One promotes self-development, while the other promotes self-destruction.
Real competitions make you want to challenge yourself positively, improve your skills and grow better. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you'll benefit from it either way. They promote self-development, making you stronger and wiser after you push yourself positively towards self-betterment.
Self-destructive competitions, on the other hand, are mostly 'made-up' competitions between peers (or neighbors). People who indulge themselves in this type of meaningless, never-ending, ego-feeding competitions just want to compete with each other desperately in order to satisfy their thirst for instant, temporary and cheap recognition, to be seen or considered as 'elites' among their peers, regardless of whatever 'methods' they choose to use. They succumb to peer-pressure.
Life is not a competition (of the destructive sort). Don't make life a meaningless competition. Don't compare your life to others' lives. Just make sure your present is better than your past, and your future looking better than your present. If you're just busy competing with other people for cheap recognition or approval, you will forever be insecure until the day you die. When the time finally comes for you to die, you'll realize that life was rather meaningless because you were so focused on 'being better' than your peers, so focused on winning in a desperate, continuous, made-up competition, you utterly forgot to be thankful for all the good things that God gave you. This is because you have unfortunately overlooked your own achievements so far. You were always insecure and ungrateful, because life has always been a competition between you and your peers.
Sure, get married, hold grand weddings, have kids and enroll them into international schools, go overseas every year, do your masters, Ph.Ds and post docs, buy multiple properties and apartments, buy many expensive imported cars, go perform Umrah and Hajj many times, renovate your houses and get new furniture sets every year upon welcoming Aidilfitri/Aidiladha or whatever other 'greatness' there is to achieve, do it, go ahead. But do it because you yourself honestly want to do it, you have obtained the right opportunities to do it, you're ready to do it, and you can very much afford all that, NOT because you're psychologically pressured to do it for the sake of competing with other people, to show off to your peers, relatives or neighbors, to live by the standards of a certain group of 'elites'. Constantly seeking temporary, cheap recognition from your circle of 'friends' is not healthy, and downright self-destructive if taken too far. 'Niat' is the key here, be honest with yourself. And, always be thankful for all the blessings that Allah S.W.T gave you.
Really, there is no point in competing with other people, because each and everyone of us has different strengths and weaknesses. Our lives are of unique paths. Even our lifespan is not of the same duration. Rezeki, jodoh dan ajal masing-masing. We die at different times, and only Allah S.W.T knows when, how and where, before that happens. We meet our spouse/spouses at different times, and only Allah S.W.T knows the venue, when and how, beforehand. We get our 'rezeki' at different times and amount, and only Allah S.W.T knows all the particulars in advance. Everything comes from Allah, and we should just work hard and earnestly with integrity, for success. Earn it fair and square. Want more rezeki? Work harder, complain less, earn more, and give more to those who are in need. You give more, you gain more. That's the 'math' of divinity. Sedekah itu pembuka pintu rezeki.
Honestly, there is no point in making your life a competition. You'll just be busy competing for a purposeless cause, buried under your own insecurities, your incompetence, and forget about being thankful, and your life will just pass you by, just like that. Constant dissatisfaction, nothing is ever good enough for you, boohoo. If you want to compete so much, compete with yourself (past < present < future), or participate in real, meaningful competitions that would promote self-development and growth. Have good sportsmanship, win or lose is not a big issue. Win or lose, you have gained priceless experience and newly-learned skills or knowledge.
Keep on striving for success, be better and better each day, move forward and stop living in the past. Don't put unnecessary 'pressure' into your life, and that unnecessary pressure is non other than peer-pressure. An endless competition is endless, until the day you die. Achieve 'greatness' earnestly and purely, at your own pace, not because of wanting to 'win' in a desperate, meaningless, made-up competition between peers. Life is not a meaningless competition between peers. Life is more than that. A LOT more.
* P/S: I ain't preaching or anything, I'm just writing out my thoughts/P.O.V regarding life. Feel free to disagree, though your contradicting views won't be any more righteous than mine. Chill, live life. Have a great one ;3
** P/S: Well if this entry of mine is being sadly mistaken by some 'geniuses'
out there as some shallow write-up of a person with "tall-poppy syndrome", then those 'geniuses' are just being dirt shallow. Think
deeper guys, polish your comprehension skills when reading 'difficult'
materials. This has got nothing to do with hating the real 'elites',
it's about avoiding self-destruction by trying to imitate the elites'
luxurious lifestyles that are out of your reach. It's about eliminating
unnecessary peer-pressure (not eliminating your peers who are
outstanding, LoL), and being rational in life.