Today is one of my favorite days of the year…
How The Tradition Began:
The Friday of March Madness has been a special day in my family since I was ten years old. It was fourth grade and I was in Mrs. Williams’ class, and Dad picked me up from school for a morning “Doctor” Appointment. I don’t ever remember going to the doctor, but we played golf, ate wings for lunch (at Buffalo Wild Wings), and then we watched every minute of March Madness basketball. We had so much fun that we made it a priority to do it again the next year. And the year after that.
The Tradition Continued:
This tradition carried on every year until Dad passed away when I was 25. Even after college, when we were both working full-time. Didn’t matter that we lived in different states. We didn’t let my college soccer schedule interfere. Even when I didn’t have any vacation time to use – we found a way to overcome these different obstacles. It was our tradition – nothing was going to get in the way.
The Benefits of Traditions:
- Disruption: A planned disruption from the normal continuum can be healthy. Intentionally giving yourself a break from the ordinary is good for your brain.
- Anticipation: The planning and lead-up to the ritual forces communication. This helps create an expectation of excitement and joy.
- Security: The brain desires prediction. When we are able to predict, this gives us a feeling of psychological safety.
- Belonging: Not only can traditions help you form your own identity, but they allow you to build a type of “club membership” with other people who have the same values as you. Belonging to something bigger than you can give you a purpose and provide comfort.
- Memories: Creating experiences with people you love is a great investment. You can take My Dad away from me, but you can’t take the memories we created. Those will be cherished forever and passed on to my kids. Investing in experiences together almost always provides a tremendous ROI.
Final Thought: Build traditions with the people you love and care for. Yes, this includes family and friends… But it should also include your work team-mates. Find a reason to celebrate. Search for milestones to commemorate. Make excuses to enjoy annual rituals together.
Relevant Resource Recommendation: Power of Moments (Chip & Dan Heath). One of the best books ever written. Seriously, it is that good.
Happy March Madness to you! Enjoy your weekend.