#264 Putting things in your shoe so you don’t forget them later

I’m pretty forgetful.

I forget keys in my pants, food in my microwave, and words at the end of my.

Being forgetful is a terrible thing. Seriously, if you’ve ever tapped your empty pockets in front of your locked front door you know exactly how painful it can be.

Fortunately we live in a bright and modern Future World where decades of cutting edge research has resulted in breakthrough technological advances that give us a way to remember all the things we’d otherwise leave behind.

I’m talking about throwing them in your shoe, people.

It’s an ingenious and failproof scientific system of helping your Future Self out whenever you think your Current Self might leave something behind.

Yes, putting things in your shoe so you don’t forget them later.

Works for everything except babies, raw eggs, and Micro Machines.


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“I went out gardening today and I created a little garden with your book  for you – check out my photo attached! Cheers!” – Steve from The Pothole Gardener

Photos from: here and here

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#265 The smell of really, really clean air

Your lungs deserve the best.

Escape the parking garage, forget the fast food fumes, and run away from that photocopying daze in the cubicle farm.

When you get way out in the open, when you’re sailing over the deep blue sea, when you’re climbing to the top of the mountain, just take a breath for you and me.


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“My friend Kacie and I went to a beginners yoga class and at one point we were in a pose like the picture attached … I looked over to Kacie and she was staring at me with a big smile on her face… I mouthed “Are you OK?” she smiled.  We went on to another pose, again I looked over and she smiled and mouthed to me “I farted” while beaming… I mouthed back “What?!” and with an even bigger smile she whispered “I. Fart-ed.”  I lost it in a fit of giggles.  Our super chill instructor just smiled as we laughed for five minutes. After class ended we were walking out of the gym and she confessed ‘I think I liked it- I just felt so free!’ AWESOME.” – Rita

Photo from: here

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#266 When a deadline is extended unexpectedly

Talk about a win-win-win-win.

If you’re already done! Brother, you just earned some breathing room. Sit back and smile as everyone sweats it up next week and pat your own back for being on top of your game. If you feel like it you can make improvements and hand in Version 2.0 of Your Masterpiece. Or you can simply make improvements to the amount of dancing cat videos you’ve watched online lately. Your choice.

• If you’re nowhere close! Then this is for you! Yes, you were drowning in deadlines when this one thankfully got moved so now you finally catch your breath and get organized. Take a deep breath and catch up to yourself.

• If you’re the teacher! Congratulations! You just enabled your own procrastination. Forget spending the weekend reading a pile of book reports or grading science labs. Nope — now’s the time to clean out the fridge, spend a day on the couch, and maybe even finally finish that Solitaire game that’s been taunting you. Watch out for falling cards.

If you’re the deadline! Why, you don’t mind at all either. This could be due to your lack of consciousness.

So listen up, teachers and bosses of the world: When you extend those deadlines we’re loving you lots. Life’s too short to stress out all the time so give us a break and we promise to pay you back with full-face smiles, cracking high fives, and great big screams of


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“Every year my school hosts ‘Make a Statement Day,’ when everybody in the school gets a plain white T-shirt to do whatever they please on it. From inspirational quotes by world famous authors to passing thoughts, each shirt is a work of art and often the messages on them convey students thoughts and feelings about life and the world around us. My statement this year was to “Be Awesome” because there is something truly great about just being AWESOME!” – Colin from Massachusetts

Photos from: here

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#267 Car dancing

Get down, get funky, get loose.

When the tunes starts bumping and your car starts thumping it’s time to dance it off in the passenger or back seat. Slam the glove compartment, roll down the windows, and give these moves a try:

The Bird. Both the driver and passenger get involved with this one. Each person sticks one arm out each window and gets slowwwwwwww flapping. Birdcalls can be added for effect or just enjoy the ride.

• Reverse Irish Dancing. Michael Flatley was Lord of the Dance with his super-fast-legs styles. Go the opposite by keeping your legs buckled up while getting the upper body bouncing. Head bobs, shoulder shrugs, and flailing elbows? Testify!

• Air Drumming. Bang the dash, bang the windows, and bang those bucket seats. Make sure you point all the air vents towards you and crank the fan for full effects. Bonus points awarded for headbanging so hard you engage the seatbelt.

Air Boxing. This is just a twist on Air Drumming and is primarily used for LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out.

• Mime Dancing. When you’re rocking out wearing headphones nobody hears those drums thumping and that bass kicking. But they see you enjoying them both. Lip synching with scrunched eyebrows and wistful eyes is always nice here.

When you can’t go outside cause you’re strapped in for the ride sometimes it gets blurry and boring out the windows. Cloud float up high and trees whip on by while you sit and itch for some energy and some fun. So when the talking is done and you’re cruising in the sun make sure you get those buns bouncing to the beat, clap your hands and stomp those feat, and make some car dancing magic … in your car dancing seat.


— Email message —

“Hi my name is Tiferet. My 6 grade teacher asked us to write a paragraph for Lang. I chose to write on How To Be Happy. I hope it’s awesome enough. Here it is for you.” – Tiferet

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#268 Getting a good locker in high school

Scott got screwed.

Back in ninth grade my friend Scott was assigned a locker buddy named Kyle who played trumpet in the school band. They shared a thin locker down a dark and dusty hallway outside the Boy’s Changeroom. Not only did it smell like armpit, but it was about a three-minute hike from any of our classes.

Now, Scott gave Kyle the top shelf so he was stuck on his knees every morning wedging his winter jacket, books, and boots onto the rusty floor of the thing. I have a painfully vivid memory of watching Kyle’s trumpet case majestically tumble from the top shelf and completely nail Scott in the face.

You could say he had a bad locker.

Getting a good locker in high school makes all the difference. You need a convenient spot to grab your books when you’re running  late, easy access to the bathroom and cafeteria, and a good Locker Neighborhood near all your friends.

And tumbling trumpets to the face should be avoided wherever possible.


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“I had my first flying experience this past week.  After the light headed fun and the ears popping what got me through my first plane ride was reading your book.  Attached is a picture of the book on my tray table beside the barf bag I thankfully never needed to use. ‘Riding in an airplane for the first time and not throwing up.  Awesome.'” – Cayce

Photos from: here and here

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#269 The sound of a golf ball falling into the cup

I was the Mini Golf King.

Yes, back in those blurry late 80s there wasn’t a course that could trip me up. Slippery slopes, puddle patches, shady piles of windswept maple keys were all no match for my well-practiced whacking of that neon pink ball. Smack it off the chewed-up mat, bounce it off the windmill arms, and let it slowly straighten before dropping right into the hole.

That was my game.

The sound of a golf ball falling into the cup is the bounce-a-round sound of hole-finishing satisfaction. Whether you just finished smacking dented balls off tree trunks, chipping through the rough, or twelve-putting your way to the finish line, it really doesn’t matter.

Because that final shot always sounds the same.

It’s the sound of satisfaction going down the drain.


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“I started a little project in my sorority Delta Zeta at Michigan Tech University where I started giving The Book of Awesome to my roommate to thank her for being such an AWESOME roommate. Her job was to read a couple pages a day and add her own AWESOME things. Then she passed it on to the next woman. The criteria for passing it on is mostly to say “thank you,” “congratulations,” “cheer up,” or whatever! I’ve loved watching how excited all the women have gotten about this! When it’s time to pass it on they get all mischievous and try to figure out where it’s gonna go next. My sorority took its annual group pictures today so we brought along The Book of Awesome! p.s. We all particularly loved ‘taking off your bra at the end of a long day'” – Miriam

Photo from: here

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#270 Dogs with jobs

Dogs are lazy.

There, I said it. And you know it’s true. Look who’s sleeping on the couch, look who’s drooling on my socks, look who’s wandering around in circles. Dogs, my friend. Dogs, dogs, dogs.

And sure, maybe the dog economy has dried up a bit and it’s not as easy to give a dog a bone. But before this old man comes rolling home let’s take a moment to say thanks to the K9s actually earning their kibble:

• Seeing eye dogs. I feel bad for blind people of three hundred years ago. We hadn’t invented glasses yet and Seeing Eye dogs weren’t around. People like me probably walked around aimlessly till we fell in sewer holes or tried to pet a bear. Lucky for us, now glasses and seeing-eye dogs come through in the clutch – leading us out of harm’s way and letting us live another day.

• Junk yard dogs. Who else is going to guard all the spare tires, rusty chains, and piles of gravel around here? Braving rainstorms, mud puddles, and barbed wire makes junk yard dogging a tough life … but an honest life.

• The dalmation on the fire squad. Apparently firefighters took dalmations with them in the early days to be a sort of barking siren. Their aggressive nature and loud barks helped clear the streets for fire trucks to get to the blaze. It helped that they had a ton of energy and got along great with horses. Thanks, Spots.

•Bomb sniffing dogs. These four-footed beacons of courage are keeping our skies safe. I mean, would you enjoy inspecting suspicious duct-taped packages making ticking sounds? I didn’t think so. So make sure you give these weekend warriors a grateful head nod next time you walk past.

• Hunting dogs. Remember when you weren’t clay shooting back in Duck Hunt there was that friendly neighborhood hunting dog scaring the ducks out of the bushes so you could pop them? These guys are close cousins of the bloodhounds who help detectives find clues in the forest. They follow a work hard, play hard philosophy.

• Sheep dogs. Herding sheep over grassy hills is no walk in the park. While his friends are pissing on trees outside the pizza place the sheep dog runs around barking for hours. Fierce determination and a tireless work ethic are hallmarks of the role.

Yes, dogs with jobs keep the rusty gears of our economy creaking as they dedicate their noble lives to service. Dogs with jobs help our world go round.

Dogs with jobs are


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Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Pasricha, I am in the army and my Colonel suggested watching your video about the 3 A’s of awesome. I found a picture online long ago that I showed to him and he laughed and thought it would be cool to send it to you. So attached is the picture. Also, here is a photo of me when I was promoted to SFC. It was an AWESOME day. Thanks,

Sergeant First Class Wayne Gray

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#271 When the music player’s shuffle reads your mind

Sometimes it knows exactly how you feel.

Sometimes it knows exactly what you need.

Sometimes it plays a song that is exactly


— Email message —

“The beauty of sunsets is well-documented. Poems have been written on it. Photographs have been clicked. Many romantic films end with the happy couple walking towards a beautiful sunset. I have seen some beautiful sunsets from my apartment in Bombay and they never cease to amaze me. But, every once in a while, if I wake up early enough during certain times of the year I get to see the moon setting over the Arabian Sea and the only word for it is AWESOME!!!!” – Nita

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#272 The Stone Age

Props to the past.

The Stone Age is the term describing the giant time period from 600,000 years ago to 8000 years ago where our earliest ancestors first made tools from stone. Unless you happen to be an immortal wizard, I’m guessing you weren’t around back then. Yeah, me neither. But we sure owe a lot to our cave brothers and and sisters for the stuff they figured out to help us along our way. Seriously, 98% of our time on Earth has been living in The Stone Age, so it’s time to look back and give two opposable thumbs up to our makers.

Now, the first stone tools ever built are either the core type, formed by chipping stone to form a cutting edge, or the flake type, fashioned from fragments struck off a stone. Hand axes made their first appearance here for our hunter-gatherer grandparents.

After this there was a technology boom. Think of it like the dot-com era of the 1990s, only this was about 50,000 – 100,000 years ago and included the invention of Mousterian tools — instruments such as sturdy points and bone needles and thimbles to help sew furs and skins together for body coverings. Yes, blankets were born. Also, we began painting back here, decorating dead bodies with colors before burying our loved ones. Note that this was the start of the cosmetics industry with beads, necklaces, and ochre, but its peak wasn’t reached until sparkly blue eye shadow much later.

From about 50,000 years ago onwards we really hit our Stone Age stride. We started building pit houses, which are arguably our first homemade shelters. So camping suddenly became more of a nice-to-do instead of a have-to-do. Also, we started group hunting and fishing with new tools such as knives, spears, and harpoons. And in addition to stone, we started using bone and ivory to make artwork such as Venus figures.

Basically, The Stone Age is a really, really long time that happened a really, really long time ago. But without it, almost nothing we see, do, and use in our lives today would be possible. When we’re driving around in fast cars staring at stars, just remember where it all started — carving stones, shaping rocks, and charging our way forward into science and the arts.

Yes, from ochre to Play-Doh, from cave paintings to computer screens, we’ve gone from berries to jam and from running feet to submarines. From pit houses to apartments, from stone spears to pocket knives, our latest inventions keep us moving forward… and keep changing all of our lives.


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“Here’s what happened to me tonight: I was speeding through the countdown and happened upon #519. Then I flipped on the television and found The Truman Show, which was a favorite of mine. I was watching and realized I never really watched the whole thing through, which I recall was #776. Midway through the movie, I read #464. The Truman Show was filmed in Seaside, Florida, which is our family’s favorite vacationing spot. So how about that? 3 awesome things in one. Truly Awesome.” – Mitch

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

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#273 Breaking into your own place after realizing you locked yourself out

We’ve all been there.

Whether you left the keys in your car, let a dorm door slam behind you, or just came home late without a key, we feel your pain, we feel your pain, we feel your pain.

Now after the panic drains and you stop going insane it’s time to get your brain together by slipping off your sneakers, pulling a ski mask over your face, and grabbing a giant empty sack with a dollar sign stamped across it. Yes, you’re a cat burglar and it’s time to bust into your own joint.

Unlocked windows, jimmied doorknobs, and bent wire hangers all help get the job done in style. Swing pet doors could also come in handy. Also! Be sure to try and fail to wedge a Mastercard in the doorjam for a couple minutes while saying “I saw this in a movie once”, just for the full experience.

Breaking into your own place after realizing you locked yourself out gives you a smirking sense of jewel thieving satisfaction. You get the high of being a bank robber without the guilt of walking around with a coat full of diamonds.

Let’s just call it a win win.

Let’s just call it


— Email message —

“While walking along the cliff at the end of the world… alright, the Coastal Path of the most southern point in Cornwall, UK… I stumbled across this. It makes me smile every time I see it.” – June

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