At least once a day I seek out the comfort of an empty book and my nearest source of ink to write on it. I feel it’s important to have a private source that I can vent to, write down the daily events and ponder future goals and ideas with. If I don’t feel like I understand something, I can read and re-read it at my leisure so that I gain objectivity over these issues.
I remember English teachers in elementary school encouraging us to grab even a small notebook and just jot down your thoughts once a day as they strike your mind. Observe, report, reflect, explore- it may not have been easy to fill a notebook at first but I believe with practice and concerted effort, my journal entries became more than just a historical document of my life.
The therapists that work with my daughters both encourage our girls to have a notebook with them at all times. Instead of blasting someone verbally when you feel you’ve been wronged, write out how you truly feel on paper. Decide to take the 5 or 10 minutes to place the energy in another direction and possibly you won’t say something out loud you may later regret and have to apologize for later on.
What will I capture in my journal? Quotations that mean something to me that I feel I want to incorporate in my life. I’ll take notes on many of the books that I’m reading so I can later organize them in my laptop. Sometimes I’ll just elaborate on my daily work or family life. Other entries can be looks into my past and how much I’ve grown as a man. I don’t really have a plan of action when I’m writing with pen and paper- I just let the words flow spontaneously and care more about getting things out of my head daily.
If you are new to journaling, I would recommend going to your favorite book store and finding yourself a nice leather bound offering to keep your thoughts in. I find that I need a new journal every 3-4 months, so I really enjoy looking at the variety that exists as I want something that I’ll be able to add to my library of books for the rest of my life. Don’t worry about what you will say- just set aside some time each day to write. The discipline itself I believe will lift your spirits, make you work both the left and right sides of your brain and be a journey of self-discovery you’ve probably not taken in quite some time.
Jim Rohn, Mark Victor Hansen and Harvey Mackay all have special thoughts regarding the use of journals. Some of my favorite things they’ve said are captured in my journals. I don’t trust my memory to remember something special an hour or two after it enters my mind- it’s best to ink it to paper and then you can expand upon it at a later time. If you don’t feel comfortable at first with writing, consider purchasing a digital voice recorder and carry that will you to capture ideas, quotes, thoughts and insights.
Take action today. Express yourself in writing. Creativity can be unleashed at any time in your life. You may surprise yourself in decisions that you haven’t been able to reach a conclusion with that can have instant clarity with the written word.