When was the last time you bought yourself a gift to celebrate a work promotion? Or booked yourself a vacation to acknowledge the hard work you did to help your team meet their goal?
Living in a fast-paced society, many of us get caught up in the vicious pattern of life’s hustle and bustle. We become so focused and busy on reaching our goals to the point where we forget to pause and savour our achievements. Some people don’t even feel the need to celebrate these positive milestones because they see them as merely momentary indulgences.
But the truth is, life is too short not to savour these experiences, especially when they’re vital components to our personal growth and fulfillment. There’s nothing really wrong with being busy, but if we fail to recognize our own hard work, we’ll lose our motivation to achieve new milestones sooner or later.
About the Power of Success
For many of us, the true meaning of success is subjective. It can mean something you achieved at work or a change that worked for your personal life. Whatever that may be, success is a term we use to define breakthroughs that bring clarity and meaning to our lives.
For that reason, our journeys to success are often marked and measured by the series of milestones, big or small, that we achieve. But for these milestones to make meaningful impacts on our lives, we should learn to embrace and recognize them. If there’s one thing we need to realize, it’s that these milestones are not just waypoints on our path but also opportunities for us to pause, reflect, and appreciate our progress.
Aside from the fact that celebrating success feels good, it also boosts our confidence and trust in ourselves. It’s not about being boastful or self-indulgent; it’s about acknowledging the hard work, determination, and resilience that have brought us to where we are. And by celebrating these successes, we reinforce the belief that we are capable of achieving more, creating a positive feedback loop of motivation.
On top of that, celebrations of success are highly contagious. When you recognize your accomplishment, it has a positive effect of making other people around you feel happy as well. And that state or peak of happiness opens up ideas and opportunities that make you feel you can accomplish anything.
Take workplace culture as an example. It was found in a survey that companies that made employee recognition a priority had employees who were 56% less likely to look for a new job. And that’s because the simple act of recognition makes them feel that the work they do and how they did it matters.
Difference Between Celebration and Reward
Some people may think celebrating a milestone is similar to rewarding, but these are two different yet somewhat similar things. Celebration is the act of acknowledging and appreciating a specific achievement or milestone. It’s a way of marking a moment of success, regardless of how big or small it may be.
Celebrations are often expressive and can take various forms, from throwing a party with friends and family to taking a moment of quiet reflection. The primary function of celebration is to reinforce the positive emotions associated with your achievement. It serves as a reminder of your progress, boosts your self-esteem, and is a source of motivation for future endeavors. Celebrations are typically more emotional and symbolic, focusing on the intangible benefits of your accomplishment.
On the other hand, rewards are tangible incentives or gifts given to yourself as a result of reaching a goal or milestone. Rewards are often pre-determined and serve as a form of positive reinforcement for your efforts. They can be monetary, such as buying yourself a gift, or experiential, like treating yourself to a spa day or a weekend getaway. Rewards are instrumental in conditioning behavior and help maintain motivation, especially when pursuing long-term goals. They provide a sense of immediate gratification and can act as a powerful driving force for continued progress.
Balancing Celebration and Reward
Though they are two distinct concepts that coincide with each other, balancing celebration and reward is essential to maintaining a healthy mindset. Celebrations offer emotional nourishment, reminding you of the intrinsic value of your achievements and enhancing your self-worth. Rewards, meanwhile, provide external validation and serve as tangible markers of your progress.
When balanced effectively, these two concepts work in harmony as they both offer motivation to keep you moving forward. The key is to ensure that your rewards are reasonable, align with your goals, and uphold your long-term aspirations. Striking this balance allows you to stay motivated, maintain a healthy perspective on your achievements, and continue your journey toward success with enthusiasm.
Simple Ways To Celebrate Success
In some ways, many people don’t view celebrations of success as significant because of the thought that it’s something done only with grand gestures. But the truth is, it can be any simple activity, hobby, or interest as long as it brings you joy and fulfillment. Here are some ways you can do that.
Reflect and Express Gratitude
Two of the important yet often overlooked ways to celebrate success are through self-reflection and expressions of gratitude. Much like throwing parties or celebrating with friends, It’s also essential to take a moment and acknowledge the hard work, perseverance, and setbacks you faced to get to your point of success.
Take time to be grateful for the support you received and the lessons you learned along the way. Doing so allows you to appreciate the journey and give yourself a chance to process the experience. Moreover, practicing gestures of gratitude will also help you strengthen your network, which you can always count on for future endeavors.
Share Your Success Story
Another way to practice celebrating success is by sharing your stories of triumph. Though not many people see its significance, sharing your success is a powerful way to recognize the hard work you put into your journey while inspiring others to do the same. Whether through a simple post on social media, a blog, or a conversation with friends and colleagues, recounting your journey reminds you of how far you’ve come. It also invites positive feedback, reinforcing your self-esteem as you receive more recognition from your network of support.
Pay It Forward
Aside from appreciating your progress, it’s also vital to pay it forward. Paying it forward and celebrating your achievement with the people who helped make it possible enables you to stay grounded in your roots. Remember, no person by themself is truly self-sufficient, and at some point in our lives, we will need the help of others to succeed. When we keep others in our thoughts and acts of celebration, it keeps us humble no matter what milestone we achieve in life.
Keep a Success Journal
And finally, one of the best ways to celebrate and remember these moments of success is by keeping a journal. As I mentioned, it’s easy to get lost in the turmoil of life, and because of that, it’s also that simple to forget all our achievements. That’s why we need to document these vital moments of our lives so we can always look back on them whenever we feel down or low about ourselves.
Recording each milestone and strategy you used to overcome challenges allows you to see how far you’ve grown. It also gives you clarity on your strengths and weaknesses while helping you set clearer and more meaningful goals in the future. And sooner or later, as you continue to write them down, you’ll realize how close you’ve gotten to achieving your bigger ambitions in life.
Create a Meaningful Future With Each Celebration of Success
As I mentioned earlier, life is too short not to acknowledge everything we do or experience along our journey to success. There is no right or wrong time to celebrate success because as long as it brings meaning and happiness to your life, it will always be a cause for celebration.
So, the next time you come across a milestone that for you means success, take the day off, grab a beer, go out with friends, or simply buy yourself your favorite dessert because you deserve it!