The founding principles of evolution seem to state that man, like all animals, is selfish. Only through the power of competition, can we ensure our own prominence and survival.
Society quickly adapted these evolutionary principles and applies them to social contexts. In the business world, you seek to outperform your competitors. What's an athlete without a good rival? Having a driving force to push you forward can help unlock new levels of performance and dedication.
But Darwin himself noticed a problem with this theory. What if helping each other is actually more powerful than being selfish? What if symbiosis is more powerful than survival of the fittest?
Cooperation, not competition, drives growth. Cooperation leads to positivity and mutual benefit, competition leads to arrogance and anxiety.
Even Peter Thiel's business advice that "Competition is for Losers" seems to suggest that competition doesn't always make us better, but ensures that one of us must fail.
After writing essays in an accountability cohort this month, I've seen the personal benefits of this. Instead of competing to write the best essays, we share tips and help each other each write 30 essays. Instead of just walking out with one winner, we'll hopefully leave with 150.
Competition causes you to seek perfection. Cooperation enables you to achieve consistency.