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Before giving what effective competition means, I would like to demystify the terms “effective” and “competition”. Effective is used for something that causes a result and especially the desired or intended one. Something is said to be effective when it produces a favourable impression. The words like helpful, successful, good or valuable are therefore synonymous with effective.
Competition on the other hand is the process of trying to outdo others in a challenge. Contest, race, challenge can be used to mean the same. The baseline is that the parties involved are trying to outshine each other. Competition has to be between two or more parties. No one competes against themselves. Competition comes in different aspects of our lives, be it academics, economics, sports etc. Competition is the basis of the society but effective competition is the basis of life. 

For the point I want to drive home, I will give an analogical illustration. A story is told of a turtle and a rabbit who had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. The turtle and the rabbit both agreed on a route and started off the race. The rabbit shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the turtle, he thought he’d sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The turtle plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race emerging as the undisputed champ. The rabbit woke up and realized that he’d lost the race.

The rabbit was disappointed at losing the race and he did some thinking. He realized that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there is no way the turtle could have beaten him. So he challenged the turtle to another race. The turtle agreed. This time the rabbit went all out and ran without stopping from the start to finish. He won by several miles. 

The turtle did some thinking this time, and realized that there’s no way he can beat the rabbit in a race the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while, and challenged the rabbit to another race, but on a slightly different route. The rabbit agreed. The turtle and the rabbit started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the rabbit took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometers on the other side of the river. The rabbit sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime, the turtle trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The story has not ended. The turtle and the rabbit, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So the turtle and the rabbit decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started off, and this time the rabbit carried the turtle till the river bank. There, the turtle took over and swam across with the rabbit on his back. On the opposite bank, the rabbit again carried the turtle and they reached the finish line together. Both the turtle and the rabbit got a greater sense of satisfaction than they had earlier. That is the end of the story.

Ineffective competition normally breeds bad blood amongst some participants. So to this writing competition. Some will be happy with the outcome but others believe they were born to be winners in everything which is not the case always. There are fanatical fans of the English Premier League football who have taken their lives because their team was defeated or lost in the finals. Earlier on I mentioned that effective is producing a desirable result. If a competition is going to bring about hatred or worse results then it is as good as dropping it. But do we drop it?

Competition is good and the basis of life when it is effective. We cannot do away with what nature dictates. We see plants and weeds competing for nutrients. We can only change it for the better and make it effective. Competition is the mother of all super inventions. They have in the past been attributing to necessity which is true; I don’t dispute that but competition catalyzes splendid inventions. Competition improves production. Why all these happens is because more often than not, there is a price tag at the end of a competition. Competition makes people struggle to do better than the other party. In the process, novel means of doing something are realized. 

Much for that. Effective competition incorporates integral elements which dismisses the negatives that comes along with “competition”. I want to call competition without prefix effective “competition”. The elements forms the recipe for teamwork. These include: co-operation, teamwork, core competency, playing field. Rarely do competing people help each other especially when there is a reward. One thinks, “If I help you where you are stuck, then you will outdo me.” It is probably at that point that another method of going about the challenge at hand could have been realized if the two came together. But because they are engaged in ineffective competition, they might both lose.
Creating in mind of the competitors the impression that the idea behind the competition is not to outdo each other but to help each other will make one have a big picture and a different perspective altogether. Winning together is sweeter and more rewarding than being alone in the top. It is true that all of us have different core competencies. It is also true that the playing field for all competitions is not the same always. In short, all factors will not be constant at one time. The different core competencies is to complement each other while competing. The strengths of the other might be the weaknesses of the other and the inverse is true. When these two people come together to complement each other and compete, they will all have a greater sense of satisfaction. The reward might go to the other competing group but the greatest feeling when you have lost a race or competition is the feeling of great fulfillment as opposed to resentment for the winning party. 

Playing field will not always be the same. The winner in a certain race in a certain playing field will not always be the same winner in a different field. The definition of a winner we have been using in competition terms makes the whole thing ineffective. Winners’ definition should be changed to “anyone who completes the race is a winner”. The difference comes when time is effected as a considerable parameter. So all who did not finish first feel they are losers which should define those who did not finish the race. It is only that they finished later but the bottom line is that all are winners; early and later winners. I would not call them fast and slow winners because of the negative connotation that goes with the latter.

In a nut shell, the basis of effective competition is identifying core competencies and complementing each other; competing as a team that is. Everyone who finishes the race or competition, is a winner. Losers don’t finish the competition and often work singly. Competition is like a race because it come to an end, it has a starting point, bumps along the way and many are at the starting point but few at the finish line. Effective competition motivates people and produces more at the finish line. Effective competition accommodates everyone, from the early to the later winner. It recognizes the efforts of everyone. It is costly to conduct an effective competition since it always rewards winners but remember that competition is the basis of the society but effective competition is the basis of life.

The answer to this question to some is relative because they are living not in the 22nd Century where the world is digital. Phone is becoming an asset that I can say falls under primary needs. This is my own hypothetical classification. All evidence qualifies that statement to be true for an average college student or business person. Can you imagine a world where phone is unheard of and the only means of communication is the traditional means that our ancestors used to have like the drums, smoke and the soon to be extinct snail mail? How would it be if you are lost in Nairobi city (or any other big city)  or worse even looking for someone in a large crowd but unfortunately the person you are looking for doesn’t have a phone? It’s really bad I know. At times we lose things like keys and can’t access our rooms or get urgent documents in time.  At those times when we wish we would call the keys and say, “Where are you lost? I need to open this room!” But we remember they are inanimate and can’t be accessed that way. I don’t have to travel all the way to London for instance or send a snail mail to communicate urgent information. I don’t have to shout my voice hoarse when I want to look for someone in a large crowd. I neither don’t have to beat around every bush or ask every Tom, Dick and Harry provided they have a phone and his/her contacts are with me. Basically what I am saying is that phones are necessary for our lives. It has made communication easy and efficient. Talk about the bills that I can pay through the phone, even if it’s the Kabambe phone or the lowest one you can mention. A Motorola C-113 can do that too. Talk of accessing bank services and transferring money or sending to someone. It’s sweeter even when you receive an SMS that starts: “DHJ67DJS CONFIRMED, You have received Kshs. abcd from XYZ…” With a phone too, here in Kenya you can pay school fees and that saves you the stress of having to queue in banks. It saves time. A student wants to know where class lecture is and with a dial, they get the info instead of having to walk all the way peeping through lecture halls and might be the lesson was cancelled. There is a lot to talk about phone.

For most of us, the first thing when we wake up in the morning is to reach out for our phones. Am not an exception and if you don’t reach out for it first, many are. It has taken over the place of many things, talk of the alarm or watch to mention but a few. People in a relationship are the last ones to stay without phones especially when they are operating on long distance relationship, the short distance relationships are no better. Sincerely, I cannot do without a phone. I cannot imagine how life was unlivable without phones.
I want to bring to you another type of phone that Jesus left us with. The Phone that is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse... I would call it the unbeatable phone. It is not the likes of Samsung Galaxy S4, Phantom or all those Smartphones you know of. It is not from Nokia, G-Tide, Samsung, Techno….list them company. It is the best phone so far but cheapest ever price tagged phone.  Surprisingly, people rarely use it yet they need it more that their breath. With this unequaled phone, you’ll never have the subscriber unreachable, you will never hear, “Click, Click, Click, battery low” You’ll never have it fighting over prices with other networks. Its network is always strong wherever you are be it in a dungeon like Jeremiah or in the Whale’s belly like Jonah. More use of this phone earns us more than Bonga Points that rises exponentially and can be redeemed anytime with much benefits. A call with this phone can save a soul, heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, strengthened the weak. Oh surely, what a beautiful phone! I would not call it a tablet because not all will desire to have one but all strive just for a phone. Ask a person who has just finished high school what they want and phone would be among the first things. Am not saying the young ones don’t need it. A time will come when a child will demand for school bag alongside a phone. But this unequalled phone is more powerful, it empowers. We should be using this phone as naturally as we breathe. This phone is none other than PRAYER. It is through prayer that we open our hearts to God as to a friend...Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him. We just ask in prayer and it shall be given to us. We just knock in prayer and the door will be opened for us. We just seek in prayer and we find. God has the best answers when we call Him. They are varied answers never the same always. He has the best reasons whatsoever even when He says “NO” to us. It is because He has the best interests of us. He sends us love messages but we don’t desire to read them. We can call Him anytime of the day or night and we will never be put on hold for another subscriber to be sorted. He can deliver us through prayers. We maintain our relationship with him through the same. We need Prayers in our fight with the devil. As soldiers of the cross, one of the tools we need in the battle is prayer. If we cannot do without our phones then we don’t exist without prayer. If we use our phones often, we need to use prayer more than often. Prayer doesn’t come with the innumerable problems that our phones bring us. We will never be miserable because we made a call to heaven. We will not run out of credit because seemingly God has put us on voicemail. He answers us in the right time. We even don’t know how to ask but Jesus taught us how to pray,

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Remember prayer is less of “I want…” but more “Thank you for…” It is less of “If you cannot…” but more of “May Your Will be done…” God already knows what we want before we ask Him so if we can help be to the point when we come to Him, the better.  

Less prayer, less power; more prayer, more power; much prayer, much power. Pray every day, every time, every hour, every minute, every second and everywhere. Pray now, pray the next minute, the next hour, all the day, the next day and every day.

It Is Never Too Late
By Gideon Mutai

Hello there
I want to tell you something
I know you already know it
But you might not have believed
It's never too late
Because it's not too late now!

Hello there
How many times have you failed?
I wouldn't call it failure
It's only that you gave up
It's never too late
To make a U turn in life!

Hello there
You have always wanted to be a doctor?
Or perhaps an engineer?
Talk about being a teacher
It's is never too late
To be what you have always wanted to be!

Hello there
You have been dumped and doomed?
Per chance friends have deserted
The sky is always falling down?
It is never too late
To start all over again!

Hello there
I am putting down my pen
With these closing words
It is never too late
If you start now, not later
It is never too late to turn
If you can make a U turn
It is never too late
If you can start all over
Now, not later

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