“Keeping a journal is a high leverage Quadrant II activity that significantly raises self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them.” Stephen R Covey
I’ll confess that my own journal efforts have been stop and go over the years, partly because my struggles to fully comply with my values, beliefs and goals was beginning to make depressing reading, and partly because my paper planning system means that my ‘daily record of events’ outlines sufficient historical data for me to remember what I was doing and thinking when I made the entries. The other challenge is that in these days of digital memory making, the physical act of writing is surprisingly tiresome.
But that shouldn’t put anyone off writing their own history. (‘If a life’s worth living, it’s worth recording’, said Oprah Winfrey, repeating the words of Tony Robbins, who was quoting Jim Rohn, who was rephrasing Socrates ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’.)
Writing about what you think and feel, why you think and feel it, what caused those feelings and thoughts – and perhaps just as if not more importantly, what you’re going to do about it – can be immensely cathartic and ultimately developmental.
When you consider that what we do in the moment between stimulus and response, when we use our self-awareness, imagination, independent will and conscience to choose our response, then knowing from our self-analysis what is the right thing for us in respect of our values and integrity is important. And writing that personal journal serves us and enables, even empowers us to make better decisions. And the peace from making a ‘right’ decision, even when it may not immediately serve us, is incredible.
Another challenge with journal writing comes to mind – and that is, when you commit these thoughts and intentions to paper you create an obligation to yourself to act in congruence with those new decisions in the future. That, my friends, is how personal change comes about.
And it can be very, very challenging!
Which makes a blooming good reason to get started.
Grab a book, software programme or tape recorder – sorry, digital recorder – and start recording your life with the intention of making it even better.
Now – go on, Amazon awaits……
* Means I am obliged, to me.