During my collegiate years at the University of Louisville, one of the best opportunities I had was to be a part of the Student Orientation Staff. What I took away from this experience is hard to put into words. But some of the most gratifying take-away’s included meaningful friendships, a stronger sense of self-awareness, more school spirit than I knew was possible and a book titled “The Book of Awesome.”
“The Book of Awesome” was given to us during a training workshop on appreciating the small things in life. Learning to give value to the simplest pleasures has become a way of life for me; choosing to be positive is powerful. Below I have identified 5 of the small things that have made me smile since beginning my LC journey and 5 of my personal favorites from the book.
Danielle’s “Awesome” Choices:
- Taking off your shoes…..there is just nothing like being in the comfort of your home and walking around barefoot. It’s the first thing I do as soon as I step inside.
- Finding a beautiful piece of nature…..recently I found a park near the campus at Mizzou that reminds me to appreciate the outdoors. There are fountains, bridges, water splashing over rocks and down creeks, birds chirping. It is the type of place that makes you want to spend an afternoon outside reading a book on a park bench.
- Waking up before your alarm goes off, and being ready to start the day…..Why do we really use alarms? To make sure that we are awake by a certain time to get to work, to get to meetings, etc. Most days I snooze my alarm until the last possible minute. But some days, I wake up an hour or so before my alarm and feel fully rested and ready to get going with my day. It feels like life has given me an extra hour for free that morning to take my time and enjoy the day in front of me.
- The endless supply of peanut butter in the kitchen at Epsilon Mu…..need I say more? There is ALWAYS peanut butter in the kitchen. Craving a good old fashion PB&J, crave no more! It’s right here in the house whenever I want it.
- When friends surprise you and show up at your door step…..I cannot say this one happens often or will happen again but it would be wrong not to mention it. On labor day weekend two friends I went to college with were in Columbia, MO and stopped by the Sigma Kappa house to say hi. I am not usually one for surprises, but it was a small gesture on their part that created overwhelming happiness in my day.
Danielle’s favorites from the “Book of Awesome”:
- When you actually remember the name of someone you met earlier at the party (pg.213)…..Well this applies to the Sigma Kappa world in the realm of recruitment. There is nothing more wonderful than when the recruitment event is over and the chapter members can remember the first and last name of every potential new member they met. It is that feeling of being given a pop quiz in class only to get back the answers and realize you got every question right. At first your response is, “What? How did that happen?” But immediately you put on your poker face and attempt to play off the response of “that’s right, I knew it all along.”
- Nailing a parallel parking attempt on the first try (pg. 167).….This is just an immediate confidence boost, especially if there is an audience around you to witness your skills.
- When you hear someone smile over the phone (pg. 260)…..I have spent more time talking on the phone since I started my LC journey than probably ever before. I have had conversations with friends, family, advisors, volunteers and collegians. The best phone calls are the ones that make you feel like you are right there with the person on the other end. Smiles are contagious, and if you are listening close enough it becomes true for phone calls as well.
- Eating the extra fries at the bottom of the bag (pg. 93)…..Well anyone who has ever had a meal with me knows my LOVE for French fries. It doesn’t get any better than when you go to a drive thru and order fries only to find out after you THINK you have eaten them all that there are MORE in the bottom of the bag that fell from the fry container. What is more awesome than a few extra fries?
- Finding a mix tape given to you by an old boyfriend or girlfriend (pg. 33)…..I would like to include old mixed tapes given to you by friends as well. I feel as if throw back music in general could be added to the list. Most good CDs are at last 50 minutes. So, when you have a long trip in front of you (like the 7.5 hour drive from Kentucky to Missouri) a jam session that brings up memories that are a blast from the past is a great way to make an hour in the car feel like no time at all.
I encourage everyone to think about what makes your list of simple pleasures in life, and find joy in the small things that we sometimes overlook. Neil Pasricha is the author of “The Book of Awesome” and of 1000awesomethings.com.
Until next time,