80. Simple and effective.

Why is it so important to celebrate success?

Perhaps this question can best be answered by recalling a conversation I had with a friend several months.

He was lamenting the fact many of us spend a great deal time harshly blaming ourselves when things do not go according to plan.

According to him, a history of failures can very quickly provide a filter of doubt through which we view possibilities for success when we are contemplating taking on new challenges.

He pointed out that many of us have adopted, and become adroit at practicing the habit of self-criticism and so ingrained is this habit that it feels quite normal to both expect, and then criticize, failure in our lives.

And the act of criticizing failure, which normally takes place after the failure has occurred, becomes so habituated within us that it severely erodes our own self-confidence and we sabotage our chances for success by taking a sense of impending doom into everything we do.

If it is true that “energy flows where attention goes” and we bring thoughts of imminent disaster into the pursuit of our goals then it stands to reason that by so doing, we are contributing to the flow of negative energy that ensures repeated failures in our lives.

He further explained that by doing this consistently, we are celebrating failure and the more failure we celebrate, the more failure we experience.

This epiphany came to my friend after “more than 50 attempts to quit smoking.” After several false starts and many relapses back to smoking, he approached each new attempt at quitting with the conviction that this too would fail.

And he never disappointed himself. His expectations were met each time and he continued to smoke year after year.

Finally an article in a magazine convinced him to try a new approach. He decided to celebrate each hour of success with a small act of kindness to himself – a coffee break, a snack or simply a reminder of his success.

At the end of each day the celebrations became bigger and after three or four days he began to experience an inkling of belief that this might be the time he quits for good.

After three weeks he knew he would not slip because the act of celebration had become so important to him that he knew he would jeopardize its continuation by lighting a cigarette.

More than 11 years have passed since his celebration of that first smoke-free 60 minutes and while the need for regular and consistent celebration no longer seems important, he has used The Habit of Celebrating Success to enrich many other areas of his life.

He is not only a devoted practitioner of The Habit of Celebrating Success, he also shares its importance with everyone he meets. He’s come to believe that small celebrations of small victories will lead to large celebrations of large ones and gigantic celebrations of gigantic ones.

To him, The Habit of Celebrating Success has become a no-brainer. He explains it this way: “it just feels so much better to celebrate your worth than to criticize your being.”

Wise words to live by.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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