Mike Hodges spent most of his career in the health insurance industry before starting his own business consulting and personal development company. You can contact him at [email protected]



This is another in a series of articles about the Washington Capitals improbable 2018 Stanley Cup championship run, and the lessons you can learn from it and apply to your business life.


Celebrate wins.


Sounds like a cliché….right?  Like some motivational guru selling snake oil to the masses?


It’s not, actually.


We’ve discussed the Capitals 2018 championship run in other blog posts, but today we’ll talk about the importance of celebrating…..really celebrating…wins and how important it is.


Throughout the Caps playoff run, the Caps team (and the whole D.C. area) celebrated each playoff series win with increasing joy and passion.


It was tentative at first.  When you win a series you’re supposed to win, but don’t really perform well while doing it, it’s hard to get TOO excited (sound familiar?).


But after the Caps beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and advanced to the conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, something changed.


A historic rival was conquered…a HUGE monkey was thrown off the Capitals’ collective back.  The subsequent victories against Tampa Bay and Las Vegas led to even bigger, wilder celebrations.


If you ever want to see out of control celebratory madness, google Alexander Ovechkin’s Stanley Cup celebrations, and watch several of the videos that show him and his teammates cutting loose.  They’re so impossibly happy about what they’ve done you have to smile when you watch it.


Those joyful celebrations were important…for a number of reasons.


Our belief systems, and our habits, are formed by repetition and emotional impact.


At the Proctor Gallagher Institute, we call these habitual ways of thinking and behaving “paradigms”.


It’s pretty obvious why repetition establishes habits, but most people underestimate the power of emotion.


Huge, powerful bursts of emotion can completely change our mindset, belief system, habits, and results.


Whether it’s finally beating a hated rival and winning the championship, celebrating a graduation or the birth of a child, a new job, or anything that causes a powerful emotional reaction, it causes us to change.


In the case of violence, trauma, or public embarrassment, it can have a negative impact.  When it’s positive…when we achieve a seemingly impossible goal….we’re flooded with a surge of confidence and belief in ourselves that can change us forever.


There’s a lot of interesting reasons WHY this happens….the research into how our brains work is fascinating and well worth learning about.


Suffice to say that confidence begets confidence.


The Washington Capitals as a team crashed through tremendous psychological barriers that previously constrained them, and the emotional euphoria that followed literally changed the way they behaved and performed.


It’s why the so called “Teams of Destiny” always seem to prevail against all odds.  It’s remarkably powerful.


So what does that have to do with you and your business?


Simple….celebrate your wins.  Just because the gurus say it, doesn’t mean that they’re wrong.


The plain truth is, your brain and your mind LIKE winning.  When you remind yourself of all the wins you rack up, it transforms not only your confidence level but the way you actually think of yourself and perceive the world.


And don’t just celebrate small wins…CHALLENGE yourself with big, difficult tasks that stretch you to the limit.


When you push yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself before, and succeed, you not only change your view of what’s possible, you can change your brain and your mind.


So when you approach your business, be like the Washington Capitals.  Take on a monster challenge that you’ve never achieved before…and when you win, don’t just celebrate your wins.


Celebrate with joy and passion and enthusiasm…and watch your world change.