Five of Staves

Five persons battle with sticks, all well-matched, and none giving any quarter. The fight is earnest, but not deadly. Competition is fierce, but the prize is is bragging rights, not a crown. The losers will be bruised and battered, but not injured; all will return to struggle another day.

Striving is essential to our lives, for most of us. Learning how to battle and mean it, while not making it life and death, is a crucial skill for the human animal, but it is, in fact, a skill. Far too many of us have never learned to push against without personalizing the struggle or demonizing our opponent. When the contest is over, it is too hard for us to simply let go, and walk away friends again.

Where do you need the benefit of competition to help you improve your skills? How can you learn to invest in a struggle without it becoming overly personal? Who are the people that you can push against in earnest, and then still walk away friends?