The Difference Between Pageant Winners and Losers is the Choices Made Each Day
To Win Pageants, You Need to Create Winning Behavior Every Day…
The most significant ingredient in achieving success is choosing winning behavior day-by-day.
Make no mistake about it. The greatest difference between winners and losers in pageants and life – is not merely natural talent. It is the seemingly insignificant choices made moment by moment each day. Those small choices become our habits, and our habits become our destiny.
“It isn’t natural ability,” asserts former Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur, an expert on motivation. “Natural ability can play a role – and does play a role all our lives — but when we excel, we excel because we have truly prepared ourselves over and over and over.”
“Decide what you want and then decide what you’re willing to give up to achieve it.” — Donna Axum, former Miss America and expert pageant judge
A case in point is form Miss America Laurel Schaefer, whose life was dramatically transformed by her commitment to daily winning choices:
“I always tenaciously pursued my dreams. I didn’t have time to be flighty or frivolous. I had too many things to do. I was very aggressive about my future and I was very disciplined. Many times I would have to say no to social events … because I had more important things to do, whether it was dance class or private vocal lessons. I felt the destiny for my life. I knew what I had to do and I had no time to waste …. And deep down inside I always knew that someday, something very special was going to happen for me.”
Similarly, Donna Axum, a former Miss America, also used daily winning choices to turn her dreams into reality. “I knew that I had it in me to win the Miss Arkansas title,” she says. So to achieve her goals, she chose to pass up many of the pleasant diversions of campus life:
“I was very focused. By that I mean that I didn’t spend a lot of time in college learning to play bridge or using my time non-productively. I was always working toward reaching my goals. I was at the music department vocalizing in the practice rooms or I was performing and traveling with the U-Arkettes. I was doing everything I could to sharpen my competitive skills.” To reinforce her efforts she taped a motto on her mirror: “Decide what you want and then decide what you’re willing to give up to achieve it.”
These winners understood that effective daily choices actually determined the course of a life.
Choose winning behavior day-by-day to make your dreams reality.
Remember the Real Purpose for Competing
As Debra Maffett advises from experience, the ultimate purpose for competing is to build a life of success and purpose. “Never consider [winning] as an end in itself,” she cautions. “Know that there is a huge element of luck. The very worst that can happen through pursuing this dream is that you become a better human being. There is life after pageants. Know who you are and what your visions and dreams are,” she advises confidently, ”because you’ll get them.”
You Can Never Tell Where the Crown May Lead You
You never can tell where the road to the crown may lead you. So go ahead – apply these principles, give your best effort, fight for the crown, refuse to be discouraged by failure, and enter again and again in pursuit of your dream. Because, within the next few years, a dozen or so of you reading this will become Miss Universe, Miss America, or Miss USA. Hundreds of you will hold state titles. Perhaps thousands of you will become proud local titleholders. Everyone of these accomplishments is an honor.
Like the contestants who walked the runway before you, you are a true winner for daring to step out of the audience to pursue success.
Our hope is that, as you pursue the crown, these articles will provide you with the keys to achieve your dreams. Here’s to your quest for the crown ….