Category Archives: Awesome People

Why Zeke Has Already Won Survivor!

We may only be one episode into the 33nd season of SURVIVOR, but we’re ready to proclaim mustachioed millennial Zeke Smith a winner. Because whether or not the guy walks away from the show as <i>the</i> winner, he’s proven to himself — and viewers at home — that what you see is most definitely not always what you get.

In the season premiere, Smith stood out from his teammates from the get-go. “I’m not dressed for the youth parade,” he said in comparing himself to his younger, hipper tribemates. “I’m dressed for the singles mixer at the Miami retirement center!”

Yet it was the Twitter-despising, fellow-millennials mocking asset manager who essentially provided his tribe with shelter and fire. “Against all odds,” said Smith, seeming as shocked as we frankly were, “I have become the leader of the camp.”

It was at this point we realized that Smith perfectly represents what SURVIVOR can be for participants. “I never think of myself as, like, the person who feels adept out here in the outdoors,” he admitted. “I’m not that kind of person. But I’m very intrigued by the idea of proving how tough I am. And so in a weird way, SURVIVOR is helping me rise to my potential. I never in a million years thought I was going to be the guy who makes fire without flint! I feel like a milestone has been reached in my life, that I’ve become a new man!”

The joy on his face, arising not so much from the acceptance he received for having proved his worth, but rather from what he was discovering within himself, was contagious. “I feel like I’m growing as a person out here,” he declared, “and I’m proud of myself!”

It’s impossible to say where the remaining 36 days will take Zeke, but in our books, he’s already proven himself to be not only awesome, but a winner.

Louisiana Floods Bring Out The Best In People

With so much bad news surrounding us every day, it’s easy to forget that there is still good in this world. But it’s also true that in times of tragedy, stories emerge which remind us that there are still good people — and, believe it or not, businesses — out there. And as Louisiana continues to deal with the devastating flood that has caused so much damage, we wanted to shine a light on some of those who are doing everything in their power to help their friends, neighbors and, perhaps most touching of all, complete strangers.

Take, for example, this video shot by a reporter from WAFB in which men come to the rescue of a woman trapped in her rapidly-sinking car, and then go back to save her puppy as well.  According to the Daily News, the man who dove into the water has been identified as David Phung, and while we can’t help karma — notoriously labeled as a rhymes-with-witch — proves herself to have a softer side by rewarding this guy.

Meanwhile, Verizon is doing what it can to help people in the impacted areas, telling people, “Our local stores are open to help you through these difficult times, whether you’re a customer or not. Come make free calls, charge your devices and get free Internet access. We’re all in this together.


If the horrific images from these historic floods have you wanting to help but uncertain what you can do, the editors of the <i>New Orleans Times-Picayune</i> have gathered information. They have included places to drop off donations, links to volunteer for the Red Cross and more… including ways to help the many animals who have also been impacted and displaced by the floods. To find out how you can help, click here.  And if you hear about everyday heroes who deserve recognition, hit up the comments section and let’s show them some love!

Candy Crush: The Ultimate Life Hack?

Today, longtime friend and all-around awesome lady Lyndsay Wells — aka The Kitchen Witch — explains why that game you’re so obsessed with might just be helping you deal with life.


I’ve been involved in several difficult sagas recently: Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, and Super Farm Heroes Saga to name a few.

That said, and regardless of whether you game or not, it occurred to me after beating a particularly difficult level in Candy Crush the other day that these games, or any game where you have to solve a puzzle or problem in order to move forward, are the perfect metaphor for life.

Although most of us do everything possible to avoid challenges in order to live lives of comfort and peace, how boring would it all be if we weren’t faced with adversity, change, competition, road blocks, deadlines or any of the other things that urge us to dig deeper, work harder, and learn bigger?

In Candy Crush as in life, we have three choices when faced with something incredibly difficult:

1. Quit.

2. Hang in there for the long haul and try to beat it on our own.

3. Ask for assistance from someone who has already beaten the game.

If we quit, we never really move forward…  but it feels easier. It feels easier to crawl back into our routines and our comfort zones and blanket ourselves with the familiar. It feels easier not to challenge ourselves, because somewhere deep down inside we don’t believe we can beat the level.


What I’ve learned, though, is that every challenge —  whether in life or in Candy Crush — can be defeated eventually if you don’t give up. What I’ve also come to know is that the game is a whole lot easier if you’re willing to ask for help.


They say “You teach what you need to learn,” and nothing is more true for me. I am learning, slowly but surely, how to crush it. And I am most grateful to be doing so with a little help from my friends. You know who you are. ‪#‎gratitude‬


Anxiety Blob Is Here To Help!

We’ve all felt anxiety at one point or another, but have you ever wondered what it might actually look like? When Nanea Hoffman, founder of Sweatpants & Coffee, decided to not only face her anxiety but give it form, she found it to be slightly lumpy, vaguely worried… and surprisingly cuddly! And thus, the Anxiety Blob was born.


Before long, the folks at SP&C had teamed up with Fleece Menagerie, makers of a pretty fantastic assortment of stuffed animals, to turn AB, as we like to call him/her, into a creature so adorable, you’ll happily take your anxieties to bed each night.

If you’re not familiar with Sweapants & Coffee, you really should be. The site — which bills itself as “a bastion of comfort and sanity in an often uncomfortable world” — has been providing readers with thoughtful commentary, inspirational memes,  hysterical weekly tweet round-ups and so much more on a daily basis since it’s inception three years ago. And given that our own mission here at Moment of Awesome is to offer people a daily respite from their worries, cares and concerns, it’s only natural that we’d love a site devoted to helping people feel better about themselves and the the world in which we live.


Better still, Nanea — yes, we’re fortune enough to be on a first-name basis with the site’s Big Cheese — is one of the best people you could ever hope to cross paths with. She and her crew work hard to cultivate a cross-section of regular and guest columnists who give the site a true feeling of community. There’s a reason so many visitors walk away knowing that they’ve found their “tribe!”


Now, if you’re wondering how in the world you’ve lived without an Anxiety Blob of your very own for so long, then click here to order your very own. Like the anxieties which spawned them, no two Blobs area alike. And because everyone — including that friend you think has it all together — has things bubbling beneath the surface you probably know nothing about, they also make the perfect gift!





The Biggest Winner

Ever have one of those days when you know you need to exercise, it’s darn near impossible to find the motivation to get your butt off the couch and do it? Well, let Derek Mitchell inspire you.


At 570 pounds, the Kansas City, Missouri native told the folks at Runner’s World Newswire that he has vowed to run a 5k — that’s 3.1 miles — every month for the rest of the year… and two in May! Mitchell hopes to shed about 250 pounds along the way, and has made changes to his diet to help accomplish that goal.

So take a moment to read his story here, and then step away from the computer, put down the bag of chips and bust a move. Because if Derek Mitchell can’t inspire you, then nobody can!