In the past few weeks some very big things have happened professionally for friends and colleagues of mine. Pop the bubbly and share a toast types of milestones.
Yet when these people shared their great news with others they count as friends, the overall response was a bit lackluster. Perhaps the word "congratulations" never appeared on a vocabulary test in middle school? On the occasions I observed the lack of enthusiasm for their good fortune, it didn't strike me as jealousy on the part of the others hearing the news, but rather apathy. If whatever good wasn't happening to them, they just couldn't get excited at all.
As you grow and become more successful, others will find a way to excuse your success as something else. These write-offs aren't always blatant misgivings about the circumstances that got you to where you are. They often come in the form of pretending that what should be a big deal is really not a big deal at all.
Ignore these brush offs and celebrate your journey's milestones anyway, with or without them. It is a big deal and you deserve the glass of champagne.
Originally published June 2010