Read this first! A 30-second summary of me and this blog!

Hey everyone,

My name is Neil Pasricha and here’s me in 30 seconds!

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#304 Staring deeply into a fire

Check out the sun.

It’s just a big ball of fire swirling high in the sky.

Plants, heat, life, pretty sunsets — damn girl, that’s some good deals for free.

Yes, we owe a lot to that friendly fireball so it’s no wonder one of the Greatest Things We Ever Did was make fire in its likeness here on Earth. So first up, let’s just stop for a moment today and close our eyes to say “Good job, Cavemen.”

Now these days whether you’re sitting on a wet log around a smoky campfire, cuddling on the couch on Christmas eve, or cooking up dinner on the grill, it sure is easy to get mesmerized by the flames.

Stare into the red hot heat as it crackles and pops before your eyes. Watch as licks and curls unfurl and swirl in a twisted dance of fiery flames. Let the heat wash over you as those beautiful shapes flicker in a neverending show of lights. There is a rhythm and beat to the movement but at the same time it’s just… natural and free.

Staring into a fire warms your eyes… and your heart. Sometimes it comes with tea and hot chocolate, squished slippers, and good conversation. Sometimes it comes with ocean waves and wind whispering through trees under a dimming pink sky. Sometimes it comes at the cottage, sometimes it comes at the park, sometimes it comes in the morning, sometimes it comes when its dark…

But whenever you’re lucky enough to transplant your brain to the center of the flames it’s always an escape from the world… and always an escape into

AWESOME!

Photos from: here , here and here

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#306 Wearing pajamas outside of normal pajama range

Life’s too short to be uncomfortable.

Look, we already figured it out at nighttime: baggy flannel keeping you cozy in the cold, smooth and silky underthings slipping and sliding in the sheets, and extra-large sweatpants and thin fraying T’s help keep us relaxed when we’re sawing wood and breathing Z’s.

Yet somehow during the day we’re fine stiffening ourselves up: high heels, skin-tight jeans, and tight bras mean we’re often uncomfortably pretty.

That’s why wearing pajamas outside of the house is such a great move. It’s like you’re finally admitting to yourself that being comfy is worth it.

Here are some classic ways to pull it off:

1. Picking someone up from the airport. My friend Evan and I once got a late-night pickup from his wife Sim who peeled into the parking lot wearing thick glasses and a slippery winter coat over full-length PJs. Hey, she figured she wasn’t leaving the car so why change into daytime clothes?

2. College dining hall. Back in college we used to eat on the ground floor of an all-male residence. So it was pretty common seeing pimply nineteen year olds in plaid pajama pants, jagged bedhead, and slippers slurping big bowls of Corn Pops in the corner.

3. Walking the dog. Whether it’s the midnight stroll in the dead of winter or the early morning walk before the sun comes up, it’s always a classy move to roam the hood in pajamas, a tattered robe, and maybe some furry pink earmuffs.

4. Going to the corner store for milk. There’s no dress code at the corner store: strolling in slippers, strutting in sweats, that’s fine, that’s fine, that’s perfectly fine. Just make sure you tuck your pajama pants into those giant salty snow boots for good measure.

Wearing pajamas outside of the house smears nighttime comfort into daytime fun. Sometimes it’s good to escape our fluorescent world of shirt-and-tie expectations to just cozy into the cuddly realm of being comfy and being cool with it.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, and here

— Check out my new book You Are Awesome 

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#308 Joking with the staff at the restaurant

I eat out a lot.

I’m not proud of it but living alone downtown surrounded by greasy burger joints, neon sandwich signs, and late-night pizza places means I’m often tempted to trade a crinkly fiver for a waxy-wrapped package in a paper bag.

Sometimes I step into the zone of an empty sub shop or barren pizza place and it feels like I’m walking onto a late night talk show stage. Someone’s filling napkin dispensers while another chops tomatoes and they’ll be joking like Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon. They’ll be in tears laughing at something funny from a few moments before and I won’t know if someone dropped a jar of olives on their foot, a customer ordered a slice of pizza for their cat, or the boss got beet red because nobody ordered receipt tape for the register.

No, I won’t know what’s going on but if I’m lucky they’ll invite me onstage.

Just a few nights ago I walked into a greasy hole in the wall with my friends Nick and Julie and two guys behind the counter were having some sort of hilarious engaging argument. When we walked in they turned to us quickly and one of them immediately yelled out “Hey … what’s a perm?”

We laughed and Nick jumped in quickly to clarify: “What, you mean like in someone’s hair?”

“Yeah, exactly bro. Like, one of us thinks it’s when you make your hair curly and the other think it’s when you make your hair straight. Which one is it?”

He leaned on the cash register with his fist under his chin and with the furrowed brow and squinty eyes sort of looked like a modern day version of The Thinker, only wearing a paper hat. The other guy was laughing behind him while pulling a dripping basket of wet fries from the bubbling hot oil.

“I dunno, I think it stands for permanent,” Julie started up. “Like, anything you do to permanently change your hair in a new way. So … you’re probably both right. Or both horribly wrong.”

A few seconds later we were having mock-serious debates and laughing out loud in a tiny hilarious connection in our dusty neon world. It was a great moment and it made me realize that joking with the staff is always a great time.

Yes, whether you’re laughing with the ladies at the laundromat, trading barbs with the barbers at the shop, or joking with the jail guards in the joint — well, it just means you nailed your cameo appearance onstage.

Congratulations on a great walk on performance.

Today you win the Best Supporting Actress of

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

— Check out my Youtube channel

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#309 When you’re sleeping and the sounds around you turn into your dreams

Snores are steam trains, clock radios are car alarms, and the neighbor building a deck outside is suddenly knocking urgently at your front door.

When the sounds around your sleeping self magically morph into new stories in new worlds it’s a sign that the plump pile of pink flesh floating inside your head bone has a pretty wild imagination and is capable of turning tiny things into big ideas.

Your eyes are closed, your fingers limp, and your breathing is as deep and rhythmic as ocean waves … but lightning flashes in your brain, faces flash and stories strain, as you float deeper and live longer through otherworldly travels and thoughts.

When you wake up don’t forget to keep bubbling with big ideas, race those winning races, and keep your heart beating fast in heart beating moments.

Being a dreamer is great fun.

Being a dreamer is

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

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#310 Laughing when you’re in bed

Flip the switch.

After touch-feeling your way past the bed frame and slow-peeling your way under the sheets you blindly slip and shiver into the cool and cozy comfort of your beautifully dented bed.

And whether you’re giggling in the bunks with your brother, whispering in sleeping bags at a slumber party, or just lazing around on a sleepy Sunday morning with your wrinkly sweetheart of fifty years… well isn’t it a beautiful moment when you’re suddenly smiling in pitch blackness and laughing in a pajama-clad moment of intimacy.

Laughs in bed are a little bonus at the end of a long day.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

— Check out my new book You Are Awesome 

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#311 Finding out what song is playing in that commercial

Your brain is glue.

Long after the cars are finished off-roading up a mountainside or speeding around a cliffside bend the jingle-jangly tune that accompanied those smooth rolling moments is still smooth rolling around your head.

Yes, it bumps around your brain at the office and you find yourself finger-tapping the steering wheel home. It jumps around your brain in the shower and you find yourself humming when you’re all alone. So maybe you search online for broken lyrics until you find spam-filled discussion boards full of other people looking for the same tune.

But that’s what makes it so great when you ask your friends, you wait for it again, you look online, and eventually find those few blissful minutes of soul-strumming

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

— Check out my podcast 3 Books 

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#312 The sound of the train chugging into the station

First you wait.

Cold wind whips you on the lonely platform as you shudder and shuffle in the rain. Whether you’re catching the commuter train downtown, backpacking home from college, or visiting in-laws out of town you’re alone in that barren platform zone, baby.

So you wait … and wait … and wait … and wait… and wait… and wait… and wait…until!

There is a light.

Yes, staring down those distant rails you spot a tiny yellow light glowing like a flashlight of hope at the top of a dark well. Reflections flicker and shine off the metal rails and suddenly your desires, dreams, and destiny all twist into a long string of giant metal cars rushing and rumbling towards you.

Crowds jostle and businessmen sigh while bells start ringing and babies cry. If you’re lucky you might get that whisper-flipping sound of a thousand panels in an old train schedule board flipping all at once while the chugging engines and screaming steam whips the wind together and that streaking steel finally slows to a screeching stop.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

— Check out my Youtube channel

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