celebrate completions

By Karin Leonard

With too much on your plate, high expectations and never-ending deadlines, you may barely have time to experience the satisfaction of completion.  Celebrations of success may be fleeting, and drowned out by non-stop pressure.

Take Time to pick your Apples

The stages of creativity are similar to the cycles of nature, from the seeding and incubating of an idea, to the growing and productivity period, and finally culminating in the completion of the project.  Glossing over the “harvest” stage is like forgetting to taste and enjoy the fruits that have been ripening in the garden all summer and letting them rot on the trees – or giving it all away.

The conclusion of a deadline or project means you have reached a goal you set for yourself.  That in itself can be much of the payoff for the time and effort you have invested .  Done, finished, completed!… is the “period at the end of the sentence,” and presents a fine opportunity to savor the sweet feeling of success. By fully experiencing the culmination of your labor you contain and build on the energy you have put out. Celebrating attainment creates a profoundly positive anchor, and just like the tribal heroes, in whose honor a prime feast was held, you will be much more likely to venture out again – because you have experienced that the exertion is worth the reward!

Completion as a Daily Habit

Completion comes in all forms and sizes.  With endless to do lists you may be more likely to notice what you didn’t get done, and gratification turns into frustration. Paradoxically, it is exactly the experience of success that will motivate you to go on. Sure, frustration, stress and anxiety can also function as a driving force, but it’s a lot more fun to move towards what you want through pleasure, rather than pain.

Begin by examining your daily expectations of yourself: are they greater than what a team of top performers could possibly achieve in a whole week?  Aiming slightly above what’s achievable for you is fine, if you want to stretch a bit, but being too unrealistic puts unfair pressure on you. At the end of the day, go over your accomplishments first. Make sure you have a way to experience at least one completion a day – if it is not the end of the project, maybe there is a milestone you can highlight. Then you can examine the feedback and learning for the future.

Harvesting the Fruits of this Year

As the year draws to a close, the energy of completion is already naturally present.

Taking stock of what happened this year, and comparing the results to the intentions and goals you had, is a golden opportunity to bask in the glow of achievements, and to learn from what didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Reviewing the year, celebrate your accomplishments, and decide how to feel complete about what is still in process.  Maybe there is an additional step you can take before the end of the year to get that feeling of completion, or a new target date could be set?  Decide what, if anything, needs to be taken off your plate entirely.  The goal is to receive the rewards for your labor, and to have a clean start for the New Year.

Being Complete 

Completion is also a state of being.  You can aim at being complete, every moment of your life.  This means giving up all hope for a better past, and forgiving others and yourself frequently.  So much vital energy can get tied up in regrets and grudges, times gone by can hold you prisoner, and keep you from fully engaging in life right now.  It can be an eye-opener to take stock of the “energy leaks” – the places where you feel incomplete and stuck in what was, or could be.  The gift of the now becomes completely available when you step fully into the current moment (that’s why they call it the present).  Releasing attachments to what you can’t change any longer opens the door to create the future you want.


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Karin Leonard & Associates:  (831) 724-5400  

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