Were You Awesome Today?

I ask, because today is the International Day of Awesomeness, and it would be a terrible waste if you weren’t awesome on Awesome’s most sacred of holidays.

According to the trusty interwebs that I carry in my pocket,

The International Day of Awesomeness is a celebration of awesomeness. People are awesome every day, frequently don’t realize it, and their feats of awesomeness are rarely recognized. We aim to fix that, with a special day to both perform and celebrate feats of awesomeness!

Of course, this begs the question: What is awesome? Again, my pocket-interwebs inform me that the proper definition of awesome is as follows:

awesome |ˈôsəm|

● adjective: extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear: the awesome power of the atomic bomb.
● informal: extremely good1; excellent: the band is truly awesome!

Now, you might look at the formal definition and think to yourself that seems far less positive than how I understand awesome to be. And I’d agree, because personally I don’t typically use awesome to describe fear or apprehension, although I understand its use in that context. Typically I, like most people I know, use the informal definition. That is, we use awesome to imply something amazing. It’s a positive word meant to describe positive non-fearsome things.

And now you might be thinking but don’t you use awesome to describe things like base jumping – which should scare the bejesus out of anyone? And the answer would be, most definitely yes. But let me counter by saying that those types of events, while perhaps having the awesome power to scare the bejesus out of me, do not instill in me the same sense of fear as, for example, the awesome power of the atomic bomb. Jumping off a cliff/out of a plane, bungee jumping, caving, mountain climbing, etc., are (at least to me) the definition of freedom – a freedom attained by facing something challenging and perhaps scary. They represent embracing life and living it to the fullest. The atomic bomb (or things of that nature) represent nothing but destruction.

So with this knowledge, I ask again – Were you awesome today?

I’m betting that some of you are probably thinking – no. I didn’t do this, I didn’t do that, I wanted to finish something, or start something, but I got distracted, or gave up, or whatever. And you might also be thinking that you could only say you were awesome if you had done something of magnitude.

But let me say this. International Day of Awesomeness is about recognizing not just the major events and accomplishments in our lives, it’s about all of those little things that we do on a day-to-day basis that we take for granted. Things that we dismiss as not good enough or inconsequential. 

I think people have a tendency to focus on the negative, the failures, the should-haves, the could-haves, or only if I would-have. We ignore all those little things that are awesome: holding a loved one’s hand, holding a door open for the next person, thanking someone, smiling at a neighbour, teaching someone something new, learning something new, comforting someone when they are sick, encouraging a child, chatting with your parents, laughing with friends, laughing so hard that others around you can’t help but laugh. Awesome – at least for me – is about joy, and wonder, and the endless amazement at what life has to offer.

And so I suggest that it’s in these moments, these tiny bits of oft ignored daily minutia, that we should recognize awesome. Because these are the moments where awesome grows and becomes the things of magnitude that most of us associate with the word.

Anyway, dear readers, happy International Day of Awesomeness. I hope your day was also awesome-full.

In the spirit of awesomeness, I offer you the following preview for a video I described yesterday. This preview is full of so much awesome, I can hardly stand it. My favourite part, however, is not the amazing things that the people in this video do, it’s the passion for life that is so very obvious in their eyes.

1 Is it weird that when I read the first part of the definition, my brain automatically inserted the words good-looking. I clearly have been brainwashed by Derek Zoolander.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    That clip is incredible. Happy International Day of Awesomeness. “Awesome – at least for me – is about joy, and wonder, and the endless amazement at what life has to offer.” I couldn’t agree more 🙂

    1. dangillis says:

      Somehow I thought you’d agree 🙂

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