Celebrating the smaller victories

June 19, 2024

By Jeff Becraft


Sometimes in life, I feel like we miss out on celebrating some of the smaller victories. And some of the smaller victories really are not that small.

I may have addressed this topic several years ago in a Friday email, I can’t remember. But even if I did, I think it’s worth repeating and worth reiterating. I’ll give an example of what I mean by smaller victories: This was a few years ago and I was watching a college football game (I won’t say who the team was) but they were not doing great offensively. In the first few offensive series, they wound up punting the ball and here it is, they are on their next series and in their first two plays, they actually lost yardage. So, it is third and long… something like third and 11.

They run their third-down play and they wound up picking up nine yards and it was the strongest play they had run all game.

But they didn’t get the first down.

And because they didn’t get the first down, they walked off the field hanging their heads. I sat there and I thought, “What a blown opportunity. You all haven’t had a play go nine yards all game. And here, on your last play of that series, you gained nine yards.”

They should have been celebrating.

They should have been running off the field and saying to the defense, “Get the ball back for us.”  If they had done that, they could have built momentum for the game. But because they didn’t recognize that, they didn’t celebrate the smaller victory. They walked off the field defeated.

I think it happens in our lives too often. We have a plan for something and it doesn’t quite go the way we want it to. And instead of celebrating what was accomplished, we hang our heads because we didn’t quite reach the goal we wanted. We walk around and feel defeated.

That just drags us down and drags us backwards. We ought to be celebrating the victories in any positive steps that are happening.

Let me give you another example. Let’s say you plan to run a marathon and you only run 13 miles instead of the 26.2 miles. You just ran 13 miles – that ought to be celebrated. I couldn’t do 13 miles if you gave me a golf cart. The dominating factor should not be that you didn’t make it to the end of the marathon. The focus ought to be, “I just ran 13 miles.”

And that ought to be celebrated.

We need to take some of the little things in life and recognize them as the victories that they are and recognize positive steps as something to be celebrated.

That could entirely turn around the momentum of many situations in our lives.


Jeff Becraft is the Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Our Place of Hope is a paradigm shift for people living with mental illness that encourages them to regain meaning, purpose, and hope for their lives. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].