How to liberate yourself from rat races?

Nilesh Mahajan
2 min readNov 10, 2021

Humans’s minds are like chameleons. We like to compare ourselves with our surroundings and try to fit in by mimicking it. We see a peer getting promoted or a friend buying a big house or a competitive product building a new feature and we try to copy. Without even realising we end up being part of a rat races of some sorts.

Competition is a dangerous game. The competitive mindset often becomes a source of envy and sadness in our life. It confuses us and we end up chasing things that aren’t worth chasing at all. But you can get out of it and it’s a very liberating feeling.

Here are some techniques that can help you do that -

1. Define goals that focussed on creating value

Identify goals that are inherently competitive in nature e.g. We want to be #1 company in this category. But to be #1, we will keep comparing ourselves to the competition. Instead, you should define goals that are focussed purely on creating value e.g. We want to reach$1M ARR or acquire 10M users this year.

2. Be authentic yourself

There is a popular quote -

Escape competition through authenticity — @naval

But how to be authentic? You can start by figuring out below things -

Interests — What you find interesting and has a future? e.g. let’s say finance

Beliefs — What are your opinions/beliefs in your areas of interest? e.g. children should learn about managing money from teen age.

Skills — What are you good at? e.g drawing, sketching

Then you can start by focussing on aligning the 3 things to identify areas that you enjoy and are uniquely positioned to do well in i.e. a niche. In the above example, the person should try to create a cartoon strip to educate teenagers to learn finance. When you create something that is anchored to your identity and belief, it’s difficult to copy it. Thus, escaping competition.

In the beginning, the niche may look too small. But once you master it, you can keep expanding yourself in the adjacent areas of work.

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