Is it good for you to celebrate a personal accomplishment? What if the accomplishment is nothing profound? What if the accomplishment is the simple act of being consistent? Would you judge someone if you knew their celebration was for something that seemed pretty trivial? It seems to me that celebrating one of life’s accomplishments almost feels like a form of bragging, calling attention to yourself.
But I am going to do it anyhow. And I will try to explain why it is important.
I am celebrating a little bit today. This is my 300th blog post. That means I have been posting once a week for nearly six years! I believe it is important to stop and celebrate occasionally. My blog is not a “best-seller”. I doubt is has a profound impact on people’s lives. It rarely reaches 100 people in a week. Some of the posts are pretty good, a few are my favorites and a lot of them don’t quite meet my original goals for them. But I get joy from doing them. I love the challenge of new ideas. Writing is fun for me. Coming up with something new to say is not easy. Putting my own ideas, or my spin on other’s ideas, is work. So a long, consistent performance deserves a celebration.
Hooray for me
In her post (https://www.forbes.com/sites/catescottcampbell/2017/02/28/the-key-to-creative-growth-celebrate-and-then-celebrate-some-more/#4d8dbd1d4782), Cate Scott Campbell challenges us:
“The problem, of course, is that this lack of celebrating success has put me at major risk of ignoring the big and small triumphs of creative growth—the triumphs that remind us of how far we’ve come, how courageous we’ve been, and how, even when it got bleak, we kept on.”
This little celebration of mine got me thinking. For most of us, we are our own biggest critics. We are really good at pointing out what we didn’t do, what we failed to accomplish, what we are not as good as others at doing. The idea to pause and reflect is not something we generally do. We know the job might not be done. We might feel there is a long way to go. Perhaps we have decided that we really have not accomplished anything. But that negative thinking doesn’t get us anywhere, does it? Why not try a different approach?
There are some really great benefits to celebrating. Research suggests that if you frequently mark off or celebrate mental milestones, life feels as if it slows down and takes on more meaning. The act of rewarding yourself feels good. It helps us to keep moving. Sometimes the celebration simply allows us to realize what we have done and motivates us to move forward.
You might not be a person who likes public displays of celebration. Perhaps you prefer not to bring attention to your accomplishments? Here is an alternative. I really like the idea in the post noted above suggesting a “jar of reflection”. Simply put a jar in your office or kitchen with a number of papers beside it. When you accomplish something, write it down and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, read everything you put in the jar. Your own personal celebration.
Okay, I am done celebrating. Back to work!