Growing up, our family extended beyond my Mom, my sister and me.
Family gatherings included 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins – and we got together often.
Some of my favorite memories are with family celebrating something or someone.
Yummy food and a keg of beer were the two of the foundational elements to be expected as our clan gathered for birthdays, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial day, St. Patrick’s day (and we’re not Irish) and dozens of other traditional holidays on the calendar as well as life events.
I remember lots of laughter and games like bean bags and horseshoes in my Grandparents backyard.
My Mom always set up a badminton net and we’d play for hours.
And, it always seemed as if there were kids running around everywhere.
When I went into the workforce, the act of celebrating me was much more difficult than celebrating an event or someone I love.
At that time, if someone had a conversation about the art of celebration, I would have thought they were wasting my time.
- Tell me a problem needs to be solved — and I create solutions.
- Give me a task to complete — and I get it done faster than anyone else.
- Show me an operational inefficiency – and I fix it.
…pause to see what I did – and celebrate it – this was foreign to me.
It never felt like I was doing enough. (Maybe you can relate….)
My focus was on all of the things I didn’t get done that I could never see how much I accomplished each day.
Being my harshest critic meant I felt as if I was always falling short – never getting it right. (Perhaps you can relate…)
Acknowledging the good you do takes intention and effort.
Celebration is a habit to be cultivated especially when it comes to celebrating yourself.
Sometimes it’s easier to receive criticism than it is to be celebrated.
After practicing the act of celebration for many years with different tools, I’ve noticed the health benefits of growing this practice.
It is also one of the 3 components in leadership pillar #5, Creating a Meaningful and Memorable Presence, and I speak about it at length at Design Your Destiny Live.
At the 2019 Design Your Destiny Live, outdoor education expert Pam Johnson spoke about the value of celebration on the Success Panel.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs I’ve met have a celebration or gratitude ritual.
If you look at your life and feel there is little to celebrate, the consequences are diminished self-esteem, lack of confidence, and apathy.
If you look at your life and feel there is much to celebrate yet have little time to put it into practice, the consequences are the same.
Here’s a simple practice to begin the art of celebrating you and your life.
- You’ll need a new journal or notebook and a pen.
- Every night, write three (3) things that happened during the day that
you wantto acknowledge yourself for doing, thinking, or being.
(Ideally, these are three things that you’d like to see happen in your life again.)
Wherever you are right now, you are worth celebrating. And, your life is worth celebrating.
If you think you have to cure world hunger or summit a mountain to have something that qualifies, here is what is on my list:
Got my inbox down to 10 emails (actually, that was like summiting a mountain….)
Called the Inn at Timber Cove to book a June trip
Took an afternoon off to spend time with Jim despite a long list of “to-do’s”
What is important about this practice is that you begin collecting a record of your small wins that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Over time, your successes will become easier to acknowledge and this simple practice will support you in getting clearer about where you’re spending your time and energy.
The Upside Challenge of the week is to purchase or find a new journal or notebook and pen – and commit to this practice for the next 30 days.
Life is c
Remember, the world needs you and your brilliance.