This past weekend was the start of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. If you’re not familiar with the holiday, it begins 15 days of celebrations of the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, both ways of bringing in the new year. Each year is represented by an animal, and this year is the rat. So today I thought we’d see what lessons we can learn from this celebration, from another new year and from the rat.
History shares that the rat is the first of the 12 zodiac animals. While we may not all see it this way, one of the reasons the rat was chosen in the first place is because in Chinese culture rats were seen as a symbol or sign of wealth, because of their ability to reproduce. Both of these are good insights about success, because sometimes it does matter where you are when it comes to time or position, and being first does often give you some benefits that aren’t available to those who come along later. The saying ‘first come, first serve’ is a famous line that speaks to this. The ability to multiply or grow is also a huge aspect of success, you really can’t be successful if you’re not growing or multiplying.
Another important thing to remember about success that the Chinese New Year festival speaks to, is that sometimes it takes time. Yes, there’s one official Chinese New Year day each year, but with that one day comes 14 more after and several before that encourage preparing, thinking, praying, celebrating, and family time. Sometimes success can be achieved in a day or a short time, but more often than not it’s a multi-day or multi-year process. These extra days means those who celebrate the Chinese New Year aren’t pushing things, they’re letting the celebrations unfold in a natural, unhurried way.
Finally, it’s really hard to miss all the decorations for Chinese New Year because they’re all in bright cheerful lights and colors like red and gold. Yes, success is usually directly connected with hard work which isn’t always fun or cheerful, but even if you only celebrate at the end when you’ve achieved victory or your goal, there should be some celebration. One of the reasons I think some struggle with success is because it’s not as bright, cheerful and motivating as it could be, or all that gets lost in the background as you work forward.
So go ahead, take time to celebrate your successes, give your successes the true time they need to grow and develop, and always build on your success and the success of others.