In Defense of Awesome

Do you want to be awesome


I want to talk to you about awesome. 

Not just the kind of awesome where you are “cool” or put on a good show of being interesting. I’m talking serious, legit awesomeness. 

Like when you see a comment by a troll on Facebook and instead of indulging your carefully groomed yet completely unproductive outrage with a stranger, you just, you know, note your opinion and then scroll past it. 

Or when the most bullying-est of bullies tries their bully routine on you but are quickly confounded and thwarted because no matter what terrible things they make up about you they just can’t make you believe them. 

Yes, I’m talking awesome like where you already have an Advanced Directive set up, and know exactly what to try to manage your anxiety, and when you floss your teeth it is figuratively just like a meteor has exploded into the wall behind you and you just keep on flossing, in full out slow mo, because you are so awesome that nothing that trivial gets in the way of proper dental care. 

That’s the world I’m talking about, because that’s the world I want to live in.

Now I’m going to acknowledge this right up front - “awesome” is one of those words that can get me in trouble with some folks. They want to put limits on the word for me. They say it is unsophisticated. They like to accuse me of bragging, or of being duplicitously selective, only talking about the “good” things. They want to argue semantics and say things like “If everything is awesome, then nothing is awesome”. 

To those people, I respectfully say, “psh”. 

To start with, I’m still marveling at how awesome it is that “duplicitously” is actually a word, because as I was typing it I was pretty sure I was just making it up. Awesomeness approved and validated!

All of us have the same capacity for awesomeness, so just because one person celebrates it in themselves does not mean they think they are any better than anyone else. Every day I hope I will I hear someone talking about something in their life that is awesome, because true awesome is contagious. Much like smiling or yawning or whistling that Lego song “Everything Is Awesome”, when you acknowledge the awe and wonder around you it can inspire others (and certainly me) to do the same.

And sure, of course not-awesome things happen. All the time, every day. But one thing I’ve learned as a coach, is that our brain notices the things we tell it to look for. In fact your brain is really really good at finding evidence to support your thoughts and opinions. If you think life is awesome, you train your brain to look for those things. When you start thinking life is hard, or that your co-worker is rude, or that everyone else on the road is a terrible driver, well then your brain is going to focus on that and will no doubt find lots of evidence to support that too. Training your brain to look for one thing doesn’t mean you are denying the other exists, it is just choosing which you want to be your default. 

I find that I enjoy my life more when I task my brain with the job of finding evidence for awesome rather than when I put it to work finding evidence for opposite-of-awesome. 

Of course if you want to play a zero-sum game and only accept a finite amount of awesomeness into your life, that is totally your choice. 

But consider this: ask a new mother if she could possibly feel any more love for her child, and she is likely to reply that her heart is bursting and she is experiencing the maximum amount of love she possibly could. Then ask her again when she has her second child. Does she have to decrease her love for her first child to make room to love the second child? Of course not. She finds new capacity to love and has even more love in her life! 

Awesomeness can be the same way, if you let it. 

And look, I’m not writing an academic paper on awesomeness. I’m describing how I want to feel, how I want to think, how I want to live. To me, the word awesome accurately sums up what I mean. I choose awesome.

Except when instead of awesome, something is rad. Or super sweet. Or even a crazy-amazing doperocket.

So if you aren’t interested in being Awesomelingual, that’s fine - feel free to replace it with any word you want: I promise not to be offended by how you label the greatness in your life. (Hint: truly awesome people don’t offend easily.) You are your own person and you are free to use whatever vocabulary taps your toes into their most toe-tappingest two-step. 

Because here is the real question: do you want to love what you do? Do you want life to be an unlimited wellspring of inspiration? Do you want to feel sexy whenever you walk into a room? 

The answers to those questions are completely up to you, and how you decide to see yourself and the world. 

Let me repeat - you get to choose! My advice? Choose wisely. 

Because, trust me, you are more than enough to be awesome. This choice isn’t beyond your ability. It isn’t pie in the sky. It is available to each and every one of us. 

[Side note: You are enough, unequivocally enough, and there is nothing you can say or do to convince me otherwise, so if one of your demons is trying to backtalk me on that point you can let him know his insulting form of “modesty” is cute but uncompelling.] 

If you are still on the fence, let’s take a quick personality quiz. Don’t worry, this will be easy! (Besides, Facebook has us all trained to love quizzes, don’t try to deny it.)


You wake up in the morning, rub your eyes and sit up. Ideally your next thought would be:

  1. I’m alive and awake and the day is young: today is going to be awesome like always! 
  2. Today is most likely going to be a perfectly ordinary day, nothing terrible but nothing great. In the scheme of my life, today is just an average day, it will probably be pretty much forgettable.

You are on your deathbed, looking back over your life. Pick the phrase you would hope would be most accurate for you. 

  1. I’ve had such an awesome life! I’m so glad that I had so many incredible experiences and cherished my days, I really made the most of what I was given. It wasn’t all perfect, I had some hard times too, but for the most part it was extraordinary!
  2. My life has been acceptable. I had more good days than bad days, and I’m glad to be here, so I guess on average it was all mostly ok. 

I can’t say that either answer is “right” or “wrong” for you. But while 1 and 2 might seem worlds apart, the only difference between them is how you choose to perceive your experience. There is no CAT scan or blood test that is going to prove whether something is awesome or average. Which, I’ll admit, makes average a perfectly acceptable choice - if you think that living an average life is going to get you to where you want to be. 

For me? I choose awesome. I believe it is my birthright, just as it is yours. And I don’t just mean I choose the awesomeification of my own life, but also of everything and everyone around me. I am an active voter in Awesometown, and celebrate awesometicity wherever I can find it. I’m a full time awesometologist, advocating for all the awesomniacs in the world. (OK, so now I really am making words up, but I am literally giggling at myself so I consider this a win-win.)

This brings me back to my original question. (See how I did that?)

Do you want to be awesome-in-a-can? Do you want to be the kind of person that believes the universe is there to help you, and that you can find a way to get through any obstacle, and that you are worthy of love and admiration? A person who has no regrets, and can say no without guilt, and that loves their hairstyle?

All these things are possible. All these things (and more) are possible for you

This blog is an invitation. You are being invited, right now, to acknowledge and celebrate and marvel at everything that is awesome in your life. Those of you still humming along to the Lego song know what I’m talking about. 

Will you join me?

If you enjoyed this post, please help me get the word out by liking and sharing it! The more the awesome spreads, the more we awesomaniacs stand up tall and proud, the better it is for all of us!


Robb Hillman is a RN and Certified Life Coach. He provides coaching and Superhero Training so that his clients can empower themselves to have a deliberately awesome and satisfying life.