I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Years ago, I worked with a young go-getter who almost drove the whole office crazy.

It wasn’t his work ethic (that was incredible).

It wasn’t his work product (that was impeccable).

Truth be told, it took me years before I was able to pinpoint exactly why my co-worker drove us all nuts, and even longer to understand why it was toxic.

Know what the problem was?

He didn’t know how to celebrate the small victories.

Why is that such a big deal?

It created an environment of perpetual dissatisfaction.

Here’s what happened more often than not: As soon as someone on our team completed a task, this young co-worker would pipe up with, “what’s next?”

I remember one incident when a year’s programming was set twelve months ahead of schedule, which was a major accomplishment for the person in charge. My eager-beaver co-worker raised his hand and asked, “what about the following year? Have you done that yet?”

Nothing was ever enough.

And while this “go-getter” attitude might sound noble, over the long haul it’s not.

It’s discouraging.

It’s defeating.

It’s demoralizing.

And it happens all the time.

Not only in business, but in families: “You finished your math homework, but what about your English homework?”  “You bathed the kids and put them to bed, but did you put the dirty clothes in the hamper?” “You planned a weekend away, but did you remember to……”

The inability to celebrate small wins shows up everywhere.

Case in point: when was the last time you said, “That was good” and left it at that?

Obviously, I’m not saying we can’t ask about English homework or where dirty clothes go. And, I’m not suggesting we don’t think through what’s next or how to improve. But, I am saying that when we gloss over the good stuff we never experience satisfaction.

“Go, go, go.” “Do, do, do.” “Be, be be.” These are our mantras.

As a result, rest and satisfaction seem forever out of reach. We can’t stop. We can’t let up. We’re never “done.”

It’s exhausting.

When we move too quickly to the next thing, without appreciating this thing, we end up enjoying no thing. Click To Tweet

God doesn’t want us to live this way. It’s not healthy for our bodies, refreshing for our souls, or life-giving for our relationships.

And, it’s certainly not what God modeled in His work.

Consider creation: each time God made something new He paused long enough to look at it and celebrate it. The phrase, “And God saw that it was good” is repeated seven times in the creation narrative. (Genesis 1)

Why seven, and not six? Remember, God rested on the seventh day. Because God created two things on day three, and after He created each, he paused, looked and said, “that’s good.” God could have waited until day seven when all of creation was complete to pronounce His work as good.

But He didn’t.

God noticed and celebrated each task, each day.

What if we followed God’s example?

Think about it: If we acknowledge our small victories each day, rather than waiting for the big victory that may, or may not, come in the future, wouldn’t we experience more satisfaction and joy at home, at work, in life?

Might we not actually start feeling good? (Spoiler alert: it’s ok for Christians to feel good about their work, no matter what their work might be.)

So, let’s be people to notice and celebrate the small victories.

Of course, unlike God’s work, our work isn’t always good. Sometimes we have to edit, change or modify. Occasionally, we have to start over from scratch. But, even in these moments, the process is good.

And, at some point, all work has an end point. If we’ve done our best (or our loved one has done their best) let’s pause and pronounce, “It is good!”

I’m convinced that if we celebrate small daily victories, we’ll experience bigger daily satisfaction.

What small victory can you celebrate today? Whatever it is, pause long enough to say, “It is good.” 

you are loved,

Donna

PS. Donna would LOVE to connect with you on Instagram @donnaajones or @donnajonesspeaker.

Comments

  1. Pam Apffel

    Such truth! Love this post – it’s so important to celebrate all the small things, and to have a heart of gratitude in our daily journies. Thanks for articulating so beautifully this important element of honoring God and others!

    1. donnajones

      Thanks Pam. I realize I’m not as good as celebrating the small things as I should be. Trying to be more intentional in doing so! 🙂

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