Happy International Day of Awesomeness! Celebrated every March 10 since 2008, it’s a great opportunity to show your inner awesomeness and honor the everyday awesomeness of your employees, coworkers and company. Best of all, celebrating awesomeness is meaningful as well as fun. So what makes you awesome?
First, let’s dig into what “awesomeness” means. It’s OK if you’re feeling a little skeptical of a holiday that celebrates it. After all, “awesome” is a word we increasingly kick around in our daily conversation, so much so that we often say it when we really mean “OK” or “thanks” or “good.” It’s easy to forget how much punch this little word holds and that it is actually defined as causing feelings of wonder and awe. That’s big!
Yet “awesomeness” still applies in mundane situations. You may not feel awesome every day, but you are. And so is everyone around you. The trick is remembering what about us and our surroundings is awesome — and then recognizing it.
In fact, celebrating awesomeness is most important when we’re feeling at our lowest. The founders of the International Day of Awesomeness picked the date because it’s Chuck Norris’ birthday, but it’s appropriate that it falls during a time of year when much of the northern hemisphere is in a late-winter slump and could use a pick-me-up.
Neil Pasricha was at his lowest when he started the blog 1000 Awesome Things in June 2008. The blog, which has since been turned into a series of books, was a way to help pull himself out of a miserable period in his life. What Pasricha came up with (and is still coming up with) are the minor and major pleasures that brighten our existence: the beauty of cream swirling into a cup of coffee, the second of happiness you feel smiling at a stranger, the life-sustaining memory of unforgettable friends.
He’s also given some good thought to what awesome means and why it’s so vital to be awesome. Pasricha in his excellent 2010 TED Talk sums up “The 3 A’s of Awesome” — Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity.
Attitude: Choose to move forward instead of wallowing in failure or heartache.
Awareness: Through a three-year-old’s eyes, the world is a continual source of fascination and wonder. Embrace your “inner three-year-old” by trying to see everything as if for the first time.
Authenticity: Stay true to who you are and follow your heart. (Pasricha illustrates this point with the story of Rosey Grier, a former NFL lineman for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams who also happens to have a passion and talent for needlepoint.)
Together, these characteristics define personal awesomeness. They also easily apply to workplace awesomeness. Think about it: a good work environment is one in which employees are encouraged to focus on solutions instead of past mistakes, to keep an open mind, and to value each other while remaining authentic individuals.
Celebrating awesomeness today is a great way to bust the Monday blahs, engage and excite your coworkers and employees, build goodwill and show gratitude to individuals as well as teams. Your company’s International Day of Awesomeness can be as simple as…
- Thanking each employee individually, in person, for a recent feat of awesomeness.
- Sharing an unexpected “Wow” gift with your team to reward them for staying positive while working through a particularly difficult project.
- Taking everyone out for ice cream.
- Giving a shout-out on social media to your employees for being awesome.
- Organizing a fun activity for a break, such as a board game, kickball, musical chairs, etc. (Remembering the joys of childhood is a great way to celebrate awesomeness.)
- Creating an “awesomeness board” where employees can pin Post-Its or write a message that celebrates a coworker or team throughout the week.
You can also join in the celebration by following the hashtag #idoa on Twitter to find out how people around the world are feting awesomeness.
Workplace awesomeness begins with a heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for the people around you. For more on building a culture of appreciation in your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today.
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