Have you ever got a gift that was so overwhelmingly great and personalized just for you that you immediately felt scared that you could never live up to it the way it deserves to be honored? Perhaps a hardcore Moleskine notebook, especially engraved with your name and the date - like the one I got last Saturday? I got so flabbergasted by the gift that I knew immediately that I had to do something special with it - you know, change-my-life kind of special.
What a great hack for personal development.
The special gift carries a kind of moral responsibility towards the giver: you have to do something remarkable with it, and you cannot fail. You have to make it work for the gift's sake. You cannot leave it lying around, even in a glass box on show. And you cannot use it for something meaningless. You have to use it to do something larger than life. For me, I cannot use the Moleskine as a diary of any kind, nor as a general idea journal, nor as a day planner. Why? Because it is freaking engraved. All engraved things are special and deserve to be used well.
Meaning that I have to think of something beyond extraordinary to use it for. The Moleskine itself makes this quite easy - it has a special structure where you can list personal goals and the pages are organized so that there is a header space and space for the body text and also a separate marginal space. And the pages are numbered, so that you can mark down the topics of each page in a table of contents page in the beginning. (It really is the god of all notebooks. And did I mention it's engraved?!)
So what to do? I think I'll have to change my entire life remarkably to honor the gift. And I have to think about it a lot at first so that I won't just run into the project on a whim without thorough consideration and thus ruin the gift.
Basically any personal and/or valuable gift can be turned into something more. You got an hourglass as a gift? Use it to track the time you spend doing your one thing. You got a piece of jewellery? Wear it every time you mean business. You got a high-end shampoo/conditioner set? Combine it with an ice-cold shower to feel like a boss life strategist.
Literally any awesome gift can be honored like this. (Especially if it's engraved.)