Yeah, you heard me right, I entered another contest. After I told myself I was done, I went and did it again.
And since I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat in suspense, I’ll cut straight to it… I finally won!
I’ll get to the actual contest in a minute. First, the journey to get there is fresh on my mind. A while back I discovered a book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I loved it so much that I dedicated a blog post to it. I’ve never read another book that so convincingly and simply breaks down the philosophy of how success truly happens… or doesn’t happen.
The Slight Edge helped me win this contest.
In that blog post, I summarized what the slight edge is to me:
It’s the knowledge that success doesn’t miraculously appear out of nowhere but instead it comes after continuous, repeated efforts. It’s the idea that the little, simple actions that you take on a daily basis will compound over time and eventually lead you to success. It’s choosing a small simple action that is easy to do but that might not create an immediate result. And because of the lack of immediate result, it also makes it easy not to do. But the slight edge is doing it, even when it doesn’t create instant measurable results. It’s the constant follow-through with the small tasks that eventually builds up and leads us to where we want to go. And if we choose not to do the right small tasks, it leads us to where we don’t want to go. It’s taking responsibility for yourself. It’s willing to take certain risks. It’s willing to fail. It’s not only willing to fail, but also willing to learn from your failures and keep showing up.
You might be wondering how that applies to being a video contest junkie?
I practiced the slight edge every time I entered a contest. Although I knew I had a very slim chance of winning, I entered anyway. I didn’t do it just because I was guaranteed a win. I did it because I knew it stretched me, and I knew it would open a door for me. I didn’t know what, but I knew it would somehow open up my world. I was up against professionals with years of experience, but I did it anyway. I made my amateur videos, and I studied my competition. I learned what I liked and didn’t like in a video. I learned that I think my voice always sounds more tolerable when there’s music in the background. I learned that sometimes my eyes are a little closed when I talk on camera making me look as if I’m drugged. I also learned that being bug-eyed isn’t a great way to counteract the drugged look. I learned how to tell a story. Even though my efforts never lead to an immediate success right in that moment, each time it was a small step that lead me to this win. Each time I learned a little more and practiced a little more, and that made it easier the next time around.
In fact, had I never entered that very first contest, I would have never even entered this contest (or had this blog!)
Back when I started, I couldn’t even fathom making a video of myself, but I was desperate, and I knew I had to do something, anything to spark change in my life. I didn’t really want to be seen. I was scared of being judged, thought I would make a fool of myself. I also had no belief in my creativity or ability to be on camera. Once I faced that fear, no matter how awkward I felt, I realized I could push past it. The best reward has been the growth and the confidence that I can do something I used to deem as impossible. This moves beyond making a video and entering a contest. It’s about everything we do in life.
Sometimes taking small risks can open up our world to things we never envisioned for ourselves.
When I tell you that it was easy this last time, I’m not exaggerating. I almost forgot about the contest. In the rules, they said we didn’t need to have professional video footage, and that we could even sit in front of our computer and use a webcam. So that’s what I did. I listened and didn’t try to do anything fancy. I didn’t tell anyone about it, unlike every other contest. I didn’t study my competition, unlike every other contest. I just sat in front of my computer and told my story. It took me about 30 minutes to prepare and get it done. I even tried to re-record that final submission because I wanted it to be better. After one try that was worse, I gave up. This was good enough. And then I moved on and forgot about the contest.
Here was my entry:
Here is the result:
Three years ago I revealed to the world (okay, more like the 15 people who read my blog,) that I was leaving dentistry for a different career. It was so liberating! I could finally expose the truth of what I had experienced for so long. Now you know something else I’ve kept hidden for a while on this blog.
I just can’t keep it a secret anymore.