Palmares-Moises: Major, major decision

Michelle Palmares, Darwin Moises
·4 min read

M: After being a runner-up quite a number of times, Rina won a minor pageant national title and a minor international title. She is still young. Friends encourage her to join again a major pageant. What if she’ll not win? Should she stop with the minor titles or risk joining again and go for the major ones? There is a saying: “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” Rina, you have had some success in what you call minor pageants. That should give you a sign that after winning in the minor league, you can move up to the major league. You’re still young, so why don’t you go for it? If you lose, think of it this way—the experience can give you valuable life lessons that can make you better, stronger, more prepared to hurdle another challenge. If you win, you gain not just a crown but bigger opportunities and a platform to inspire other young women like you who might be at a crossroads.

DJ: It’s been said we never achieve the shots we never take. Does Rina want this title so bad so much more than the risk she’s going to take to achieve it? Is she unsatisfied with the minor title, enough for her to challenge uncertainty for change to happen? What is it for? Is the cause much bigger than the fear of losing? More than the encouragement of her friends, these are questions I suggest she’ll answer for herself. A lot of us are programmed to imagine worst-case scenarios which makes us anxious. But what about the possibilities? What about the things that can happen? It’s natural to favor a stable, certain future. That’s why risk-taking is for the minority. So is greatness.

M: If you are trying to figure out when to try harder or try again or just give up or move on, it’s always best to take some time to discern and pray. There’s nothing like getting some wisdom and perspective after some soul searching. If you give up after garnering some “minor” achievement, you will never know what you are capable of doing. Keep on keeping on. Life certainly doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, everything in life is uncertain. The only certainty is death and taxes!

DJ: Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray probably went through the same process. Risk-taking is not about seizing every opportunity. It is about picking the right ones. We don’t attend every party we are invited to. Is it worth our time and effort? We don’t say yes to every relationship. Is it worth going through not just the good but the bad? The goal here is not to blindly risk her pageant career and future but rather to maximize her chances at success. I also suggest for Rina to know the odds, as specifically as possible, and assess how mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared she is. Wurtzbach and Gray became Miss Universe not just because they took the risk; it’s because they came prepared. Being more comfortable about taking risk is also about making informed decisions.

M: They say winners never quit and quitters never win. Aim high! Reach for the stars. Don’t be scared of failure. Sometimes from our greatest failures can rise our greatest successes. Anyway, if at first you don’t succeed, you can always hide evidence that you failed!

DJ: Jack Canfield said it right that everything we want is on the other side of fear. No one can guarantee success. But that’s life. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. And cliché as it sounds, experience will tell us that it’s true. Rina is going to be young only once in her life. When she’s past the age limit, she can’t go back to this moment ever again. Can she live with not joining this pageant? Will she be able to look back to 2021 and not say, “what if?” That’s why greatness is often reserved for risk-takers precisely because a lot of people are unwilling to try. Whether it’s a beauty pageant or sports, in show business or entrepreneurship, even in oral recitations in class, the standouts are often those who take a shot at breakout success.