My daughter called me yesterday, wrapping up the last day of her sophomore year. She was excited, even borderline giddy, about the grade she had gotten on her math final. That short conversation was an opportunity for both of us to celebrate her hard work and for me to let her know how proud I was of her.

Specifically, I’m not proud of the grade but instead proud of the effort she put in. She showcased what hustle and grit look like in a real way, wrapping up an accelerated class that challenged her, including what she believed she was capable of.

Here are three quick takeaways from that short conversation I had with her – things that can apply to your kids, spouse, friends, and even yourself…

  1. Take time, and make time, to celebrate. Don’t let hard work and accomplishments go unnoticed or uncelebrated. If you’re not going to enjoy the fruits of your labor, why put in the work? Before you start asking what’s next, make space to revel in what you just did. 
  2. Let people know when you’re proud of them, including yourself. Part of celebrating the hard work should include some pride in what that hard work required. When we tap into our grit and do hard things, pride is a valuable emotion to embrace.
  3. Focus on the effort, not always the results. Too often, when we set goals, achieving the goal is the only thing that we focus on. Don’t lose sight of the value of the effort, and celebrate that alongside achieving the goal. The achievement may fade over time. The effort you put in is permanent. 

If you’re a parent, make this a priority. Tell your kids when you’re proud of them. As a teen, I didn’t hear that much from my dad, if ever. I always guessed he was proud of me, but he never verbalized it. Don’t make your kids guess. Tell them, and make sure that the pride you’re sharing with them isn’t tied to their accomplishments but to how they show up and the kind of people they are. 

The Takeaway

Be intentional about slowing down for this, and not getting so wrapped up in what’s next. Make time for celebration. Tell people you’re proud of them, including yourself. Focus on the effort, not just the results. 

Ready for more?

Follow me here for more insights like this one. You’ll also get massive value out of the Grit Meets Growth podcast that I share with Chris Cathers. Find it here or on your favorite podcast platform, and let’s all make some time to celebrate!