“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ― Henry D. Thoreau
As the people close to me know very well, I am not very good at celebrating my achievements.
I’ve always been like that.
Maybe I’m just restless.
When I arrive somewhere, my mind immediately starts to think about the next destination. The moment I have completed something, I am already projecting myself towards what comes next.
Not a big issue, I know. But it’s annoying.
In particular, because rewards are effective ways to motivate ourselves to achieve a goal. Because I don’t find rewards and celebrations particularly attractive, I can’t play this card to drive me to take action.
Luckily for me, my coaches helped me in exploring this topic, understanding what drives me and defining alternative ways to pull myself into action. As Thoreau beautifully says in the opening quote, my growth and transformation are my sources of motivation.
Though, this feeling of missing out is still present.
The story of this post is an excellent example of my complicated relationship with celebrations.
On the 31st of July, I completed my Coach Training and I got my Certification from ICA.
It’s the result of thirteen months of study, work and sacrifices.
I thought the occasion deserved a celebration and a post of its own.
9 days later, I couldn’t remember how many times I had written, deleted and rewritten it. I couldn’t understand what I really wanted to share.
The why behind these words.
Do I want to celebrate the achievement? Do I want to let the world know what I’ve been doing for the past year? Is it just a way to rub my ego? Is it a way to legitimate the sacrifices that I (and my partner and my family) have been through over the past year?
With this questions running through my head, I kept rewriting.
What’s wrong with celebrating an achievement? Why is it so complicated for me to write about it?
The answer revealed itself today. And as it often happens, it came out of the blue when I wasn’t looking for it.
This morning a lovely friend sent me a picture of a sunrise.
And I thought about my love for the dawn.
That fleeting moment of transition when the night is not entirely gone and the day is just a promise.
I remembered how much I love to stay in the in-between space. How much I love airports and stations.
I remembered my fascination when I read about the Bardo, the liminal state between death and rebirth.
The answer was there all along, but I couldn’t see it.
I don’t enjoy celebrations because they are only about the end.
What gives me pleasure is the liminal moment between the end of a journey and the beginning of the next one.
That’s why I crave a new beginning. So I can savour the feeling of breathing between the old and the new.
And the awareness that those moments are ephemeral makes them even more rewarding.
Finally, I found the why for this post.
It’s not the celebration of my achievement. It is me sharing the pleasure of being in this liminal space.
My journey as a student coming to an end and a new adventure unfolding in front of me.
“if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
One of the rituals I do every morning is to welcome the new day expressing gratitude. And it is with gratitude that I want to embrace this new adventure before me.
I wouldn’t get so far in this journey, as a person and as a coach, without the support of an extraordinary team of people.
The fantastic ICA teachers and students from everywhere in the world, the unique energy of the Italian chapter, my gorgeous peer-clients and my precious peer-coaches, my supporting friends, my loving family, my late father and his lifelong example of integrity, Sujith and the extraordinary people of Being At Full Potential. Rossella whose relentless guidance, energy, optimism and trust is a constant inspiration for me. Lorena who believes in me more than I do and inspires me every day to be the best version of myself.
This is not the end, this is just the beginning.