Monday Musings 28 March: In praise of celebration

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It feels like it has been a while since South Africa was on the right side of an edge-of-your-seat, 1-off-1-ball victory. Mignon du Preez, Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnim Isamail, Masabatha Klaas and Lara Goodall and the entire team gave us plenty to smile about yesterday. The Proteas Women beat India in a nail-biting, last-ball thriller to send India home from the ICC Women’s World Cup and set themselves up for another nailbiter: a semi-final spot against England.  

That’s not the only win of the week. Mandatory PCR tests for anyone entering South Africa are now a thing of the past. I don’t think many outside of travel and tourism understand just how significant this is – it was a massive win for the industry. The wearing of masks outdoors has also been scrapped, and at the Stellenbosch air show on Saturday, in 35 °C heat, it felt like a real win too!  

On Friday, a colleague told me she was a “firm believer in celebrations”. And it got me thinking. The last two years have made it hard to celebrate, with achievements parked and milestones missed – and maybe it’s affected us more than we realise.  

According to the Harvard Business Review, adults are often much better at work than we are at play. That most of us don’t have a “good plan to celebrate accomplishments, and the lack of celebration has only become more pronounced and consequential after two years of pandemic isolation.” 

Which is a real pity, because according to Smart Growth author Whitney Johnson, “celebration is an important opportunity to cement the lessons learned on the path to achievement, and to strengthen the relationships between people that make future achievement more plausible.” 

Importantly, she’s not talking about inebriated partying, but rather slowing down and taking the time to recognise both small wins and significant achievements as well as taking pleasure and joy in the journey. And let’s be honest, for most, it’s been quite a journey. 

It’s an interesting read, and if you look at an initiative, project or business they follow an ‘S-Curve’ of growth, with plenty of opportunity to integrate celebration into your life and organisation. If you remember these four strategies as outlined by Johnson: 

1. Celebrate early and small 

Progress is hard won early in a challenge (the launch point on the S Curve). It can be discouraging and require painful perseverance. So it’s important to celebrate the early victories, especially as celebrating small wins stimulates dopamine release in the brain, reinforcing the learning experience and strengthening our sense of connection to those we work with. 

2. Celebrate in the interim 

We don’t just celebrate our first birthday and our last; we celebrate every birthday in between. Important when you’re in the thick of things, and the road to success has become a hard slog.  

3. Celebrate at the top 

Seem obvious? Apparently it isn’t. Johnson reckons that we’re so busy that even for the big, ultimate events, we struggle to hit pause on our busyness to truly acknowledge the mountain conquered. 

4. Celebrate the day 

Believe it or not, every day has its own S-Curve. And some days are harder than others. Johnson advises taking a few moments every morning to think about the day ahead. What is the most important objective to achieve today? This is the mountaintop, the summit of the day’s S Curve. At the end of the day, celebrate achievement, or your progress toward it. Even if it’s as simple as tackling your email inbox. And then? B.J. Fogg says celebration can be as simple as looking in the mirror and claiming, “Victory.” 

To end off, this great ‘All You Need to Know’ list by writer Tom Peters.  

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I’m not sure why it struck a chord. Perhaps after a long two years, Covid, War, and in a world gone absolutely mad (where Will Smith can throw a punch at the Oscars) – it’s a lovely reminder that relationships, community and excellence are still at the heart of everything we do!  

No doubt about it, this year is moving at breakneck speed. There are still a lot of changes afoot for our industry, including new visa and e-visa systems. With everything going on, I’m going to follow Dorine Reinstein’s advice and get very big on celebrations. The personal, the professional, the big, and the small! 


Mindful Musings 

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Marketing Musings

Two great campaigns caught my attention this week, both tapping into real human experience and insight.  

The first for Ace & Tate sunglasses – responsibly made frames out of Amsterdam. One could argue that it sells the entire category (i.e. selling sunglasses in general, rather than just Ace & Tate), but for a new brand, it certainly got Twitter talking! 

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The second? A brilliant print campaign for Bumble which turns honest DMs into clever print ads. The writing is fantastic (“I want a second date more than a labrador wants a plate of ham”), the art direction beautiful – and it makes me very, very happy that I never have to date again. But if I did, it would be through Bumble.  

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Finally, if you missed Discovery’s Spend Trend Report, it’s a fascinating look into where most of our money went in 2021. It’s also a masterclass in the use of infographics, bite-size bits of information and how clearly laid-out data is a powerful and engaging tool.  


What the world was musing over this past week 

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Abandoned cities that only the brave dare explore … 

Fancy yourself as an intrepid traveller? From Kolmanskop, Namibia to Kennecott, Alaska, here are nine abandoned landmarks to add to your bucket list. 


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Have suitcase, will travel 

Pent-up travel demand is real. According to Travelport’s new survey people would give up concerts, cinema, new clothes, spa treatments and eating out – if the money saved meant they could travel more! 


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Exploring the world on Bitcoin 

Believe it or not, more than 70 airlines now accept Bitcoin. So, with cryptocurrency becoming more popular, are there any advantages to using Bitcoin while travelling


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Rescued circus cats find new home in South Africa 

Eight big cats (four lions and four tigers) have arrived safely at wildlife sanctuaries in South Africa – finally freed from life on the road with travelling circuses


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Nike goes all in (and 3D) in Tokyo 

Nike just released its first 3D billboard ad in Tokyo to celebrate Air Max Day – and it’s pretty impressive. 


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Ten weird things that happened during lockdown 

With life getting back to ‘normal’, it’s difficult to believe just how weird things got during lockdown