1000 Awesome Things

1000 Awesome Things is a list by Neil Pasricha dedicated to “the simple universal pleasures that we all love but we just don’t talk about enough.” (Quoted from his TED Talk — here’s the transcript) Practice your reading and listening comprehension and getting inspired to make your own list.

Watch his TED Talk:

A sample from the 1000 Awesome Things:

#967 Illegal naps

#122 Using nature as a fridge

#194 When insects are struggling to do something and you help them

#912 Hanging your hand out the window of a car

Live like a surfer

It may help you stop procrastinating.

“The Unexpected Antidote to Procrastination” (from Harvard Business Review)

Why do we put off doing things? Fear of feeling (disappointed, sad, frustrated…). But:

More often than not, our fear doesn’t help us avoid the feelings; it simply subjects us to them for an agonizingly long time. We feel the suffering of procrastination, or the frustration of a stuck relationship. I know partnerships that drag along painfully for years because no one is willing to speak about the elephant in the room. Taking risks, and falling, is not something to avoid. It’s something to cultivate. But how?

Practice.

Many students will, I hope, remember the phrase “the elephant in the room”.

And speaking of surfing, see what Obama has been up to lately. He sure looks happy.

He’s also been busy on the phone. (Yes, this is a joke.)

Fail better

This is a bit too black and white — I think we all have a little “Jay” in us, even if we try to be “Ann” as much as we can. But it’s a good reminder to try to see difficulties as challenges and learn to “fail better”.

Routines

We’re already two and a half weeks into the new year, but it’s not too late to make another good resolution. Here’s a list of things that Guardian readers have done that have changed their lives for the better:

“From date night to cold showers: 20 habits that changed readers’ lives”

cycling to work

cycling to work

Some are rather predictable (yoga, meditation, drinking more water), and some may not have occurred to you as being useful changes in your life (stop shouting). Some may be easy to start — if not to continue (baking bread) and some may be hard (no more coffee) or impossible (cycling to work, which would probably take me about 3 hours).

My favorite on the list is doing something new every day. It reminds me of a book I’m reading now, called The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Harold leaves his house one day and starts walking the length of England. While he’s gone, his wife decides to do one thing each day that she’s never done, like putting air in the tires of their car or organizing their closet in a new way.

What changes are you making this year? Have you succeeded in your new year’s resolution so far?