“Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything: This day is holy to God. Don’t feel bad. The joy of GOD is your strength!”
Nehemiah 8:10 (The Message)
Is this an American thing or just a human thing?
- A high school senior is about to graduate. The main question everyone asks her is, “So what are you going to do next?”
- A young man and woman have been dating a year. Their friends want to know, “When are you going to get married?”
- They get married. “When are you going to have a baby?”
- They have a baby. “When are you going to have another baby?”
On and on.
When Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, debuted at #2 on the best-seller’s list, the first reaction to her from a close friend was, “I bet next week you’ll be #1!”
But instead of being encouraged by that, Gretchen was deflated.
Because we want to celebrate our wins before we move on the next competition.
It’s discouraging to finally reach a goal, only to learn that the bar is still higher. That what you were reaching for is no longer enough. That there’s more to do.
And, yes, there is always more to do.
But we don’t have to do it right away.
Let’s celebrate this victory first. Linger here for a moment. Hit pause before you “encourage” someone to move on to the next goal, even if you intend it as motivation.
Practice contentment by enjoying today’s grace.
The fruit of victory is celebration and contentment. Take a break before you push forward again. Stop raising the bar prematurely.
Gretchen’s book did reach #1 the next week. But what if it hadn’t? Wasn’t it enough to be any number on the best seller’s list?
If the high school graduate doesn’t choose college, or the young couple breaks up, or the married couple delays babyhood, can’t we still celebrate with them their graduation, their courtship, their wedding—when each happens naturally?
Yes, keep standards high. Keep goals in sight.
But celebrate THIS win first.
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Do you “raise the bar” too quickly? How do you celebrate a win in your family? Please share in the comments.
Listen to Grethen Rubin talk about “Raising the Bar” on her podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. The segment begins around 18:35 and ends around 24:55.
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