Neil Pasricha

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Neil Pasricha
Neil Pasricha San Diego.jpg
Photo by Ken West
Born September 17, 1979 (1979-09-17) (age 37)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Author, Speaker
Education BComm from Queen's University, MBA from Harvard Business School
Notable works The Book of Awesome (2010)
The Book of (Even More) Awesome (2011)
The Book of (Holiday) Awesome (2011) The Happiness Equation
Website
globalhappiness.org
1000awesomethings.com

Neil Pasricha (born September 17, 1979) is a Canadian author, entrepreneur, and public speaker characterized by his advocacy of positivity and simple pleasures. He is best known for his The Book of Awesome series, and "The Happiness Equation" which are international bestsellers.[1][2][3] He is also an established speaker and his TEDx talk, "The 3 A's of Awesome", is ranked as the ninth most inspiring TEDx talk with over 2 million views to date.[4] In total, he has sold over 1 million books.[5]

The book and TED talk are based on Pasricha's popular blog, 1000 Awesome Things. The blog has won three Webby Awards and ranked in PC Magazine's list of top blogs and websites in 2009 and 2010.[6][7][8][9]

Pasricha is frequently sought out by media outlets as an expert on the topics of positivity and leadership.[10][11][12]

Early life[edit]

Pasricha was born in Oshawa, Ontario. His mother is from Nairobi, Kenya, his father is from a small village outside of Amritsar, India, and he has one sister. Pasricha says much of his wonder for the world comes from his immigrant parents and their perspective on seeing everything for the first time in Canada.[13] In his TED Talk he explains how his father would 'stare in wonder at the little stickers on all the fruits and vegetables.'[14]

Pasricha was educated at Queen's University and Harvard University.[15][16]

Career[edit]

Pasricha graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce at Queen's University in 2002. While there, he wrote for campus humor newspaper Golden Words which then took him to New York City to work for a humor syndicate with former Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons writers. He says "It was a cool rush but it became draining very quickly. I realized this could never be my full time thing."[16]

Pasricha returned to Toronto and worked in Marketing for Procter & Gamble before leaving to run a Quiznos Sub franchise and then selling his franchise to move to Boston to attend Harvard Business School.[16] Upon graduating, Pasricha returned to Toronto to run Leadership Development at Walmart Canada.[16] Pasricha left Walmart in 2016 to devote more time to the Institute for Global Happiness, an organization he founded in November 2015 to improve happiness in the workplace.[3]

Author[edit]

Blog[edit]

Pasricha began writing a daily blog called 1000 Awesome Things on June 20, 2008. The site was billed as 'a time-ticking countdown of 1000 awesome things. Updated every weekday.'[17]

He said at the time of starting the site "if you flipped open the newspaper it was filled with the same stuff every day. Polar ice caps were melting, there were pirates storming the seas, the economy was on the verge of collapse, and there were wars going on all over the world." As a result, he created a website discussing "popping bubble wrap, snow days, and the smell of a bakery." [18] In later interviews, and through a series on his blog, Pasricha shared that his personal divorce and a close friend's suicide are what prompted him to begin looking for positive things in life.[19]

In July, 2008, the popular links site Fark.com linked to post #980 Old, dangerous playground equipment which gave the blog new readership and got attention from Wired and CNN.com.[20][21][22]

In 2009, Pasricha was approached by literary agents after his blog hit 10 million hits and won the Webby Award for "Best Blog" [23][24][25] and signed with Erin Malone from WME who also represents Christian Lander,[26] author of Stuff White People Like, and Rainn Wilson, star of The Office and author of SoulPancake.[27]

Pasricha continued publishing one awesome thing a day until #1 Anything you want it to be was posted on April 19, 2012.[28]

Books[edit]

The Book of Awesome[edit]

Published 2010 by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Penguin Publishing.

The Book of Awesome is a #1 international bestseller, New York Times bestseller, and Globe and Mail bestseller.[29][1][30][31]

Pasricha wrote The Book of Awesome while attempting to get over his divorce and close friend's suicide. His frustration with the 'gloom and doom' in the news caused him to expand on simple pleasures of life through new written essays complementing existing material from his blog.[13][32]

Before release, Pasricha was known only through his blog, but The Book of Awesome hit #2 on the Globe and Mail bestseller list in his first week and was selected as a Heather's Pick in Canada.[33]

The book received both positive and negative reviews. The Vancouver Sun said it was like "a snappy Jerry Seinfeld monologue by way of Maria Von Trapp", Publisher's Weekly said "Pasricha emerges a committed but inviting optimist, combating life's unending stream of bad news by identifying opportunities to share a universal high five with humanity"[34] while Macleans wrote that Pasricha was "partly to blame for turning 'awesome' into the exuberant adjective of our time'[35] and The Toronto Star wrote that Neil Pasricha "helped destroy language through linguistic bleaching."[36]

The Book of Awesome has spent over 130 weeks on The Globe and Mail bestseller list and was the #1 Globe and Mail non-fiction book of the year for 2010 and 2011.[37]

The Book of (Even More) Awesome[edit]

Published 2011 by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Penguin Publishing.

The Book of (Even More) Awesome is a #1 international bestseller and a Globe and Mail bestseller and was published in 2011 as the sequel to The Book of Awesome.

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome[edit]

Published 2011 by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Penguin Publishing.

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome is a national bestseller. It is a smaller gift book featuring awesome things about holidays such as Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali, Halloween, Mother's Day, etc.

Awesome is Everywhere[edit]

Published 2015, Awesome is Everywhere is a Children's book that Neil wrote to share "the principles of attitude awareness and authenticity" with his child.[38] The beach theme was inspired by a meditation like experience on the beach while honeymooning.[38] The super-realistic images in the book were created by a professional Visual Effects studio using a process that composites many images into one image.[38]

The Happiness Equation[edit]

Published in 2016 by Putnam Publishing, a division of PenguinRandomHouse.

The Happiness Equation is a #1 international bestseller, Toronto Star bestseller, and Globe and Mail bestseller.[39][40]

Pasricha was returning from his honeymoon in Asia when his wife took a pregnancy test in the airplane bathroom and told him on the plane that she was pregnant. Upon landing, he began writing a letter to his unborn child on how to live a happy life, which evolved into the book.[41]

Calendars[edit]

  • The Calendar of Awesome 2012 Daily Calendar[42]
  • The Calendar of Awesome 2013 Daily Calendar[43]
  • The Calendar of Awesome 2014 Daily Calendar[44]
  • The Calendar of Awesome 2015 Daily Calendar[45]

The Institute for Global Happiness[edit]

Pasricha is the Director[46] of this organization with the mission, "to improve happiness".[47]

Other work[edit]

The Awesome Project[edit]

In 2015, to help with literacy among children, Pasricha spearheaded an initiative with book publishers and educators to bring more books and funding to elementary schools.[48]

Awards[edit]

  • 2009 - Winner - Webby Award - Best Blog[49]
  • 2009 - Winner - Webby People's Voice - Best Blog[49]
  • 2009 - Winner - PC Mag - Top 100 Websites of 2009[49]
  • 2010 - Winner - Webby People's Voice - Best Blog[50]
  • 2010 - Nominee - Goodreads Choice Awards - Best Humor Books[51]
  • 2012 - Winner - White Pine Award - Best Non-Fiction[52]

Personal life[edit]

Pasricha currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his wife Leslie.[53] He works at Walmart Canada in the field of leadership.[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  2. ^ "Bestsellers: Paperback Non-Fiction, April 9, 2016". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  3. ^ a b MEDLEY, MARK. "Does author Neil Pasricha know the secret to happiness?". 
  4. ^ "TED Talks". TED.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  5. ^ "Speakers' Spotlight - Neil Pasricha | Happiness Expert and Author of The Book of Awesome". Speakers.ca. 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  6. ^ "Blog - Cultural 2010 | The Webby Awards". Winners.webbyawards.com. 2014-09-14. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  7. ^ "Blog - Cultural/Personal 2009 | The Webby Awards". Winners.webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  8. ^ Heater, Brian (2009-11-23). "Our Favorite Blogs 2009". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  9. ^ Griffith, Eric (2010-11-11). "Our Favorite Blogs: 2010". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  10. ^ "The World's "Awesome" Blogger Neil Pasricha". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  11. ^ "#HRPA2012 Part 6 – The Search for AWESOME Leadership « Royce & Associates - Human Resources & Training Solutions". Royceassociates.com. 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Sarah Hampson. "A few awesome things about 1000awesomethings.com's Neil Pasricha". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  14. ^ "Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome | TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript". TED.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d "The `awesome' blog is a huge hit: 40,000 Internet visits a day | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  17. ^ "About". 1000 Awesome Things. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  18. ^ "Neil Pasricha: Creator of 1000 Awesome Things". Maximum Fun. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  19. ^ Neil Pasricha (2010-02-17). "#567 Getting to the light at the end of the tunnel". 1000 Awesome Things. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  20. ^ "Toronto blogger gives 1,000 Awesome Things an open-ended finale | Metro News". Metronews.ca. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  21. ^ "A Tribute to Playground Equipment Past | WIRED". Archive.wired.com. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  22. ^ "8 feel-good websites to brighten your day". CNN.com. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  23. ^ "Book Club Sweepstakes - Penguin Books USA". Us.penguingroup.com. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  24. ^ "1000AwesomeThings blogger snags Webby". Archived from the original on July 6, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Blog - Cultural/Personal 2009 | The Webby Awards". Winners.webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  26. ^ "Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  27. ^ "Find the Agent Who Will Find You a Publisher". AgentQuery.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  28. ^ "1000 Awesome Things - CBC Player". Cbc.ca. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  29. ^ Neil Pasricha. The Book of Awesome. Amazon.com. ISBN 9780425238905. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  30. ^ [1][dead link]
  31. ^ "Maxwell House interviews Neil Pasricha about how he handles dark days". YouTube. 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  32. ^ Shelley Pleiter (2008-06-20). "The Pied Piper of Happiness | Smith Magazine". Qsb.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  33. ^ Levey, Gregory. "Heather's Picks". Chapters.indigo.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  34. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things by Neil Pasricha, Author Amy Einhorn Books $22.95 (393p) ISBN 978-0-399-15651-9". Publishersweekly.com. 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  35. ^ "This story is awesome". Macleans.ca. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  36. ^ "Neil Pasricha's 'awesome' blog helped destroy language | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  37. ^ "Book". 1000 Awesome Things. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  38. ^ a b c "Awesome is Everywhere: Neil Pasricha's new book for kids - Today's Parent". Todaysparent.com. 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  39. ^ "Bestsellers The books Canadians bought this week.". The Star. 
  40. ^ "Bestsellers: Canadian Non-Fiction, September 24, 2016". Globe & Mail. 
  41. ^ Gulli, Cathy. "The secret to happiness? Stop trying to be happy.". 
  42. ^ Neil Pasricha. The Calendar of Awesome 2012 Daily Calendar. Amazon.com. ISBN 9780811879040. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  43. ^ Neil Pasricha. 2013 Daily Calendar: The Calendar of Awesome. Amazon.com. ISBN 9781452108612. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  44. ^ Neil Pasricha. Calendar of Awesome 2014 Daily Calendar. Amazon.com. ISBN 9781452115627. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  45. ^ Neil Pasricha. Calendar of Awesome 2015 Daily Calendar. Amazon.com. ISBN 9781452131252. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  46. ^ "Our Team - The Institute for Global Happiness". Globalhappiness.org. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  47. ^ "About - The Institute for Global Happiness". Globalhappiness.org. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  48. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  49. ^ a b c "1000 Awesome Things". The Webby Awards. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  50. ^ "1000 Awesome Things". The Webby Awards. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  51. ^ Christopher Moore. "Humor 2010 — Goodreads Choice Awards". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  52. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  53. ^ a b "Where are they now? 1000 awesome things author Neil Pasricha talks about life after his popular blog | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 

External links[edit]