I spent this past weekend watching my friend compete in the Malibu triathlon, which is something that (to me) sounds worse than going to the dentist.
Little did I know I’d have one of the most profound experiences of my life.
I stood on the beach for hours as he swam, biked and ran.
It wasn’t until I was waiting for him to cross the finish line that I noticed this woman next to me cheering very loudly… In fact, it was so loud I assumed someone very special to her was competing in the event.
After listening to her scream to the runners, “You can do it! Finish strong! Let’s GO! You’re almost there…” I turned to her, and I asked curiously, “Who are you rooting for?”
…Her response blew my mind: “Everyone.”
I felt chills come across me.
“That’s really great! I should join you. I bet it’s fun to cheer for people… But, really, who do you know that’s competing?” I asked smiling.
“No one.” She responded.
I felt this wind of inspiration fly over me, completely moved that this woman would show up at a triathlon and cheer her heart out for an entire event full of strangers.
And let me tell you, she cheered from the depths of her SOUL.
And then I did something really fun: I joined her.
We started looking for people who seemed like they needed some extra juice to cross the finish line:
“Look at him, over there— you see??? He needs a good cheer. Let’s do it on three… 1, 2, 3… ‘BRING IT HOME! YOU CAN DO IT!'”
In every cheer, I saw more fire in the eyes of the athletes. It was starkly obvious that we were making a difference in their experience. They went from tired to fierce. I looked into their faces as they reached inside of themselves and found more commitment with every cheer.
I cheered until I felt tears rolling down my face.
I cheered until my voice ran out.
I curiously wiped my tears, wondering where they were coming from. I guess it just felt so good to help people by celebrating them.
This was when it struck me. If you’re looking to feel happier, just celebrate someone. I know this sounds ridiculous, but try it.
Celebrate someone at work. Celebrate someone in your family. Celebrate someone you’re friends with… See how it makes you feel.
It felt so good– I almost felt greedy doing it.