Mar 18, 2013

The Importance Of Celebrating Success

The Importance Of Celebrating Success

My torso is covered in neon green and blue body paint.  I’m drinking cheap vodka out of a bucket with a glow-in-the-dark straw.  My arms are wrapped around a beautiful, Scandinavian woman that I met no less than five minutes ago.

I look over at my travel companion and, seeing the glimmer in his eye, I shout ‘This is actually our lives right now!’

Hard to believe that only ten months before I had been a shell of a man… working myself into a 15-hour a day downward spiral.

When was the last time you slowed down to celebrate a success in your life?

Do you even remember?

If you keep yourself constantly chasing goals and achievements, then it’s very likely that you aren’t slowing down and recognizing your big wins.  Or maybe you keep moving your goal posts further away… discounting the validity of the goal and saying “Well, it wasn’t ambitious enough to begin with”.

Slow down and enjoy your successes.

Victory

Why you should celebrate your successes

The male mind easily gets stuck in a mode of chasing perfection.  The mindset of “this isn’t good enough, I have to keep striving” is a very masculine mindset.  This behaviour can lead to great personal victories, and it can also lead to massive mental breakdowns.  Feeling like you can’t slow down to recognize your success is like a pilot saying he’s too busy flying to stop and get gas.  Eventually, you’re going to crash.

A study was once conducted that researched how dogs responded to rewards and punishment.  When the dogs responded to questions correctly, they would receive a treat.  Conversely, when the dogs answered the questions incorrectly, they would receive a small punishment.  What the study found was that while playing any game in which the dogs had the possibility of being punished, they would quickly become passive and withdraw from the game.

This part is important… it wasn’t that the dogs made efforts to get more correct answers, they just stopped playing altogether.

Humans work in much the same way.  If you raised your hand in elementary school and were consistently told that your answers were incorrect, you would raise your hand less and less due to the negative feedback you were receiving.

So even if you are achieving your goals in life, if you are constantly beating yourself up by pushing yourself harder and harder, eventually you will lose interest in playing the game altogether, and withdraw from your own life.

A disheartened dog... such a waste.

A disheartened dog… such a waste.

How you can celebrate your successes

Here are some quick tips on how you can slow down, and celebrate your victories.

1. Take a vacation

A serious vacation.  You don’t even need to leave your city to do it.

Take a vacation from technology, your cellphone, your work, your obligations… just take some time off.  Do whatever it takes to get your mind at rest.  Set a time frame that you’re going to kick back to enjoy yourself, and make it non-negotiable.

2. Write a gratitude letter to someone that helped you along the way

This is a great way to keep the emotional high buzzing along, even after the initial excitement has started to wear off.  Send someone a genuine, hand-written letter (or a Facebook message, it’s all good) recounting the ways that they helped you along in your process.

Not sure of what to say?  Try this structure on for size: “Hey (NAME), I recently accomplished (THIS) in my life, and I wanted to know that I couldn’t have gotten to this point without your help.  Particularly, the fact that you (DID THIS) and (DID THAT) really helped me along in my process.  I am seriously grateful and your (CHARACTER TRAIT) ended me some serious guidance when I needed it the most.  Sincerely, (YOUR NAME)”.

Give it a try.  You, and the recipient, will be glad that you did.

3. Be selfish

Do something that is just for you.  Something hedonistic.  Something present-minded.  Indulge in your instant gratification.  Whether that means taking a new class (that adds nothing to your business life), planning a massive party, or going out and getting drunk with your closest compadres, just do it.

In the majority of male minds, it’s unfortunately easy to get stuck in the mindset of living for the future (being future-minded).  The overriding through process being, “If I just do this for a few more years, then I can be happy”.

Stop postponing the enjoyment in your life.

Live today.  And live well.

To your success,

Jordan

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