“You will achieve the things you celebrate.”

My wife read this quote to me a couple years ago.  Unfortunately neither one of us can remember who said it.  Yet it has become a phrase that I revisit weekly, if not daily.  I am regularly asking myself how I can spend more time celebrating things in my life.

This principle is so true as to be almost lost in its simplicity.  It is such a basic truth that experts tell us it is the preferred way to train dogs.  As attractive and cathartic as a rolled up newspaper and a raised voice may be in response to your pet’s bad behavior, they will learn faster (and easier) if we praise them when they act as we have instructed.  Positive affirmation always trumps negative reinforcement.  This is the case with dogs and is overwhelmingly true when applied to human interactions.

I think of my kids.  I can choose to expend lots of energy feeling frustrated by their poor choices, and then take that frustration out on them.  Or I can recognize the many positive steps they’ve made and choose to celebrate them.  It is refreshing and humbling when I decide to go with the latter.  Celebrating their small steps forward honors them, disarms me and lays a solid foundation for future conversations.

I could go on and give examples where this principle has worked in my marriage, at work, with my neighbors and so on.  Rather than do that, I want to hear from you.  Leave a comment and share how celebrating a moment has led to greater achievement or deepening relationship.

. . .but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found! Luke 15:32 MSG

Joel Thomas

One comment

  1. Well said. As to how to celebrate, often we miss the best opportunities by responding immediately instead of waiting to do something big. One of the best celebrations is a hug and the words, “I love you and I am proud of you.”

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