Since childhood, I have never seen beginnings or life changes as problems, regardless of whether they are small and insignificant or major, life-altering ones.
I have always loved to start something new, something untouched, even unknown; that has not been a problem for me.
Sometimes, it was a sort of taking the past away from my present; sometimes, it was just a response to that growing sense of curiosity that brought me to start drawing, writing, and reading on my own.
I used to start a new exercise book once a month, more or less, just because I really loved the “new start” feeling, and I was quite obsessed by stationary. My mother have saved all my letters to Santa where I “order” sketchbooks and markers instead of dolls.
The feeling I had, and still have, when I start a new notebook is priceless: the blank page is so strong, so powerful to me. When it is a blank page of a new untouched notebook then it is a kind of magic.
I have to admit, that on the opposite side, I have also embraced, few times, the feeling of ending a notebook as an accomplishment, congratulating to myself with no regrets, but a more intense feeling of “I deserve a new notebook”.
Now I don’t get a new exercise book every month, but I have new articles to write, new projects to develop and, for sure, my biggest problem is not to be challenged by new things, but it is exactly the opposite, like to restart the undone.
In this precise moment, I am carrying and using five different sketchbooks, in addition to my trusted iPad and hp laptop.
I start so many things, get in contact with some many people, and have a large number of ideas that I could develop that I really need a clone, or at least a pen and a paper to write down notes and thoughts.
The act of writing down my thoughts and ideas is the simplest way to push them out from my brain.
After last year burning out and spending a week without sleeping, I was completely messed up. After my first mania, with unstoppable thoughts and ideas running through my mind, I can now “patent” my own new way of acting in front of a significant amount of work. I have finally understood how to slow down that growing sense of curiosity for new things and have kept my feet off the ground, working on one thing at the time.
It is very difficult to change something you really believe has always belonged to you, a way of acting that has been constructed by yourself for escaping from the routine, from the boredom of doing the same thing again and again.
If I have left things undone and I do not like to restart them; there is another important component of my character that takes advantage of this kind of situations: being responsible. Since I grew up without a father, and with a little brother and a working mother, I have always experienced being responsible for something or someone. I’ve always love writing and used to feel old even at the age of 6.
I am not saving lives in my job, I am a digital manager. I write for work, I develop digital strategies and try to convey them in the best possible ways through various components of the digital platform, such as social media, blogs, communities and so on.
I take my job very seriously and never miss an email, even if it is past 10 pm or client calls on Saturday afternoon while I am queuing up at the never ending new food truck festival in town. I don’t get mad for this, I take it seriously, but I don’t pretend that I am my job.
As you can see from the cover picture, it is not just a matter of notebooks, it’s also a matter of folder. Like the Thrive folder, I have one for each client, both physical for the printings and one in the cloud archive.
Folders have saved my working life.
Folders are very useful to organize things that matter divided for fields. I do the same with my never ending list of “things to do”. I have one in my cloud and one (maybe two) in my sketchbooks.
Even my TTD lists are divided and labeled as the folders, so I am not distracted by the following line that concern a different project. This division keeps me focused when I am working on the list, doing all the things under a certain topics altogether, avoiding my typical mental jump from one thing to another.
This article is the classical exception that proves the rule.
I have at least five undone articles that I could have restarted when I preferred to start writing this one from zero instead.
It does not mean that you will never read those five undone articles; it just means that I caught a feeling, the feeling I had in the precise moment I was considering which article I should pick in order to end it, and I felt I didn’t want to go on that topics, not in that particular moment, so I thought about this new story.
Writing about yourself, your feelings, is not exactly the same as writing for someone else, with the purpose of a marketing plan or reporting on a special project. You can settle your own rules.
In order to be completely honest you need to be a little bit inspired.
I am an example of how you can change your habit, and for example transform something (writing) that was a job and a weapon, into a form of thriving, doing it for myself when in need to rest, and for the other people in order to tell a story.
The most fascinating thing about writing to thrive is that when I start writing this kind of articles, I do not have any idea of what the final result will be. I just have some thoughts that I am developing while writing. It’s a great exercise that can bring to interesting conclusions, or question marks that should be reconsidered in depth.
This is a completely different kind of writing from the one I do for work. I cannot start this kind of articles by thinking in a bullet-point way, expanding every point into a paragraph.
This is definitely a stream of thoughts; that is why it is so difficult to set on an unfinished article, because it requires a natural flow, not a mechanical report of already known facts and figures.
Even more than writing, which to me is a very natural act, what makes me thrive is thinking while writing, collecting my thoughts under a particular subject, and bringing to myself and to readers, I hope, new insights into discovering how we act and how we should try to react.
Originally published at medium.com