Every victory deserves a celebration.
When you summon up the courage to start something new, when you’re strong enough to follow through, when you finally secure that win, you need a moment to stand back and acknowledge your moment of success (however long or brief it may be).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we don’t celebrate ourselves as much as we should. It seems as our country has been locked in perpetual “mourning” mode. Collectively, we seem to be getting very good at being shocked, saddened, and disappointed on a daily basis. We can grieve together very effectively, and we can erect tombstones for the dead and build memorials for tragedies faster than we can build new highways.
But I wonder if we need a lively change of pace?
We’ve been so anxiety-ridden, worried, and panicked for so long that maybe we need a more celebratory mood to break our addiction to our modern-day, shock-and-awe culture?
Perhaps we should start erecting “happy memorials” for our victories? Maybe we should start erecting “jovial tombstones” for the living? (Next to every American, we can place a stone slab that can read something like: “Here sits Judy. She strives every day to make her dream come true, and she’s sticking it to her ex-boyfriend by dating her new boyfriend Roger, who, unlike her ex, loves her for her imperfections, not in spite of them. Born October 25, 1986, but she first started living on January 23rd, 2014.“)
Crazy, I know. But maybe we need something that radical to get us out of our current funk.
The Need for More Champagne
I was having brunch with my friend, K, the other day and she told me that, when she was growing up, her father would always say:
“Whenever you have a victory, make sure there’s champagne. That way, the next time there’s a victory, they’ll know to expect champagne.”
It such a simple notion, but my friend’s father is right: symbols are very important to people. People need physical markers that can serve as “evidence” for the course their lives are currently taking. If people don’t have such “flag posts,” it’s as if their life is not being fully acknowledged.
Progress is hard to measure in the abstract. People need something tangible to hold on to that will let them know–without a doubt–that they’ve won. Sometimes, people need something to touch, taste, and feel as warm and bubbly in their stomach in order to process the fact that they are champions.
That’s why it’s so important to have champagne at your victory party. You need to have something physical that will tell you that you’ve won. If you don’t have that physical symbol, you might remain unconvinced of your victory and, therefore, you may be discouraged from achieving your next goal.
Maybe the reason you keep slogging through your work is because you know champagne will not be served at your victory party. Maybe your problem is not that you need to work harder, maybe your problem is that you need more champagne.
A great thing to ask yourself today is:
“Have I been forgetting to serve myself champagne every time I accomplish an important goal?”
It’s important to celebrate yourself.
I know: sometimes it’s hard to bask in the glow of your own success when you know others around you are struggling with their failure, but remember that their time to succeed will come soon enough.
You should also recall that you’ve struggled and worked hard enough to deserve this great moment of celebration. So don’t rob yourself of it, even if others openly despise your success.
Surprisingly, sometimes success invites just as much loathing and criticism from others as losing does. You have to remember to be your own cheerleader in those moments, then, when you are victorious and others despise your victory. It is human nature to want what others have, so you cannot blame someone for their innate desire to want to “rain on your parade.” What you should never do is rain on your own parade. It is up to you to throw a parade worthy of your great victory. Never cancel a parade you deserve just because others choose not to attend. On the contrary, throw the biggest parade imaginable, just for you, just to show them they can’t stain your greatness.
I am learning that one of the worst betrayals you can commit against yourself is not celebrating yourself. By not celebrating your victory, it is like you are purposely making your victory “unreal.” It’s like you are covering up your victory, denying it, repressing it, and putting it in a closet under lock and key as if it is something to be ashamed of.
What a terrible message you’re sending yourself: by denying your own celebration, you’re indirectly telling yourself that success is something to be feared, neglected, pushed away, ignored, and demeaned. Why would you ever be encouraged to succeed ever again, then, if your success is always treated with such negativity and indifference–by yourself, no less?
Yes: let us mourn when the day calls for mourning; but let us collectively celebrate when the day calls for a celebration.
Let us make a promise to ourselves that there’ll always be champagne at the victory party so that, the next time we are victorious, we know we can look forward to the champagne.
much bubbly love,
Today’s Courage Exercise
Serve yourself a glass of champagne and celebrate your victory.
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