TED Conversations

Neil Pasricha: What do you do to make your life awesome? Extended until 2016*

Join me here May 3, noon-1pm Eastern time, to talk live about what we do to make our lives awesome. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

ADMIN EDIT: Neil has asked us to keep the thread open until the year 2016 to extend the awesomeness! He (and potentially his publicist), will be checking in occasionally to answer more awesome questions throughout the week and possibly in later years.

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    May 3 2011: Not mine but,

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
  • May 3 2011: I make hats for Chemo patients. The conversations we have about life, love, death and living in the moment make my life awesome.
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    Mar 1 2012: Hi again Neil:>)
    I don't have to "make" my life awesome. I simply notice the awesomeness all around me. There is SO much to be grateful for that we sometimes fail to recognize and acknowledge....simple things that are sometimes taken for granted.

    Washing dishes means I have food to eat...doing laundry means I have cloths to put on my back...cleaning the house means I HAVE a house...getting out of bed in the morning means I CAN get out of bed...connecting here on TED means I have a computer, which provides the opportunity to connect with the world...I'm sitting here drinking a warm, delicious cup of coffee, with my home warmed with wood, friends have provided for me....these are all gifts that many people in our world do not have...we can go on.....and on.....and on......if we want to......it's a choice to observe the awesomeness in our lives......or not:>)
    • Jul 25 2012: Please be my mom!
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      Jul 25 2012: Colleen, Great answer. I have great concerns for people who try to "MAKE" their lives awsome. The core of that is "ME". The final result of that is, look at me I am awsome.

      Sounds like Neil is asking TED to write a book in his name so he can become awsome. Now there is an idea worth spreading. LOL
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        Jul 25 2012: Hi Robert,
        Good point from you......as usual!

        Recognizing an awsome life, can indeed lead to the concept of "I am awesome".....or not:>) In my perception, it depends on how we use the information.

        For me, a very big part of recognizing "awesome" in my life, is to be grateful for all that I have. We see lots of conversations right here on TED, where folks are searching for happiness, contentment, passion, life path, etc. etc.

        Sometimes (all the time in my humble perception), all it takes is recognizing what we DO have in our lives, and that serves as a catalyst for the next step.

        One thing that is awesome today, is that I started out the day with a lovely message from Paul Ashton (above), which totally touched my heart:>) Then I went for a lovely bike ride with my buddies...by the lake....AWESOME day:>) Now I get to connect with you my friend Bob.....more awesome!!!
  • May 3 2011: "Assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often and realize how fortunate you are right now!” I think if one figures out how to do that. That would totally make their life Awesome!
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      May 3 2011: Need less... I am striving for that and still find it that I have way more than I need.
      • May 3 2011: Good Luck! Its a beautiful realization to know that your happiness is not dependent on anything else but YOU.
        • May 3 2011: That's a good discovery. Here in Austin we have a "zero waste" policy. I like to apply that to my things. I'd rather have someone using the stuff that is just collecting dust rather than holding on to the items for possible use. The more a person puts back into the stream of use the more you see come your way. It's the basic principle of sharing. Knowing that is pretty awesome
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      May 3 2011: A friend of mine once told me he can put everything he has in a suitcase, minus the guitar. It sparked in me that notion, its quite interesting trying to achieve it.
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        May 3 2011: I made an experiment last month, decided not to reuse any piece of clothing until my closet was empty (underwear aside, of course). I lasted 3 weeks and still the closet was not completely empty!! We women have the closet full of "I have nothing to wear". I decided to stop that.
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    May 3 2011: Totally engage in each and every moment.
    This moment has never been before, and will never "be" again.
    It is the most important moment:>)

    "The winds of grace are blowing all the time. It is up to us to raise our sails"
    (Ramakrishna)
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    May 3 2011: I like to sing to my cat. It makes his day and mine way more awesome. Sometimes he even joins me
  • Feb 5 2013: I learn everything I can. Not just school, which I am in often, but life. I am a firefighter and paramedic, but I am also a soapmaker. I catch alligators and I make gyotaku prints. I laugh with my children and I defend the helpless. I plant a garden and I hunt game. I listen to Metallica and I lose myself in Vivaldi. I learn, not just skills or formulas, I learn emotion. I live through my senses. I seek inspiration. I welcome awe. I try to be human and am eternally grateful for the opportunity.
  • Jun 24 2011: LOVE makes life awesome. Love being given and shared generously: making other people laugh, bringing them joy, helping them, filling their needs, listening to their hearts, relying on them, sharing deep feelings and thoughts, taking risks by getting out of the box in the way you express love, making sure that you loose face instead of keeping your ground. It is true attention, devotion and appreciation for who they are. It is seeing the beauty and supporting the true heart of the other person. It is closeness, togetherness, cooperation, serviceful-ness and care.

    EGO destroys love and life. It makes you be self-protective, afraid to express love, thinking about how you are going to look. It will push you to think bad thoughts and do the things that are hurtful, blame others and be ashamed. It is concerned about what you are going to get and what you age going to lose. If you allow yourself to love, it will think what benefits you will reap from loving someone. It makes you overly attached, reactive, prideful, insecure, distrusting, defensive, offensive, greedy, lazy, closed-minded and closed-hearted.

    Given the above, what makes life awesome is embracing love and getting rid of ego. There is no other way to be truly happy. All the other ways to deal with boredom, lack of energy, depression, dissatisfaction and unfulfillment are bound to fail. They are designed by ego and its desire to get what it selfishly wants. It is not the way. A person gets involved in various therapies trying to avoid pain or indulges in various forms of consumption in the pursuit of pleasure, but it is just making things worse. Within, the heart is still aching. Without loving and being loved, it will never be satisfied.
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      Jul 1 2011: Hello there Eva, Love indeed conquers all but as we look at the world today, the power of love seems to be the forgotten solution. Is it because many people does not know what true love is?

      We have to the power to be amazing within our own lives but wouldn't it more amazing if apply our amazing powers to right our world and make it an amazing global home? http://Bit.Ly/KeyPower
      • Jul 5 2011: Hi Joe!

        Nice to see your post. Usually people don't respond to the words about love and ego. It probably is to intimidating to them.

        I think you are right. Most of the people don't have enough discernment about what is of love and what is of ego, AND they have a lot of ideas about love. They mistake love with smiley face, and consoling collusion that says "it is all good" about the ego in the other. They associate love with hurt, not seeing clearly enough that it was ego which was hurtful in their relationships. Love would not do harm to their heart. Love would care for the true heart and soul of the other, that can live only in truth.

        Nowadays the noble teaching "Love thy neighbor as thyself" got replaced with "You have to love yourself first". Every sane person would feel offended by someone putting "loving oneself" before loving YOU. "Loving oneself first" doesn't have anything to do with real love. It is an idea that keeps people from loving for real.

        The second paragraph of your post I cannot relate to. It sounds like a slogan for a political campaign, designed just to advertise your blog.

        I looked into your blog though, and I liked that you wish to be a friend to everyone. I am up for that. I would be a friend to you, if you wish. Just write me an email, and we can talk more.
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          Jul 6 2011: Dear friend Eva! the link is my description of what real love is and it is the premise of my blog that love is the key in transforming our world, similar to what you noted that love makes our life awesome. I do wish to discuss the concept of ego as the reason for our weaknesses, hence the reason also for making our life unamzing. How would you relate it in my description of real love? (If you wish or if you have a long answer, you can send me your reply on my email in my blog)
      • Jul 9 2011: Hi Joe!
        I read your blog. I appreciate your good intentions there. And I wrote you a response with what I think needs revision.
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      Mar 1 2012: Beautiful Eva, your text deserves a fancy frame to be read by everybody that has a question about why the world is as it is and what can be done about this.
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    May 7 2011: Its been about a month doing meditation on regular basis and it works quite well. :)
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      May 9 2011: Its so wonderful to be able to finish meditation every single day. It looks very simple but its the most difficult thing in the world.

      I wish I can say that I finish my meditation every day. but when I do I feel like on cloud nine....
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      May 30 2011: i'm doing meditation for 8 years now, half an hour a day. it is indiscrible awsome, no words. "you open your mouth, it is allready a mistake"
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      Jun 30 2011: I agree. I meditate and do Pranayama for 20minutes every day, have been doing for the past 6 years. You feel so light like air. You feel a gentleness in your step and it is an awesome feeling!
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      Nov 8 2011: Hahn, you official win the "Most Labels Under Their Name" award. Congratulations!
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    May 4 2011: Make a difference in someone's life, add a smile, wipe a tear, make someone feel special, make that day special for someone.....there are a million ways to spread the smiles around....its a small step that begins to make the world a happier place to be in...and you can always begin today, now.
    I think when i have made that difference in another person's life i would consider that day awesome for me.
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      May 5 2011: Someone has very rightly said "A smile is a light in the window of the soul indicating that the heart is at home"
      How blessed we are that we can smile & get rid of tension for some time. Smile and laughter are the precious gifts the more you give , more you get.. I have these in billions and planning to give to all 4+ billions souls.....on our planet earth... cheers!! :-) :-))
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        May 5 2011: BEAUTIFUL! Smiles are beneficial for the giver and reciever:>)
        As the song says...
        "Spread sunshine all over the place....just put on a happy face":>) :>) :>)
  • May 3 2011: Life is awesome when you realize that happiness is a choice and all you have to do is to make that choice. It's that simple.. 
  • May 3 2011: Awesome = waking up at 4am in New Zealand because you can't sleep and finding an AWESOME Ted talk which just happens to have a link to an active conversation on the other side of the world about awesome things in many peoples' lives!

    Hence being reminded why you just bought a plane ticket to Canada yesterday and reaffirming that you did the right thing and it's going to be an awesome tour. (It was worries about whether I did the right thing buying the ticket that woke me up in the first place).
    Ah, time to go back to sleep then. Thanks Neil, from Christchurch, New Zealand :)
    PS this is my first post ever on TED
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      May 3 2011: Thanks, Toni! Hope the recovery efforts are going well. I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand years ago and I must say you live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Props to the boiling mud of Rotorua.
  • May 3 2011: I read to kids at the library on Saturday mornings, take long walks outside just to remind myself that the sky is still there, and find ways to surround myself with interesting and happy people. :)
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    May 3 2011: The question should be... what do you do to make your life sustainably awesome....
    • May 3 2011: That's a really good question!
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      May 3 2011: Hmm, good thought, Jose! What do you say?
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      May 3 2011: For me its enjoying the little rhythms in life. During the week that means enjoying seeing the sun in the morning, a little walk to work, plopping down on the couch in front of the TV, cooking dinner, a baseball game (which has all the awesome rhythms of patient contemplation and instant thrill in itself), and crawling in to bed. Along with really appreciating the people you see everyday - I think that'll get you there.
    • May 3 2011: "what do you do to make your life sustainably awesome.... " Change the way you look at each event. Say you have a car accident. You can get annoyed and angry at yourself or you can go "Well, what did i learn from this? At least no-one was hurt. And bonus - I've helped the economy by providing work for the tow truck driver, the medhanic, the panel-beater and the insurance adjuster."
      Ok maybe that's a little over the top but hopefully you get what I mean. It's all about how you choose to see the event and respond to it.
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      May 3 2011: I move from awesome thing to awesome thing. If I stay on one too much, I know I'll get too much, but if I step away, I know it'll be there when I come back.
  • May 3 2011: I recently had a conversation with my dad about how the word "awesome" has lost the meaning it used to have. It used to mean "full of awe" but lately is used to describe anything cool.

    What do you think about this "cheapening" of the word?

    Are you guilty of this?
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        May 3 2011: Hey Brock!

        It's so funny -- there was just a big article about this up in Canada last week: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/04/19/this-story-is-awesome/

        For me, words are what you make 'em. At the end of our short, fragile, delicate lives I know we'll probably smile and look back at the high highs of our lives -- father-daughter dances at weddings, healthy baby screeches in the delivery room, and wide eyes on graduation stages.

        But! And here's the but! That will maybe add up to like what -- 5, 10 days total?

        I think there's a LOT more awesome than that.

        I say awesome includes wearing warm underwear from out of the dryer, waking up before your alarm clock and realizing there's an hour left to sleep, and fixing electronics by smacking them.
        • May 3 2011: Maybe it's ok to use "awesome" for everything if you sit back and realize how truly awesome everything is
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    May 3 2011: Hey everyone! Sitting with Will and Corvida at TED HQ in New York right now. To kick us off, what do YOU do to make your life awesome?!

    A few from The Book of (Even More) Awesome to kick us off -- stepping on crunchy sidewalk leaves, letting the gas pump stop perfectly on a round number, and giving hugs to people who didn't know they were in a hug relationship with me.
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    Dec 21 2012: I stopped reading newspapers in the morning and started watching TED talks instead. It's a small change to make life more awesome :)
  • Jan 12 2012: I live in the present moment,right now,this instant.I allow myself to feel love when it is offered. Not to hang on to the past nor the future.Life is what you make it. I feel it's very important to keep your mind, heart, and eyes open. Give freely, Give all the time, and most of all give from your heart. Always love,love and love some more!!
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    Jul 13 2011: Pulling back the flap on a tent after what sounded like a night-long rainstorm, only to find a brilliant, sunny morning.
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    Jun 24 2011: As my children jumps in joy in front of me I feel awesome.
    As my friends , colleagues, neighbours extend their compassionate hand I feel awsome.
    As I hear birds singing, flowers blooming , breeze passing through bushes making wonderful music I feel awesome.
    As I see people from one part of the globe crying for the misery of other part whom they never knew and will never meet , I feel awesome.
    As I read a great poetry or a piece literary work I feel awesome.
    Life is really awesome if one want to make it so, there are plenty of reasons around ..... just need to look for.... nothing comes automatically to make one's life awesome.
  • May 19 2011: It’s important to be happy in order to make your life awesome. I have always felt awesome in my life, cause I take things positively. People ask me this a lot of time, that "We think god loves you way more than us" but the fact is when you look at things positively, people tend to come closer to you then if you have negative attitude. A key to success is positive attitude. For example, once my little cousin tried to throw a big stone on the road, and without realising how heavy it was he threw it and it landed on my leg giving me 15 stiches on my leg. My mom started crying and cussing, while I told her that thank god it was just 15 stiches, what if I had to cut the whole leg. She started smiling and said yes "Thank god". Another thing to feel awesome is to accept and digest your own mistakes. When you learn to digest your own mistakes, you tend to make improvement in yourself. The key to digest and accept your mistake is to "Listen". The key to feeling awesome is to have positive attitude and accept and digest your own mistake by listening and make improvement in yourself.
  • May 4 2011: embracing the unpredictable
  • May 3 2011: Staying optimistic makes my life awesome. I am proud to say, I have been accused of being too hopeful. I am so glad that my faith shines through ! I want the best for everyone and for me! I believe that my hope keeps me alive and going and I will hold on to it forever !
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      May 3 2011: CHARLOTTE, I LOVE IT:>)
      I too have been accused of being a "Pollyanna" , "living in a fantasy world", and "not facing reality" because I am optimistic and "too hopeful". I think it is a choice, and I'm going to hold on to it too...no matter what anyone says:>) I'm with ya!!!
  • May 3 2011: I want to talk about what I would like to do to make my life awesome in the future.

    # I want to make the people around me happy, so that they can reflect that back to me.
    # I want to think about an idea, and become so consumed by that every day I want to work on it to make it happen.
    # I want to write a list of things that I want to do with my life and then focus on doing and achieving them.
    # I want to learn to speak German, so I dont feel so ignorant when I visit new places.
    # I want to wake up in the morning, clap my hands together and say, Today, is going to be a great day - Dicky Fox, Jerry Maguire
    # I want to watch, listen to, read or create something each day that motivates and inspires me.
    # I want to eliminate negativity from my life. - Ric Elias, Ted Talks
    # I want to go out of my way to help someone once each week. On a Friday. - Danny Walace, Join Me

    That is all.
  • May 3 2011: 3 words: take it easy.
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    May 3 2011: I "throw my hat over the fence" which means agreeing to take on something challenging even though it scares me inside, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, because then I have to go get it. I live with passion and never forget how fortunate I am.

    I'm a MegaHero Social Innovator and I make a difference in my own small way for the good in life for all. Join Me Join Us
  • May 3 2011: I listen to New Yorker Short Story Pod casts with my son while walking even though we are not in the same city and then, while still walking, phone each other to talk about the story and commentsgiven by the reader and editor.
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    May 3 2011: Never loose the inner child, never stop amazement, never get tired of ourselves!
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    May 3 2011: Hey everyone,

    Wow! This has been pretty awesome! We started this TED Conversation at 12pm EST May 3, 2011 and the record for comments so far was something like 150. YOU BLEW EVERYONE AWAY! I'm writing this at 1:30pm EST after we extended it three times and so far we've got around 300 comments!

    We just had a chat about extending this chat by an hour, or a day, or even a week -- because of how great it's going. But what we JUST DECIDED HERE was to extend this to December 31, 2016. Because we're gonna want the awesome running till then! This is now the Official Longest TED Conversation Ever!

    AWESOME!

    Chat, relax, exchange, read, anything. I'll log back in and chime back -- but, as always, the beauty of this conversation is that people are sharing so much and responding to each other.

    Thank you all so much for letting me chat with you today. Special thanks to all the great TED folks who made this possible. I appreciate all the kind words on the 3 A's of Awesome TED Talk and The Book of (Even More) Awesome.

    Stay awesome everybody,

    Neil

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