“Mr. Van Meter! Oh my!”
Such was the response of my daughter’s friend when she saw my unrestrained celebratory dancing. This was followed by unrestrained loving laughter…. At least I think it was loving…, it was definitely laughter.
Let me say, first of all, it is DR. Van Meter, thank you very much. Not that I get my self-esteem from some title. Sure, I spent years and years of my life and mucho dinero working for that degree, but that’s ok. Having teenagers in your life can be a great way to remind you that all your accomplishments mean nothing, but that is another post for another time.
I should say that I was quite the dancer when I was a young man. It would be a complete lie, but I should say it anyway because if I lie to myself and then lie to you, I feel better. Besides, doesn’t a lie repeated loudly often enough become the truth?
Alright, I’m just kidding around here, but I digress.
Anyway, here I am, thinking I am dabbing with the best of the them, whipping, nay-naying, dongan style and really “getting down and getting funky.” And what do I get? Grief and heartache, grief and heartache. But it was all in fun.
We all laughed and had a good time at my expense, but I didn’t mind. Why, because we were celebrating. In this case, we were just celebrating life. You know, feeling a little goofy and cuttin’ loose.
Now, I’ve written before about celebrating as you go along. I guess I need to hear it again, because here I am writing about it again.
If you knew me, you would know that I love laughing, having a good time and relaxing. But if you really knew me, you would also know that I have a really hard time with actually doing it. As I mentioned in this post, that it can take me a couple of days on vacation before I can relax and leave work behind. And closely related to this is struggling with celebration.
I was on an interview recently where a caller mentioned that it was difficult for her to celebrate the successes of her team. They would work hard, overcome obstacles and pull off a successful event. The caller would, of course, congratulate and thank her team for the hard work and successful outcome, and she truly did appreciate it. And, she knew from leadership training that it was important to do so.
“But,” she said, “I’m just giving lip service to it. In my head I’m thinking, ‘Well that’s your job, why do I need to thank you for doing your job?, It’s what you get paid for.'” I totally resonate with that. These days, it seems we can’t tell people when they are failing at their job, but we had better give them accolades all the time or we will damage their self-esteem. But that turns everything inside out. we aren’t celebrating or giving accolades to raise self-esteem. We shouldn’t be doing it to create loyalty or because we “have to.”
We should be celebrating because it is good for our psyche, our souls and our business. When we let loose, break our restraints, and really celebrate, we release happy brain chemicals (serotonin, dopamin, endorphins, etc.) that boost our sense of happiness and well-being. Studies also indicate that it increases creativity, productivity and ingenuity.
So get out there and celebrate.
You’ll be glad you did.
Oh, and if you need help with this celebration thing, call or email Sherri at the number below and she will hook you up (with me…, for some help, not that other kind of hook up).