“When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.” – Barney Stinson

This is an infamous quote from the character Barney on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, played by the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris.

Neil Pasricha is also a fan of the adjective ‘awesome’. His blog is even called 1000 Awesome things. Each of the posts on his blog celebrates a tiny moment in life that we all know to be enjoyable but never really appreciate. His new perspective in life that he talks about in his TED talk, “The 3 A’s of Awesome”, is that life is too short to not wonder at marvelous things, no matter how big or small. It’s the little things that make life sweet.

I very much enjoyed his presentation. When he began speaking, I could tell that he was nervous. He had some unnecessary filler words like ‘um’ and ‘uh’, but I think that was from nerves and the fact that he is not a professional speaker. He had great visual aids. I thought the pictures that he used were beautiful, and when he used words on his slides, they were to illustrate a bigger point.

Pasricha evoked a wide range of emotions with his presentation, which helped make it successful. There was sadness when he spoke of the pains he had endured in his life and when he gave examples of ones we might have to go through. There was a warm happy feeling when he listed off a few of the 1000 little things that make people smile.

He had good posture, although he paced back and forth in a tiny circle a bit much. He used vocal variety and pauses for emphasis of a statistic or truth that he revealed. He used repetition in his word pattern when he was listing things. He also used Dr. Seuss-like rhymes when listing simple pleasures near the end of his presentation.

His presentation had a lot of thought put into it, and I think that a lot of truth could be learned from his three main points (or the A’s of Awesome). The first A stood for attitude. He is very real and vulnerable with the audience about his past pain and tells us that even after going through that, you have a choice to be sad all the time or to find the positive. The second A stood for awareness. He had good pauses in this section because he wants the listener to reflect on the wonder of things as if you’re seeing them for the first time. The third A stood for authenticity. He told a very funny story about a linebacker in the ’60’s who loved needlepoint. It was humorous, touching, and inspired me to be true to myself, no matter what that means.

He brought his talk full circle at the end by mentioning his parents, which he did at the beginning. He had them stand as he thanked them which was very touching.

His conclusion was a bit of a downer, but that is reality. And he gave us the hope of a good life if we stick to the principles he outlined for us in a wonderful presentation.

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