When I was a freshman in high school I was bonkers about my youth group chapter.
I have often said that it was the closest thing to a fraternity that can be found at that age.
Every week the 24 of us would meet in a room just to talk about the plans we had for the following week/month/semester.
Planning programs, organizing events, making t-Shirts.
It was chaotic, it was loud, but it was more fun than anything else I had ever done.
How things got accomplished I will never know.
But my chapter was good.
We knew it but didn't care to brag.
Unlike other chapters we kept to ourselves.
We didn't really take part in chapter cheers or proclaim our greatness while thumping our chests.
But we knew what we did and how we did it was something special.
So that year we entered for numerous awards, including chapter of the year.
Most chapters would submit a page or two listing accomplishments that they have had over the past year.
Attendance numbers, membership numbers, how much money they had raised.
But that wasn't us, we wanted to do something different to show why we were deserving.
Two of the upperclassmen in the chapter took it upon themselves to write a nine page document detailing the moments that made our chapter great.
They told stories and allowed a peek into our chapter. Something no other chapter managed to do.
And we won the award.
We won it because we cared more about the process, the moments that made us great, than about achieving greatness.
And in the process of winning this award we changed the criteria for what makes a chapter deserving.
Instead of falling back on old habits other chapters elevated themselves to strive for something more.
The effects of the single award entry are still present among the teens today.
This relates to yesterday's excellent post from Makin Ads: Your Competition.
You may be the most talented person at your school.
Even your town.
But remember those people are not your only competition.
It is easy to think an idea is great.
To fall back on the same trick time and time again.
Because it works, because it lets you show off your ability without breaking a sweat.
But that only gets you so far.
And more than likely there is someone out there outworking you, because they want it more.
They are hungrier for that job, hungrier for ideas and hungrier to get their stuff out into the world.
Try something new.
Do something bold.
Leave a piece of you on the paper, just like my youth group chapter did.