High Five Friday

High five Friday

In my retirement I noticed something was missing. But what could it be?

Was I having trouble filling my time? Heck no!

Did I miss working with clients? Maybe a little.

Was I missing my colleagues? Not really, since most of them live elsewhere and we’re still connected.

Then I realized what it was: I was missing a sanctioned way to toot my own horn.

What have you accomplished, or have reason to celebrate, this week? It can be big or small. Tiny, even. Size doesn’t matter. Click To Tweet

“Are you kidding?” I can hear you say. “But what about your blog, newsletter, and social media?”

It’s true — we all have numerous ways of broadcasting our accomplishments these days. But how much is too much? And how little is too little to mention? How does one avoid the oft-maligned humblebrag? And what, exactly, am I accomplishing these days, anyway?

A rising tide lifts all boats

A couple of my professional associations — communities to which I still belong, and which I still enjoy — have provided sanctioned ways of sharing and celebrating each other’s business-related successes. NAPO Golden Circle has “Toot Your Own Horn Tuesday”, and The Photo Managers have “High-Five Friday”. I enjoy both of these weekly occasions whether or not I have anything to contribute. No need to be humble, just celebrate! I feel lifted up and inspired by others’ successes. As Cathi Nelson, CEO and founder of The Photo Managers, likes to remind us: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

But, these days, I find my successes falling outside the scope of those business communities:

  • One of my books got a 5-star review on Amazon!
  • I had lunch with a friend — in person!
  • I had a genealogy breakthrough!
  • I persevered, braving terrible on-hold music and transfers to multiple customer service reps, until we got to the bottom of an insurance issue I’d been ignoring for weeks!

High Five Friday

Then it occurred to me that I could start my own High Five Friday, and that maybe some of YOU would have things YOU’D like to celebrate, too!

So, I started posting this message on Facebook:

HIGH FIVE FRIDAY: What have you accomplished, or have reason to celebrate, this week? It can be big or small. Tiny, even. Size doesn’t matter. I’ll start (in the comments).

The results have been both expected and unexpected

Expected results:

  • It turns out that others do, indeed, appreciate an opportunity to toot their own horn and get a high five!
  • Accomplishments range from finishing a craft project, to any number of forms of “adulting”, to celebrating cancer recovery milestones.
  • Occasionally someone will joke that their accomplishment is that they got up that morning, or made it through another week. But, for some of us, it’s sometimes all we can do, and I say it’s definitely worth celebrating!

Unexpected results:

  • I’m learning a lot about what my Facebook friends and followers are up to!
  • I thought I would be doing all the high-fiving. I did not anticipate that readers who don’t even know each other would be high-fiving each other.
  • Sometimes readers bond over topics that I do not have in common with either of them. Networking!
  • Several readers have celebrated saying “No” to something. High five! (Just Say No…Here’s How and Why)
  • More than one reader has told me they look forward to High Five Fridays and that it keeps them thinking all week about what they might post. Me too! Sometimes I choose amongst a number of accomplishments — no need to list them all — and other times I find myself doing something SO THAT I have something to post.

Gratitude and 3-way acts of kindness

I think accomplishments and gratitude have some things in common:

  • It’s easy to celebrate large accomplishments and be grateful for the obviously-wonderful things that happen in life.
  • Meanwhile, though, the more grateful you are for the little things, the more little things you find to be grateful for. Right? (The Gratitude Box)
  • Likewise, the more you celebrate smaller accomplishments — including the individual steps toward a larger goal — the more progress you will feel you are making and the happier you’ll be. (Does Progress Equal Happiness?)

I think we’re all familiar with the benefits to the giver, and to the recipient, of acts of kindness, random or otherwise. But did you know that there’s an equal benefit to a third-party observer? (That’s what I’m calling “3-way acts of kindness”.)

“Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin which increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious.” — The Random Acts of Kindness organization, randomactsofkindness.org

Why post publicly?

So, accomplishments, gratitude, and acts of kindness are not the same things. And one could always keep a private journal, or merely think/pray/meditate about them. But I do think the observer benefit applies to High Five Friday in that one does not have to post to benefit from reading others’ accomplishments. And one never knows who might benefit from the achievements YOU celebrate publicly.

  • Celebrating that you reached a large goal shows others that it’s possible.
  • Celebrating the completion of a tiny task, or a small step towards a larger goal, provides momentum for you and sets an example for others. (Success Breeds Success: Finish Something!)

If you really can’t think of anything that you’ve accomplished, or anything to be grateful for, perhaps you’ve been derailed and need to get back on track. (Getting Back on Track)

Your turn

Do you celebrate your successes?

Do you have a gratitude practice?

Would you like a high five for something you’ve recently accomplished?

Please let us know in the comments below!

And, if you follow me on Facebook, feel free to join me on High Five Friday. If you don’t, that’s OK. You have my permission to toot your own horn, give yourself a pat on the back, or at least take a little break and reward yourself any way you like for each small win on your path to success! (Give Yourself Permission!)




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  1. Janet Barclay on August 21, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    Hazel, I am loving your High Five Friday posts! If I’ve had a good week, it’s nice to tell others about them. And even if it hasn’t been that good, it helps me shift my focus from things that went wrong or that I didn’t enjoy and think about what did go well. Thank you!

    • Hazel Thornton on August 21, 2023 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Janet, thank you for confirming that being a witness to others’ successes (large or small) helps you to shift your focus to what went well for you!

  2. Julie Bestry on August 21, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    Oh, Hazel, this is excellent. I don’t spend much time on Facebook, so I’m often glancing at your High Five Friday post days later, but I’m excited for so many people. Yes, 3-way acts of kindness are definitely a thing!

    I’m definitely not good about actually celebrating my successes. I talk about them, but they tend to recede into the ether like the meme of Homer Simpson backing into the bushes, as I mix successes in with miseries. I am reminded of my late boss in television, who used to say, “One “awe sh** wipes out ten atta-boys!” And no, I don’t have a gratitude practice; I’ve never been able to stick with one more than three days in a row. But I do tend to live my entire life out loud, open-book style, sharing the good and bad, successes and crankiness, as if they were equally proportioned seasonings for a soup.

    As for wanting a high five, I’d say turning the misery of my car being stolen two weeks ago into a useful blog post for others is probably the least annoying of my recent successes, as most others have been about fixing problems caused by others (insurance, the body shop, the thief). Somehow, fixing something that someone else broke doesn’t feel like quite as much worthy of celebration as the triumph of adulting. (But only for myself. I’m equally delighted for all of someone else’s successes!

  3. Seana Turner on August 21, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    I think this is a lovely idea, and provides a wonderful opportunity for people to celebrate their accomplishments. One of your accomplishments is just setting up this tradition – way to go!

    I keep a journal where I record at least one thing a day for which I am grateful. I haven’t been much to celebrate myself, but I can see the value in the benefits you describe. I think another one might being encouragement for readers who see that others have struggled with things they also are struggling with.

    Cheers to celebration!

    • Hazel Thornton on August 22, 2023 at 7:02 am

      Hi Seana! Yes, one example of seeing what others struggle with is the “Saying No” thing. There’s usually someone who replies that they, themselves, should do that more often, too. I think any amount of conscious gratitude is helpful in manifesting and recognizing more things to be grateful for!

  4. Linda Samuels on August 22, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    I love that you were inspired to start your “High Five Friday.” What a great idea. It’s important to pause to recognize the wins regardless of size. And while we can acknowledge them in our own little corner, there is a benefit to sharing them with others and having others share their wins with us. Just as emotions are contagious, so is feeling excitement about others’ successes.

    As a long-time journal writer, my wins show up on the pages, along with my challenges. I especially enjoy re-reading over the past year better to understand the struggles, successes, and growth. But I also recognize the value of sharing aloud and off the paper.

    A few recent successes…
    • I took a long walk by the river
    • I chose fruit instead of ice cream
    • I finished one book and started two new ones
    • I was invited to be a guest on a podcast
    • I had a long conversation with one of my kiddos
    • I helped my clients move forward with their goals

    Congrats or HIGH FIVE to you, Hazel, on your recent successes, like your 5-star Amazon book review and perseverance being on hold. You can’t tell, but I’m doing the high-five motion.

    • Hazel Thornton on August 25, 2023 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks, Linda, and HIGH FIVE X 6 for your recent successes!

  5. Janet Schiesl on August 25, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    High Five Friday is a great way to connect with some people whether you have things in common or not.
    I like this idea.

    • Hazel Thornton on August 25, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Janet, glad you approve. 🙂

  6. Beth Ruck on September 1, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    My High Five this week is that I took apart the door knob that was not working in my house and put it back together. Now the knob turns much better.

    Thanks Hazel.

    • Hazel Thornton on September 5, 2023 at 8:03 am

      That’s always a good feeling — to have fixed something yourself. High five!

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