Friday, January 29, 2010

Watch Where You Point That Bottle of Champagne!

The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the #1-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in men’s basketball this week. SC fans rushed the court in jubilation and the school was fined $25,000 by the Southeastern Conference for the celebration. (Bunch of stuffed-shirt killjoys, but that’s another blog.)

Watching the kids rush the court got me thinking about celebrating big events. I love the celebration at the end of the Super Bowl, or the last hole at the Masters, or the running of the Kentucky Derby, and the only reason I watch game 7 of the NBA Finals or the World Series is to see the celebration when the championships are decided.

We are conditioned to think that the culmination of a great effort or the completion of a big event should be accompanied by paper flying, loud screaming, horns honking and back slapping. I’m not against any of those activities. In fact, I’m a paper throwing, yelling, honking, slapping maniac depending on the celebration.

However, sometimes there is no big explosion of joy, just a quiet feeling of accomplishment. No champagne, no couches burning, no one else but you. Those celebrations can be the best.

The key is to reward yourself for an accomplishment. Life isn’t supposed to be about “slay this dragon, bring on the next one.” If you live life without rewards it gets to be a day-to-day slog.

Take time—at least a few moments—to savor an accomplishment before moving on to the next challenge, the next thought. The expectation of rewards, even small ones, can be wonderfully motivating.

Yesterday a number of major accomplishments came together for me. So, last night I stood outside, alone in the cold with a large cigar, a little rum, some tunes, and a beautiful moon that looked like it could be the dot at the bottom of life’s exclamation mark.

It had been a good day.

Celebrate something this weekend. See you Monday.

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