Reflection: It’s October, and the geese are marshaling along the river. In the pre-dawn of my morning walk, I hear them long before I see them. Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! You’d swear you were approaching a major traffic jam on a morning commute in a congested city anywhere in the world.
Until, that is, the birds take to the air. At the break of dawn, one by one the gaggles of geese leave the river heading for greener pastures and points south. As they lift from the water, wave after wave of syncopated wing beats sound just like a powerful ovation at the end of a fabulous performance.
It was one of the passing regulars along my walking route who brought it to my attention. In the midst of an especially long ovation, she greeted me with a cheery smile and this comment, “Nice of the geese to applaud our exercise program, don’t you think?”
This made me smile and wonder how often we take our own accomplishments for granted, and whether we might be missing other opportunities for small celebrations of things that are going right in our world.
You may find, that some days it’s tougher than others to keep on keeping on: to get out of bed in the morning, to tie on a pair of shoes and get some exercise, to tend to the relationships in your life, to deal with yet another set of challenges at work or at home. And yet most of us do what we need to do – day after day after day – often taking our own contributions for granted.
About a year ago, I started intentionally collecting and creating ideas for how we might do a stronger, more consistent job of celebrating some of our own success. And today, I’m delighted to announce (cue the geese) the launch of a brand new booklet called, Take A Bow – 67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success, And Keep Your Spirits High. You can read more about it in the Resource Of The Week section below.
Action: To help you focus on more of your successes, here is a sampler of three great ways to Take A Bow today.
- Catch yourself doing something right. Notice it. Acknowledge it. Own it. Don’t be so vigilant in catching your flops that you become negligent in noting your feats.
- Find the upside in one of your classic quirks. Do you crack puns, whistle tunes, or spew trivia? Name a quirk of yours. Own it. Find a way to appreciate it as a unique feature of who you are.
- Admire the fruits of your labor. Put yourself in a position to see firsthand the value of your work—especially if you feel like a cog in a big machine. Take a moment at the frontline to see how others truly benefit from the contributions you make.
Whatever ways you choose to pause for applause, I’m pretty sure the geese will be clapping up a storm!
Quote Of The Week: “Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.” – Veronica A. Shoffstall
Resource Of The Week: The Take A Bow booklet offers simple, doable ways for people to feel better about who they are and what they do. As more people appreciate themselves and their contributions, everybody wins.
For details, sample pages, pricing, online orders, and quantity discount info see the Pause Shop listing for Take A Bow.
This second link will give lead you to a faxable order form and also a helpful list that suggests 12 ways to put this booklet to work in your organization.
Readers Write: Pause reader, Cheryl W, offers this suggestion for adding a positive tone to everyday exchanges.
“You know the scene. You meet someone in the workplace, on the street, or at the store, and they ask, “How are you today?” I usually reply, “Excellent! And you?”
I am always amazed at the responses I get: “Excellent, really? Wow, good for you! Hard to compete with that! What makes you so happy? Sure wish I could say the same!” Those who know me well will often say: “Still? Glad to hear it! Me, too!”
It’s not that I always have good days. Far from it! And I don’t ALWAYS say I am excellent. But I do try to keep my frame of mind in perspective, and share a genuine response. I’m doing my best to start an Excellent Revolution.”
Tags: appreciation, attitude, burnout, delight, encouragement, inspiration, motivation, nature, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, recognition, Saskatoon, speaker, stress