I remember this moment when I completed my MBA graduation from IIM Calcutta. An immense feeling of joy and a deep sense of accomplishment! A Celebration!
10 years later, I have come to realize that there is a different approach to celebration.
We celebrate the big events. We celebrate when we achieve something that we care about. Graduation from School. Landing that dream job. That big promotion at work. However, we tend to ignore the baby steps that we take and the milestones that we achieve along the way. This is especially true for Asians who are conditioned to celebrate only once the desired outcome is achieved. Even in scenarios where people acknowledge our efforts, we can tend to brush them aside. 'Celebration is worth it only when the result is achieved', we tell ourselves.
Results are celebrated. Progress and Effort are not celebrated
What are the consequences of celebrating only the end result?
The harsh reality is that more often than not, we fail in realizing that end goal. Sometimes, that initiative that we work on, fails to get recognized. Sometimes we do not end up getting the promotion or the raise. When that happens, the voice in our head is not kind. Our confidence tanks. We begin to question ourselves. Even after we pick ourselves up and pursue the goal, we feel no sense of joy in the journey.
What would be possible if we celebrate every step of our journey?
As I consciously choose to celebrate every tiny milestone in my coaching journey, I have experienced the following three benefits.
Feeling More Joyful
When I started my coaching practice, once I completed one milestone, I used to immediately ask myself 'What's next'. This continued focus on the next activity only made me realize that there is no end in sight. There is almost always more activities or tasks to complete and this built up my stress levels. Celebrating the tiny milestones helped me to release the anxiety I was feeling and allowed for the space to experience joy.
When we are constantly focused on doing, we forget to focus on our being. Celebration can help us be joyful and to bring joy into our work.
Increase in Self Confidence
One new client. One great coaching conversation. As I focus on celebrating these tiny milestones, along with a deeper sense of joy, I can sense a shift in my confidence levels and a deeper sense of belief that my coaching practice will grow and thrive. As a result of this celebration, I bring that renewed sense of confidence into my next set of coaching conversations.Celebration helps in creating the confidence that every brick that we build matters even as the building begins to take shape. With continued celebration, it is likely that the building we end up constructing will become a sight to behold.
Celebrating the tiny milestones has shifted my focus away from the stress and anxiety associated with the end result. The change in perspective has made me more mindful and more energized. As James Clear (Author of 'Atomic Habits') says, focusing on the process ends up in achieving the results. Celebration helps me to focus on the process and frees up the space to be more energetic and productive.
Celebration helps to raise our positivity and energy and we can get more done in less time. Want more balance in your life? Practice Celebration as a way of life!
Today, I coach my clients to celebrate every small milestone even as they focus on their bigger dream.
Celebration is a conscious choice
It is a habit that we can imbibe and see immediate results. All of us, consciously or unconsciously, celebrate all the time in our personal lives. When we have our first child, we do not wait till the baby takes the first step to celebrate. Every day is joyful and every tiny gesture is celebrated. Similarly, we can choose to consciously build the habit of celebrating at work. Celebration does not need to be about throwing a big party. It can be a heartfelt, authentic acknowledgment that we give to ourselves. Even a pat on our back counts.
What's possible for you at your workplace when you choose to celebrate every tiny milestone, every small progress? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.