If you spend any amount of time on social media, you’ve at some point surely had the thought that “Every day is something day.”

National Talk Like A Pirate Day. National Underwear Day. National Skip Rope Day. National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. (Yes, that is a real thing!)

I shake my head and chuckle at most of the designations. But every now then, one pops up to which I don’t particularly mind partaking. This past weekend was one of those occasions. It was National Cheesecake Day.

I happen to really like cheesecake. However, that is not the main reason I was excited to celebrate the holiday.

In my house, we call cheesecake “Victory Cake.” There is of course a story behind the distinction.

Years ago, I crossed paths with an older, wiser basketball coach who relayed to me how important it is to celebrate your victories—to make a deliberate effort to pause and enjoy the post-win moment before moving onto the next event.

How you celebrate, isn’t nearly as important as why you celebrate.

Winning is not easy. Achievement in general is not easy. It typically does not happen without sacrifice and significant effort. And…usually a little luck. By celebrating your victory, you are not just rewarding yourself, you’re paying homage to the sacrifices made.

As a coach, celebrating victories came in the form of me indulging in the guilty pleasure of eating cheesecake. Whenever my team won a game, I made it a point to stop on the way home from the game for a slice of cheesecake.

After a team victory eventually became the only occasion when I would eat cheesecake.

I never spoke of this personal, unwritten policy to my family, but that doesn’t mean it went unnoticed. One day, out of the blue, my four-year old said to me: “Daddy, can I have a piece of that victory cake?”

I knew exactly what she was talking about.

I may not have ever mentioned it to her, but she had been watching and took note that her father always ate cheesecake after his team won. And so, the term “Victory Cake” was coined.

Over the years, our family has used cheesecake to celebrate more than just wins on the court. If my wife gets a promotion at work, we eat cheesecake. If my daughter aces her spelling test in school, we eat cheesecake. If her younger sister loses a tooth, forget about the Tooth Fairy, it’s time for victory cake. (Sometimes, victories are relative to the celebrant!)

Celebrate your victories has proven to be some of the best advice I was ever given. It has become a life-theme for our family. It is something we take very seriously.

I used to be fearful that celebrating my victories would be perceived as bragging. I was afraid someone might think I was trying to rub my good fortune in their face. But I no longer feel that way.

Victory cake has bonded my family—my team. It has allowed us to share in the enjoyment of each other’s accomplishments and to appreciate that when one of us wins, we all win. Being able to rejoice in another’s accomplishment is a hallmark of a good teammate.

An individual who has jealousy in their heart can never really be a good teammate. If someone is jealous of your victory, then they aren’t a real teammate to you, and you shouldn’t waste your time worrying about them.

Furthermore, when you celebrate your victories and share the occasion, you inspire others.

Sharing is also a hallmark of a good teammate.

With that in mind, I am going to type these last few keystrokes and then head out for a piece of victory cake to celebrate the completion of another Teammate Tuesday blog. I hope you’ll find a way to celebrate your life victories today too.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

P.S. In case you were still wondering, National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day is coming up next Tuesday, August 8. 

Lance Loya is the founder and CEO of the Good Teammate Factory. He is a former sports coach turned bestselling author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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