24 Ways to Be Awesome Every Day (#20 Will Make You Feel Warm and Fuzzy)


I used to be a banker (hated it); now I'm a writer, actor, health coach, and yoga teacher (love it). 

I used to be crippled by shyness so severe that I couldn't even talk to a female without breaking a sweat; now I am (mostly) comfortable in who I am.

I My life used to be lame, but I've made it awesome (by "awesome," I really mean, "noticeably better," but we all have a tendency to exaggerate, don't we?).

That out of the way, I'd like to share the top twenty-four (!) things I've learned in my life adventure so far. If someone ever asks me how to be awesome, this really big list would be my answer.

#1 Pay More Attention

I am constantly fascinated by things around me.

Cloud shapes.
Sunsets.
Bird flight formations.
A tree the size of a giant.

You are surrounded by beautiful things. Pay more attention. <---- Tweet That

 

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#2 You – And Only You – Are Responsible for the Outcome of Your Life

You can't be a dick to your spouse and blame it on "stress at work."

If you're late, you're late. Don't blame "the traffic."

No, "bad genes" doesn't get you out of that mediocre physique.

Accept responsibility for EVERYTHING. You are the CEO of your life.

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#3 Be Self-less, Not Selfish

Meghan Vogel (right) helped her competitor Arden McMath (left) cross the finish line after she collapsed from dehydration and exhaustion in a 3,200 meter race. That's what I call self-less.

Never think "how can I get a sale, make money, insert selfish goal here."

Always focus on adding value to the world, with no expectation of anything in return.

Do that and the rest tends to take care of itself.

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#4 Stop Putting Stuff Off

That thing you really dread doing, that you keep putting off?

Suck it up and do it already -- it won't take very long.

I HATE washing dishes and used to let them pile up for days (gross!).

But one day, I decided to make note of how many minutes it actually took to wash them.

Grand total? Five minutes. That's it.

Most things that we don't want to do (but really should do) don't take long at all. Flossing, anyone?

Whatever that thing is, just get it over with so you can get on with your life.

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#5 Always Produce

Learn a hobby. Pick up a language. Write a book. Take a dance class. Start a blog.

Find something you're passionate about and get to work. Always produce.

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#6 If You're Not Producing, Shut Your Mouth

It's a lot easier to criticize someone else's creation than it is to actually create something.

This is why if you're brave and write a poem, make a movie, create a blog... inevitably, some butthole will trash it.

This is why some people won't support you on your weight-loss adventure.

I used to agonize over every single criticism I received about a blog or progress photo.

But I've learned these criticisms typically come from people who have never produced anything in their life (and they NEVER seem to be interested in sharing their own progress photos, hmmm wonder why).

If someone leaves nasty comments on your picture, blog, or video... remember it is a product of jealousy and fear.

They're jealous you're actually doing something positive -- it makes them feel inferior.

It's a lot easier to pick on you and your grilled chicken salad than it is to actually do something about their weight.

Or they're afraid to do something bold, creative, or artistic; so they lash out at you instead.

It's a lot easier to criticize your work of art than it is to make their own.

Tell them, "I'd like to see you write a 2,000 word blog and not make a typo or two,” (because apparently 1-2 words can determine the quality of a novel, according to some).

Don't let criticisms drag you down. Keep producing.

Are you a critic? Stop it.

You can say something after you actually do something.

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#7 Things Will Never Be Perfect, So Stop Waiting for Them to Be 

Stop waiting for things to be perfect before you take action, because SPOILER ALERT, things are never going to be perfect.

You won't introduce yourself to that girl you think is really cute/smart/awesome, because you're waiting for "the right time." Man up before somebody else recognizes how amazing this creature is and makes a move, or you'll be kicking yourself later.

You won't make a blog or write a book, because your writing isn't good enough yet. Uh, you do know the only way to get better at writing is to WRITE, yes? No excuses, get to it!

You won't do tough workouts, because you need to "work your way up to it." Be careful or you'll spend your entire life "working up to it," and never create that hot physique you dream of.

You won't leave your crappy job or go back to school like you've always wanted to, because the "time isn't right."

Newsflash: the time will NEVER feel right!

Take the plunge. It'll be scary, but it'll be worth it.

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#8 Two Ingredients to Make Every Day Awesome

1) Smiles.

2) Compliments.

Every time you walk past someone in town or at the store, smile and say hi. It'll catch them off guard (in a good way).

OMG t-shirt of a band you love? Awesome argyle sweater? Cute purse? Say so!

Build people up at every opportunity.

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#9 Change Your Thinking about Monday

On Mondays, the temptation to whine, moan, bitch, and complain is staggering.

Monday is a new beginning, an opportunity to make this week more awesome than the last.

It isn't something to dread (and if you keep telling yourself it's going to suck, GUESS WHAT, it will, because self-fulfilling prophecies almost always come true).

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#10 It's a Big World Out There! Stop Doing the Same Things All the Time

I get it – this Mexican joint is really boss, has awesome drink specials, why would you eat anywhere else?

Or your family's been vacationing to the same town or beach for the last 5 years, so it's like tradition.

Or maybe you're just "too busy" to do things like learn an instrument or new language, take your girlfriend to a play, or read an enlightening new book.

But there are SO MANY cool things in this world! 

If your life is a VCR rewind of the same thing over and over again, every single week... you're missing out on everything this world has to offer. 

Go to that new Mexican joint, even though there's NO WAY it could be any better. You'll never know until you try. Even better, check out a restaurant with a cuisine you've never tried before (and make sure you ask for a native beer or mix drink while you're there).

The world is massive. Why the hell would you go to the same single place, out of approximately 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 places, over and over again?

Never let your romantic life stagnate. If you go on the same date over and over again, you're setting yourself up for a moldy (and stinky) relationship. A person can only do the same exact thing so many times before they get bored. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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#11 Be Yourself (and Never Apologize for It)

It's human nature to have a desire to be liked and accepted, so I understand why you try to please people.

But here's the thing: if a person likes you for a complete fabrication of a personality you have created – and they don't even know who you really are – what's the point?

I'd rather have few close friends who like Real Me than have a butt-ton of a friends who like Fake Me.

I'm quite off-the-cuff and honest, because I have no patience for (or interest in) trying to make every single person happy.

I don't want to be anybody but me, because that person is awesome, and trying to be anything else would make me feel like a big lame loser.

This is especially important in dating and relationships.

We put on this insane song and dance to impress a person, often creating an image that sharply contrasts with who we really are.

Something I notice a lot: people turning down their language so they don't offend potential partners.

Is this you? Knock it off. Do you really want to censor yourself eternally? Forget about that shit.

If someone can't accept you for who you really are, it's their problem (and their loss).

Be yourself and make connections with people who DO love and accept you as you are.

Channel your inner Clark Gable when someone gives you problems for simply being you.

Tell them, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

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#12 Dump the Emotional Baggage Holding You Back

Maybe you did something really mean or nasty in the past that you regret... but please realize we're all human, and thus are all flawed in our own ways.

The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and move on.

Whatever mistake you made, don't let yourself become emotionally paralyzed by it.

Did you apologize, own up to it, and try to make amends? If so, forgive yourself.

I'm fully aware this is easier said than done, but even if the person involved doesn't forgive you – if you've done everything in your power to fix things, what else can you do but move forward?

Life is an epic roller-coaster of an adventure with sharp twists and turns, and extreme ups and downs that can rock your emotional being.

But holding onto baggage limits you and your potential.

Whatever that thing is that you can't get out of your head... it's time to let it go.

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#13 Stop Freaking Out about Minor Inconveniences

Big line at the grocery store or bank? No big deal.

OMG terrible traffic jam? Chill out.

Oh, you stepped in dog poop? Sucks, but it's not worth a temper tantrum.

When you get irked about an inconvenience, ask yourself: "Is this really a big deal in the Grand Scheme of things?"

Answer: It's totally not.

Stop freaking out about things you can't control. Relax. These little things aren't worth the slightest stress, I promise.

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#14 Be Considerate In Everything You Do

At work, did you get the LAST cup of coffee in the current pot? Score!

But not so fast, champ. This means you are the lucky winner who gets to make the next pot!

Don't you HATE it when you run off for your coffee fix... only to discover a sad, lonely, empty coffee pot (a moment of terror for any coffee fiend!).

Be considerate and save a fellow coffee fiend from this nightmare. Get the last cup? Make a new pot.

Maybe the idea will take off and others will follow your example.

Imagine! No empty coffee pot ever, because everybody is so considerate. Wouldn't that be heaven?

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#15 Find a Quiet Place and Meditate Every Single Day

You don't have to light candles, go "ommmm," or chant to spirit gods (unless you're into that).

But our mind is always running and running and running... thoughts pile on top of one another, making it difficult to focus. We could all use a break from the noise of our own thoughts.

If you're at home: Find a room to yourself with no noise. Sit or lie on your back and focus on slowly breathing in and out. Don't think about a thing.

This won't be easy if you're new to it, so just aim for a minute of silence the first time and move up from there.

If you're at work: Find a moment to go outside to get some sun, fresh air, and quiet. You'll come back recharged and ready to work

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#16 Learn the Difference Between Smart Hustle and Dumb Hustle

Smart Hustle: Cranking out an extremely rough draft of a blog or essay in an hour, without pause. It's not perfect, but you got a lot of work done.

Dumb Hustle: Spending an hour rapidly shifting focus between various tasks like Facebook, writing an essay, playing Angry Birds, texting that hot guy or girl, etc.

While the dumb hustler cycled through a larger amount of activities than the smart hustler, the smart hustler definitely GMSD (got more stuff done).

The dumb hustler certainly did not accomplish much of the important task at hand–writing an essay. They let distractions bash their focus in the skull with a baseball bat.

Just because you're "busy" doesn't mean you’re actually doing something meaningful. <---- Tweet That

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#17 Screw Up? Put on Your Big Boy/Girl Pants and Admit It

According to a study performed by the Wallen Way School of Awesomeness and Hotness, there is a multiplier relationship between:

a) A screw-up (be it on the job, in a friendship/relationship, forgotten anniversary/birthday, whatever) and

b) The number of days the issue goes unaddressed

If you goofed up in your relationship and don't say something until the next day, the fight's duration (and unpleasantness) will multiply 2x. Let it drag out a week and you can look forward to a 7x multiplier.

You know those couples that are ALWAYS fighting?

They probably let little problems turn into epic headaches, causing the screw-up multiplier to explode, and now their relationship is an eternal squabble.

Screw up? Admit it.

Yes, you're awesome, but we're all human, so we all make mistakes.

If you don't admit it, here's what's gonna happen:

1) You'll cheat yourself out of personal growth. If you never admit you're wrong, you'll never make positive changes to yourself that would prevent this from ever happening again.

2) You'll piss everybody off. If everyone else is fully aware you screwed up (people talk so trust me, they are), you now look like a big loser in denial.

3) Does it involve your relationship? If so, this is monumentally important. If you keep denying it when you're wrong, trust will die. No trust, no relationship.

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#18 Dudes, Don't Be Gross Plz

I have received the following compliment several times from new female friends:

"Thank you for being cool, not sending pervy things or being creepy!"

I'm baffled I was "thanked" for this, as not being a pervert should be considered normal behavior, but based on chats about this subject, there seems to be a significant Creep Problem. In lieu of this, a few things:

Don't be a creeper.

Leaving lewd comments on pictures is gross. Compliments are awesome, but don't be inappropriate.

When you express interest, be tactful.

Bad = "Hai, you're hot, wanna screw?"

Good = Starting a conversation and talking about interesting things like a normal person. Still dig her? Say so (but don't be gross).

Women (most of them) like: honest, kind, intelligent gentleman who aren't with them merely for their ass.

If you look at a woman as a potential lay and nothing else, don't be surprised when she runs away in the opposite direction

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#19 Say Nothing Negative


No criticisms.
No insults.
No complaining.
No self-hate.

Criticizing someone isn't going to make you feel any better (and it's just going to piss them off).

Insulting someone is mean, so don't be a dick.

Complaining about first-world problems doesn't make them go away (plus complaining about insignificant things, especially VIA Facebook, makes you look like a big lame whiner).

And there's no place for self-hate, because you're awesome (duh).

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#20 Collect As Many Hugs as Possible

Hugs are awesome, here's why:

1) Hugs generate body-heat, obviously a plus while you're shivering in those winter boots.

2) Hugs lower blood pressure and are good for ♥ health.

3) Hugs release the "feel good" hormones that lift your mood and make you feel closer to your partner (obviously a plus if you give a crap about your relationship, yes?).

I don't get people who are anti-hug/cuddles.

In a past relationship, I constantly complained about the lack of physical touch (not kidding, it was a regular argument).

Touch is my strongest sense and I need it to function, or I get antsy.

New policy: No cuddles, no deal.

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#21 Embrace Failure

If you try to do something bold and audacious (which you should, because it's so fun!), then you're inevitably going to fall on your face several times while trying to do said thing. Welcome to reality.

Since you're going to fail anyway, you need to learn to embrace it.

Don't be afraid of failure. It's not a bad thing. You'll learn something about yourself and have the chance to fix it. You can try again with a new approach.

Fail again? No big. Dust yourself off, get back up, try something else.

I hate to burst your bubble, but you're not going to make a hole-in-one. Play chess, not checkers. 

^ Click to Tweet ^

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#22 Take a Breather, Do Something Fun (You Earned It!)

My conception of what construes hard work has been shattered.

Let me define what hard work means to me – a sufficient amount of work at which point one may pat self on back, be satisfied with the day's work, and chill out and/or do something fun.

A few times recently, I've beat myself up because I didn't feel like I accomplished enough.

But here's the thing – later, I really thought about it, and realized I'd accomplished plenty of things.

Here's why this happened: Back when I was first building my online coaching service, I became an inhuman cyborg.

I only slept a few hours a night, was always consumed in work, and practically became a hermit for a month or two.

I was so stoked about the idea that it's all I could think about.

The point? Cut yourself some slack. It's very likely that you're the biggest critic of yourself.

You have to hustle and you can't be afraid of a long road full of obstacles.

But life isn't meant to be devoid of relaxation and play.

Maybe you're really consumed in this epic thing you want to do and it's all you can think about, and that's cool, take advantage of that passion while it's burning!

But it's okay to take a breather if you earned it. Go do something fun (because life is meant to be enjoyable!).

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#23 Stop Being So Serious – Let Fun and Play Back in Your Life

My cousin and BFF Chloe in the middle of a game of Hide and Seek!

Have kids?

Play Hide and Seek, marvel at the wonders of their playhouse, pretend they're the Batman squad and you're the Joker, do something ridiculous and fun.

Have a lover?

Make-out in an elevator or photo booth; have a tickle or pillow fight; go to the arcade, play Ski-Ball, win your love a stuffed animal.

With the bros?

One word: fireworks. Explosions will never stop being cool.

Yes, you're an adult, but this doesn't mean you have to be so serious all the time.

Laughter is good for your heart and soul. Do something ridiculous, have fun, be playful!

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#24 Be Real to Yourself and Your Partner

When something is obviously wrong, you are asked "what's wrong?", and you answer "nothing," it's 100% obvious you're lying, so stop it.

Ladies: We aren't mind-readers. I realize the problem might be obvious to you (and you're probably pissed dude hasn't figured it out yet), but we men-folk can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes.

Guys: You do it too, so knock it off. Something the matter? Say so (but don't be a jerk about it).

Avoiding the issue is just going to...

1) Stress you out.

2) Stress your partner out (who seriously might have no idea what's going on).

3) Make the argument much worse than it needs to be (things held in have a way of intensifying).

Dodging the problem, despite being asked “what's wrong?" over and over again by a person who cares about you, is childish. 

What would you add to this list?

Tell us in the comments. If you loved this blog, please share with your friends so they can be awesome like you! <3

If you managed to read this far, you might enjoy my brand new Amazon Kindle book: Do Yoga Every Damn Day.

Download Your Copy in One Click at Amazon.com

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9 Responses to “24 Ways to Be Awesome Every Day (#20 Will Make You Feel Warm and Fuzzy)”

  1. Debbie TenElshof Says:

    Fricking AWESOME!!!! Loved every single word:) We all need a reminder of these things!

  2. Daniel Says:

    Thank you, Debbie! <3

  3. charles carden Says:

    Words to live by. Especially number 2.

  4. Lea Says:

    This is great. It triggered something emotional in me, I don’t know what, I almost cried. :) good work!

  5. Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare Says:

    I. Love. This. A lot of great things that I need to take to heart, and a lot of great things other people need to take to heart. 😉

  6. Maribel Says:

    I always find it fascinating how some people can dissect these kinds of lists and find fault with these points. It sort of defeats the purpose of what your message is, which is that it really can be boiled down to these simple rules. Sure there are circumstance that could make some of this difficult and as someone who’s constantly getting in their own way, I know it’s easier said than done. But something I’ve really learned to embrace is that barring major catastrophe, life is only as difficult as we make it. It’s all a choice in the end and we either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences if we don’t stay true that….Alright, I’m done preaching. I just read some of the comments here and felt the need to say all of this and to tell you that I LOVED your list and I appreciate your message! Keep it real Daniel and keep paying it forward. :-)

  7. Grace Says:

    Fabulous post! I re-tweeted and liked your Facebook page, but more importantly, I am going to work on quite a few of these things! Thanks

  8. Tuuli Says:

    I do most of these things, but no self-hate is hard cause I am estonian. and very self-critical. and hugs are hard cause I dont like touching people.

    I would add: grow some of your own food. most city folks have no idea how food gets on their table. they need to realize how easy they have it and stop complaining and glutting. growing GOOD food is hard. if it gets easy, it comes with a shot of poison… gowing stuff gives you pateince and appreciation for food. plus an abundant garden is just gorgoeus.

    I would also add: be sustainable. wear and use things that last. and if you buy something, then DO use it. stuff laying around which is not used for anything is a burden to you and the earth. be creative. Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle. It is time to get responsible because future generations want to live in this environment too.

  9. Abie Says:

    What an amazing list, many of them are second nature due to the way we where raised. Many of them are things I should definitely start implementing into my life.

    Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.

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