Competition Breeds Parity And Mediocrity: A Solo Podcast with Kapil Gupta

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Key Takeaways

  • Human beings only believe something is possible when someone else has done it first
  • “Almost never do humans look at something and say – ‘This is the way it’s being done and this is what’s already been achieved. I wonder what the outer possibility for a human being really is?'” 
  • “It takes a human being with DNA which basically despises and resents the culture, because he knows that everything out of the culture’s mouth is complete DRIVEL and nonsense, and all it can do is limit him”
  • “If you create something that no one else has, there is no fixed price for whatever your thing happens to be, because you’re the only one who has it”
    • “That which the market cannot define, it cannot control”
  • Choose the path of mastering something, as opposed to a path of competition
  • The right questions create a path. Seeking answers just removes one from it.
  • “The degree to which people have gone astray is so astounding, that it’s natural for someone to think how could it be that EVERYTHING they’ve been taught is COMPLETELY WRONG. And not only wrong, but CRIMINALLY WRONG, PATHOLOGICALLY WRONG, DISASTROUSLY WRONG.”

Intro

Some History

  • In 1954 Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile
    • Prior to this, no one thought it could happen
    • And within a couple of years of this, 10+ others broke the 4-minute mile
      • “This teaches us that human beings only believe something is possible when someone else has done it first”

The Game Within The Game

  • “Human beings have a tendency to compete. They tend to look at the things that are in play, and enter into a conflict in order to achieve that thing.”
    • When they compete, they are doing so with the idea/motive of what has already been done in the back of their minds, and most often even less than that, and then they compete for that
      • This becomes their “game within the game”
  • What is the “game within the game”?
    • Just becoming slightly better than your competitor, and only just exceeding them by an inch 

Rethinking What’s Possible

  • “Almost never do humans look at something and say – ‘This is the way it’s being done and this is what’s already been achieved. I wonder what the outer possibility for a human being really is?'” 
    • Only a very rare person approaches things from this way
    • “The posing of the question – ‘What is really possible’ – can only be made by the person who is immune to outrage”
      • That type of person will be shot down by society who insists that mediocrity is the status quo

No One is Interested in The Truth

  • “People aren’t interested in the truth – they’re interested in the salacious details about things, they’re interested in hyperbole, they’re interested in media, in fantasy, in comedy, in entertainment…no one’s really interested in the truth. You simply have ‘top of the head answers’ about things that aren’t really based on any evidence.”
    • For example – Someone might say Tiger Woods was the best because:
      • He was the most talented
      • His mom was a Buddhist
      • He was physically more gifted than other golfers
      • And on, and on, and on…

A Great Thought

  • “The rapidity with which someone gives a response often betrays the source of that response”
    • For example – When someone immediately blurts out a reflexive response,  it isn’t based on anything real, it’s based upon opinion and conjecture
      • That opinion/conjecture is informed by books, media, the status quo, and societal beliefs/opinions

Competition Breeds Parity

  • Why? – Human beings are conditioned to look at other human beings in order to discover what’s possible
  • Here’s how athletes/humans subconsciously think in competitive sports:
    • “If I’m better than you, then I will play down to you. If you’re better than me, then I will try to play up to you. And we will both meet in the middle. Let’s make sure that neither of us runs too far away from each other.”
      • The very dominant ones, don’t subscribe to this
  • “Competition cements one as being a cog in the wheel”
    • It ensures that one will only get to a certain point
    • Kapil says it’s a path to struggle
      • “The whole system is rigged”
      • If you were to ask, “Why do I have to struggle?” – There’s a prepackaged response to that – “Without struggle, there is no progress. You must struggle. You must work hard.”
        • That question will be BEAT right out of you, the moment it’s uttered
        • “There’s already an answer for every reservation that that person may have.”

So what does it take?

  • “It takes a human being with DNA which basically despises and resents the culture, because he knows that everything out of the culture’s mouth is complete DRIVEL and nonsense, and all it can do is limit him”
    • “NO ONE is going to benefit from a culture. A person can only be limited by a culture.”

“The Wise Person Will Create Something That No One Else Has”

  • Business wise, compare this to creating a product which is similar to others on the market, and you’re thus forced into a price war – this is just a race to the bottom and eventually going out of business
    • “If you create something that no one else has, there is no fixed price for whatever your thing happens to be, because you’re the only one who has it”
      • “That which the market cannot define, it cannot control”
  • “People are too quick to jump into the ring”
    • If you jump into the ring, “You are resigning yourself to a lifelong process of struggle”
    • “If you choose not to fight, then there is a possibility for you”
  • Choose the path of mastering something, as opposed to a path of competition

NO ONE is Asking The Right Questions

  • Everyone is far too busy seeking answers
    • “And answers, sooner or later, always and forever, fail”
  • But if one learns to ask questions, those questions create a path
    • Answers on the other hand, remove one from the path

People Have Gone Astray

  • “The degree to which people have gone astray is so astounding, that it’s natural for someone to think how could it be that EVERYTHING they’ve been taught is COMPLETELY WRONG. And not only wrong, but CRIMINALLY WRONG, PATHOLOGICALLY WRONG, DISASTROUSLY WRONG.”
    • This is why the truth is for a very small number of people

The Road to Greatness

  • “Competition isn’t the road to greatness, mastery is the road to greatness”
    • But if you’re going to walk the path of mastery, you’re going to have to walk it alone
      • “You’re basically going to have to breathe a different sort of oxygen, and it’s only a person with a unique form of DNA who has the lungs to breathe that sort of oxygen”
      • Talk to nobody, convince nobody, and listen to nobody – THAT’S what it takes

Some Final Thoughts on Competition

  • “Competing with someone is essentially a road to mediocrity”
  • “The reason parity exists, is because everyone competes. Where there is competition, there HAS to be parity, because everyone chooses to fight for the same prize.”
  • “As long as you are committed to besting the next person, the moment you best him by an inch, you’ll stop.”
  • What fascinates Kapil is this – The outer limits of human possibility – NOT COMPETITION 

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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