Last year I became engrossed in The Next Food Network Star and loved nearly every episode of season six. This year I wasn’t as excited about season seven, based on the advertisements. It seemed to me that the producers took a few too many cues from shows like Jersey Shore and Big Brother. I’m not about watching contestants cause drama, so the clips turned me off. However, Brian encouraged me to watch the season with him. It took several weeks to weed out a very dramatic individual (good food isn’t going to mean star power), but I finally warmed up to this season’s star hopefuls.
Last night was the finale, and I can’t imagine the two runners up not getting at least some air time. The charisma and stories these individuals sent a very clear, valuable message, though — follow your dreams. These are people who dreamt of having their own shows on Food Network and showcasing the dishes they grew up with. I was so profoundly struck by this realization last night that I felt a sense of calmness wash over me. My dream may be different — a cooking show would completely get in the way of my writing career — but I still need to harness that star quality. Both situations require captivating your audience. If you’re not engaging your audience — readers and viewers alike — you’re not going to succeed. It’s also about focus. Of course, if you focus on chasing your dreams, I personally believe the rest should fall into place. Nicki has certainly provided plenty of inspiration and encouragement in that regard.
The biggest take-home message, however, is to be mindful at every moment. You never know what you’ll learn from even the simplest of things.