When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school presented the Norma Gold Human Relations Award to three students out of our class of about 100. To my shock, my name was called and to this day it’s one of my proudest achievements – mostly because I had absolutely no idea the award existed or that I had done anything special that warranted attention. I was just very involved and gave my all to whatever I did; at that young age I unconsciously expressed the best version of who I was and got recognized for it.
I am not a competitive person and although athletic, in fact never wanted to play school sports for that very reason. But sometimes we need to have that extra bit of eyes-on-the-prize attitude to take us to the next level. In the movie Remember the Titans, a racially integrated football team came together to be undefeated champs in their division, a victory that was symbolic of so much more in a newly desegregated South. Denzel Washington, playing Coach Boone prior to the final game declared, “I’m a winner. I’m going to win.”
Every field has its pinnacle of achievement and recognition so why not set your sights on one? In the midst of this season with the Grammy’s and Academy Awards on their way, it’s a good time to think about what is the equivalent of the Superbowl, World Cup, Olympic Medal, Emmy or Tony in your life; your version of the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize? And if there is none, what would your criteria be and what would you call it? Define for yourself in every area of life what is your standard of excellence that makes you a champion. Set that goal for yourself this year or for your bucket list – even if you never attain it, raising the bar for yourself can only make you better in every way.
The next step is to believe that you are worthy of the accomplishment. When Tango Diva held a contest for their 2007 Diva Visionary Award, at the last minute I decided to nominate myself. I then found out after the fact that -gulp- I would have to ask people to vote for me in addition to being judged. The whole process made me incredibly uncomfortable, but I realized at some point I had to decide that I wanted to win – and that decision took but a minute. I figured I deserved it as much as anyone else and had to just go for it. And lo and behold, I WON!
Sometimes you have to seek the recognition (remember producers run Oscar campaigns), make the commitment to it and push until you win, and sometimes it’s a surprise that just falls in your lap. Regardless of how it comes, it won’t occur without the intention of doing and being your best. And, as you prove yourself and are honored along the way, remember that once you win it, you must own it.
Don’t think you have any horn to toot or mirror ball trophy to win? Everyone excels in some area, so give me a buzz and I’ll help promote your hidden superstar and find an arena for your MVP to shine!
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