Have you ever wondered why people keep a journal? Have you ever wanted to keep one but couldn’t think what you would write in it? This may inspire you.
One thing that has changed my life in a dramatic way is writing more. The more I write, the more I have to write about. I write down my ideas and suddenly I get even more ideas. I try to write everyday, sometimes it’s a lot of rubbish and sometimes the stuff I write ends up on my blog, or becomes a great business concept or marketing plan…it just depends.
What I want to ask you is, how often do you write down what’s on your mind? Do you think it’s worth considering keeping a journal to take counsel in? Perhaps you don’t have anyone to share your ideas with, or you want to write your ideas down first before you share them? A journal will help you work out your ideas and also help you underst and the way you behave and how you react to things around you.
Let me try and sell the idea to you by using my own examples and some information from Jim Rohn. If you already keep a journal perhaps you could share your story and back me up.
Jim Rohn on Keeping A Journal
Jim Rohn often tells a funny story about when people ask him why he would spend so much money on an empty book, i.e. his journals. His response is that it pushes him to write something valuable in them. So if you do buy a journal, make sure you use it, otherwise it’s a real waste of money!
Here is a quote directly from Jim about why you should consider using a Journal.
A journal is a gathering place for all of our observations and discoveries about life. It’s our own h andwritten transcript that captures our experiences, ideas, desires and conclusions about the people and the events that have touched our lives. The past, when properly documented, is one of the best guides for making good decisions. The very act of writing about our lives helps us think more objectively about our actions. Writing tends to slow down the flow of information and gives us time to analyze and ponder the experience. The intense scrutiny of journal writing can enable us to make refinements in our philosophy that are truly life-changing. Jot down what you learn and be a buyer of empty books. It’s the small disciplines that lead to great accomplishments. Source (Accessed 9th March 2013)
Don’t Trust Your Memory!
It’s true that our past experiences helps us to get better, but if you aren’t actively taking note of what’s going on, what is there for you to reflect upon?? We forget and miss a lot of what goes on around us. Mr Rohn is quoted saying – “Don’t trust your memory” and I can totally relate to this. I keep lists of all the things I want to achieve, and I write down my goals. I know that I can go back to these lists and notes at anytime and I don’t have to worry about forgetting things. What do you think you would gain from doing the same thing? It’s worth a go isn’t it?
Examples of what to write in your journal
I keep a Post-It Note in the inside cover of my journal to remind about all the things I should write about, which gives me a little structure. Here are a few examples of things I write about and perhaps you could write about too: –
- My partner – I’ll write about how she is, what we talked about, if we fell out and why. How did she look today, how is she feeling. That sort of thing. This is a good place to start because it makes me think about Andrea on a daily basis.
- Gratitude – I think about what I’m grateful for today. Sometimes it’s just basic stuff like having a car that works, being able to learn and read, having a roof over my head. Sometime is more complicated than that and more personal, it just depends. It’s important to express some level of gratitude everyday.
- Conversations – who have I talked to today and what we discussed.This is a great exercise and it usually reminds me of something I’ve forgotten to follow up on.
- Ah – Ha moments – Any moments that took place that made me stop and think. An Ah-Ha moment is a moment of clarity. I normally write about behavioural things, for example how I reacted to something or someone, and perhaps how other people react and how I can learn from them.
- Attitude – I will spend time writing about my own attitude, especially if I happen to be grumpy. It helps me to figure out what’s wrong and how to get better at being more positive.
- Personal development – what have I read today, what did I learn and what am I going to do with this new knowledge.
- Ideas – Usually a follow on from the above – what ideas I have come up with and try to work through them.
Important things to remember about your journal
- Privacy – Protect your journal. It’s a private book for your eyes only, look after it. You have to feel like you can write anything you want in it.
- Accessibility – Keep your journal h andy so you can write in it when you need to.
- Regularity – You don’t have to write in your journal everyday, but try and write in it often.
2 Minutes with Jim
Here’s a two minute video from Jim discussing collecting stories in his journal and how you can use these stories to learn from them and get better. You can see how your journal becomes a place to confide in and a place where you can write down what’s on your mind and how you feel.
Where to get one?
You could choose to keep an electronic journal or you could buy an empty book from most stationary stores. The journal featured in the picture is available from Knowledge Is King.
You will have noticed that I have talked a lot about what I do in this article, and the purpose of this is to give you some idea of what keeping a journal can do for you, and also how you can use it. If you have your own story please share it and if you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below.
Don’t forget to be awesome!