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Competition to Collaboration: Shifting from Comparison to Creativity

Written by: Malak Tariq

“If your creativity is driven by a desire to get attention, you are never going to be creatively fulfilled” – Joseph Gordon Levitt

Joseph Gordon Levitt is an American actor and filmmaker. In his TED TALK, he mentioned how craving attention makes a person less creative. He talks about how powerful the two aspects of getting attention and paying attention are. He also mentioned how it affects people’s mental health and creativity when they are constantly comparing themselves with others all the time and how people are never satisfied by the amount of attention because there is always scope for more especially in this era of the internet where numbers define everything! Where the number of likes is equated with social gratification and likeability! In this loop, Joseph mentioned an interesting and thought-provoking thing. He mentioned how he considers his co-actors as collaborators and not competitors, which helps him in focusing on his task and craft instead of being insecure or pushing to outshine others in the quest for attention!

Remember how Virus from 3 Idiots says “Life is a race, and if you don’t run fast, you will end up like a broken anda”? Haven't we all grown up with this idea?

In schools, we have competition from the get-go! Who will get admission since seats are limited? Then in class, the topper gets awards and accolades while the other children clap and look on. It indeed is an effective method of encouragement but how many times has the system encouraged children to realize that their main competition is not a friend but their own selves? How many times are we encouraged by the system to be better versions of ourselves? It could be a slow process but that is normal. The goal is to score better than what we did last time and not better than our friends did! Even if we do not, it is okay. The main question should always be “Did I give it my best shot?” Whether it is painting, dancing, studying or even resting, it is for personal growth and not for attention and competition!

Being number 1 is kind of an illusion because it is temporary! The criteria which decide if you are the best feed on conditions that are not unbiased. There are so many parameters that need consideration like financial status, student’s home environment and mental faculties. We are always asked to run in a rat race and win it to be proud of ourselves! But in this changeable world, there will always be people who will be above us and always there will be people who will be below us. This is the nature of the world! It is important for us to learn and teach this to children from a very young age. If aiming for excellence is important, it is equally important to accept defeat with grace!

Still from War [directed by Siddharth Anand]

Competition to Collaboration - Shifting with the help of a platform:

Kaksha Learning is a platform where the power of stories through novels and other media is leveraged to create aware and expressive individuals who are eager to learn. Kaksha Learning courses aim at developing creative, thoughtful and confident individuals. Courses especially aimed at “Understanding one’s individuality” help children realize about their unique inclinations and strengths in the world around them and encourage them to embrace their personality which is different and hence unique!

Such outlets encourage everyone to step out of the rat race and walk-in tune steadily with one’s own unique place in the world.

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