YOU ARE NOT CELEBRATING ENOUGH

It is amazing where inspiration can come from. In the course of my 20+ years in the field of self-improvement, I have filmed at least 3 YouTube videos at cemeteries, wrote about eulogies countless times and funerals just as many. Perhaps that is because at no time is the value of life more apparent then at the moment of death. When we witness the loss of someone else’s life, it really causes us to reflect on our own. It is my sincere goal that through these posts as well as my other mediums, you may not wait until that moment to look inward.

Another source of inspiration was delivered to me the other day at my day job. While working industriously near the radio at the Post Office, a commercial came on for a funeral service. It discussed the unique service they had put together for a lady who was into riding her motorcycle. It was a touching story and a good use of marketing dollars. It ended by promising they can work with whatever your ‘celebration of life’ may be.

A few hours later as I continued my work a thought of that phrase celebration of life. I have always preferred that over the word funeral or memorial service. This may be just a personal preference, but I feel it puts the focus on where it should be, on the person’s life and not on their passing. To me this tends to make it just a little bit easier on everyone affected by their loss. Yes, you are still going to mourn, as you should, but there are more reflections on joyous memories and fun times spent with that person. During the eulogy there is one, if not many, people who stand up to share what they loved about the person and what great things sharing life with them brought. That is how you celebrate!

That made me wonder, why do we save such celebrating for a person’s farewell? Certainly, it would be nice to have such events happen while we are here to hear them and enjoy them? Who wouldn’t want people to stand up and tell everyone the joy your life has brought them at…a birthday or family reunion. There are many times when people gather together to celebrate all kinds of things. I feel it would bring a lot more to the celebration if we spend a little more thought, effort and diligence on what we are celebrating.

I am actually going to take this one step further. I am going to advocate not waiting for a special event to do this. First, because if you invite people to your birthday party and call it a ‘celebration of life’ there may be some rather alarming confusion. Most importantly, however, because this is a habit we should all develop. Every morning we wake up and put our feet on the floor we should be celebrating life. After all, we are alive. We have many opportunities to bring and receive joy and love.

How do we begin to make celebration of life a part of our lives on a regular basis? I have two ideas, but I would love to hear yours as well. My first idea is to take some time each day to celebrate life. It can be as little as 15 minutes to as long as you desire. Personally, I think first thing in the morning would be the best time to do this. It would put you in a great mood to start the day! If everyday seems too unrealistic for you, why not picking one day a week to celebrate life? During the given time you have selected, either once a day or once a week, focus on things such as what makes you happy and what you have to be grateful for. Celebrate them. Feel grateful, feel happy and celebrate. There are no rules as to how you celebrate life, just do so consciously. Pretty soon it will become a part of your life.

LET US CELEBRATE EACH OTHER

Here is an idea that could both make your life one continuous party (minus the hangovers) as well as cause you to be a lot more popular with your friends and strengthen your relationships. Ready to hear the idea?

Before we get to what this amazing and fun idea is, I should warn you of the side effects that is comes with. First, it will help you realize your goals a lot quicker. Second whenever you reach a goal, or something good happens to you suddenly you will find yourself surrounded by a lot more people celebrating with you. Finally, even when times are dark or challenging you will find you have a lot more cheerleaders and encouragers. Plus, there will still be things to celebrate when life is throwing you a curve ball.

Here is the simple thing we can do that can accomplish all of this. We can learn to celebrate good that comes to as many as others as we can. Once you start this you will be amazed at what happens. First, when you genuinely are as happy for the success of others as you are for your own people pick up on that. Have you ever had something really amazing happen to you and couldn’t wait to share it with someone and when you do they really seem not to care? It is a bit of downer isn’t it? The next time that you get a piece of good fortune you are not likely to share it with that person. Now on the opposite side of things when you have friends who take pride in your accomplishments, as we should it makes everything more amazing and makes you feel good about sharing with those people.

So we can see how it helps the person celebrating but what about those celebrating for someone else? First of all you notice that people celebrate different things. If you have a friend who just got out of the hospital after a trying ordeal that is worth celebrating. It may even cause you to take a look at things you may not be celebrating in your own life. Like your health or the fact you did not have to be in the hospital. Also celebrating feels good, whether it is you or another person. So it is a great way to add additional joy into your life. Also having pride in your friends accomplishments will encourage them to have pride in yours. If your friend Johnny celebrated with you when you finally stopped smoking and was genuinely happy for you and then Johnny calls you up to tell you he has finally met his weight loss goals wouldn’t you want to return the favor? Same with people who are struggling. If you have somebody sticking by your side when the going gets tough, you are certainly going to be there for them when they need it.

As you can see doing this can really go a long way to cementing good relationships. It can also help you accomplish your goals and give you more to celebrate. How? By activating a part of your brain called the reticulating activating system or RAS. Have you ever bought a particular outfit and then seen the outfit everywhere? Let me ask you did everyone just buy the outfit the same time you did? Of course not. Then what happened? The outfit was always there, but now that you bought it your brain recognized it as something worth noting. The same thing happens when we start celebrating things. Your brain then begins to look for, and here is the real bonus, create things worth celebrating. A good way to begin this is by asking yourself a question I learned from Michael Beckwith. Ask yourself every morning “What can I celebrate today?”. Eventually you will see a bit of good news, or your friend will share some or something will happen to you worth celebrating. Plus you will begin to feel like everyday is a party. This is actually how life should feel.

So start celebrating with me today! Feel free to share something you are celebrating for yourself or someone else in the comments below!

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION

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I was reading a book by Michael Beckwith in which he encourages us to ask ourselves one question everyday.  I encourage all of us to look for things to celebrate this weekend.  The smile from a stranger, the touch of a loved one and everything in between. There is always something worth celebrating. It could be your morning cup of coffee or making it through a tough day.  So take some time to celebrate and share some joy this weekend!