Celebrate All Life’s W’s, Whether Big or Small
Imagine you just watched your favorite sports team win a championship or witnessed a Golden Buzzer performance of a lifetime on The Voice. Wouldn’t it be weird as hell if they didn’t celebrate that accomplishment?
Now, think of this on a smaller scale—like getting a small $.50 raise or landing your first online sale. Isn’t that something worth recognizing too?
You’d think that having any type of win, whether small or big, would be cause for some type of celebration.
However, when you’re wired like I am, a lot of these small wins gets shoved to the side because there are bigger mountains to climb.
If you listened to last week’s part one of this two-part episode series, you know the blessing and the curse that comes with being a mountain climber.
It’s great to constantly chase becoming the best version of yourself, but at the same time, you can’t lose sight of life in between the mountains.
Part two of this Climbing Mountains & Popping Bottles series is all about celebrating W’s (wins), no matter how big or small they are.
The L’s From Not Acknowledging W’s
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but back in April 2016, I had a life-changing speaking opportunity at Creative South Conference.
It was the second talk I had ever given—opening for a Draplin keynote in front of a packed Springer Opera House of around 800 creative souls.
This was by far the biggest thing I’ve ever done. I came prepared and absolutely crushed it, which resulted in an overwhelming standing ovation.
I proceeded to go backstage, take a shot of Jameson to calm my nerves, then party the last night away.
I’m bringing this up because this talk exploded my creative career —yet I can barely remember it.
My biggest regret is failing to make time to be alone and reflect on it. Instead, I spent the next day hungover on my flight home working on an online presentation I was giving later that week.
While my full talk is on my YouTube Channel, I’ve still never been able to fully recreate that moment to soak up and appreciate.
Avoiding the L’s
This is the driving catalyst for why I’m writing this today.
The message I’m trying to hammer in your head? You gotta pop bottles and acknowledge when good shit happens in your life.
From my experience, when you constantly ignore when things go right in your life, you make it easier to get wrapped up in negativity when taking an L (loss).
Not acknowledging wins:
- leads to burnout because nothing is ever good enough
- increases the odds of falling victim to comparison
- strengthens the inner critic’s voice
Let’s pivot into how we can avoid these atrocious, negative scenarios with two simple yet effective action steps.
2 Ways to Celebrate W’s
Action Step #1: Acknowledge Them (duh)
This is pretty self-explanatory, and I assume you saw this coming.
Popping bottles is just a fancy metaphor for celebrating wins. Celebrating wins is just a more extravagant word for acknowledging the good things in your life.
If you’re not going to figuratively or literally pop bottles to celebrate, the least you could do is acknowledge those good things.
From now on, it doesn’t matter if I crush another speaking gig, celebrate a podcast download milestone, or pay off a small debt, all scenarios get acknowledged and/or celebrated by some form of:
- ordering pizza or having a glass of wine with my wife (not so much these days with my low carb, intermittent fasting lifestyle)
- doing a stupid ass little dance with my son Little Scotty the Third
- writing down at least one thing I’m grateful for each day in my Creative Grind planner
- sharing the win with my family in The Perspective-Collective Private Facebook Group
- texting my parents/best friends or posting it in my Slack Mastermind Group
- giving myself the day off to reflect or unplug (need to implement this one more)
Yes, all of these are minor things and most don’t require any form of blowing cheddar.
More importantly, they allow me to press pause, appreciate the moment, and celebrate with other people.
Acknowledging W’s helps you time stamp these milestones in your noggin, so you can easily go back and relive that moment.
THE CHALLENGE: Recognize your top win of the day by using one of my tactics or coming up with your own. Bonus points for taking a screenshot and sharing with me on your Instagram Stories.
Action Step #2. Hoard Your Victories
This tactic has been a lifesaver for me!
Some brief context: around the end of 2017, I was starting to slip into a depressed funk.
People were posting their Instagram Top 9’s, and it felt like everyone:
- created doper work than I did
- accomplished bigger goals than I did
- made more money than I did
- lived a bigger, more perfect life than I did
The inner critic was beating me down and convincing me that I was a worthless turd.
The thing that snapped me back to reality was a little something I started doing at the beginning of February that year called Hoarding My Victories.
I had recently pulled myself out of another depressed funk, which you can hear all about back in episode 25: Dealing With Creative Funks & Feeling Invisible. I don’t know what inspired me to do this, but I started a little running tasklist in my Wunderlist App called Good Things in 2017.
I wrote any type of positive thing that happened to me in this list.
Most of my accomplishments were small like speaking to my mom’s small women’s group on “How to be Resourceful & Exercise At Home When You’re Over the Age of 50.”
Other things I listed were huge—like selling out 400 Deneen Pottery UFO Cat mugs in under 25 minutes.
Looking back on this list of accomplishments snapped me out of my funk.
Hoarding my victories showed me that I did a lot of cool shit that year I should be proud of. It also reminded me I’m running my own race at my own pace like as mentioned back in episode 132.
I’ve since revisited and marked wins from 2016 to and kept this hoarding momentum going in 2018 and 2019.
Be a Wannabe Champagne Papi
To summarize this series, life is short. Be ambitious, never settle, and squeeze as much juice out of your limited existence as you can.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to be a wannabe Champagne Papi and pop a bottle or two in between climbing those mountains.
Celebrate and hoard those W’s. A win’s a win and deserves to be acknowledged.
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