Screw the Big Stuff: Why Celebration is About Small Wins
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What's your relationship with celebration?
By "celebration", I mean celebrating actions, behaviours, accomplishments and life, rather than birthdays, anniversaries or other date-based celebrations.Personally, I find celebrations in the first group hard.Birthdays are no problem. Celebrating the completion of a big goal or passing an important milestone, however, is a whole different ballgame. I was brought up with the attitude that once you've completed one milestone, you move onto the next. While this helped prevent me getting stuck, it meant that I rarely felt like I had time to celebrate and take a breather.As an adult, I've internalised that mindset: always looking ahead to the next goal, the next achievement, and finding it hard to stop, smell the roses, and give myself the rest and acknowledgement I need after a challenge.I don't necessarily want to, as I know that this comes from a place of 'not enough', and reining in the part of me that never feels like it's enough is still a work in progress.As part of this work in progress, I've experimented with shifting my focus to celebrating the small stuff, the tiny wins along the way, and ultimately experiencing one major benefit:
I'm celebrating the process rather than the outcome.
I've been thinking about this recently as I get ready to release my next book, From Coping to Thriving. When I released my first ebook last year, I put a lot of work into it. The final two months in particular were pretty unfun, and upon releasing the book I felt flat, rather than satisfied. Of course, I immediately started planning the next book...This time, it's different.OK, so I have already started planning the next book.... but I'm doing a lot more marketing (i.e. celebrating the project's content) and I have bigger plans to make the most of the work I've put into this project (i.e. celebrating my effort).Releasing a book is an amazing process, but it's challenging and vulnerable. At times, it's also quite boring.Even though I've read the text a bajillion times and know that it's at least passable, there's still the fear that people will read it and think "You wrote a book about what?", or "This is worse than my 4th grade essay on 'What I did during my summer holidays'", or "Wow, she has an English degree?"In addition, I rarely read other people's books more than once. Reading my own book over and over again has been tedious, bordering on excruciating.A valuable part of this process has been consciously finding the opportunities for joy and celebration along the wayIn fact, I need celebration along the way. I need to be able to say "Yes! I sent that email asking that person I really admire if I could interview them" or "Yes! I felt vulnerable sending my book out for review, but I didn't avoid it." Otherwise that stuff is just hard.It's more meaningful to celebrate the small stuff, the unexpected wins, the process, rather than the outcome. Otherwise, why are we doing what we're doing? If it's all hinging on the final outcome, a few moments of bliss at the end of a long-uphill struggle, is that really what we want?Or do we want to celebrate the small stuff, like a brave email sent, a courageous declaration of feelings, finally tackling that one thing we've been avoiding for the last month - and tackling it in style.Celebration isn't just about promotions, book releases, a job well done, a performance well executed. Ultimately, it's about living a full life each and every day.Now that's really something to celebrate.