Remembering WHO and WHY…

The reason I won't be opening a restaurant

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published. by Dani Saveker

I have always drawn very visual notes for as long as I can recall; while in classrooms, studying, at conferences, during meetings etc. It’s how my mind works.

I love explaining messages in this way; bright colours, illustrative, with diagrams and simple.

I have a passion for making things look beautiful, simple and memorable. That’s who I am

People always asked for photos and copies of my notes which I was happy to provide.

In 2016, my husband, Will, bought me a wonderful copy of Arianna Huffington’s book THRIVE. It was following a challenging year in my working life and so I thoroughly enjoyed some downtime, reflection and the opportunity to go back to my love of capturing content in a creative and beautiful way. This was the first visual synopsis I did. I absolutely loved every moment.

I continued with another couple of non fiction books and found that a style began to develop as I tried new things, new paper, new typography and new pens. Part of the reason for reading these books was to build the understanding and research which would support my own framework of GLAS (Global Life Alignment System).

Will suggested that we upload the drawings to a website to keep them safe and for others to enjoy. He also challenged me to complete 50 books and drawings. Off I set, given that I love a challenge and proving myself, I started to capture a book a week.

50 books and drawings were soon done, and a calendar for the year was designed and printed. People were asking for downloads and so for a small fee, they would now also be able to order a high resolution download.

It wasn’t a big money spinner at all, but somewhere amongst this, something changed. I’ve always shared and promoted the authors books and received incredible feedback from them but some how I had lost the reason for doing these amongst the ‘commercial’ distraction. On Friday I said to Will that I had a fear…a fear that I’d lost my WHY for these creations.

My WHY in life is to inspire. It’s that simple.

So where does selling a download fit into capturing inspiring content? The answer was it didn’t. If I never earned a single penny from these pieces I’d still do them. I felt so much better. We took down the Shopify website today and have added free downloads instead on the main website.

If no one ever visited the visual synopsis website, then thats ok by me. If you do, thats also ok – but I ask you to buy and read the books for yourself. They are inspirational.

The other thing I did was to capture an old favourite book of mine, Ignore Everybody by one of the creative people that has inspired me greatly in my life, Hugh MacLeod. It was re-read, and captured, to remind me that (and as Hugh beautify said to me):

“Just because you love cooking, doesn’t mean you have to open a restaurant.”

I’m also in my 3rd year of daily acts of kindness so there’s even more reason to ‘give’ and hope that these amazing books can travel further, have greater impact and inspire a little more through my humble drawings. If they don’t I’m happy to carry on anyway.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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