One of the most profound moments I've had was encountering a woman at a triathlon that I attended to cheer on a friend. The woman was alone and was cheering like there was no tomorrow. Not such an uncommon sight at a triathlon...but when I asked her who she was cheering for, I was amazed by her answer:
"Great! But who are you specifically here for?" I asked.
"No one. I don't know anyone here." She admitted.
What an awesome, selfless gesture, I thought to myself. To think, this woman marked her calendar for 5am on a Sunday to cheer for a bunch of strangers.
...And then I did what any rational person would do: I decided to join her. Together, we cheered on those athletes like our lives depended on it.
"You've got this!" I screamed. "One more mile!"
The power of our cheers was overwhelming and, for me, so unexpected. I starred directly into the eyes of the athletes as I cheered for them, and I could see that I was helping them channel more energy to get through the race.
I cheered until my voice ran out.
I cheered until tears started rolling down.
Suddenly, I found myself sobbing through my cheers. By celebrating them, I was connecting to my own humanity. This inspired me to reflect on the importance of celebrating others. It goes without saying that encouragement is powerful, but since I'm a numbers girl, I decided to collect some data and list out
Three Ways You Can Benefit By Celebrating The People In Your Life:
1. Celebrating others will make you feel good, and the positivity that you'll experience as a result will benefit you greatly. Science has also proven that positive thinking results in better friendships, stronger satisfaction in marriage, improved physical health, and even increased income. Celebrating someone in your life is the perfect way to give yourself a dose of optimism.
2. You'll likely inspire the person on the receiving end to pay it forward, spurring a cycle of positive gestures. The power and effect of one single gesture of celebrating someone you appreciate is endless.
3. You'll have improved relationships with those around you, including co-workers, which has tremendous benefits. Research indicates that employees who engage in positive interactions with co-workers fare better: those and are more likely to remain loyal to a company. They're also more engaged in their work and more productive.
So do yourself a favor. Celebrate someone. Let them know you appreciate them!
Here Are Three Easy Ways To Celebrate Others At Work:
1. Look for a co-worker who seems to need a boost, and do something nice for them. Offer to help with a project that is stressing them out. Give them some words of encouragement. Likely, your co-worker will appreciate your actions and reciprocate if you're ever in the same boat.
2. Use your lunch break as an opportunity to deepen your relationships with your colleagues... And treat them to lunch sometimes! This will pay off in your workplace dynamics.
3. Compliment or congratulate a co-worker. If someone in your office recently landed a big contract or finished a challenging project, let them know you admire their hard work and most importantly, the results that it's bringing. If someone got a promotion, let that person know you're happy for them. Brownie points if you communicate this in front of their boss.
It's as simple as that. You don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn and cheer on strangers at a triathlon to experience the flood of positive emotions I did that day on the beach. Celebrate someone today, and you'll be amazed at the wave of positivity that is reciprocated by your gesture... If not for their morale, for yours.