Actually aren't all sports or forms of exercise a continual lesson in humility? I guess if you always and only do your discipline absolutely alone (empty pool, treadmill, empty pool, non-team sports, etc) you'd never feel the lesson of which I speak.
Is there anyone who can let's say run without feeling something when someone passes you? Sure, not the ex-cross country bean pole guy that goes flying by on his tiptoes like it's a walk in the park but let's say the older, not so in shape lacrosse t-shirt wearing guy who looks like he drinks 3 beers for every mile he runs? Or the little old lady who's been running years before you were even born? I love watching people when I'm running but again I can get caught up in the innate competitiveness that comes with physical activity and sports.
It's easy to run hard and fast but sometimes difficult just to enjoy the reason why you're there. To enjoy yourself. Enjoy the park. Enjoy the weather. When you're running hard and fast or doing sprints your mind is so focused you have no time to look around. But try just enjoying what you're doing next time you're out for a exercise of any kind.
I think it's tough for people who are just starting an exercise program, learning a new discipline or stuck at a level where they're not improving as much as they would like to. If you're at any of these points or just not wanting to go out there for whatever reason - try refocusing in reverse. Try to block out all the nonsense and just enjoy what you're doing. You pace may just increase, your stroke may just feel better and you might just end up in a "zone" you've never felt before.
Refocus in Reverse.