Beyond Rules

In Competition With No-One

When nominated for the Best Male Artist award by MTV, Nick Cave wrote:

I have always been of the opinion that my music is unique and individual and exists beyond the realms inhabited by those who would reduce things to mere measuring. I am in competition with no-one.
My relationship with my muse is a delicate one at the best of times and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature.

Thus, Cave thanked MTV for their support, but declined the nomination.

Corresponding with Oscar Pollok, Kafka wrote:

When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours. And if I were to cast myself down before you and weep and tell you, what more would you know about me than you know about Hell when someone tells you it is hot and dreadful? For that reason alone we human beings ought to stand before one another as reverently, as reflectively, as lovingly, as we would before the entrance to Hell.

I have never been a very competitive person. While comparing our abilities with others can be a fun exercise, I agree with Cave that not everything can be measured. The reductionism numbers entail is simply not an apt description of all of the reality we live in.

In his own voice, Kafka referred to the same thing: All human beings are unique, and they are way too complex to be reduced to numbers and concepts, lined up for competition, seeking approval in standardized tests and perfomance reviews. Apart from everything measurable, there will still be a whole world of traits that go beyond our understanding – in every single person we ever meet.

For our creative self this means:

Create what you feel that needs to be created.

Do it with love and compassion, with fire and flow.

If necessary, do it against the contrary winds and opposing forces. Do it despite the lack of understanding you might experience. Do it against all odds, against all measures, against all evaluation.

Because all the feedback you get can help you to become even better, but it will never be able to define what it is you are doing.

We’re in competition with no-one, and as long as we act straight from our hearts, we will always we winning.

Three friendly bloggers who will inspire you to go further:

P.S. And Amanda shares this quote by John O’Donnohue! Kindred spirits!

If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

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Jonathan August 24, 2011 at 9:50 am

Fabian, if one reviews your past posts, this is a good place to start, one indeed finds that you are not in competation with anyone. Having a non-compete condition makes room for our capacity. Once we stop inhabiting that preexisting chronological space, called yesterday, one finds all our over-lit escape routes dimmer. Thankfully, it is hard to measure in blinding light.

My non-compete clause – We cannot revive a living thing, only something that is dead and dying.

Fabian August 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Thank you Jonathan! It’s good to read from you, and more so such kind words… this evening everybody is sending so much good vibes over here, I feel something good is coming! :)

Doogie Hunter March 10, 2014 at 1:12 am

This is one of the most powerful things I have ever read! It really resonates with me.

I read it out loud every morning when I wake up, and regularly recite it throughout the day. Thanks Fabian :)

Doogie Hunter March 10, 2014 at 1:13 am

Create what you feel that needs to be created.

Do it with love and compassion, with fire and flow.

If necessary, do it against the contrary winds and opposing forces. Do it despite the lack of understanding you might experience. Do it against all odds, against all measures, against all evaluation.

Because all the feedback you get can help you to become even better, but it will never be able to define what it is you are doing.

We’re in competition with no-one, and as long as we act straight from our hearts, we will always we winning.

Fabian March 10, 2014 at 8:25 am

Thanks Doogie, I’m glad to hear that! :)

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