At the end of Start With Why by Steven Sinek, the author tells a story about the loser of a cross country race. He finished in nearly twice the time it took the other competitors. The thing is, this individual, who in time is clearly the loser, was the individual who inspired the spectators more than any of the other competitors, including the person who won that race.
The loser had cerebral palsy. He was bruised and bloodied by all the falls he endured to reach the finish line.
This story is told in Start With Why as a trigger to think about competing against yourself in business, rather than the other competitors. To do things your own way and to be better each day than you were the day before.
How would you be a different triathlete if you did this same thing? Maybe you use other competitors in a race or who you train with to drive your own self, but what if that were truly, internally, what you were doing? Would you sign up for other races, or train differently, if you were concerned just with your own improvement an not what those around you think or how you rank?