There are many things to celebrate about each other and our lives.  Did you know that you can look up any day on the calendar and find what holiday is happening that day?  Recently I was told that June 29th is “Hug Holiday”.  I looked on one website that told me that today is Sewing Machine Day and that a few days from now will be National Juggling Day!  In every culture, nation, and religion there are special times set aside to celebrate life or some significant event. We generally refer to these special times as holidays. Have you ever wondered why people get so excited about holidays? Think for a moment about the role they play.

Emotionally, holidays feel like a reward. Instead of working, those days are used for enjoyable activities like getting together with friends or family, having exceptional meals, or going on a vacation. It’s like being rewarded for all your hard work.

It’s a fact that everyone likes to be rewarded for their accomplishments. In fact, almost without exception our efforts are motivated by the prospect of some kind of reward.  Some rewards have material value while others have emotional value. Most people go to work primarily for the material reward that comes in the form of a paycheck. Others, a happy minority, love what they do so much that the monetary reward is secondary to the feelings of accomplishment they experience.

For the most part, holidays are set by someone else. What if we were to get in the habit of rewarding ourselves for, and celebrating our personal accomplishments?  I am sure that you have experienced some forward progress in your personal growth and development recently. Maybe you overcame some personal obstacle, or experienced a personal breakthrough of some kind. Perhaps you are making progress on a personal or professional goal.  Any time we succeed in elevating the quality of our life in some way, celebration is in order. You see, celebrating is one of the ways we give ourselves approval. Whenever you find yourself reflecting on your accomplishments, it’s time to stop and celebrate life.

Celebrating is an effective way to anchor your efforts in positive emotions. More approval brings increased motivation to continue taking action. Increased action creates even more reasons for giving “YOU” approval. It’s a beautiful arrangement!

Without a built-in delivery system for receiving approval, motivation begins to fade. By celebrating our personal progress we are providing the approval needed to stay motivated.

Personal development is a never-ending journey that pays giant dividends. Approval is the oil that keeps the whole process running smooth. So don’t wait for someone else to schedule a holiday, find your own ways to celebrate life, blessings, and accomplishments.

Celebrate Sewing Machine Day with a friend by making a pillow or teach yourself to juggle by watching a “how to” video on National Juggling Day.  Most of all don’t forget to hug someone on “Hug Holiday” – you will be very glad that you did!

~Karen Gibbons, Director of Programs