ALUMNI SNAPSHOT | Need a miracle this morning?
Natalie Janji ’16 wrote the book for you.
During a troubled time as a junior at LMU, Janji turned to a motivational book. She was so inspired, she wrote one herself. Janji describes “The Miracle Morning for College Students” as a guide for high school and college students looking to become better students and more-productive people.
Janji already has a second book published, a workbook companion to her first one, and she visualizes a series of books for 20-somethings, emphasizing journaling and facing life’s many transitions. Her general theme is “it’s always real – not just the ‘real world.’ ”
Janji’s journey from chemistry major to author began in high school, when she heard Hal Elrod, a motivational author and speaker. She bought his book and was interested in what he had to say, but she didn’t see an immediate need to apply it to her situation. So, she put the book aside.
She did well at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada Flintridge, California, and applied to 17 colleges, including Loyola Marymount University. She knew the university by reputation – four of her cousins are LMU graduates – but not until Preview Day did she see it for the first time. LMU has felt like a second home ever since.
She started as a psychology major, but by her sophomore year she had found her way to chemistry, with an eye on a medical career. During a study abroad trip to Germany, however, she felt a creeping anxiety; it wasn’t a crisis moment exactly, but she had a nagging feeling of drift and being unfulfilled. That’s when Janji remembered Elrod’s book, “The Miracle Morning,” and dug it out. She read it several times on that trip, making notes along the way that became the foundation for her own version of the book.
Elrod’s positive message resonated with Janji. “While struggling in school, hearing words like that meant the world to me, because it meant that there was hope for me,” she said. His six simple practices gave her a way to make necessary changes in her life.
Janji sent a Facebook message in February 2016 to Elrod telling him that the “book meant a lot to me,” and she pitched a version for students. She prepared a presentation, complete with slides, that impressed Elrod and his staff, and she signed a contract in July 2016. Her first book was published on May 8, 2017, a year and a day after her graduation; the second, “The Miracle Morning for College Students Companion Planner,” was released on Aug. 14, 2017. They books are beginning to show up in college bookstores, much to Janji’s delight.
She says that the analytical skills she learned in chemistry helped her write the book and led her to an adage she often employs: Life happens, improvise. Her experiences at LMU also informed much of the book’s advice and insights; Janji worked in the First Year Office, was a resident adviser, led orientation tours and was involved with Gryphon Circle. Jesuit values infiltrate all she writes, she said.
She can be reached through her website: nataliejanji.com.