It all began with broccoflower. But I’m jumping ahead. When Neil Pasricha picked up the phone and the voice on the other end of the phone informed him he had just won “The Best Blog in the World Award,” the first thing he thought was, “That sounds totally fake.”
Nonetheless, Neil’s blog, “1000 Awesome Things” had, in fact, won a Webby Award - and a short time later, Neil found himself author of an international bestseller.
In the wake of a failed relationship and the death of a dear friend, Neil began looking for a way to infuse his life with some positivity. Reflecting on the time period during which he launched the site, Neil says, "If you flipped open the newspaper it was filled with the same stuff every day. The polar ice caps were melting, there were pirates storming the seas, the economy was on the verge of collapse, and there were wars going on all over the world." Rather than allowing himself to wallow in the negativity, Neil began making a list.
A list of awesome. 1000 awesome things, to be exact.
The site is updated Monday through Friday, counting down awesome things from #1000 to #1. What was the awesome thing that started it all? Broccoflower. Or, as Neil describes it, “The bizarre misfit child from two of nature’s most hideous vegetables.”
The most recent post - #255 - is a tribute to “That guy who brings treats to work on Friday.”
Along the way, more than 30 million visitors have celebrated awesome things such as people who look like their pets. The smell of barbecue. Putting things in your shoe so you don’t forget them later. Car dancing. The sound of a golf ball falling into the cup. Dogs with jobs. When iPod shuffle setting reads your mind. Looking through the little window in the oven. Finally finding the start of this stupid roll of tape. Finding out what song is on that commercial. Finding good reading material in someone else’s bathroom. Watching your odometer click over a major milestone.
So here we are. It’s Monday. I am challenging myself to be a little bit more like Neil this week. I’m making a conscious choice to celebrate small joys - whether that means admiring the shape of a melon ball (versus the far inferior melon cube) appreciating puppy breath or stopping to whisper a few words of encouragement to the office basil plant.
I intend to make this an awesome week. And I hope you will, too.
What would you put on your awesome list?