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The Power of Celebration

As we continue to grow, achieve, and pursue excellence, let’s remember the power of celebration to motivate us to achieve our goals.

"What are you celebrating this week with your piano practice and progress?"

I asked this question of my adult piano student, Rebecca, today and the immediate response was for her to list out all the areas in which she is still pursuing growth in her playing.

I paused. Knowing she could face the challenge I was about to give, with a smile on my face, I said, "I asked you to pause and celebrate your accomplishments and all you did was list out the areas of growth you still wished to see. So let's try again. What are you proud of for accomplishing this week?"

With some reluctance, Rebecca listed one thing she was proud of accomplishing. Yet, even as she did so, she added more to her list of internal disappointments.

I again redirected the conversation by reframing her internal disappointments into celebration-worthy events. Instead of focusing on the two days she did not practice in the past two weeks, I helped her celebrate the other twelve days she did practice!

The Challenge to Practice Celebration

Why is it so hard for us to celebrate ourselves? Is the shame we feel for not reaching our personal standards? Is it the desire to achieve perfection? Is it a sense of continued yearning for approval from ourselves or from others? Is it easier to accept criticism if we already believe our efforts are unsatisfactory?

I think most of us have a desire to grow and better ourselves. The pursuit of excellence in all we do is wonderful! And yet, we don’t have to achieve that excellence to celebrate ourselves. In fact, I argue that if we don’t begin to celebrate where we are now, the efforts we are making and the progress seen thus far, we may never reach the excellence we so deeply desire.

Why would we continue to put time, money, and effort into doing something that makes us feel small, unaccomplished, and inferior? We wouldn’t! To reach the level of mastery in any area, we have to be able and willing to have fun along the journey by celebrating every success, big or small! “Give yourself the same love and affection you give to others and watch yourself flourish.” - unknown

The power of celebration - a woman celebrating with confetti with a green background.

A Commitment to Practice Celebration

A friend and I have established the regular habit of pausing to celebrate each other’s lives. Every Friday, we send each other a text listing that week’s celebrations. These items might be good news received, business accomplishments, established self-care routines, boundary keeping, moments of stepping into our confidence or trusting our intuition, surviving another week of challenges, or even choosing to honor our bodies and spirits by resting instead of working.

Our weekly practice allows us to pause and see that we are finding our way forward in life even when at times it feels like the odds are against us. Seeing these celebrations motivates us to keep building, keep trusting, and continue in the habits that brought us to today. They help us see the glass is more full than we otherwise would have realized.

This small, or not-so-small, act of self-celebration is what I asked Rebecca to do today. At the end of her lesson, I commented on the progress made in her repertoire since her last lesson. I pointed out the consistency she had experienced with her home practice, despite the active kitchen remodel in her home. I helped her see the overall musical growth she's experienced in the couple of years we've worked together. Pausing to celebrate these accomplishments brought a smile to her face and, I would like to think, the encouragement to tap into her inner confidence as she continues in her musical pursuits.

As we continue to grow, achieve, and pursue excellence, let’s remember to look back and celebrate. By doing so, we might find the momentum to keep reaching our goals.

practice the power of celebration by journaling your daily celebrations.  Image of a woman looking at a journal

Food For Thought

What is one thing you can celebrate about yourself or your day today?

Envision what it would feel like to be proud of yourself without a caveat, exception, or explanation. Would you feel more inspired? More encouraged? More joyful? More creative and energized in your pursuits?

Try it out! Think of one thing you are celebrating today!

Did you give or receive a smile today? Celebrate!

Did you overcome an unexpected challenge? Celebrate!

Did you try your best? Celebrate!

Did you trust your intuition? Celebrate!

Did you keep a promise or commitment to yourself? Celebrate!

If you like to journal, perhaps add a page of celebrations to your journal or create a new note on your phone. Or, ask a trusted friend to join in your celebrations.

Pausing to celebrate has been game-changing for me. I hope it will be for you as well.

Today, I celebrate publishing this post. What are you celebrating?


If you are looking for a cause to celebrate, consider learning the art of playing the piano, where each day you partake in the joy of music is a reason for celebration!

It is my true joy to bring the joy of music into hearts and homes through personalized remote piano lessons that will leave you feeling encouraged, celebrated, and inspired to take the insights from the piano bench into your everyday life.

The process is simple:

1. Schedule a call to talk about your goals.

2. Select a lesson time.

3. Take your first lesson!


To have these "Insights From The Piano Bench" essays land directly in your inbox, subscribe to my monthly blog digest newsletter. Let's explore what music can teach us about life together.


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