Should you compete? I contend you should. Mankind’s betterment and the fulfillment of one’s individual aspirations are served by competition. The motivating instinct is bread from dissatisfaction. Should it be the Jones’ next door that you source as your opponent. No, but it should be someone who has what you want so that you can get your own or better so long as the target is inherent to yours or society’s common good.
The notion of not competing puts one on a path of contentment which can be instilled from feedback accumulated over time that one may not deserve victory. Your boss certainly doesn’t want you to compete. He doesn’t want you to take his job. Your spouse doesn’t want you to compete for fear that the relationship becomes imbalanced. Your pastor doesn’t want you to compete lest it create anxiety around scripture interpretations. Your teacher doesn’t want you to compete considering it might make work by stressing curriculum boundaries. Yet, our system of economics in western civilization is set up for you to compete and some lack want of a win. Regressing from competition is akin to defining oneself by losing when in essence losing should be considered a seed for future growth. We were all born to win but the aforementioned feedback loops creates sideline dwellers.
When teams are destined to miss the playoffs, players don’t become motivated to lose as an incentive to earn a better draft pick. Players fight for a victory in pursuit of excellence and pride for what they do. It is an instinct of the human form which cannot be denied. You are no different with exception to possible cognitive forces arising from environment.
The zero sum game doesn’t always apply. Win win relationships and transactions are created everyday by people keen to compete.