I have had many periods in my life that could only be described as absolutely crazy. Working too hard, taking on too many responsibilities, worrying about too much stuff and struggling to make my way in the world. One of the greatest losses in times like these is that we stop celebrating our victories.
The best example that I can use to illustrate this point is with my writing. Clearly a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into writing and producing a book. There are a lot of people involved, it is a big production all round and the end product represents a lot of people's hard work.
Throughout my writing career I have always run a marketing company at the same time, usually with an office full of people, and it has always been way too busy. On one occasion when we were all starting work and getting ready for a big day ahead, I was opening my mail and I noticed a courier bag. I ripped it open and there was the first copy of a book that I had just written. I looked at it, smiled, put it down and started to get on with organizing the day and my team.
My right-hand man at the time asked me what the book was. I mentioned that it was my latest one and then I set about changing the subject. Sen stopped me in my tracks and said, 'Why aren't we out celebrating such a huge milestone?' I didn't have an answer. I was too busy looking after clients, managing deadlines, struggling to make ends meet and working hard like every small business owner. It was the sixth book that I had written and I had only ever really celebrated the first one, which had been published almost ten years before.
Now that is plain wrong. Clearly a milestone such as the publication of your book should be celebrated, and it should be celebrated very loud and for a long time. But how many things do we simply not make the time or the effort to celebrate? Sure we remember birthdays and Christmas, perhaps even the odd anniversary, but what about the other important moments?
I have learned my lesson. Today I like to celebrate anything significant. There is something wonderful about taking some time out of the craziness of the average day to go 'Wooohoooo' and acknowledge something that you have done, either individually or as a group.
The most successful teams are those who know how to celebrate their individual achievement, their co-workers' or the achievements of the group as a whole. We all respond well to people celebrating our victories. The big, the small, even the victories that may not seem significant to the outside world should be celebrated.
Sadly too many of us have forgotten how to celebrate. How to let our hair down and really laugh out loud, how to pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge that we did a good thing. Our successes are overshadowed by the pressure to achieve and get results; few people have time to stop and celebrate and many managers feel that celebration is a waste of time (seriously). To re-familiarize yourself with the custom of celebration look around you and start celebrating and acknowledging other people's success first and foremost.
I really admire people who are aware enough, and considerate enough, to acknowledge other people's success. We should all do it. There are so many reasons to congratulate people for a job well done or for reaching a milestone. The very best place to start with giving others a pat on the back.
If you are stuck in the rut of over-analysis paralysis, caused by too much inward focus, one of the best tools to break you out of it is celebration. It doesn't matter whether you are celebrating your own good news or the good news of those around you. Make it a habit and you will be truly rewarded.
The more you celebrate the more you find to celebrate. It is all about seeing more of what you focus on. So celebrate your life, celebrate your family and friends, their achievements and milestones, and sometimes celebrate for no reason at all other than to just be grateful for everything you have in your life.