Making the List

As a reader, I love to learn from other people’s curated lists of what to read. As a critical thinker, I scan many but only read (and share) a few books. And, yesterday I had a chance to see the Best Book List thing entirely differently. As an author. Fast Company chose #SocialEra as one of their Best Business Books of 2012It was a delight to be included along side such luminaries as Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes, Susan Cain, Clay Christensen and James Allworth, and Brene Brown … because these are people whose ideas matter to me and are shaping how and what I think about. Books do that. They shape the way people frame a topic.

Friends who have known me for 20+ years know that I always have champagne splits* in the fridge. My husband remembers the moment of first noticing this and swears this is when he fell in love with me**. Now it’s our tradition since he’s fully embraced it. It says we’re ready — at the drop of a hat — to mark something good that happened that day. It doesn’t have to be a public recognition. It can be a private moment of clarity.

What we choose to celebrate signals what matters to us. For learning something we’ve struggled to know. For speaking our truth. For being recognized in public for something we’ve labored on for long stretches in private. It can be with a grateful prayer, or the clink of two glasses toasting, or a happy dance***. Sometimes all 3 happen in our home. Maybe even tonight!

At work, and at home, I hope you are ready to celebrate the goodness that is happening all around you. Do you have a favorite way of celebrating?

*What is a split? It is a bottle that holds exactly 2 glasses of champagne. Also known as a pony, snipe or quarter bottle, but Split just sounds like you want to share, doesn’t it?

**It is either this moment or the REI store moment. One day I’ll share the REI story.

***No, there is no video moment of the Happy Dance. But imagine a blend of John Travolta + Big bird dance moves and you’d basically have a picture in your head of what this looks like. Hence, no video.

8 Responses:

  1. Karen from Chookooloonks. November 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm  |  

    Congratulations. No one deserves it more (and I’m totally sharing a split with you the next time I’m in your neck of the woods).

    Reply
    • Nilofer Merchant. November 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm  |  

      That’s a deal, Karen!

      Reply
  2. Aaron McHugh. November 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm  |  

    Nilofer-
    Love it. REI sells some great stainless toasting glasses that way you can do it roadside as well.

    Reply
    • Nilofer Merchant. November 28, 2012 at 7:28 am  |  

      Oooh, another reason to go to REI. Awesome.

      Reply
  3. Mair Dundon (@quietaction). November 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm  |  

    Congratulations! So much fun. Loved the post…such a lovely habit of noticing and holding gains rather than focusing on the negatives. This is us celebrating with you. Thanks for our share of the split! #goYou

    Reply
    • Nilofer Merchant. November 28, 2012 at 7:27 am  |  

      Thanks, mair. Yes, we fin pd as we notice the moments of progress, we build a set of stories that say we are making progress.

      Reply
  4. Soydanbay. December 4, 2012 at 7:52 am  |  

    I genuinely believe celebration should not be conditioned to only good times or achievements.

    Having goals to energize us is important, but it is equally important to develop the ability to enjoy life in the moment, regardless of the situation. I know that is a tough sell in corporate North America, where the dominant archetype is the warrior. But, here is why we should do it:

    The warrior is achievement (ego) driven. When facing a challenge, s/he looks inward for insights. Therefore, his/her perspective is limited to him/herself. In the social era, where the change is constant, we must be open to different perspectives to not become outdated. The ability to open ourselves up to seemingly outrageous options and freeing up our mind is the key to success. And that could happen if we embrace and celebrate the life all around us. That might mean sometimes not taking ourselves too seriously, remaining cheerful, even when we fail. But that is a necessary condition of evolution.

    Reply
    • Nilofer Merchant. December 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm  |  

      Wonderful observation. Enjoying the journey and celebrating the steps of the journey are crucial because it keeps us rewarding the thing we can control, not the outward stuff we don’t.

      Reply

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