What Were You Taught About Competing?

I spent most of yesterday thinking and talking to my husband about how the effort you put into something might intersect with the satisfaction you get out of it. He thinks it’s important to note that just because you put a lot of effort into something, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll derive satisfaction from it.  This goes against concepts that linear-thinking types preach about but it’s just a fact.

In the comments, I rated the effort I put into some of the things in my life, to measure them against the degree of satisfaction I derived from my effort. A clear pattern emerged. First, I tend to be very satisfied and second, I don’t put that much effort out!

This was interesting for me to contemplate.  While I am glad and feel fortunate that I am a satisfied type person, why don’t I try and try and try and strive? Well I know why!  It’s because when I grew up, for me, personally, excelling was frowned upon.

As it was, my “normal” performance or what I did that came naturally, caused problems everywhere I went. Considering that, no one was going to tell me to kick it up a notch, never mind encouraging me to do my best.

With Mars conjunct Mercury in the 9th, I am constantly driven to expand my intellect.  But the conjunction is in Libra which forces me to be considerate of others and I’ll give you a stunning example of how this played, which will be one of many.

Having started school early and skipped a grade, I found myself in 3rd grade when I was 6 years old. They gave us a big fat math book on the first day of school and I thought it was a gift from God.  See, I liked puzzles. I liked puzzle books but we lived in the desert and we had no money so I only got a puzzle book a few times in my life. You can imagine my glee when they put this thing in my hand, I was over the moon.  I LOVED school, see? LOVED IT. (Libra)

So I went home and finished a little more that 3/4 of the book, having no idea it was meant to be used all year.  The only reason I stopped was because I was running out of “book”. You know how you slow down your reading when you’re finishing a really good book so you can savor it? It was like that. But anyway, I went back to school on Monday and found most of the class was struggling with the first two pages of the book, which was what had been assigned as homework. Talk about being outcast.  I didn’t know what to do.

No one knew what to do. I was just a total problems for one and all, sitting there with my math book in front of me, trying not to cry and hoping they didn’t take it away from me. I mean, I was holding on to those last pages, savoring them and now look.

They wound up taking me out of class and kept me out of class for the next 3 years. I worked for the school during that time, presumably so that people could catch up with me. Get that? I was supposed to take 3 years off @ 6 years old for the convenience of others and it’s still this way today.

I don’t know what to say. Should they have given me 10 math books and told me to run with ’em? It wouldn’t have helped. When you have this kind of thing in your chart, it’s going to play, one way or the other. At home I routinely kicked in head for the sole purpose of making me “less smart” but you see the result.  I don’t try that hard. I don’t have to try that hard, except when it comes to fitting in. I am so glad to be the kind of person who is almost perennially happy and satisfied.  It’s some consultation for the rest of this bullshit.

What were you taught about competing?

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What Were You Taught About Competing? — 18 Comments

  1. I can only remember a little and I don’t know that it has to do with competition really. My Dad would say, “Never let them see you sweat” and “Get back up and don’t quit” Mom would say, “as long as you do your best..”

    I don’t really think I needed to hear anything from either of them in regard to that.

  2. “When you have this kind of thing in your chart, it’s going to play, one way or the other.”

    I have Mars in Aries but wasn’t encouraged to compete. We were forbidden from joining team sports, for one. We did play a lot of games with my dad that required our brains. I was taken to play cribbage with him and other old guys when I was 8. So the emphasis was on developing wits and outsmarting your opponent by anticipating his/her next move (Dad is a Libra with Merc/Saturn in Scorpio).

    My mother is an Aries and a very poor sport (she will be the first to admit this). She refused to play any kind of game with us and her mentality is still, if she’s not winning she will quit. It happened not very long ago during a scrabble game, LOL.

    I really like to win. And have definitely stepped out of competition I think I may lose. Not all the time but enough to feel like I’m kind of a failure in this regard:(

  3. “He thinks it’s important to note that just because you put a lot of effort into something, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll derive satisfaction from it.”

    Oh, yeah. I basically put a herculean effort into school and derive so little satisfaction from it it makes me feel like a crazy person. I anticipate feeling GREAT when I graduate and get my degree, though, I have been working at this for over 15 years.

  4. as far as my boys go, I have 2 with Mars in Aries and one with Mars in Leo. LOL. I’ve had to pull them back from being so competitive, especially with eachother. Everything is not a competition..etc

  5. My parents told me two things regarding competition. Always do your best and never dull your light for anyone. Mercury Trine Moon in Air.

  6. Elsa, I had the same trouble as you except my specialty isn’t math. I would take my Social Studies book,History, or English book pick out the topics I wanted to learn about and read ahead before the class.

    • tan, I don’t especially like math. Geometry – yes. I like the abstract. I liked word puzzles, crosswords, hangman and the like. I also liked jigsaw puzzles but my strong suits were reading and writing and devising strategies (like card playing). Math is involved in card playing – calculating odds and all but I would be factoring in the personalities at the table, weighing the levels of their intellect and also their focus to determine likely outcomes. My husband’s thinking is controlled where mine is unbridled and exploratory. Basically, I’ll take a chance. He wants to remove as much of the chance from something as possible.

      This makes sense because in his life, his life was at stake. All that is going to happen to me is I get in trouble. I have been in trouble all my life.

  7. Competing or not, it was drilled into me to always do my best, or don’t bother.

    I still do not do anything by halves. I rather like that about myself.

    (I, too, had great success with and joy from geometry. I sat quietly in my seat and read a novel while the teacher taught – she let me, because she knew I already knew the material, and because I didn’t cause distraction.)

  8. My dad: I was taught that even being 1st was not good enough if my performance wasn’t perfect. I was taught that even coming in 2nd was losing. I was taught that no matter how much effort or no matter the results, it was never good enough and that the bar was always jumping higher and higher the closer I got. My satisfaction never mattered.

    My mom: pretty much did nothing.

  9. Academically, it was understood that I would excel. Period. I remember calling in shame with some of my university results one year three A grades, the dreaded A- (nothing like a dash to mar the perfect grade) and a B+. (The B+ coming from my mentor figure who thought my thinking was lazy. Eesh.) This is primarily what I remember.

  10. As a young man and boy, I was not taught about competition. I was told do your best. Once, while playing basketball in eight grade and fouling out, a relative lifted a chair and threw it. That was a lesson I guess.

    Another time, he was screaming and was kicked out of the gym.

    I do have mars in pisces in the tenth. You would think I love competition. But it turns out that I only like to compete with other artists. This part of me has been repressed. I now know what I was partially meant to do.

    I am a musically inclined poet, and I work tirelessly, almost 20 hours a day, on my art…and I am transforming now so that it can heal others. IT will heal the underdogs of society. IT will. I promise. My competition is with my shadow. Satan get behind me.

  11. Also…I am ruthless in a classroom setting. Put me in a class and I will evaluate everyone and study one hour more…

    I have Aquarius in the ninth…I dislike not knowing the most.

    • In my case, I think it’s an illustration of extraordinary co-dependence. It’s laughable really but also cool to look at as far as puzzles go. 🙂

  12. My parents didn’t actively parent so there was no conscious teaching going on.

    I work hard – I’m built to handle ‘hard’ – but I’ve not been so savvy that I made sure I ended up with something – anything – for my efforts. I’ll gravitate towards ‘hard’ because I expect to get more satisfaction out of doing something that’s difficult than something that’s easy. Honestly the principle doesn’t hold up well. I would love to have something that’s easy in my life to take strength from on occasion. My resources (Pluto in Virgo, 2H) are being drained by this one.

  13. I was taught to do your best and where-ever that took you was good enough. Now you must know that I’ve got cancer merc/mars in my 1st, so I grew up competing. Now that I’ve got a few years behind me, I can see how not competing can be just as enjoyable :).

  14. i was taught to excel but also to stay true to my values. competition wasn’t encouraged, but being an individual was. it’s a message that sometimes conflicts itself.

  15. The only competition is with one’s self. I hated that word ‘competition’ and everything it stood for in the school system, and later, elsewhere too. I’d say how it was put to us by our parents was, ‘If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well’.

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