It’s one thing to compete with others, and another to be inspired by them.
It’s one thing to think: “She’s done this well. I have to do better.” It’s another to think: “She did that well. If she can do it, maybe I can too.” I maintain that competition is appropriate as an economic concept, but not as a psychological or motivational one. There should be freedom of competition in a society based upon individual rights and capitalism. However, individuals should not be motivated–at least primarily–by competing. They should work at maintaining–and where possible, beating–their own last, best standard. To focus on others is unhealthy and takes the focus away from self-esteem and self-responsibility.