In my Leader’s Edge Mastermind group, and in my weekly team meeting, I always ask, ‘What are you celebrating this week?’ As Boundless Leaders, we are constantly stretching towards new horizons, and it’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come. It’s the key to building a strong centre that allows the ongoing exploration into the unknown.
Invariably it is a bit of a struggle to find something ‘noteworthy’ to list on the celebrations ledger. We are so locked in to the idea that celebration needs a significant achievement to warrant notice. And so we drag ourselves from week to week, without stopping to take a breath. It’s only when we reach a target that we might experience a passing moment of euphoria, then it’s back to the grindstone.
I think we can do celebration better.
While watching my friends get married in Sri Lanka, the bride from Australia, the groom from Sri Lanka, and the mingling of two cultures, I felt the simple joy of celebrating rites of passage. Nothing ‘achieved’ - just an acknowledgement of life and all its promise and delight of what we can experience together. There was food and dancing and laughter and fun. Wonderful!
In the professional world, we celebrate milestones or achievement with awards, certificates, public acclaim, and rituals. It can be a long time before we reach particular goals and targets. It’s seven years before we get long-service leave! The celebration is momentary, then it’s back to work.
Life is fleeting, like a breeze that rustles the leaves. If we don’t notice, it slips past and is gone forever.
I don’t think we need to wait just for the weddings, or for the awards, or for the targets to be achieved in order to celebrate.
When we climb mountains, the best part is the stopping. It’s not the upward look at how far we have to go that inspires, it’s the pause to look back on how far we’ve come.
It’s the pause that matters.
It’s the pause that allows meaning.
It’s the pause that sweetens the moment.
If we fill that pause with appreciation, we enrich the moment with opulent joy!
A pause with appreciation is the best way to celebrate.
When people ask me how I will celebrate particular milestones in my work, like publishing a book, launching a new program, or hosting an event, I don't need to buy anything or go out to dinner, or have a party. For me, celebrating is the moment, the pause, when I savour all that is, all that I have become, all that has been, all that might be. This is a sweet elixir!
Appreciation in the pause allows us to see life as a sumptuous banquet - every day! From appreciation of the remarkable spirit of human cooperation that allows us to build civilizations, to the astounding innovations we have created that enables easy international travel, to the amazing variety of flavours in food, to the universal human language of a beautiful simple smile.
There is richness and luxury available to us in every moment. Appreciation in the pause is the Boundless Leader’s tool for endless joy.
p.s. Invest in yourself and your leadership skills at the Leadership Retreat in Tasmania Nov 2-5. I would love to take you to the edge and see what is possible. Details here.