4 Jan, 2022

#181 The Power of Celebration


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“An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.” – John C Maxwell 

Let’s be real, we as humans have this notion that celebrations require big achievements, big success, a big change to matter. We deem them worthy of party hats and balloons only when it feels like a big deal. But what we don’t realize is that hidden behind these achievements, these goals reached, are the little things, the seemingly insignificant wins that we often overlook because it doesn’t seem right to celebrate just yet.

This mentally makes us frustrated. This leads us to compare ourselves to other people. This is very dangerous because we don’t allow ourselves to breathe and accept who we are to enable us to move forward into the person we want to become. Because of this, we find things that will give us instant gratification. We focus so much on these that we get derailed and our visions become blurry into seeing what is really important.

In this episode, listen as I talk about the power of celebration and how you should embrace all the wins, may they be small or big, and how choosing to live with intentions can make all the difference.


-Living in conditions: “I will be happy when…” will not propel us to be who we want to become.

-Strive for perfection even if you know that you won’t ever get there. Our vigor for life pumps us to keep reaching our goals. Keep it.

-Celebrate the little things. Be grateful. They are all important.

Timestamps to some important stories in this episode:

-(7:43) Recollecting working with Andrea Mclean to help a lady with agoraphobia

-(20:24) Reflection on what John Wooden shares about perfection.

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About Pete Cohen:

Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people.  Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.

It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.

Pete is the author of 19 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years. His new book Inspirators – Leading The Way In Leadership is available for free here –


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Pete Cohen 0:00
Happy beautiful, amazing super collab fragile lipstick expialidocious day. It's Pete Cohen. It's the Mi365 podcast. today's podcast is the power of celebration. I'll see you after the theme today.

Pete Cohen 0:48
Let's get ready to rumble. Good day to all of you. party with you Come celebrate you celebrate and have a good time. So when we look at concepts when we look at ideas, right there are some amazing ideas out there but I can tell you one of the most profound ideas or concepts whatever you want to call it principles is and the one that is totally doesn't get enough attention and people I don't think really give it much thought and that is celebration to celebrate. And over the last however many years things like practicing gratitude and the power of exercising to release things like what now known as hopeful molecules. These things have come to the fore but I can guarantee you that over the next few years you're going to be hearing more and more people talking about the power to celebrate, to celebrate what Well there's a number of things but to celebrate who we are, that might seem as a radical concept to some of you, but to celebrate what we're doing and to accept ourselves. I mean, these are these are ideas that you've probably heard of these things before. But you know what? Sometimes look in what we do in our business, we we are all about coaching people and helping people. You know, if I went back to school, there's no way I would want to learn half I wouldn't want to learn physics. I wouldn't want to learn chemistry. I want to maybe learn some elements of it within a theory of study that I was particularly interested in. But the challenge was in learning geography and maths in English. It didn't relate to anything for me at all. I just couldn't. I thought what is the point of doing this? I didn't. I didn't it didn't make sense to me. If I was in charge of the education system, I would be teaching children things like willpower confidence, talking to the opposite sex. I would rejection. I would be teaching the power of movement, but I would put it in a way where children were able to see the reason for doing this as in what they were getting out of it. And when I became a teacher, I became very disillusioned very quickly because I realized just how inflexible a lot of teachers were that for a lot of a lot for a lot of them. They had to become teachers because they didn't really know what else to do. Or they were challenged by the confines of the system in which they act to actually teach. And it didn't take me very long to realize that this isn't for me. And I actually got into working into further and higher education, where I was working with students that were a little bit older. And occasionally, you would find that desire within people to just improve, you know, and then what we do, I believe what we have, what we share with people is really for two types of people. It's for people who are already in that habit of just improving themselves. They just want to improve. They just want to get better. They want more, they want to become more. They want to give more people that are already in that bracket but also people that want to be in that bracket.

Pete Cohen 4:08
They want to stop procrastinating they want to stop starting things are not finishing them. They want to they want to almost like be reborn be a new person. These are the people that I personally just love to work with. And when we work with them, we have a number of different courses that they can do. But the idea is it's not just learning learning is pointless. It's pointless without the application and that's why for me education was just a big waste of time. Because the idea of education is you learned something that you can then move on and learn something else and use what you learned to further your education. That this lifelong learning mentality, unfortunately for most people, because they didn't like learning, they don't have a lust for it anymore. Whereas children we had the lust of curiosity, we had a loss to understand we had the lust to play to experience to have peak experiences. And because a lot of people didn't enjoy a lot of being told what to do. They got their peak experiences by in many cases what might be known as hedonistic activities. You know, and I'm sure we can all we all know those things, whether it's drinking drugs, alcohol, where we've been able to almost celebrate life to have this wonderful feeling because human beings love to feel we love to what do we love to feel? Well, this is where it starts to get really interesting for me and my ongoing exploration of the human body in the human mind. I think human beings love to avoid pain. We love to avoid pain more than we like anything else. And if we're in discomfort, and we don't have a particularly good relationship with other people, we don't have a very good relationship with ourselves. We've had trauma in our life that we which we've never been able to really express who we are to really speak out and be heard that if that is going on inside then chances are you are going to seek solace in something that gives you something and maybe it does give you something in the moment but I think for a lot of people afterwards, there's no cause to celebrate. Because I think deep down a lot of people know you know what, maybe I shouldn't have done that. And maybe people don't realize that at the time, but at some point people just wake up there must be more to life than this. And I'm not here even though this might sound like I am preaching you know, I'm just here to obviously share my passion, which I'm sure you can feel for what I'm saying. And what I'm talking about is just the importance of celebrating, and I'm going to talk about a couple of real key concepts here. And I promise you if you're looking at the world of neuroscience, and you're looking at the world of positive psychology, the power of celebrating one's achievements, is going to get a lot more attention because there is so much power. And I had a big epiphany about this. And this happened last week. So in our coaching community, we ask the question, basically in our journal, we ask the question every single day, what went well, what needs work? What are you going to do to get better? We asked people to think about that every day. What went well? And it's a good thing to do, but it's not that powerful. Is it? What went well? Versus what do you what do you want to celebrate? What can you celebrate? What have you celebrated today? Now, what is the difference? Between that and that's what I want to dive into? And the reason why I had a bit of an epiphany about this is because there's a lady called Andrew McLean who I worked with on television for many years. She's was the presenter of loose women, which is TV program. Great friend someone I've had the opportunity to coach and work with, actually worked with her. We did a big thing on national television called the coach where we we went around the country working with people who needed some coaching it was was fascinating. She saw me work she saw me work with a woman who was agoraphobic wouldn't come outside of her house she had a she also had obsessive compulsive disorder, and she watched me work this woman just for 24 hours and see this major transformation in this person because human beings are far more capable than than what they think people are often stuck in their own thinking, thinking that they the way that they think is the way that they have to think living in fear. And boy guys right now, take a moment take a moment and think about how much uncertainty is there in this world right now how much fear how much doubt how much sadness? How much depression is there in this world right now? There's probably never been as much as there is right now. But what can we do about it? Should we be celebrating that? I don't think so. But why is celebration so important for us? Because is it not now time more than ever, maybe to be the change that the world needs? What does the world need of us?

Pete Cohen 9:11
And I'm challenged by this you know right now with what's going on in this world. I'm not gonna lie to you. I am challenged by what's going on? And I'm really seriously starting to think about what's where do I want to be in all of this? I know who I want to be. I'm committed to being that person. But I'm not waiting for things to change. I'm going to be the change and celebration is so underrated in terms of a superpower to bring forth the best in you. This is what I believe when do people change really? People change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad. And if we think about this is one of the things you know we were doing. We were launching the stock one stock one challenge so we were looking for people who want to bring their in intentions into play. So my 365 That's the name of our business. Everything we do is my 365 What does that stand for? It's for my intentions. What are my intentions can be times in our life if we had intentions. Think about it. Just take a moment. How many times have you had the intention of doing something and you didn't do it? Who would you be? If you bought your intentions into play? Who would that person be? Every day you had intentions and look maybe you didn't always live up to them or something happened. But nine times out of 10 What you said you were going to do you did take a moment and think about who would that person be? And honestly, is that worth celebrating? You know, is that worth to celebrate that person? Because that person isn't you? That person is not you. Oh, it's very unlikely if it is you Wow, I'd love to have a chat with you because those people are very few and far between. And when we look at the experience of being ourselves, because a lot of people don't feel quite good enough. They they're never going to celebrate unless you learn to really accept yourself and again, this might sound like I'm preaching this is just my opinion if when I learnt to truly accept myself, which took time because I for years thought I was not enough and I needed something in the future. I was a rat racer, I was chasing something in the future. I will be happy when right? And when we kind of put people if you want to put yourself into some sort of I'm not a big fan, as many people know, into you know, personality testing. I am this sort of a person even though I'm sure there's elements of it that a true personally I am the person. No personality tests can tell me who I'm committed to becoming. Because they don't know that person. But I know that person and I celebrate that person every single day by doing the very best that I can possibly do to be that person. I'm never going to be that person. Never. It's my guiding star is my distant shore that's the perfect me. And I and I strive for perfection. Even though I know I never get there and I don't care that I'll never get there chipping away. For years I was a rat racer, I was just chasing, chasing chasing. That's what a lot of people are in life I used to work with a lot of those people were my clients when I was a personal trainer back in the day and then you've got the hedonistic people. You know, the people that are just literally now everything's right now in the moment. Take as much as you can in the moment now is where it's at the power of right in the moment, the hedonistic people, then you've got what we call nihilists. nihilistic people who have just given up they don't care. They're living in the past many nihilist they've never overcome their pasts. And then you've got what we call inspirated. You know, I came up with this term a few years ago, I've written a book on it. inspirated. They basically, what integrators do that they, they know, they've got goals, they've got goals, they've got dreams, they've got aspirations, but what's more important to them than the goals is is is that process is the daily method of operation. And I think everybody knows Come on, you must know it's the little things done every single day that bring about huge success. We all know that we all know it, but we'd rather just kind of forget that. I'll don't want to do that later. Because we don't it's interesting because I don't know if it applies to everybody. See what happened with

Pete Cohen 14:13
my dear friend Andrea, is that she was working in television. And after years and years of doing it, she just realized this isn't for me. This is I don't like this anymore. It doesn't know nourish me. It's a bit toxic. I and she finally decided after a few challenges to walk away. Walk away from something that most people are chasing. Imagine chasing fame, being on television three or four days every week. Everywhere you go people recognizing you. But it wasn't what she wanted to do. She wanted to coach people. She wanted to help women feel like they are on fire. And she has written a number of books. And one of the books was called this girl is on fire. And I just thought wow, this is amazing. Look what she wants to do and she asked me about it. I said this is amazing. So just remember that it's probably going to be quite challenging and you're probably going to have some naysayers and she most definitely has. But what she's done is she she just launched a community. And it was amazing because I went to the her event on Friday. I made a masterclass. For her coaching program, which many of the people in the room that were there, had gone through I'd never met them before is amazing. Of course when I came on stage, they massively celebrated me. But you know what I love because I was watching in the back before is they were talking about everything they have achieved. And everyone was celebrating everybody else and it was one of the most beautiful things I've seen. And if we don't recognize the two elements I want to talk about right now is celebrating the little things that you do every single day, immediately and intensely. So every single time you do something you know is part of the process that's going to bring your goals closer towards you, whatever they might be, is to immediately and intensely celebrate. Absolutely celebrate. So whether it's you know, you meditated, whatever it was you kept to celebrate the fact that you're celebrating you know, whatever it is just understand that if you don't celebrate it, you'll never feel good about it. You'll never create new neurological pathways in your brain, to hardwire you to do the thing that in the past that you didn't want to do and as Socrates said 1000s of years ago doing the right thing long enough, so much that so much though so that what ends up being the most important thing for you to do is the thing that you want to do the most

Pete Cohen 16:49
ends up being the thing that we enjoy doing the most. Isn't that crazy that he said that 2000 years ago? And we know it's the simple things we know it's the simple things like this, you know like most people, let's be honest, right? Like when we think of keeping a gratitude journal or when we think about exercise or whatever it is that gives us a sense of like keeping gratitude is absolutely essential. Why? Because if you're not grateful for what you have, what do you think it's going to happen? You've probably focus on what you don't have I remember my coach saying to me, happiness is wanting what you have. Imagine if you just took a moment to really think about gratitude. You didn't just Oh, I got to keep my gratitude journal because someone told me so. Now you really thought about it. Do you know how much gratitude I have for people that engage with anything that we put out into the world? Our podcast, nearly 400 episodes so much gratitude, and so much gratitude for so many people and I think about them. I just feel so honored and so lucky to know those people for have those people in my life. I celebrate them, but I can't celebrate for them. And it's absolutely essential. If you if you get your head around this and you practice this, and this is a massive part of the start one start one challenge that launches on the 10th of January is teaching people drilling people to immediately and intensely celebrate everything that they do. That they know is moving them in the right direction. Because if you don't do this, you're just be a hero in the beginning, which is another word. It's been around for 1000s of years. People start things and they don't finish them. How many books how many podcasts how many? I don't know how many things for you. Now is the time for us to wake up like never before and decide who we want to be. Decide who that person is, and decide who is going to support us in becoming that person. Decide and celebrate those people because I promise you, you're not going to go there on your own. You're only going to go there. It's up to you. You have to decide what is your pleasure? And we know a lot of people's pleasure has been escapism. I just want to celebrate anyone who wants to be more than they want to become more wanted create a new human being and support them in that process on that journey. That's what I'm all about. What about you? Just take a moment to think about it because let's bring our intentions to life. I'm not saying any of this is easy. But what is the most beautiful thing is it not? I asked the question right in the beginning. What will be your greatest achievement in your life? What will that achievement be? Is it possible that the greatest achievement in your life will be who you become? Is it possible that the greatest achievement as Maslow said is to actualize the some of the potential that the latent potential that you have, and you get to that point and then you transcend it. You go to another place. The greatest of human experiences is what? I don't know because I'm not you but I'm ready to help people celebrate. Right now, I've been had wonderful fortune to work with great coaches. I've had the great fortune of working with great things. But one of the greatest coaches of all time, you might have heard him his name is John Wooden. He was a college basketball coach, probably the most famous basketball coach in history in America. And he talks about perfectionism. I absolutely love it. He talks about perfectionism is what we strive for. But we strive for it knowing it's an impossibility. And that's the dichotomy that many of us have in life, because we know that most of us just want everything right now and if we don't celebrate what we do, because if you're going to do this, it will involve reinvention, it will it will change everything. If you start to celebrate all of the little things that you do that move you forwards, the little small wins. So you always win when you make full the full effort in what you're doing. always win. And I believe you've got that point because I can't labor it enough. And we'll we'll we'll definitely shed more light on that moving forwards. But the next point I want to make this is the last point and it's about celebrating others. And I I find this so fascinating why people struggle with this. To shine a light on other people. Of all the things I've ever seen.

Pete Cohen 21:41
I've seen very few people doing it, genuinely wholeheartedly. Celebrating what other people are doing now we know why that is a struggle. For so many people. One of the biggest reasons, celebrating what other people do is a word called envy. I'm sure you've heard of that word right? When we have envy towards other people, because we are comparing ourselves to other people and we know we know why people do that. And I'm just going to explain to you a little bit about why people do that. There is something I think within all human beings where we just want to fit in right we just want to fit in we just want to be accepted. So we're seeking to be accepted. But the other crazy thing about all of this is that when we're seeking to be accepted because we don't feel very good about ourselves, we're really fighting a losing battle. And when we think about the world, as I just mentioned before we think about our world right now just take a moment our beautiful planet, our amazing space that we live in, just take a moment to think about just how beautiful this earth is. Whatever it is just how amazing planet Earth is. I was watching someone yesterday on a video looking at these massive trees in Canada I mean it was just math oh look at the sites and those thing that giants I thought wow, look what look what the Earth has given us. It's given this this playground for us to play. But you know, the game that we're playing is a game that well if you were going back in time would you want to play the game in the way that you were? In fact, the game of snakes and ladders I don't know whether you know this, it originates from India and it was a game that was there to teach children the rights and the wrongs of this world. But the rights and the wrongs of this world, you know, I think have often been dictated to us, you know we go to school, we stop thinking for ourselves. We become you know society thinkers we it's it's really fascinating that very few people have had the but we all have the ability but we actually do it we think for ourselves because we don't feel fundamentally that we're good enough and we know that we live in a world like that as well. It's pretty obvious, right? If if you don't feel good about yourself, then what is it you're going to do? Well, you'll be in pain or discomfort and then you'll probably go and seek solace in something that reward that, that alleviates that pain. Right? It's obvious, isn't it? And how do we do that? Well, it's often in some form of hedonistic activity, food, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, something that just gets us out of the pain gives us a bit of excitement. But then we go back to the experience of being us and the experience of being you again, I don't know you, but I do know a lot of people and I've spent my life being asking that one question, you know, how do you feel about where you are right now? My coach used to say that to me all the time. I didn't like it, because it put me into a space where I had to go inside inside myself to the experience of being me and realize that I had some challenges, right? And I didn't feel very good about myself. So I was looking and comparing myself to others. How many people do you know that do that? And that's what social media does social media. It's it's obviously it has incredible benefits to it. But it really does bring about social comparison. And then envy I'm not that person. It was Socrates that said 1000s of years ago, envy is the ulcer of the soul. Rather than hang on a second now I want to celebrate others. And I promise you if you start to do this, it changes everything. There are no perfect human beings. Look, there are great human beings. And that's what I want you to think about. Do you want to be a great healer and you are a great human being. You're perfectly imperfect. You are perfectly imperfect. That's That's what human beings are. We don't live forever but striving for perfection I think is one of the most beautiful that might not be for everything. But when you're envious, you're comparing. You're comparing yourself to others, to the ideals you see in people, I should be where they are. I shouldn't be where I am. It's difficult to advance if you don't accept yourself that this is just you know, and to celebrate yourself. celebrate who you are right now. I mean, look what look at you, you're amazing. How did you get here? had this happen? To really, really, really celebrate I mean, it's just something that we can do

Pete Cohen 26:30
I want to celebrate you

Pete Cohen 26:43
boys, quarterback the game, it's time to celebrate right? It really is like never before in a crazy world right now. That's gone been turned upside down inside out numerous times and it looks like that's not going to go away anytime too soon. Is it not right for us to just take a moment and think about who we are who we're becoming. You know, because you might be enlightened by what I'm saying. But I don't I don't believe there are enlightened. It's I think it was Wayne Dyer that said there's no it wasn't it was Dan Millman. There's no such thing as enlightened. Beings, right? It's just enlightened moments. And one of the most enlightened moments that most of us have is when we do something that we know is to our own growth and development and being a good kind human being. And we celebrate what we do. And we start moving on life in a different direction. Rather than comparing yourself to other people, comparing yourself to your former self so that you could look back and maybe one day laugh at who you were and think Look who I am now. It's it's one of the most it's one of the most crazy things it's almost like we've just been trained and encouraged to move through the world in a particular way. That is producing more unhappy people who think they're not good enough and really struggling, rather than just stop you know, stop for a moment. And think, rather than MV what could we do? There's actually a word it's called mudita M UD ITA. And it comes from an ancient Pali language and it's fascinating. It's basically what it means is it's when the antidote to envy is when you take delight in the success of others. And for a lot of people, that's a real challenge. Anyone who knows me knows that I do it a lot, but I only do it on the people who I know friends or not only do it on the people I'm working with, but I also do it a lot with people who who are doing great work. And that could be similar work to me, I don't care. I just shine the light on people celebrate others. It's one of the most powerful human emotions if it is an emotion to celebrate others. It's it's a challenge. But it has to start and this is where I'm going to wrap this up. It has to start with radical and I mean, radical acceptance. accepting who you are right now completely. It's, it's unbelievable when you actually if you look at the word even completely right, that word in its etymology, it means to make whole to fill up. fill yourself up. And it's hard to fill yourself up if you if there if you don't accept yourself because then it's like a bucket that's got holes in it. And that's why if you become aware of the story that you're telling yourself, and you realize that the past keeps creating recreating itself, because you haven't accepted is that what do you think has to happen for you or to to accept yourself fully? Maybe you need some help with that. Maybe you need to talk to someone, maybe you need to go to work on yourself, but you don't have to be who you are. I don't believe that. But that's just my opinion. is Sonia Libra masky, who's very well known in the states in the field of happiness. I was reading something she wrote and I just found it the other day she said you know if you can continue to compare yourself to others, you're going to be unhappy. Oh, Barbara Fredrickson has written the most amazing book Love 2.0. You know this, she talks about what's called self celebrative love, where you celebrate the lives of others. So the people that I work with, they're a part of, you know, the community, my coaching community. I'm now encouraging all of them. Let's celebrate each other, like never, ever before. Would you reckon? Let's dance and let's let's celebrate oh

Pete Cohen 31:04
so what's your biggest takeaway? This is the Mi365 podcasts. So DJ Pete Cohen

Pete Cohen 31:21
thank you so much for listening to the podcast

Pete Cohen 31:32
let's celebrate. That celebrate to celebrate let's celebrate let's celebrate life. Life is the space between living and dying. And as my coach said many years ago, he said look at the word life li Fe said bit big put a big cross through the i f and look at the L and the legacy of your life. Is that when he ends when you exit, you loved it. There were no hips and you celebrated life.

Pete Cohen 32:19
Thank you guys. Thank you for listening to the podcast. We will see you soon. Let's celebrate.


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