Recently, I gave three keynote speeches. One in Pennsylvania, one in Texas, and the other in Maine. Virtually! Close enough. Even when I saw people through the video cameras, I felt well cultured at each of these keynote events, and I’m so excited to share what I observed and shared at these events.
I was privileged to speak at three different locations.
That’s not counting the adorable accents on all three events. The only thing missing is that I would have loved to travel to each location and meet everyone in person. It makes me so happy to spend a few days in each state to explore and experience the different cultures right here in the United States. After my speaking engagements I enjoy celebrating afterwards.
Speaking of celebrations, that topic was part of the events that I felt were the most important. Once you find the breakthroughs, make it a priority to celebrate. The three events focused on one main theme. Success in autism. So I expanded on the idea on how to find that success, and one really important thing I emphasized is this:
There are no levels in success.
Publishing a book can feel as thrilling and successful as getting your driver’s license at age thirty. That’s an exaggerated example that was made in my outline. I got my license at age 18 and it was a ticket to freedom! It made me start thinking about taking a book tour on the road and visiting every state, and I’m looking forward to doing that one day. Here’s hoping anyway!
Back to the topic of being successful with autism, I believe that it’s so important not to compare yourself to another person's success. Perhaps there is someone out there that is an accomplished animator that would love to take a break from drawing or posing models on the computer and try something totally new like writing a novel. The animator may have produced a box office success which was amazing! But perhaps writing a book would have been a much larger success to him or her. That’s just an example, and success is highly personal to each individual.
There are no levels of success. I believe that it becomes a huge distraction when committing to comparison. That in itself becomes very VERY challenging for people with autism. Challenging, but never impossible.
Once you’ve found your success, it’s time to celebrate! How do you celebrate? How would you celebrate after getting an A+ in social studies? A celebratory win you would see in a video game? Or a dance in the room? How about a parade in your honor? They are all equally successful, rewarding, and deserving of a celebration. As soon as you succeed today, whether it’s something big or small, do not hesitate to celebrate!