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 on an emotional level.
A break from the norm
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. Pausing to celebrate life feels like you are being rewarded for all your hard work.
It’s a fact that everyone likes to be rewarded for their efforts and accomplishments. Almost without exception effort is motivated by the prospect of some kind of reward. Taking time off from your normal routine to have fun and celebrate life fits into this “reward” category.
Rewards come in all shapes and sizes
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.
When we do something nice for someone we love, our reward may be as simple as a smile on their face. Making them feel good makes us happy, thus we are emotionally rewarded as well. This action-reward feedback loop is an intrinsic part of human nature and is closely related to the joy of giving and receiving.
Make your special times to celebrate life
For the most part, holidays are set by someone else. I’d like to propose a slightly different concept. I think that we should all get in the habit of rewarding ourselves for, and celebrating, our personal accomplishments.
No doubt, you have experienced some forward progress in your personal growth, or some other aspect of you life recently. Maybe you overcame some personal obstacle, or experienced a personal breakthrough of some kind. Perhaps you are making progress on an important personal or professional goal.
Why not celebrate that?
Any time we succeed in elevating the quality of our life in some way, celebration is in order. You see, stopping to celebrate life 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. Doing so will funnel massive amounts of approval into your neurological feedback loop.
When you celebrate life, you effectively anchor your efforts to positive emotions. More approval brings increased motivation to continue taking action. Increased action creates even more reasons for giving yourself approval and more opportunities for you to celebrate life. It’s a beautiful arrangement.
Feed the process
Without a built-in delivery system for receiving approval, motivation begins to fade. By seeing your personal progress as a reason to celebrate life you are providing the approval needed to stay motivated.
The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate ~Oprah Winfrey
Personal growth is a never-ending journey that pays giant dividends. Approval is the oil that keeps the whole process running smoothly. So, don’t wait for someone else to schedule a holiday for you, find your own times to celebrate life and your accomplishments. It’s a really powerful way to let yourself know how much you approve!
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