So…You Want To Be Awesome?

Warning: An overabundant usage of the word awesome appears throughout this post.

I have a lot of titles and I want to be awesome at every single responsibility associated with each title.

As a student, I want to write awesome papers, which lead to awesome grades.

As a teacher, I want to give awesome lectures, expanding my students’ understanding of the material, ultimately leading them to an awesome creative and artistic pursuit of their awesome lives.

As a husband, I want to be awesome as I clean the house, cook dinner, vacuum, dust, and make sure that I am providing for my wife so that she can do the things in life she wants to.

As a creative business owner, I want to be awesome, which translates to an awesome balance in my business checking account, an awesome balance in my personal checking account, and a gold star for being an awesome husband.

In short, I want to be awesome.

Chances are, you want to be awesome too.

I see the desire to be awesome in my friends, my family, my students, on Twitter and Facebook.

But guess what?

You won’t be awesome at everything. You’ll be lucky to be awesome at one thing, let alone many. Because it takes daily hard work and practice to be awesome.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote in Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something (Chris’s translation: 10,000 hours of practice to be awesome).

Eric Idle told a story in Monty Python Live! about how Monty Python was invited to do improv on a TV show during their Canadian tour in the summer of 1973. They sucked at improv even though they were awesome at writing comedy. Idle explains:

We were dreadful. We would try half-hearted things until we thought, What are we doing here? Because that really is the difference between what we did and what other people do. We were really disciplined writers. Python is a writer’s commune. The writers dictated what was funny and only then did we cast it and only then did we rehearse it and learn it and so it’s all about the writing for us. There’s hardly an improv line in Python.

It was a full-time job, 9-5, for Monty Python to be awesome. They practiced their craft. They worked. They suffered. And subsequently, they had a lot of fun and still influence a portion of the population 40 years later.

You want to be awesome?


Every day.

At all that you want to be and do.

Will you succeed?

Maybe and maybe not, but the truth is that you’ll be a better person for working hard at what you want. You’ll be better for practicing, succeeding or failing, rather then waiting for awesome to be handed to you or to magically appear in the form of inspiration or to appear at the top/bottom of your addictions.


3 replies on “So…You Want To Be Awesome?”

So many thoughts covered here.
And if you’re astute – so many clues, too.
In addition to Gladwell’s insights, I’d like to add Marcus Buckingham and Strengthfinders to the mix.

In the latter, an analysis of 2,000,000 exceptional performers revealed that most people can excel, based on their personality type and DNA, in 3 areas (with 2 backups). Putting yourself in an environment to amplify those areas (and mitigate the risks in your weaknesses) is wherein your gold lies.

Well done, Chris. Perfect length, as well.

Mark, thanks for sharing Strengthfinders and Marcus Buckingham. Always a good excuse to go back and revisit my Strengthfinders 2.0 test.

Awesome, Chris. And yeah – I call my up Strengthsfinder results about once a quarter to see if I’m focusing there, or am off in the weeds. Or if I’ve decided to become more¬†renaissance and build a new strength. Its inspiring and usually makes me smile when I’m in harmony with those things I do well. And do with passion. Like, seeing the sun break, and grabbing my bike… see ya!

Comments are closed.