Celebrate your own successes not the “official ones”

Patrick Westöö
4 min readJun 1, 2022

When I graduated high school, a unique and highly celebrated time in Sweden, I wasn’t proud. The celebration goes back to the days when many did not pass and hence could not go on to university. So passing was a huge thing. My dad graduated the year after they changed it and refused to wear his hat, in defiance of the pointlessness of the ceremony. But I hated mine, I was happy to leave high school but my grades weren’t that good, due to a stint of partying in the first year of high school. I did not feel proud enough to truly celebrate the moment. I also would not get into SSE which at this point was my dream. In my eyes I had failed and I saw no reason to celebrate. It was forced and it felt it.

Since then I have realised there is a big different between when I should be proud and when I am actually proud of myself. I have come to realise that I have to celebrate and be proud of the moments that matter to me and not the ones that matter officially or to someone else.

Last year I got promoted at Google, my colleague asked me if I was particularly happy and I told him no I was not. I had not done anything in particular during the last year that I found unique and the promo was way overdue. I was happy about an increase in pay but not particularly proud over myself or any of my achievements. It was a tick in the box.

Instead I think about the moments where I was truly proud of myself and when I wanted to celebrate. They are very different. During the last few years I have…