Rewards, Small Celebrations And Acknowledgments

It’s Friday and a long week finally came to and end. It was an extra large week, at least that’s how I felt it, because it seems to me this Monday was actually two weeks ago. A combination of more work than usual and some fatigue made me strive more than I was prepared to and I perceived time flowing slower.

As I segued into the weekend I took the time to reconnect with a friend I made in Valencia, and we chatted online for about an hour, each with its own glass of wine. As she was enjoying Tenerife, I was sharing a bit about Lisbon and just casually talked about what was new in each other lives.

That glass of wine felt very good. The whole hour spent together was good.

So after the conversation was over, I started to think a little bit about rewards, small celebrations and acknowledgments. They play such an important role, one that I often tend to overlook.

Small rewards may come in many forms. They may be just a glass of wine after a long week, or bigger, like a weekend escape, or getting that iPad you always wanted. I don’t think getting stuff and enjoying life is bad, on the contrary. I love traveling, and I greatly enjoy my tech gadgets (I don’t own many, but I enjoy the ones I have). It’s not the gadgets that are bad, or the traveling, it’s the attachment to them.

If I would buy a new iPad every year, for instance, then it won’t be a reward anymore. It would be a chore, an obligation, something that I have to force myself into, just to feel good about it. But if it comes as a reward, it’s organic, it just fills a gap, it closes a circle.

That’s why these things are important. Not only rewards, but also small celebrations. Going out to dinner, because you celebrate a big breakthrough at work. Or because you landed another client, or because you exercised 3 times a week, every week for the past two months, which, obviously, asks for a celebration.

Every small success, or, for lack of a better word, every relevant breakthrough, needs to be acknowledged. Just as difficulties must be assessed and overcome, every little step ahead must be appreciated.

Otherwise, there’s no balance. There’s only one dimension, one direction, one goal. Just striving.

And striving without rewards, small celebrations or acknowledgements is dumb.

Don’t be dumb.

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