The magic of keeping a journal as a student

The sculptor and painter Michelangelo Buonarroti once said, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it".

I have always loved that quote. Growing up I was surrounded by art. What a coincidence that both my parents are painters as well.

They told me something that I would never forget.

They told me that we all are artists of our own life. You can either paint your own masterpiece or you will be a part of someone else. But that choice was up to me to decide. At the age of five when I was still playing hide and seek, I decided that I wanted to become my own artist of life. My parents were proud when I told them about my decision. But they said that I probably would change my mind later in life. I still wonder why they said that.

My parents were right. Because moving fast forward ten years, was this decision a far and remote memory.

The tipping point came during one October night while I was working on a history assignment. My mum entered the room with a bunch of old photographs. I order her to get out of my room since I needed to work. But she insisted to show me these old pictures. So, I gave her five minutes of my time. She showed a picture of me while I was drawing a picture in a big and colorful tulip field. It was a great picture. And it awakened many emotions inside me. It was the moment when I handed the picture over to my mum that I remembered the decision I took ten years ago.

I was not painting my life as I wanted. I was the slave of someone else painting. I was not my own sculptor of life. And I had distracted myself from this fact for over ten years. In that current moment, I thought it was impossible to change my situation. Maybe it’s too late to change? I was afraid of this thought.

I repeated three words to myself that night: It is possible.

I took a decision that October night. I decided to transform my life forever. But my decision was not to embraced by everyone.

I was told that I would never realize my dreams. I was told that one day I was going to lose everything I had. I was told, I was told, I was told. I was in a complete astonishment. I was shocked. Was it true what people were telling me?

I can still remember everything about that day. This was back in December 2015. It feels like yesterday when I told my friends that I was moving. They asked me where. They did not know. I struggled and dwelled before telling them. I was not moving to another part of the city. I was moving abroad. My friends could not believe their own ears. Moving abroad six months before high-school graduation was a social- suicide in their perspective.

Leaving out the details, they said: "Michelangelo, don't forget how hard you worked to get into this school, why are you throwing all this away?"

There was a huge risk involved. And what they said was true. I could lose everything that I worked so hard to accomplish. But I wanted this, I wanted this as much that I wanted to breathe. I wanted to take control of my life again and paint my masterpiece on my own premises.

I tried to explain myself and the reason behind mine desire. But they still wanted me to stay. I knew that they wanted me to stay. The feeling of guilt started to grow inside me. But it was too late now, the tickets were booked and everything was ready. A big cloud called doubt started to invade the beautiful summer night inside my head. Was this a good decision?

I was tired living inside a masterpiece that was created by someone else. So, I started to dream again, and how I dreamed. Something new started to grow inside my head. It was the feeling of freedom. The feeling that life was a playground. A playground that I could shape however I wanted to. And since then; everything has changed.

But not everything changed in the better right away. It was hard to stand up for myself without having any safety-net. I was alone now. Alone in a foreign country.

But my mother gave me a gift the last day before she left. She said that if I used this gift actively, I would never feel lonely again. She continued by saying that this gift could make the whole difference between dreaming about something and having it. This gift was powerful. And this power catapulted my life into something taken straight out of a fairy-tale.

She gave me a journal.

"Dreams are only real when written down; she said".

I first neglected this fact. How on earth could a simple journal turn my dreams into reality?

But I promised my mum that I would write every day. I started writing down my dreams and ambitions that same night. Dreams developed into emotions, and emotions into ideas. I started to write about everything; literally. For each time I wrote, it felt like I was painting my masterpiece again. This was the feeling that I so badly wanted to feel. This journal became a part of me.

I really believed what I was writing down. I was visualizing everything in every single detail. I wrote down exactly what I wanted to happen. I was manifesting my future. And slowly but surely did my dreams began to convert themselves into realities. It worked like magic.

I made a special word for this phenomenon. To journalize. This word has a special meaning to me. It's about being an artist. An artist who is not afraid to paint his own masterpiece. To journalize will make you conscious about which colors your masterpiece needs. As well as your colors, you will also understand how to use them. Your masterpiece is your life. To journalize is documenting your process through words and emotions. By journalizing, you will always have the possibility to measure your process. Having your process tangible will make your life easier.

To conclude, I want to mention that we all feel lost and insecure about the future. And I still do until this day. The only difference is that I can change it if I want to. Exactly how I did that October night back in 2015. Everything started as a dream back then. A dream of change. A dream of something better in the horizon.

Inspiring thousands of people around the world by writing, was a far dream. Starting a company with my best friends, was a far dream. Just the fact that I'm still sitting in my chair writing this story at 03.00 pm, was a far dream. All these events were once just a thought and a desire. It was only after I began to journalize, that they became realities.

My mother was right.

"Thank you, mum”

It's now time to go and execute. You will never know how to manifest your dreams into realities by just reading about it. So leave your browser and start painting your masterpiece as fast as possible. The first step is to start journalizing. That made all the difference for me. Life is a miracle, and so are you. This is my story, what is yours?

Author: Michelangelo Pagliara


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