Update: The winners have been chosen! If you didn’t win, you can purchase a copy of The Book of (Even More) Awesome on Amazon.
I was so inspired by his ability to recognize simple pleasures where I never even thought to look that I decided to follow suit with a post I titled 50 Peaceful Things.
Neil’s blog has been one of my favorites since he first launched three years back, partly because it’s the exact opposite of the type of writing I often do.
While I generally write a lot about all the messy things under the surface—our struggles, fears, and instincts—Neil has a gift for highlighting all the beautiful things we often don’t notice above it.
From my original review:
He doesn’t just appreciate all-you-can-eat buffets–he explains how to navigate them for maximum enjoyment. He doesn’t just acknowledge it’s cool when the parking meter still has time on it–he explains the different types of meter-feeding styles, and how awesome it is that they all exist.
The result is an encyclopedia of joy, from observations to interpretations to experiences. Some moments are silly, some poignant, some nostalgic–but everything is familiar. The book is a brilliant reminder of everything that inspires a smile without treading into saccharine-sweet, Pollyanna territory.
The Book of (Even More) Awesome picks up where the first book left off, and I’m pleased to offer two copies to Tiny Buddha readers. But first, a little from Neil:
1. At what point did you feel that 1000 Awesome Things was a success?
Ha ha, well honestly, I still don’t! I mean, when I started writing 1000 Awesome Things, I said my goal was to write one awesome thing for 1000 straight weekdays. It’s been three years and I’m only done about 750 of them!
And don’t get me wrong – I’ve enjoyed the experiences that have resulted from the blog, but hitting bestseller lists, getting millions of hits, and going on big TV shows was never my goal. Writing down 1000 awesome things is my goal. When I’m done that it will be a success to me.
2. Do you feel that you’ve become happier since you started 1000 Awesome Things? If so, why?
Well, I was in a pretty rough place when I started the blog. My wife and I were growing further and further apart and my best friend was battling a major depression. When I flipped open the newspaper or turn on the TV it was about melting ice caps, terrible hurricanes, and the crumbling economy.
I started 1000 Awesome Things to try and find a way to cheer myself up. I wanted to find a place where bakery air, snow days, and popping bubble wrap were the most important things in the world.
Today I’m still the same guy. I work the same office job in the suburbs, eat frozen burritos for dinner, and need to go to the gym more. But in many ways I’ve become happier because I see awesome things everywhere.
I hit a string of green lights on my way home from work and think awesome! I flip to the cold side of my pillow in the middle of the night and think awesome! And I think these little daily highs add up to longer term happiness.
3. What’s something you think is awesome that might surprise people?
How about “Your almost name”? This is the name your parents were going to name you but didn’t. It’s fun daydreaming about a new life where Your Almost Name takes top billing and your nickname, identity, and major life choices are all dramatically affected.
I think it’s awesome because sometimes that name reminds us how lucky we are we to get what we got… and to get the specific frames and borders we have on ourselves.
I know. It’s a bit strange. But you asked! 🙂
4. Do you think it’s possible to find something awesome in everything? If so, how?
Well, I think life is just a matter of perspective. Nobody tells you to be happy or sad or grumpy or cheerful. You get to choose your attitude every morning. You can see awesome in everything or see it in nothing. It’s up to you.
5. What advice would you give to other people who want to use the web to make a meaningful difference in other people’s lives?
I say do it!
We are so massively lucky to live in this world in a time where the cost of communicating around the world is close to free. I’ve never spent a cent or made a cent from 1000AwesomeThings.com.
WordPress hosts the site for free and I have no ads. Every night I get to write about sneaking cheaper candy in the movie theater, the sound of steaks on a hot grill, or pulling a weed and getting all the roots with it…for free!
And in exchange for that, I get hundreds of letters and emails every day—preachers telling me they use awesome things in sermons, teachers telling me they base classes around them, and folks from the far corners of the Earth dropping me a line to say “Thanks man. I think stepping on crunchy leaves on the sidewalk is awesome too.”
These comments fill me with joy and help give me the energy to keep going.
It’s a beautiful world.
Lori, thank you so much to you and your readers for the great chat! I hope you like The Book of (Even More) Awesome and have a very awesome day!
To win one of two free copies of The Book of (Even More) Awesome:
1. Comment below sharing something awesome that happened today.
2. Tweet the following:
RT @tinybuddha GIVEAWAY! The Book of (Even More) Awesome http://bit.ly/l4kK2P (Comment on the post & RT to enter)
You must do both to be eligible to win! You can enter until midnight PST on Monday, May 2nd. If you’re itching to get a copy right now, you can grab The Book of (Even More) Awesome on Amazon.com.
FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.