I’ve got some good news today! Three weeks ago I submitted an idea into a competition our university runs called ‘Venture Further‘. It gives students and recent graduates an opportunity to submit an idea and win £10,000 to implement the idea. I didn’t have plans to submit an idea until three days before the end of the competition, when someone nudged me to submit an idea I had been researching about into the competition. After 30 mins of uhmming and ahhhing, I realised there was really nothing to lose by entering the competition.
So with a couple of days before the end of competition, I hurriedly put together the entry and submitted it- 10 minutes before the deadline.
A week and a half later, I received an email with the news that the idea had been selected as a finalist in the competition! I was in shock. It took me about 20 mins of staring at the email to finally understand what was happening, without fear that it was a hoax or a case of mistaken identity.
Small decisions can shed light on a bigger story, as they have for me.
Connecting the dots The funny thing is that two years ago I entered this very competition with a different idea. It was rejected in the first instance and the idea died at that point. Timing is a great thing because this many years later, I submitted an idea that I know I will work on, even if we don’t win the competition. Things needed to be in place for me to have a strong entry that will go beyond the competition. Everything in its own time; everything in God’s time.
Try. Always try I know I repeat this message but its because I can’t emphasise enough how its changed my life. Last week a good friend of mine asked me what gives me the courage to try and my answer was simple- every time you accept a challenge, you are making a decision to take your life forward. Staying comfortable doesn’t do anyone any good. Keep your ears to the ground and when a challenge presents itself and requires you to try, say yes!
No-one is ever 100% ready Following on from the decision to try, I think it’s so important to remember that no-one is ever 100% ready. You may be waiting for the perfect moment to apply for a job, start a project or make a move on someone you care about, but if you wait until you are ready, you will wait forever. I thought my entry from the competition was far from perfect, but I sent it anyway. You don’t have to be all the way ready; there’s room to figure things out on the way.
All you need is love As I’ve shared my idea with a few friends, some have disappointed me with their responses. I’m reminded that I need to surround myself with love. I don’t have time for naysayers on the sidelines as I play my game. I need cheerleaders- friends who send love, thoughts, prayers and encouragement when I need it most. If you find that the people sitting front row at your game are not doing the aforementioned, don’t be afraid to take away their courtside tickets- they don’t deserve them.
Tomorrow, we find out who the winner of the Venture Further competition is. I’m excited and anxious, all at the same time! I’d appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts.
p.s. If you’re interested, more details on the competition can be found here. The idea I submitted is called ‘My Nairobi’.
UPDATE- Our idea won second place in the competition! We’ve been awarded £2500 to implement the idea. More details here. Here’s a pic from the awards night!
© Tessy Maritim