Human beings have always had rituals to commemorate important communal events, major life events, and even the passage of time itself. Marking milestones in your personal development should be no different.
Making a “big deal” of your accomplishments helps to cement the significance of your success. As a species, we’re very focused on beginnings and endings, because they can be clearly delineated in the course of life.
Rites of passage take positive advantage of our beginning-ending obsession. It gives structure to the often-hazy “middle” areas of life, where everything gets drawn into the “white noise” of our everyday routines.
Bottom line: It’s not “self-centered” to occasionally give yourself a well-earned pat on the back.
Modern cultures can be quick to judge someone who celebrates themselves as being vain. This is a sad and paradoxical fact, and at odds with today’s public calls for tolerance and respect.
So forget the haters and congratulate yourself when you achieve a goal! This will provide you with encouragement to continue your journey and accomplish even more.
That said, here’s just a few ways you can celebrate yourself.
Your friends and family will have probably offered a lot of support while you were trying to make personal improvements. So, it makes sense to involve them in the jubilation when you’ve achieved something impressive.
So, throw a party! Don’t be afraid to arrange it yourself. Again, forget the inner critic that’s telling you you’re full of yourself. Besides, inviting those who believed in your pursuits is a great way to show your gratitude and give something back to them.
Cook them a meal, organize some entertainment, and make a speech to thank everyone for their support, and let them know how you plan to progress.
Tattoos aren’t for everyone, but some people use them to mark certain stages in their lives. They also use them to ensure they don’t forget about the past.
New to tattoos? It doesn’t hurt to contact a local artist and discuss the process. You can also check out sites like American Tattoo. In most instances, the artists will create designs based on your ideas, and offer lots of advice.
Getting inked is a big, permanent decision, so give it a good bit of thought and consider the meaning behind what you get. But it is a concrete way to give yourself a constant reminder of your success.
Etched in Stone
Some people like to have keepsakes, monuments, or some other external reminder of their deeds. Sure, you could get a watch or a necklace with an inscription, or even a personalized coffee mug.
But why not do something more permanent? Sites like Fundraising Brick (http://www.fundraisingbrick.com/) and others suggest that setting your progress in stone is the way to go. You can even use such a commemoration to simultaneously benefit a good cause.
One Path, Many Possibilities
Ultimately, only you truly understand the trials and triumphs of your journey. You have the one path of your life, but it can lead to many possibilities based on your choice as a free-willed being.
Take all the advice offered by those you care about into consideration, but always remember that final decisions are yours alone. When all is said and done, nothing is wrong with congratulating yourself from time to time. Incentives are what keep you focused and dedicated.
No matter how you decide to mark the stages in your personal development, I hope you continue to achieve your goals.
A version of this post was previously published on LiveTheHero.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Shutterstock