In my life I have been in situations where the sole purpose of getting/winning something was a spirit of competition. I do not know what is the source of this mentality – my background, genes, upbringing, or the environment I am exposed to. But one thing I know for sure that it can soon turn ugly and lead to situations and decisions that I have regretted later (personal experience). I was always confused about this issue, but not anymore. It is one of those moments when you meet someone who has a deep understanding of life and the answer hits you in a way that resonates with your consciousness. Here is the summary of the interaction I had with this wise guy. He answered using an example of students trying to get more marks in tests, but the idea is true for any kind of competition.
My question was – how do I handle competition without thinking too much about the competitors and the prize?
Do not try to find poor substitutes for truth. Now to study in a university or do something in life you do not have to compete with anybody. If you are truly interested in knowing what you want to study/do, you will study to the best of your ability, not because your friend is studying but you want to know. That is why you are studying. When you study like this, your study releases you, it is a liberating process, it enhances your growth, but when you study to get one mark more than your friend you are getting entangled and you become sick in the process. To do what you want to do well, you do not have to compete with anybody. What is it that you want to do? Throw your life and do it. What has to happen will happen according to your capabilities, your intelligence, and your abilities. Somebody is doing something if you try to do that you will go mad or in other words if you compete with somebody you also limit yourself, you do not realize your full potential. If someone is a monkey you will become a little better monkey than him.
So in summary do what you want to do and throw your life at it, what has to happen will happen as per your capability.
I was super silent after this answer and could literally hear every sound in the environment, it shook me in a very positive way, that cannot be captured in words.