Friday, June 24, 2011

Happiness secrets from the 1000 Awesome Things guy

I don't remember how I first found out about the 1000 Awesome Things blog, but once I did, I was hooked. On days when I feel like I could easily write 1000 Crappy Things, I head on over there for a hit of happiness. The writer, Neil Pasricha, is all about simple pleasures, the kind you don't need to buy—you just have to appreciate what's right in front of you.

This is Neil. You didn't think he'd be a sourpuss, did you?

Neil's first book, The Book of Awesome, was an international bestseller. Just out: The Book Of (Even More) Awesome. A few of my favorites: • Driving around with the windows down on late summer nights • When your fries oder has a few onion rings stashed in the mix • The smell of an old hardware store • Realizing you still remember your childhood friend's phone number • When a cop finally passes you after driving behind you for a while. One "awesome" I'm dubious about: "When you hit the point where you're comfortable farting around each other." That's because one of you is usually significantly more gassy than the other. And it's not me.

Check out this Q&A with Neil, then keep reading for copies of his book!

Hello, Neil. Congrats on your latest book. It truly is even more awesome.
"Hello Ellen! Why thank you! I really appreciate that."

So, what simple pleasure did you most enjoy today?
"Hmm, let's see! Well, I woke up an hour before my alarm clock and realized I had extra time left to sleep. And! I definitely cooked up some perfectly toasted toast for breakfast. You know, where the top is all crispy and brown, but not black, and the butter just glides up crispy and smooth, melting in all the tiny crooks and crannies, creating a delicious little bed for the jam? Mmmmm."

Excuse me while I go get some toast. OK, in the book you reveal that even as you were writing about all the awesome, life dealt you some blows—a broken marriage, a friend who committed suicide. I know that writing the blog and book kept you going. But not everyone can write. And sometimes, it's just hard to see the joy. Got any good strategies for finding the good when you're gloomy?
"That's a great point, Ellen. And while I definitely recommend everyone write their own 1000 Awesome things, maybe that's not in the cards for some people. I'd say my personal tips are to follow a three-step process: 1) Find an outlet 2) Talk about it 3) Focus on the positive. For me that outlet was 1000 Awesome Things and The Book Of Awesome, but that could just as easily be a friend, a therapist, a diary, or teacer. I think talking about it allows us to let things out and help think them through at the same time. And focusing on the positive is just as important! I found that writing about the other side of the pillow, finally peeing after holding it forever, and high-fiving babies always cheered me up."

There's just so much to be thankful for.

You must get gazillions of emails. What are a couple of your all-time favorite ones?
"Ha ha, that's a good question! Well, there was the time Trident emailed me to ask if I'd put ads on my site in exchange for a case of gum! That was pretty funny. To be honest, the ones that really do mean the most are the teachers who mail me their Sixth Grade Book of Awesome or the kids who say they get hope from The Book of Awesome when they're feeling down and out."

What are some of the most out-there suggestions people have made about "awesome" stuff?
"Well, that's sort of the beauty of it, I think! I saw a husband and wife flipping through The Book of (Even More) Awesome at a bookstore and the wife went, 'Look honey! Sneaking candy into movie theaters! That's awesome!' and the husband was like, 'That's not awesome—that's breaking the rules' And...ha, ha, I guess it's just that everyone has their own awesome things. The Book of (Even More) Awesome is a collection of what I hope most people like, but definitely not all! Some people probably hate puppy breath or when a baby falls asleep on you!"

What do you think is particularly awesome about parenthood? Some days, we need reminders!
"OK, sure! Let's see, how about:
1) Baby toes
2) When the baby's diaper isn't as bad as you were expecting
3) When your child runs to the front door when you come home from work

I hope you and all your readers have a very awesome week!"

Will do!

I have two copies of The Book Of (Even More) Awesome to give away. To enter, just leave a comment below about something that was recently awesome in your life.

This giveaway is open until June 29th at 11:59 EST; I'll randomly pick two winners, announce them here, and alert you by email. Note, you must leave your email if it is not visible on your blog because I do not possess awesome ESP.

UPDATE: The winners are Melody and TeamAidan. Awesome!

Photo of Neil/Gala Darling

58 comments:

  1. the stent I had to have placed after my 14x5mm kidney stone was discovered doesn't hurt as bad as the one I had 10 years ago.

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  2. oops...not sure my e-mail can be seen for my last post...sarahsavon2003@yahoo.com

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  3. I would love to chat to Neil I have a feeling the two of us would getting along famously I mean I even find myself being grateful for CP :)

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  4. I am wearing my $26 pinstripe stilletos with the giant bow today.

    It's been in the 80s this week, not the 90s.

    We're getting our carpets cleaned (finally! OMG sooo nasty) on Monday.

    Today is Friday AND payday. Score!

    My son asked me how babies get out of mommies' tummies.

    My girl picked up how to sign "bear" and "cat" all by herself.

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  5. I love this guy!!
    We bought a new house and when we took our boys there, T-man knew something was special about it because he finally has a YARD to run around. He was beaming ear to ear! it wonderful to watch.
    Kristen kebpo@aol.com

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  6. I'm reading The Book of Awesome on my Nook right now, which is awesome!

    Bloggy giveaways are awesome. I always think I'll win, even PDub's giveaways with 10 million people.

    Addi has been saying some new sounds since we got the hearing aids. Most notable (to me!) is an mmmmm. LOVE!

    We're heading north and I will get to see My People next week. And that? Will be Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. When my son explained to his five year old friend what BJ's was. "It's the grocery store where Mrs. VJ shops".

    Mrs. VJ was their preschool teacher...I love how awesome our wee ones minds work.

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  8. My work provides bagels & cream cheese on Friday mornings. Awesome!

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  9. Oh, just in time! Yesterday, for the first time ever, this sweet, sweet sound came out of my four year old son's mouth: "Ha -ma. Mamamamamamama." I cannot top that awesomeness.

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  10. I had breakfast by myself today. In silence.

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  11. Yesterday my brother spent time with us after dinner :)

    My e-mail, if you need it, is vyschneider@gmail.com

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  12. Today is my wedding anniversary and we have a babysitter. We can actually have a dinner date w/ just the 2 of us!

    regina@cyberpepper.com

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  13. When my 15 year old daughter (who is away this week) text me to tell me how much she missed me.

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  14. I finally got a comment on my blog xD Pretty awesome.

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  15. Just read my daughter in laws blog where she updates all of us on their 2 1/2 yr old with CP and all the cute things he says & funny things he does and shares photos and videos. That is awesome!!!
    Mimi

    mcctom7755@hotmail.com

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  16. Hi Ellen! Great post! I barely even began reading and I put both books on request at the library - can't wait to read them!

    Something that was recently awesome in my life was last week when my best friend bought me a Butterfinger. We're both freelance writers so he understands that there's often no extra money for fun stuff. For him to buy me that candy was awesome and really meant a lot to me. :)

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  17. Standing in the middle of downtown, surrounded by tall buildings, and seeing the bits of nauture pushing through the concrete jungle. Awesome!

    mistycorn@hotmail.com

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  18. I love all these comments! I'll say that krlr deserves a book, because she had a bunch of awesomeness listed.

    Here's what I have: every morning when I go in to get my girl out of bed, she gives me the most glorious smile. It doesn't matter what crap is going on elsewhere in my life--Maybelle's smile lifts me.

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  19. I am learning to fall in love with my life.

    rockahhbetty@hotmail.com

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  20. my 6 month old's kisses. She opens her mouth wide when I pucker my lips and licks me! It feels awesome to have baby drool all over my face!! (And when she squeals with joy when I come home from work:))
    Melody
    melochepi@yahoo.ca

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  21. feeling the sun beat down on your face when u go outside

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  22. My daughter got a chance to ride a Freedom Cycles bicycle and she RODE it with very little help and surprised us all. Awesome-ness magnified!

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  23. Loved this post!! Lately its been hard to see the awesome through the storms at our house!

    Awesome thing for me today~~me son only had three seizures today (compared to the 50+). Hopefully we have found an awesome med!!

    brandifought@att.net

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  24. My son negotiated a curb/step all on his own. No assistance at all. A true free-step on his own. He was so graceful, I cried.

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  25. Potty Training Week One: Better than I thought and ZERO poop on the floor/car/kitchen table/little brother/dog/me/etc. is AWESOME!!!

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  26. One of my toddlers on my caseload learned the difference between "big" and "small". A big accomplishment after working towards it for a month!
    : )

    corrinadiaz@gmail.com

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  27. Took my son into the city last night and loved the way he skipped down the blocks. He loves NYC as much as I do.

    holly_rosen@yahoo.com

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  28. Getting this FB comment on one of my blogposts from my sister-in-law: "These posts are of great interest to all parents and indeed all people who ever interact with other people (so, everybody!)."

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  29. cheering in the rain while my husband pays it forward by running his first 5K to raise money for another little boy who needs an accessible van - awesome! teamaidanrocks@aol.com

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  30. My husband is out of town working...I get 10 whole days with my little girl;)

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  31. I'm in the UK so not expecting to win but still wanted to share...today my son completely rolled over. He did it in a few separate moves which makes all the more awesome because it wasn't a random roll but deliberate movements - for the first time ever. & then he was very very pleased with himself.

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  32. Watching my daughter smile and laugh watching the Elmo show at Seaworld today!!

    Nicole P
    nicoleg_11@hotmail.com

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  33. Something recently awesome... I was holding a co-worker's newborn baby boy and he was so sweet, all curled up into a round ball of warmth and love. He had perfect fingers and toes, teeny tiny ears and the most adorable smile. *sigh*

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

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  34. Riding in bumper boats with my twins....and listening to their giggles!

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  35. Watching the water drip off of my son's astonishingly long eyelashes at the pool today.

    kakresin@gmail.com

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  36. playing with my grandchildren mverno@roadrunner.com

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  37. I have a new job.

    slb3334@gmail.com

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  38. My 6 yr old and 3 yr old happily playing together with a bubble blower on the back deck.

    rcaruso920 at gmail

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  39. My hound learned how to walk up that back stairway

    droopydog63@hotmail.com

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  40. My boyfriend and I finally said I love you to each other.

    squami_2020@yahoo.com

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  41. I re-connected with some people that I'd kept out of my life for a long time. And I'm so glad I did. :)

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  42. Yesterday my sister showed me the 1st sonogram of her baby. That was awesome!
    Thanks a lot for the chance.
    eli_green22 at yahoo dot com dot br

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  43. Lmberentz@aol.comJune 26, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Having a great photo shoot of the family today!

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  44. Oh, I totally had an idea for a blog just like that. I was going to call it "Things That Are Awesome." Darn! Well, it's not like I really have time anyway and it looks like he's doing a fabulous job. The Internet could always use as much awesome as possible!
    Ok, so here's my latest awesome:
    Watching my son face plant in his cupcake at his 1st birthday party (and watching his twin with CP enjoy food more than he usually does)!

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  45. goodness a very popular post im not going to leave e mail just wanted to share teh most awsome thing that happened in my life recently was celebrating my nieces seventh birthday and seeing her happy

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  46. I'm so awesome that the stars are going to align for me to win this most awesome book. :)

    I just got back from a month long road trip extravaganza with my three year old. It was totally awesome.

    Fullofpixiedust@hotmail.com

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  47. June was an awesome month for me. There were bad days too but the best day was when a stray puppy entered our compound wall. We adopted him. He's become very affectionate in a matter of few days. Mom and dad were hesitant at first to keep him to prevent fighting between our 5 cats and the pup. But they realized the need of the pup's need for a home and let me keep him. Also our pussy has delivered 3 cute kittens.

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  48. just in from blowing bubbles in the yard with the kids. It is awesome when a big bubble lands on you and doesn't pop.
    nataliedalton76@hotmail.com

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  49. Spending a awesome day just hanging out with my 6 kids

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  50. I got on the deans list at my college!

    crazypplrok at gmail dot com

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  51. I made three of my Mom's recipe "Sweet Vidalia Onion Pie"!

    theyyyguy@yahoo.com

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  52. i recently got a day off work, that was awesome!
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

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  53. I touched people's hearts at the hospital and that was incredibily awesome
    cookster77@aol.com

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  54. My daughter (6yrs old) won an award at school for leadership and excellence. I was a very proud mom.......that was awesome!
    cleaningrhouse at yahoo dot com

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  55. Recently awesome was hearing from an awesome boss I had long, long ago. He's awesome...did I mention that?
    heatherpooh (hotmail)

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Thanks for sharing!



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