in january 2017 i purchased kid president’s guide to being awesome. i have loved watching kid president’s videos over the years, and i knew this book would be an instant pick-me-up. however, being me, i promptly placed it on my bookshelf and forgot about it. every few months i would see it and think i needed to actually crack it open, but i always found some excuse not to.

well, not anymore. over the next few years, i am going to read through the guide and complete as many of the tasks as possible in my attempt to make the world around me better. i will write about each one as i complete it and will link back to all the posts on here so that you can follow along.*

here is the full list:

chapter 1: life is what happens when you put down your phone

  1. put down your phone
  2. take brain pictures
  3. relax. don’t sweat the small stuff. life is short and deodorant is expensive
  4. be less busy and be more awesome
  5. let’s live in a world with more high fives
  6. bring awesome back [like justin timerlake]
  7. if it doesn’t make the world better, don’t do it

chapter 2: focus on the awesome

  1. focus on the awesome
  2. look for what matters [yash gupta, sight learning]
  3. as human beings, we are capable of lots of bad stuff, but also cupcakes
  4. complain less. celebrate more
  5. get out there!
  6. every time you see a slide, go down it
  7. sing out loud. you don’t have to have a reason to
  8. LAUGH! help end global sadness
  9. follow your passion [jack andraka, teen inventor]

chapter 3: treat everybody like it’s their birthday

  1. treat everybody like it’s their birthday
  2. mail your friend a corndog
  3. have a pizza delivered to someone you disagree with [bob goff, u.s. honorary consul to uganda]
  4. every room you enter? FREE HUGS!
  5. if you see spinach [or anything else] in somebody’s teeth, tell them, but only after you’ve told them something embarrassing about yourself
  6. we need to live in a world with fewer selfies and more otherpeoplies
  7. practice the art of the unexpected burrito
  8. recognize real beauty [madison hill, miss fabulous pageant]
  9. celebrate somebody’s birthday by celebrating other people
  10. two words: “share”
  11. sacrifice. let someone else have the toy in the cereal
  12. be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody

chapter 4: talk gooder!

  1. talk gooder
  2. listen [more than you talk]
  3. ask questions
  4. stand in someone else’s shoes [metaphorically] [julia stiles]
  5. leave notes complimenting people on how well they parked
  6. connect with people
  7. ask people if they remember being a kid
  8. make laughter your official language [monique coleman]

chapter 5: wanna be a world changer? be a day maker!

  1. if you want to be a world changer for people everywhere, be a day maker for the people right next to you
  2. send a card. every day. for 365 days
  3. be confident. it’s contagious [nick hornby]
  4. find your light [and share it] [josh groban]
  5. be cool to people even if they’re not cool to you, becuse somebody was probably not cool to them
  6. paint a park bench [christian bucks, the buddy bench]
  7. ask your best friend for help [catlyn watkins and addison pointer, handy lunches]
  8. invent a new handshake
  9. solve a conflict using ice cream!
  10. be fruitful [katie stagliano, katie’s krops]
  11. tip big, yo
  12. high five your dentist
  13. declare an entire month something awesome [aaron reddin, the one]
  14. write letters [sharon li, we care act]
  15. think more like a kid [ryan hreljac, ryan’s well]
  16. think of something you want to say, and then sing it instead [the gregory brothers]
  17. write and record a song for someone
  18. help somebody who is younger than you
  19. read. then read some more [adele ann taylor, adele’s literacy library]
  20. love changes everything, so fill the world with it

chapter 6: be a party!

  1. don’t be in a party. be a party
  2. be like cheese [or bacon] and make everything you touch better
  3. throw a parade!
  4. throw a pop-up art show [bailey hazouri, community worker]
  5. take someone’s photo and hand-deliver it to them [jeremy cowart, help-portrait]
  6. give the world a reason to dance [it’s everybody’s duty to do that]
  7. put tape on your nose. it’s a great conversation starter
  8. come up with names for things that already have names
  9. meow the words to your favorite songs. we call this cat caroling [craig robinson]
  10. behold the power of positive partying [andrew w.k.]
  11. spread confetti [the earth-friendly kind]!
  12. be kind. it’s not always easy, but it’s always important
  13. write a poem for somebody who doesn’t normally get poems written about them
  14. gather your friends, dress up like superheroes, and do someone’s yard work
  15. wear something awesome [moziah bridges, mo’s bows]
  16. invent a dance
  17. join a movement!

chapter 7: make something!

  1. make something awesome!
  2. start with your heart and then just start [vivienne harr, make a stand]
  3. be generous. give! [jeff shinabarger, gift card giver]
  4. use your imagination! [nirvan mullick, caine’s arcade]
  5. spend time with your family! [lennon and maisy stella]
  6. broadcast the good news around you
  7. start simple [cassandra lin, project tgif]
  8. do what you like, and share it with others [sam and ben tollison, a monster to love]
  9. give out handmade awards

chapter 8: lick the walls of the white house

  1. lick the walls of the white house
  2. take a moment to reflect
  3. kiss beyonce
  4. let your heroes know they are your heroes
  5. teachers keep teaching. students keep studenting [arne duncan]

chapter 9: it’s okay to get discouraged. it’s not okay to stop

  1. it’s okay to get discouraged…
  2. ask “who do i want to be?” [jeff foxworthy]
  3. help someone propose
  4. don’t get tired. get inspired
  5. remember: things don’t have to be the way they are [martin luther king iii]
  6. take care of yourself, so you can take care of others [michelle obama]

chapter 10: change the future

  1. change the future
  2. team up! together we’re louder [kevin olusola]
  3. look backwards and forwards [ndaba mandela]
  4. dream bigger [ron garan]
  5. write down your dreams
  6. remember that the world is bigger than your backyard
  7. start writing on a page and then lose track of…

bonus chapter! life is like a really good sandwich. fill it with the good stuff

  1. life is like a really good sandwich. fill it with the good stuff
  2. be your own beyonce
  3. create your own presidential cabinet!
  4. be the cool table
  5. let bass and treble be friends
  6. be a solution. don’t be a problem
  7. deal with the lemons
  8. plant a tree!
  9. throw kindness around like confetti!
  10. if you love something, share it!

anyone out there want to play along?


*i could have gone in order, but what would have been the fun in that?