Interviews about creating positive habits and cultivating happiness
This is the fourth article of our “Inspire/d” column, a series of quick interviews where incredible people share their best strategies to get a good balance between wellness and productivity.
The aim of this series is to create a supportive community where readers can learn new habits to improve their happiness and level of awareness.
We believe that a single happy person can positively impact a group of people, a group of happy people can create a happy community, and a happy community can contribute to a better society. A better society means more well-being for people, all living creatures, and our planet as a whole.
If you’re looking for ways to create positive habits and support your personal evolution check out our apps for iOS and macOS: Moleskine Journey — the limitless journal, and Moleskine Balance — Goals, Habits, and Visual timeboxing.
I was born in Sanremo and grew up in Taggia, a small town on the Italian Riviera famous for its olives and beautiful coastline.
What’s your story?
After dropping out of law school when I was 20yo, I started working as a salesperson in my family’s flowers export business before deciding to move to Miami, FL to open up a branch of my own, 4 short years later.
Life had other plans as the very first week in South Beach I got scouted by a modeling agent and my direction changed completely. In the following 5 years, I traveled extensively and moved to New York City to pursue this career at its highest level, working for some of the top high fashion brands and photographers in the world.
Once I reached that “top” and experienced all excesses of life though, I paradoxically had fallen into a very deep sense of discontent, disconnection, and lack of purpose.
It's only then that, through a book, I discovered ultra running. A discipline that pushes you past both your physical and mental limits. I was inspired, fascinated, and for some reason felt a calling I couldn’t deny. It was the end of 2010, and that’s when I bought a pair of shoes and started running.
Fast forward 11 years later, I am now a professional ultra runner, having won some of the most extreme races on the planet, set two Guinness World Records and still pursuing that dream.
Can you define yourself as being happy?
I strive for contentment and finding balance in my life. I believe Happiness can always be found along the way and appreciated as a gift though it’s a very volatile and ephemeral feeling.
The true art of self mastery, in this case, lies in between the cracks. Understanding the highs and lows that our own crafts and lives offer, living true to one’s heart and finding joy in the process.
What is the best habit that has contributed or contributes to your professional success?
Absolute dedication. To the brink of obsession. I realized that only through complete commitment you can truly grow and evolve towards an always better version of yourself.
What is the best habit that has contributed or contributes to your personal wellbeing and happiness?
Practicing Yoga and Meditation have positively changed my life in more ways that I can count. It has helped me through the years not just as an athlete but also in my personal growth.
The inner journey and introspection allow for the expansion of my awareness and self consciousness, which in turned keeps opening me up to a more grateful and loving self.
How do you keep your motivation consistent over time?
Motivation is like a tide, it rises and it falls constantly. Season after season and year after year our motivations may change as we change ourselves. The thing that allowed me to stay consistent is finding Inspiration.
What does inspires me to keep going? What is the vision? When those answers are clear then the motivation to make it happen is established. This way I always find an energy that pulls me effortlessly towards my goal rather than a pushing effort.
Are you adopting some habits to reduce your environmental impact?
I have moved towards a vegetarian diet and stopped eating meat. I only purchase eggs locally and move around on a bicycle mostly when in my town.
The ethical and sustainable choices are always a priority and recently moved from the US back to my region in Italy where I purchased a property in the hills that has its own spring/water supply and soon will be fully self sustainable with solar panels. The vision is to open a mindfulness retreat where I can share my connection, respect and appreciation for Nature.
What is the best lesson you have learnt so far?
Surrendering. Doesn’t mean giving up rather stopping the efforts to control our lives and specific outcomes. Allowing the flow of things to unfold naturally without forcing anything, while living fully in the moment. Often we live bounded by the worries of the past and concerns of the future that we forget that is it only the “now” that matters. Living fully each moment is what eventually is going to make the difference down the line so, be here. Now.
Thank you, Michele!
We really hope that his life approach has inspired you. If you want you can follow Michele on Instagram.
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If you feel like it, you can reply to the questions as well: it will help you better understand your own approach to life. And, if you want, you can send us your answers to email@example.com . We will share the most original with the rest of the community here on our blog.
1. Introduce yourself!
name, age, and (optionally) job role, main interests
2. What’s your story?
how would you summarize your journey in 5 lines