On the importance of Celebration

Happy New Year everyone !

Yesterday, I joined a group of beautiful Souls lead by Bob Russo for a bi-monthly online gathering. As we started, Bob said:

“Congratulations everyone for having been so far in Life.”

I paused for a moment, and chuckled inwardly: I remembered that life is a Game ! (I tend to forget about it, it’s so easy to be serious about something as big and amazing and unpredictable as Life !)

One of the big lessons I learned from last year is the importance of Celebration !

I had a call with one of my coaches, Aidan Lazzarotto, and I commented on the fact that he had many diplomas hanging on his wall. I had noticed that with other coaches, that they have their certifications hanging on walls.

Aidan said something I’ll never forget:

“I celebrate everything.”

It struck me like a ton of bricks:

I didn’t.

I couldn’t see my accomplishments, because for me it all seemed “normal.”

I graduated from one of France’s top Business Schools, but that seemed “normal”. No need to remember that only 4% of applicants get selected to enter the first year…

It seemed so “normal”, that when my parents asked if they could visit for graduation, I said it was not really worth it. I saw the graduation ceremony as a formality. Celebration wasn’t really part of my vocabulary. All my friends had their family with them for this special moment, and I was sitting there as if I was having a regular lunch at the cafeteria.

Do you come from a family of high achievers?

If you think you don’t, think twice… I didn’t believe it at first either.

My family is just “normal”, right?:

Both of my parents have PhDs, have written books and loads of articles, have taught in university including in the #1 university in Thailand.

My grandfather on my mom’s side was a pioneer in geology in South Africa, and my grandmother raised 4 kids on her own while at the same time being a secretary.

On my father’s side: my grandfather was a top physics professor and my grandmother a pioneering embryology professor working with some of the top scientists in her field.

That gave me an unconscious programming that all I was doing was “normal” or “the least I can do.”

I had to learn to celebrate.

I took the step to pull out my Business School diploma, frame it, and hang it on my wall.

It was also a step for me to frame my coaching diploma from Integral Coaching Canada, one of the top coaching schools out there with high and rigorous standards, and hang it on the wall too:

You have achieved much more than you think…

It was also a fun opportunity to look into my “diplomas” file, and notice the certifications I have gathered over the years:

  • A Karate brown belt,
  • A Sailing certificate
  • The PADI Advanced Open Water scuba diving certification
  • A Self-defense certification
  • A Crisis negotiation certification
  • A French Army military training certification
  • A Rifle shooting certification
  • A First Aid certification
  • Maybe a few others…

I didn’t hang all these on the wall, as they don’t seem as relevant to me today, and most importantly: I like space on my walls.

But all these experiences contributed to who I am today and how I can serve and shine in the world.

What do you need to celebrate?

What certifications/diplomas/accomplishments could it be meaningful to materialize and display for you to remember?

As we enter the new year, it’s great to make plans, resolutions, and transform our dreams into actual projects. But have you taken the time to celebrate last year’s successes?

What if you celebrated your failures?

“Oh boy, the way I bombed this experience !”

“Wow, if I had known what I would get myself into… I’m glad I learned from this one !”

“I didn’t think that this rejection would be so easy to handle ! Cheers to that !”

“Man, I’m so glad I failed at this ; this was really not for me, I’m so glad it ended so quickly. I certainly did not want to get back on that horse !”

Fail quickly & celebrate.

When you lead a team: organize celebrations for them.

Have them celebrate victories…

An organization I worked with used to have a mini celebration for each new country they did a training in. The director would gather the team in the hallway, offer everyone a glass of champagne, and place a pin on a map on the wall of the main hallway, with a few kind words of appreciation.

… and failures !

I met a man who’s wife is a trainer who uses unorthodox methods to boost the morale, culture and team spirit in organizations. He told me about a game that she uses with the teams she trains:

The team have a ball and they have to pass it to each other, counting the number of passes they make. Every time someone drops the ball, the count resets at 0. Yet, the rule of the game is that each time the ball hits the ground or somebody misses, everybody has to cheer up and give a round of applause.

After a couple of rounds, the energy and team spirit is so high that it doesn’t matter whether the team is winning or not, they are in for the long run anyways and nothing can defeat the Team Spirit.

What was your biggest insight from reading this article?

What will you do about it?

You know what you have to do now:

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