Why do We Love to Win?

If winning isn’t everything, then why do they keep score?
— Vince Lombardi

I discovered at a very young age that I love to win. Whether it's a debate, a race or a baseball tournament, it doesn't matter; I have to win. This dominant characteristic has led me to devote a substantial amount of my time playing sports. Thankfully, my parents were able to immerse me in an environment that fostered sane and healthy competition.

As a child, I had no idea that my obsession was influenced by ulterior motives; all I knew was that winning felt good, and losing didn't. But now, armed with the power of introspection and motivated by the desire to understand human behaviour, I am able to comprehend the biological and sociological importance of competitive sports, as well as people's motivation to compete.


Competition plays an important role for all living species. Intraspecific competition is defined by a contest for resources in an ecosystem between members of the same species. For example, two plants within close proximity will compete with one another for light, water and nutrients. In this scenario, the plant that loses the competition dies, leaving the winner to thrive in a resource abundant environment. This competition for resources in nature is at the very core of evolution, and can’t be overlooked when trying to understand the motivations behind human behaviour. In other words, it's natural for every living organism to compete in order to survive, and the fact that you are alive and able to read my post is proof that you are a competitive being. And you have already won the most important competition imaginable.


Sports aside, society displays an affinity for competition; it can be found in almost every aspect of our everyday life. Companies compete in an attempt to monopolize a specific market, politicians compete against one another to win elections and individuals compete to be hired by employers.

Furthermore, as a collective, we celebrate and encourage the winning mentality, which only solidifies the presence of competition in our society. Whether this encouragement is a result of our biology or the result of an out-dated ideology is up for debate. What I know for sure is that we must adapt and compete or, as history clearly shows, we will be labeled as losers and left to die. 



After spending ample time confined to a cubicle, Pierre has decided to hang up his suit and tie in order to pursue a writing career. He is a student at Algonquin College, in his final year in the Professional Writing program. Outside of class, Pierre is a passionate individual with a penchant for learning. A self-proclaimed nerd at heart, he also enjoys playing baseball and hockey, running, and over-analyzing things. On a rainy day, you can find him at his typewriter, transcribing his inner monologue.

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