Celebrating the Little Wins

A few months back my wife started a thing she calls Little Win Wednesday.  Every Wednesday morning she posts on Facebook, stating “Little Win Wednesday!  What do you have to celebrate?”, or something similar. A multitude of friends chime in with small wins, like completing a small craft that they’d been putting off, getting deep cleaning done, or just getting the laundry actually put away and not leaving it on the bed.  Some of her friends have taken to doing it themselves, spreading the message of Little Win Wednesday.

And now I’m bringing it to all of you.  Why? Because we NEED to celebrate the little wins.

I know I probably don’t have to tell you all this, but the day to day work can be rough sometimes.  We get the frustrating patrons, the rude patrons, the ones who feel the need assert their right to do what they want when they want to do it.  Sometimes it’s internal issues, like a co-worker dismissing your idea out of hand, or a manager not taking the time to notice the hard work you put in on a recent project.

All too often in the past I’ve had co-workers who could only focus on negative issues.  Even when someone would suggest something positive about a situation or encounter they’d find a way to turn it back around.  Don’t be that person. That person is stuck in a self-fulfilling cycle of doom and gloom, and it can make for a really negative environment for the whole library, patrons included.  Let’s acknowledge the negativity, and address the issues surrounding it when and where we can, but focus on the things that have gone WELL, the small things that we accomplished in spite of everything else.  By deliberately pointing out our wins we reinforce that what we’re doing has merit, that we have achieved something, and that we are there to celebrate those wins together as a group.

Start an e-mail thread with your co-workers on Wednesdays, asking everyone to say what their little win for the week so far is.  Make it silly, make it fun, but take the time to connect in a positive way with those you spend a good chunk of your waking hours with, and acknowledge the little things that have gone right.  If you do this, make sure to be genuine about it – get excited for people’s little wins, no matter how small! If they’re willing to share it, it means they’re glad that it happened, and you should be too.

You can do this with your teens, too – maybe not on Wednesdays, but if you run late week programs you can start it off with “Alright, everyone – what’s your little win this week?”  Volunteer one to kick it off – it can be small, goofy, funny, whatever gets people talking or sharing. One of my wife’s friends’ little wins was that the fries she got that day at a fast food restaurant were done precisely the way she likes them.  You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a good conversation starter!

Positivity will beget positivity.  It may not take off right away, but give it time.  People will eventually appreciate the bit of light, especially during really rough weeks, and you’ll be the one helping create it.  That is a little win all by itself.

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