not. But some of us are you still waiting for it to Google? Yeah. Can I just tell everyone welcome. They’re

now called Caramel Delites. No way. Because a Samoa refers to Samoan and that’s Girl

Scout. Let’s right here. Okay, I believe you just well, whatever they’re called. They ate them.

You ate a whole box of them honey.

Pretty much not now. Not a whole box because everybody helped the Wonder Boys helped who were on episode 47. Yeah, yeah.

You say Samoa and I think of Jason Momoa. Aqua Man. That guy is he’s something

he did you see how handsome he looked at the Oscars. He had a pink Tux on that he and he was carrying that clutch from that other lady apparently to be a gentleman and it went with his outfit. I mean, I can’t carry a clutch and look cool. I mean, I look maybe gentlemanly, but I don’t look cool. And he looked cool.

I can totally pull off a clutch. Well,

you’re cooler than me.

I have immerse

you. Yes, you do. You are Indiana Jones.

Why’d Why do men look down on carrying a bag like they don’t think of it when they’re carrying a gym bag.

LeBron James doesn’t look down on himself when he carries immerse. No,

it makes so much sense. wallet, phone, headphones, keys. If you have to take medication, gum or minutes. Additional ID that already mentioned wallet.

You said a wallet keys.

It makes perfect sense lipstick. I don’t understand. I don’t I don’t understand. I don’t understand why people would look down on a male because they’re he’s carrying a bag to support his lifestyle. And

well I understand one thing and that is that we are here today on this 48th episode of you’ll die trying.

Welcome. Welcome to you’ll die trying.

Welcome. I’m Nathan Morris. I’m

Jonathan Carroll.

And you are here and we appreciate you strap in suit up. It’s about to get really hot up in here. It’s

game on to the lawn. like to talk to to you, Nathan in a minute here about the psychology of competition. Yeah, let’s talk about competition. Let’s listen first. Okay. Let’s listen to this. I’m listening. It’s called a jingle driving Muay Thai as a man hey that was a good segue. I like that one. Do you like it? Yeah, it

was good. I didn’t know where it was going. I was felt good.

I think our jingle when lined up next to virtually any other jingle of any other podcast would stand a huge chance of being on the podium. Yes, a one two or three winner.

Anytime I ever say hey, check out the podcast people like that jingle is good. I like the jingle. Yeah, I think I still sing it. tries a man you’re trying your mind. Hold on. Okay, I’m done. You just heard it. You wanted to talk about competition. I want to talk about competition today. Competition in life personally and professionally. I just want to make a general 30,000 foot view. Comment. And then let’s dive in to this. And I think Dr. Carroll with you leading the way can really help. Competition is here we go necessary. Yeah, absolutely necessary. I will tell you right now the people that I call competitors have made me better. And you know what? I’m seeing people don’t like competition. And it’s absolutely ignorant. Don’t be those people. Now let’s talk about that from an in depth perspective. Okay, go

well, let’s let’s just test the thesis that competition is necessary. Right? Can you imagine a scenario where competition doesn’t happen? Is there a context in the world that you can think competition doesn’t happen? Giving birth? Okay. One could argue that in that case, someone is competing against natural forces, right? Maybe they need epidural not epidural kind of thing. Well, meaning, you know, fighting against the urge to to quit.

Okay, competing with them. So Yeah,

competing with urges competing with natural instincts and, and women are amazing for being able to do that. Absolutely. Okay. Other examples? Girl Scout cookies. I mean, that’s totally a competition. Absolutely.

You sell. Okay. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I bought $70 worth of Girl Scout cookies. I think they’re $2 a box. And Drew and his cute little daughters are you know, they made me I saw I was suckered into it, I have to admit, and I bought all these cookies. Mm hmm. Well, I think they won. Because, of course they’re in a competition. Mm hmm. They’re in a competition. Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think it’s great because they wanted to win. Right. So there’s no participation trophies, which, by the way are farce. They’re so ridiculous. In my opinion,

if that’s a problem for me, no. Okay. Yeah,

yeah, you participated. So you get a trophy, just because you’re the last place.

Yeah, that’s not good for I’ll tell

you right now. We had field day in elementary school every year and it was like the most exciting thing. Okay, Beth Jones, always beat all the boys because he ran so much faster. And I remember winning one time, and I got first place but all the times before I would get second or third. Mastro would always beat me to a point is I didn’t win a participation award. I want either first, second or third or nothing. And it was like a legit ceremony when I was in elementary school, middle school. Now it’s like, Hey, you like stood over there and blew that? What are those things called dandelions while we had sack races? Here’s a trophy. Yeah. Anyway, I just I’m a little salty about it.

Do you think your mind will change when it’s your kids

planes? No, no, because life is not easy. Life is not fair. There are winners. And there are losers, not losers in the sense of hey, you’re a loser like that defines you. But losers in the sense of in this instance, you did not win, you did not pull out you did not outperform. And I’m salty about this situation. Because in my profession, competition is extreme. And instead of focusing on whenever people, there are still people, businesses that are better than me, and I want to, I want to be better, I don’t focus on their betterment, I focus on me becoming better in order to one day Excel and surpass them. Right. But also, there’s a healthy boundary of not becoming too focused on that person, or individual or business or whatever I’m trying to say, right. And, you know, I’ve got dogs just nipping at my heels right now, in many instances, and it’s, it gets to a point where it’s kind of frustrating, you know, it’s like, focus on yourself, you know, it’s like, if you’re a terrible person,

what do you do fix it? Oh, definitely think that. Studies show that when you are competing against someone outside of yourself, what psychologists call extrinsic incentive, some for some other person, something outside of you. Typically, when the competition is over, behavior, trends are reversed. And whatever it was that you weren’t doing tends to bounce right back to what you were before the composite competition started. So I think that we do best when we do not focus on outside sources for competition. But when we focus on competing against ourselves, we need to focus on what we did this time last year, this time, last quarter, this time yesterday and compete against that rather than let other people other businesses or other quote unquote, competitors be the focus of our competitive drive.

We say we’ve said in previous podcasts be better today than you were yesterday. Right? And I think that’s great. compete with yourself. Yeah, that’s, that’s kind of the bottom line, we could probably end this podcast here. But I want to keep going and kind of dive in even more.

So So what is it about competing within ourselves that will keep us motivated, because part of competing against other parties outside of us that extrinsic motivation, you know, there’s a very lively, competitive atmosphere or culture that would drive us like, you know, think about the Biggest Loser, for instance, you know, that was a show that kind of really concentrated on working against yourself as well as other people. And, you know, studies show that a lot of people who were on that show can’t sustain that lifestyle where you work six hours a day, and they gain it back, right? Because that motivation, that incentive is gone. You’ve got to have that intrinsic that interior incentive, that motivation to change and stay change, but what is it about that that that we most need? What what generates the best intrinsic interior motivation to keep us competitive with ourselves?

Hmm, that’s a really, I don’t mean to even delay this answer, because I don’t know that I know the right answer or an answer in general, but I think that’s a good question. to ask,

I mean, I think at the end of the day, there could be 1000 reasons why we compete against ourselves and want to do better than we did. pride in what we do commitment to the people with whom we’re doing it, maybe their monetary benefits or incentives, maybe their programs that we can be a part of, or rewards. But at the end of the day, the question is, I think, what kind of person are you? Do you want to be better than you were? Do you want to try to make the company that you serve better than it was? And that could be motivation enough?

I like that. Yeah. Some things that people do businesses tend to do is when they’re competing with one another is they literally find themselves rubbernecking. They focus solely on what someone else or some other business is doing to the point where they lose sight of what they’re doing. And then they are literally left in the dust. And don’t allow that do not let that be you. We pride ourselves here. Dr. Carroll included. We don’t we? We are maybe what’s the right word, maybe conscientious of what others are doing, or aware, aware. But we’re literally kind of keep our heads down. And I’m gonna say it. I mean, if you’re in a similar industry with somebody, it’s tough to admit because I like the idea of being friendly and friends with everybody, but they don’t want to be your friends.

No, they don’t. You know, excuse me, cool competition. That’s the word competition is

a Dodger say Cool Runnings, like the 1994. Hit film on somebody for 36.

Somebody from that original Jamaican bobsled team was in Davis County yesterday. Oh, Davis County High School. That’s awesome. Yeah. So it’s funny, you said that competition is a dominant force. And it’s a natural force that occurs in nature. But it’s not the only one. And it’s got an equal and opposite other half another cousin, which is cooperation, the same drive drives us to compete against one another, that drives us to work with one another. And I would say in the industry that you find yourself in, there is not a whole lot of cooperation is

impossible. You can’t cooperate, but compete is what you’re saying,

yet. Well, it’s one or the other, right? Human beings have survived not just because of competition, but also because of cooperation. And there’s a great western philosopher named Bertrand Russell, who said that the only thing that will ever redeem humanity is cooperation. So, you know, I think that this is one of the great sadnesses in the American, global American slash global, socio economic marketplace, is that cooperation is seen as a weakness, competition is seen as a divine gift. And that if unless we’re competing, we’re not doing our jobs. I think focusing on what someone else is doing is time and energy poorly spent exhausting. Who cares? Don’t do it. Focus on yourself stop.

Let’s just keep going with What’s one word?

Right. So here’s those a question, you know, how do you maintain your poise? When confronted with and being around competitive people?

I just kind of take a deep breath and just laugh. I have to. I mean, it’s reared its ugly head, like twice in the past week. And I’m like, Are you serious? Yeah. I mean, really? Just think how much time you wasted. Looking at me, now you now now you’ve lost sight?

So it sounds like you feel like you’ve had some people kind of 100% gunning for you they are. Why do you think that is? What are the what are the reasons why? Because

I’m paying attention to some being better than ourselves.

Do you believe that they believe that they’re scarce resources?

Do I believe that they believe that they’re scarce resources? Meaning limited?

Yeah, that’s one of the draws toward competitiveness, besides like fresh, fragile self esteem,

I think it’s, I think a lot of is fragile self esteem. To be quite honest with you. I think it’s, you know, it’s lonely. I think at the top, you have a long way to fall. And if you don’t maintain that, that level of superiority and a sense of, you know, you’re, you know, you’re very vulnerable. And I think that says as as a business as a progressive and exciting and excitable business, excitable group of people, not business, I mean, death care is not something that well, anyway, it’s it’s something that we really focus on and because of that, we are really growing. And because we are growing, others are not either staying stagnant or losing. You got to blame somebody in my

line of work there I think is a lot of competition, but I don’t, I don’t know of it. Like I don’t I couldn’t tell you the names of four other people who do what I do. I legitimately don’t care like people are going to go where they believe that the relationship that they get in with their therapist is going to be random dif and life giving. And if you want them to feel that way, yeah, and it doesn’t have to be with me, that’s not the point. The point is that they get the care they need, you know, they get to go to whatever mental behavioral health care professional that makes them feel the most comfortable so that they can open up and have conversations that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. So if that’s not with me, absolutely, let me tell you about the three or four people that I do know that you might want to try and you know, it’s Caveat emptor ur you got to get a buyer beware, look into that yourself and make your decisions. But I’m not interested in competing, I’m not interested in tracking trends. I don’t get nervous when I see new practitioners coming online or, or there are practices that have grown into firms with multiple practitioners like I’m not I don’t, I don’t care, I’m not interested, I’m not offended, I’m not threatened. I’ve got my thing going I love the people I serve. The people I serve are so kind to be a word of mouth, share their experiences with other people. So I have new people who come and that to me is perfect. Like it’s it’s exactly what I needed to be. However, in the marketplace, competition is considered a good thing. It’s a healthy thing. It’s a sign of growth. I mean, this is I think what the whole design of capitalism is is that there be plenty of of options. And you as the consumer get to make your choice.

Dare you have sold that pair of shoes, I am the only one that offers shoes in the land. My shoes that they look, Phil named are the same or not. Right? All they buy from me.

So you got to have competition, it keeps you fresh, it keeps you challenged, it keeps you pushed beyond what is your comfort. And the people who don’t stretch beyond that tend not to do as well. Yep. So it’s good for you. It’s good for it’s good for the world. In however, and I do think that healthcare teams, professionals and entities are actively engaged in competition. I mean, they’re pursuing the sleekest, most savvy media companies to do their videos and their marketing campaigns. And it’s all about trying to tell that story in a specific way. And I think that’s, that’s good, that’s smart. Get your story out there, make sure that everybody that you can have exposed to you are exposed to you. But you’ve got to have the best product. Because that that stuff is only skin deep. And people ultimately say oh, yeah, that’s pretty sleek, your media company is great, but your health care’s is best terrible, you know, so you’ve got to be able to back that up with quality services. Yep, quality care. So that’s why I have intentionally not spent any money on publicity, because it’s, you know, it’s either you’re going to hear about it and give it a shot, and you’re going to love it, or you’re not going to hear about it. And that’s, that’s okay. Either way, that’s okay.

That’s a great, that’s a, that’s a great attitude to have. If you choose us, you know, because we’re gonna work diligently to to earn your trust, that’s great. If you don’t use us and you go elsewhere. That’s great. I hope you get cared

for, we want to make sure that you are cared for no matter where you go that far ultimately does. Our ultimate desire isn’t that easy to say? I remember, I used to say that when I was in the church, and it would really drive people crazy, because they thought that I should be doing everything I could to get everybody to seduce lower and otherwise attract people in you know, especially quote unquote, young families, because I was a young person. And that’s part of it is oh, we have a young person who can draw on young families. That’s not how that works, right? Congregations draw in themselves, that nobody comes because of a young pastor, I mean, you might have like to, but that’s it. So the whole point is Be who you need to be be your best self and let people kind of participate in that and they will come but my job is to say, hey, look, I don’t know where you’re going to end up in your home for your faith. But wherever it is, I hope that you’re cared for. And we’re just glad you’re here with us at the moment. You know, why be threatened? So, what’s the threat? What causes the threat? I mean, oh, it’s it’s

the fear of death, falling, falling or literal death,

death. For congregations. It’s the fear of the church dying, because for most churches, evangelism means getting people who look and act and vote like us to come in and help us pay the bills. Yeah, and businesses fear, bottom lines dropping. So we it fear is at the bottom of a lot of the drive toward competition, I mean, evolutionarily speaking, is the fear of, of no longer surviving the survival of the species being at risk. So we have to learn to be the best and the strongest and the brightest and the fastest and the most adapted so that we can continue on and that we haven’t really outgrown that impulse. We’ve just put more savvy language around it.

I’m smiling because it’s literally that simple. It’s so simple. You can put you could put sprinkles on it, put candles in it, light them and blow them out. It’s That’s simple.

Well, so you know, working with people in your work environment who are competitive people, I mean that that can be a real challenge, right? Especially if you’re in a sales world where your salary is somewhat dependent on commission or you have a bonus or reward structure, and you want to be the top three in your region or your state for your particular product sales, it’s very hard to be surrounded by people who go beyond what I think would be kind of considered traditional accounting, just fun loving competitiveness and who want to basically under you, that can feel very uncomfortable and can make you feel very insecure. So you really just have to double down on focusing on yourself, and not on the people around you. And not allow people to get in your heads not allow them to make you think that you are somehow less than that’s they are somehow better than because people can say anything. Ignore it, do your job, be the best you can be. Make sure that you document everything. Make sure that you are as friendly as you can be focus on your particular people and clients and contracts and companies. And always stay one step ahead of yourself. Don’t let anybody get inside your head. But what about in the family? What about when there are people who are competitive about their house or their kids or their dinner parties and so on people who want to prove superiority among your family slash friends group I didn’t

used to think this existed up until a couple years ago I didn’t think when we became home home owners you know because we lived above the funeral home and you know this is I don’t want for anything I don’t I don’t I don’t need anything you know I need food and a warm but my point is is I wasn’t of one up or never have been but people literally and we’ve talked about this in previous episodes. Remember I’m talking about the Lincoln Navigator and how I was like, I kind of want that and people do it. It will literally spare no expense and will like exhaust themselves. It’s insane.

Yeah. Yeah, that’s nothing I want to

literally try to outdo each other for the rest of our friendship and live so you may bankrupt our families.

Oh, that’s funny. You got a boat I got about it. So much of it has to do with insecurity and low self esteem.

I used to say, this is kind of a maybe a private thing to say but I don’t think I am anymore, but I used to think I was like insecure. I don’t think I am when it comes to that stuff

when it comes to that. Yeah, no, I don’t think I am either. Yeah, I have my insecurities. We

all have some I’m just saying no, no, no, I don’t care about stuff. That’s silly. Yeah, you can have temp tags on your vehicles all day long. That’s fine.

I did have Tim tags on mine for a long time by accident because they the dealership would not send me I had three sets of decks you did you literally for three months at a temp tag. That wasn’t my fault. It was stolen them constantly. So please send me my tags. It’s good. I’m glad you did. So this this brings up the topic of arrogance. And I’m a little sensitive about this because you know this is one of my like least favorite words is arrogance. Okay. And I think there’s a reason for that. I always fight against I never want to be considered that at all. But two people recently have told me that they thought I was cocky I don’t like it. I’m just telling you right now like it I’m not saying I disagree. Well, cocky is to me that’s synonymous with arrogant.

Well, yeah, but it’s also it’s an arguable it’s an arguable subject matter because someone who is confident is cocky. Someone who’s confident is arrogant. Someone who is comfortable in their setting in their environment who they are. They’re considered oftentimes cocky.

Well arrogant. People tend to be status conscious. And don’t certainly don’t want to be that and that doesn’t feel like it

is conscious meaning you go to like galas and you pronounce some garlic go

home no like, like you care what other people think about what you drive or where you live or what you wear you know name brand stuff just wanting to be kind of on the on the cutting edge and the upper upper and

when I’m first met Megan, I wore Walmart Faded Glory black to only Oh, owned to black Faded Glory pillows.

Well, Walmart styles, the people behind the scenes because I saw their commercials during the Oscars. And every single commercial was a Walmart ad where they style the people behind the scenes like they outfit all the key grip and I don’t believe that for one tiny second, but they paid for the space so they can say it yet again proving my point you can say anything you want in in in, in marketing and advertising that’s called puffery and you’re allowed to do it you can say things that actually aren’t true if they’re not beyond the pale, so no, I don’t think that Walmart is the primary outfitter for other people, but it sounds like for you, it was one of your

definitely was sure I had like two pairs of jeans and two black Walmart polos. And I was okay with who cares? I mean, I look, I looked good

you wear what you wear you like how it fits and how it feels. And good. Go for it.

Dr. Carroll has yond about seven times. Just making me rest assured that I have bored him today?

No, no, it’s just there’s a lack of oxygen in the room. Well, I want

to take a moment and thank our faithful listeners, I definitely want to encourage you to visit you’ll die trying com forward slash you’ll die trying podcasts, you’ll die trying And please leave a five star review on your listening app, whether that be Apple, podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, wherever it is you get your content, we would really appreciate it. We back up to this message. I went to the Career Day today. And I’ve talked in the previous podcasts about how our profession is really shifting. I had two sessions. Let me backtrack. When I was first asked to go to my alma mater to to speak at Career Day, had one session three people signed up. All right, this is my fifth year, I had two sessions filled in the first session was all young women, not one guy was in that group. It’s because women are pioneering this profession, just saying it’s crazy. It’s awesome. It was it was cool. It was it was encouraging. And I love that stuff. I love educating people about what it is we do and how, you know, it’s not just about being around dead people. It’s actually about being around the living and you know, you’re creating, what am I trying to say event planning, you’re being a mediator, you’re you are an artist, if you will, and a storyteller who fits at yours in two days. It’s pretty awesome. And had them really excited at this potential thought of wow, I’ve probably I could I could be a funeral director. So kudos to all of you who came to my two sessions today.

Good for you getting the word out. But nice

for you to have been able to come there. Because there’s there’s such a parallel between the therapist and

oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, one of the things we do here is leader, grief groups, which we call good grief group, because grief can be good, despite a lot of people who want to take issue with that. It is true. And we’d huge group last night, and some of those people who came come regularly and some this was their first time. And it’s such a beautiful thing to watch people who have for weeks and weeks wanted to do something. And if we’re fearful of doing it, and then they show up, and they’re so glad they did. And they they find common ground with people, they realize that their story is not that unique. And whether they’re there because of a 20 years ago, divorce or the death of a spouse or the death of a pet. Grief is grief is grief. And it’s unique to each person. And it’s where all your love goes when when the person that you have once loved is no longer there. The tax that we pay, it’s been said on loving people. And having people come around a common table and talk about that is such a beautiful experience. So I can see where what you were doing with those students. And what I’m doing with these people who were on the other side of grief has a lot in common with one another.

And we talk we talk a lot about, you know what we do at the funeral home and with your assistance, but I’m seeing a lot on our social media a lot on your trying Facebook page, people are talking a lot about asking for help. How do people I think it’s important, you know, Dr. Curl you are available to assist them, but if they want to visit, you know, the clinic or what if they want to attend a good grief group? How do they how do they even go about doing that? Well,

yeah, I’m glad you brought that up, you can always send a message to us on Facebook, you’re trying or you’re trying podcasts on Instagram, DMS. But a quick visit to the Montgomery gives you a sense of kind of what I do there or of course visit to one of the funeral homes will let you know what we do here by way of grief work. But you know, the good news is that there are people who are listening and there are people who are listening who need help. And there are people who are listening and who need help and who are willing to make that first step which is to click on the website to click on their phone to make that first call and to have that first consultation. And I don’t know anyone who regrets having done that just it’s hard and I’m amazed at how many people will tell me that how nervous they were the very first time they walked in the door and Not knowing not knowing they’ve never done it, they had no idea what it means. You know, it’s a very interesting thing. Therapy, it’s a, it’s a very different context. Because speaking of competition, we live in a world where we have to vie for attention and acceptance, we have to jockey for position, we have to work really hard to be known and to belong. And when you come into a space, like the clinic, at the montgomery where I practice it, it’s a completely different set of rules.

So no competition, zero,

you have no fear of what someone might be thinking about what you’re going to tell them, because they’re not thinking anything about what you’re telling them. They’re simply thinking about you in that moment in that conversation, and how brave it is that you have the audacity to come in and share your story. You do not have to fight or jockey for position, or status, or acceptance or belonging, or to be known. Because you already are accepted, you already have status, you already are known, you already belong. You’re loved actually. It’s really hard for people because people are actually more comfortable in that competitive nature, because it’s what they know. And it’s it’s hardwired into their, their psyche that I’m supposed to fight to be liked. And then when you come into a place that’s full of what I think is probably called Best grace, where you’re accepted as is not as if and there’s nothing you have to do to earn it. People don’t trust it. At first, it’s very hard, and I don’t blame them.

I don’t blame them at all. It’s almost like it’s too good to be

true. And it’s almost like it’s too good not to be right. Wow. So make that call the memory Send us a message if you need help. If you’d like to talk. Whether you are near us or not is immaterial. We have ways of being in communication and conversation with you that will feel life giving. And so you you should be encouraged to reach out.

Circling back. I think it’s important for all of you who are listening competition is a beautiful thing. Embrace it, focus on you compete with yourself, not with the other. And for those of you who are struggling such as myself with people nipping at your heels because you’re doing well keep doing well. And actually do better tomorrow than you did today. As always, Dr. Carol, I really appreciate you your insight, your love and intelligence. Thank you.

I appreciate being with you too. And we’re going to figure this thing out over time. Until next time,