Svaha Spirit Series ~ Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of Awesome

Ok, it’s no secret that I love Neil Pasricha and his blog and his Book of Awesome series. I’ve written about him here on Tara Cronica twice before! He is my hero for a few reasons. He is awesome himself for starters. He won the Webby Award for best blog in the world for his blog 1000 Awesome Things two years in a row. He’s Canadian. He’s authentic. He’s in touch with his inner 3 year old and just generally has a great attitude. And now he has a video on Ted! Yay! Watch this and be inspired by a truly awesome guy.

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You Used To Be A Sperm


Before you go getting too judgmental regarding the picture I’ve chosen, know this…there were some really gross choices and I went with the best available. Trust me on this.

So, life happens apparently, which is why I don’t have a well thought out and laboured over post for you this week. Instead I’ve decided to leave you with a thought, a little bit of wisdom from “The Book of Awesome” that caught my attention today. It comes from the section Neil Pasricha titled, Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now. You can read the whole thing here.  He took the thought in an entirely different direction that I probably would have, but the bottom line is the same. We should stop and remember how very lucky we are…often.

Neil wrote:

But if I really stop to think about it, a lot had to happen before we could be here right now. A lot had to happen before we could buy bananas from Ecuador and eat turkey cold cuts, before we could scroll through blogs about warm underwear and cool pillows, before we learned to read anything at all, before we grew tall, before we could talk, before we could walk, before we were even born…

So let’s stop for a second and pull back. Let’s pull way, way, way, way back.

Okay.

You used to be a sperm.

Now don’t get self conscious. We all used to be sperm. Check out the period at the end of this sentence. That tiny little dot is around 600 microns wide. When you were a sperm you were about 40 microns wide. And you were so cute back then too with your little tail wagging all over the place and your love of swimming. Boy could you swim. In fact if you hadn’t outswum your siblings, you might be a slightly different version of yourself right now. Maybe you’d have a higher-pitched laugh, hairier arms, or stand two inches shorter.

You had a great life as a sperm but always felt incomplete. The truth is you weren’t whole until you met an egg. And then you two began a nine month project to make a cool new version of you. It took a while but you grew arms and legs and eyeballs and lungs. You grew nerves and nails and eardrums and tongues.

I love imagining that I had a great life as a sperm but felt incomplete and went out “searching” for more…and I especially like that he rhymed lungs and tongues. In fact, I can’t stop singing “eyeballs and lungs, eardrums and tongues.  Things like that just stick in my head and yet I can’t remember the essentials! *shrug*

He goes on to say:

Life is so great that we only get a tiny moment to enjoy everything we see. And that moment is right now. And that moment is counting down. And that moment is always, always fleeting.

You will never be as young as you are right now.

So whether you’re enjoying your first toothpicked turkey cold cuts and marveling at apples from South Africa, dreaming of strange and distant relatives from thousands of years ago, or staring into the blackness of deep, deep space, just remember how lucky we all are to be here right now.

If you feel that sense of wonder and beauty in all the tiny joys in life then you’re part of an international band of old souls and optimists, smiling on sidewalks, dancing at weddings, and flipping to the other side of the pillow. Let’s all high five and keep thinking wild thoughts, dreaming big dreams, and laughing loud laughs.

So here’s a big high five to you reader! Take a moment to remember how lucky you are, after all, look how far you’ve come! Awesome!

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The Book of Awesome

We featured “The Book of Awesome” in our newsletter last month but I really wanted to share some of it with all of you in a post as well.  I bought my son a copy of the book for his birthday recently, and I bought one for myself as well.  I can’t resist doing the “one for him and one for me” thing still, just like I used to with his peaches Gerber baby food all those years ago.  Mmm, that stuff is so good.

Anyhoo, the book is based on author Neil Pasricha’s very popular blog 1000awesomethings.com.

The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that makes you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you’ll remember all the things there are to feel good about. With touching, warm, and funny observations, each entry ends with the big booming feeling you’ll get when you read through them: AWESOME!
Source: cover flap

As I was reading this inspiring book I found myself remembering some of my own “awesome!” moments.  I’ll share one that came to mind as I sat in my backyard the other day.

You are gardening, or hiking, or walking in nature somewhere and you suddenly feel something drop in your hair.  You can’t see what it is but you are pretty sure that it must be a very large, creepy, hairy-legged spider judging by the weight of it and by the way your hair is standing on end as a wave of eeby jeeby’s washes all over you.  You start doing the “get it off me!!!” dance, shaking your head violently and slapping your hair as you leap around.  Then you see the culprit fall to the ground.  You gingerly go in for a closer look and discover…a small pine cone. It wasn’t a giant arachnid after all.  It was only an innocent little pine cone.  Major sigh of relief! AWESOME!

I have another similar story involving a cockroach, a night of paranoia (don’t ask) and a very close friend whose name I will omit (but you all know her) and how said friend locked herself in the bathroom rather than “get it off me”.  Ah, but I’ll save that story for another time.

Ok, here are a couple of short examples straight from The Book of Awesome:

The smell of the coffee aisle in the grocery store

Harsh florescent lighting, slushy wet floors, and the cloudy stench of raw fish welcome you into your friendly neighbourhood grocery store.  After circling tables of green bananas, wobbly paper towel towers, and piles of day-old bagels, it’s kind of nice to stumble upon the coffee aisle and just take a big sniff.
AWESOME!

Finally remembering a word that’s been on the tip of your tongue for so long

It’s like throwing a pail of water on all your smoking inner head parts.  Gears unjam, lines  start rolling, and  you settle back in the restaurant booth with a satisfied smile on your face and just blurt it out.
“Parcheesi, that’s what it was called.”
AWESOME!

One more of my own:

Reading The Book of Awesome.  AWESOME!

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