I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Neil Pasricha’s You Are Awesome (it’s a lot less cheezy than it sounds). I’ve read two other books by him and came across his TED Talk the other day. I watched it and found it thought-provoking, while also funny. I shared it with my teenager and even she was amused, though she did try to hide it just a bit.
The talk, embedded below, is called “The Three As of Awesome”. Those 3 As are Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. You can watch the video (it’s only about 17 minutes long) to hear what he has to say about these three, but I’ve been having my thoughts on them for a few days now.
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot to be miserable about these days, so it’s understandable if, in general, you’re feeling sad, stressed, anxious, even angry, but for most of us, there are still moments of joy that provide a break from all of that. Things might suck, but maybe somebody held a door open for you, your child laughed, you had something tasty to eat. You get the point. You don’t have to be blind to what’s happening in the world or annoyingly positive while everything seems to be going to shit, but you can be that person who holds the door open for someone, you can make your child laugh, you can make or buy something tasty to eat. Have an attitude that lets you look for and see the little good things.
Okay, you want to see good things. You’ve set your mind to it and you’re ready for good things to just roll on in. Unfortunately, you aren’t paying attention to what’s happening at the moment so you miss your child laughing or asking to play a game with you. You eat the tasty thing so fast that you don’t taste it. You miss the easy opportunity to do something nice for someone else that could bring you both that bit of joy.
Awareness is also about knowing what you want and why. If you’re miserable, is there something you can change? It doesn’t have to be big.
Do you know what those around you want? Have you asked? Is there something you can support them with to bring a little joy to them (and likely you too)?
Finally, authenticity. Are you finding moments of joy in ways that align with your values, with the person you want to be? Are you finding them through watching a funny movie with your family, helping someone else, having that piece of Black Forest Cake or are you finding it through belittling someone, drinking or doing drugs that will only provide short-term pleasure and then make you feel like crap?
Also, to be authentic means being honest with yourself and others about what you need and want. That applies whether it’s an object, an experience (playing a game with your children), or how you want to be treated by others.
What attitude do you currently bring to your days or interactions? What attitude do you want to bring?
Are you present with those around you? Do you know what can bring you joy or at least make you less miserable, even for a few moments? Do you know what your partner, your children, your friends, or others around you may need to make their lives a bit better?
Are you trying to act like the person you hope to be? Are you honest with yourself about what you need or want? Are you honest with others (if not, don’t expect them to read your mind. Even if you are, don’t expect them to read your mind.)?
Now let’s go be a bit more awesome.
Featured image courtesy of Ben Landau under a CC-BY-SA license.