Take a minute. Think about the success you have had in your professional or personal life in the past one month.
It can be anything. You got a new job, your project received appreciation from the client, you won the lottery, you proposed to that person you have had a crush for long, your kid secured full marks in Maths, you repaired the lawn mower or maybe you just made the best toast you have ever made.
Do you define them as success?
No? You should.
Allow me to explain.
Couple of days back I had a General Team Meeting with the whole of the Alumni and External Relations team of Monash Arts. After the initial pleasantries and self-introduction, Amy, the Senior Manager for the whole team asked us all to take a minute and think about the professional/personal successes we have had over the past couple of months.
I started off with my list of things which made me happy and proud over the past few weeks. And as we went around the table, I noticed a couple of things.
One. In a matter of minutes, the vibe of the entire room changed from happy to super happy.
Two. Every single person was glowing when they were sharing their successes. While one person said she was very excited with the present team she was working with, someone else was happy about laying the foundation for their new home. Another person’s success story was that her son changed schools and yet another person felt that having successfully ‘cooked’ toast for 3 consecutive days was her biggest achievement yet.
Three. Every person defined success in a different way. For some it was a professional achievement while for some it was a personal attainment and for some others it was something just as simple as things falling into place.
Four. Every time someone shared their success story, the whole room celebrated with them. There was no comparative analysis of whose success was bigger or better than the other. If winning a lottery of $2 Million Dollars gives you the same happiness quotient as fixing the bathroom door knob gives to me, it’s all defined under the same umbrella of success.
So what did I learn from this? That it is important to celebrate success. Because not only does it change our physiology but also strengthens our psychology.
The more happy we try to be about our successes and achievements, the happier our body pushes us to be. And if you don’t trust me on that, just do some research on how Dopamine works in our body. It gets released every time we achieve or anticipate something and since it makes us feel good, the body pushes to release more of it.
I also learnt that the support network we have out there is more positive than we deem it to be. Just try talking about your success to like minded people and you’ll realize that they actually join you in celebrating your success. It makes them genuinely happy. And it is that supportive happiness that would fuel your movement forth.
And it is at this stage that it becomes important to realize the kind of people you surround yourself with. If your immediate circle isn’t pushing you to your boundaries, isn’t vouching for your success or isn’t helping find pathways that would define success for you, you might need to step outside that circle and find a better 360 degree structure.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. But if you yourself do not celebrate your successes, no matter how small it might be, you might tend to always rely on external stimuli to inspire you. And believe me, it doesn’t work long term.
What was the longest period of ‘sustained inspiration’ you have had after watching an inspirational video? 10 minutes? An hour?
That, as you know very well, doesn’t work. To wake up daily and have an endless supply of inspiration juddering you up, you need to inspire yourself. It should come from within. And for that to happen, you should start celebrating all those little bits of success life throws towards you daily.