Do you celebrate? 

This was a question posed to an arena full of entrepreneurs by Jack Welch. The GE CEO asked two thousand young entrepreneurs:

How many of you have, during the past few months, recognized a victory? Maybe you stopped on the way home to pick up a special bottle of wine. You took it home and toasted to your achievement. Show of hands: who here has done that?  

No (or few) hands were raised. 

That's pathetic. You're living the best lives known to this world. You need to celebrate your good fortune.

He raised a good question.

How Do You Celebrate?
When was the last time you celebrated a victory?

It's important. It's not self-indulgent. It's an important recognition of one's good fortune.

Yesterday, my Vistage chair, Jean Lauterbach offered a reflection on the ups and downs of life: "Celebrate when things are good. That's the time to celebrate. Because they won't always be that way."

I'm Celebrating Right Now.
Yesterday was a big day. Two very nice moments, recognizing my work. I hope you don't mind if I share the news here. (If you do, I'm wondering whether you might like something other than Net Cotton Content. How about Zen Habits? It's the only blog I subscribe to.)

Here's what happened yesterday:

  • A certification. I graduated from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, earning a GPCC™ (Gestalt Professional Coach Certification). The designation will allow some corporations to bring me aboard as an executive coach. Six months of study and learning! The graduation ceremony was a 45-minute phone call from Ann Carr, a faculty member, who assessed my work (and asked many questions about it). The phone call was delightful; the milestone, a relief. I'm still processing what it feels like to reach this moment.
  • Artie with Jean Lauterbach

    Jean Lauterbach, my VCG Chair

    An award. This one came out of the blue. At yesterday's meeting of my Vistage Chair Group, Jean Lauterbach gave me a trophy that says "Vistage Innovation Award." It seems that someone (I don't know who) has decided that I am the "speaker who best embodies, utilizes, focuses and inspires Vistage members to new ways of thinking, being and running their businesses and lives.

    Artie with Rob Knauer

    Rob Knauer, regional executive

    This winner is on the cutting edge of his or her industry. It is given to the speaker who is best recognized for his or her ability to inspire innovation in the lives of Vistage members."

The first one (Gestalt graduation) was fully expected, firmly scheduled. The speaking award was a complete surprise. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I didn't know what to say. So — levering the learning at Gestalt — I simply said how I felt. I felt completely surprised. Very touched. Grateful.

How Will I Celebrate
I think I will live this weekend as planned. It's a great weekend. So I'm going to live it and consider — as the weekend progresses — that each activity is a celebration. The activities:

  • Last night, Alisa and I kindled Shabbat candles. Rainbow trout. Homemade bread. Admired our son. Reserved a table for dinner with our daughter. Read. Early to bed. Very nice. Heaven.
  • This morning, I'll join my minyan. Daven. Re-ground.
  • No plan for this evening. Maybe a hamburger with my beloved? A movie at the Drexel. Read. Early to bed. Very nice. Heaven.
  • Some dandelion hunting. We are at the point where the hundreds have become the few. During the past three weeks, I think I've pulled 1,000 dandelions from our small yard.
  • Getting ready for Vistage meeting week. My groups meet Monday through Thursday. A fabulous speaker, Jim Alampi, is speaking to the business owner and key executive groups. I need to make sure we are ready for him. And for each other.
  • Write thank you notes. That's an essential part of any celebration, no?
  • A pilates lesson.
  • Two 121 (one-to-one) coaching meetings with a CEO and a key executive. My workweek starts Sunday morning.
  • Dinner Sunday night with beloved friends.
  • Writing this post. As an act of celebration.

The Roots of Celebration…
…are in gratitude. I am among the luckiest people you know. I feel it deeply. 

I'm celebrating.

What can you celebrate today?