I was first introduced to keeping a journal by the work of the late Jim Rohn. Jim advocated keeping a journal as the following quote suggests:
If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down. Jim Rohn
At about the same time i was reading about Jim’s advice on the topic, I came across an interview with Tim Ferriss who, having interviewed scores of successful people over a number of years from sports to business, was asked whether he saw any common themes between them in terms of habits/behaviours/regular practices etc. For Tim, they all did one of two things – they either meditated (there are many forms of this and it was a broad definition) or kept a journal. This intrigued me so I decided to give the whole journal thing a go.
Also by coincidence, I had just decided to try to use my daily ‘dead time’ in a more productive or useful way. Rather than reading the paper on my daily train commute to work, I would use the time when possible to learn and read. I also decided to listen to podcasts whenever possible (particularly useful when getting off the train and walking to the office).
In these circumstances, keeping a journal became extremely useful. Every time I came across a particular insight that inspired me or I wanted to capture I would write it down in the journal. Most of my journal content to date is of this nature (the product of reading, podcasts, blogs or things I have learnt speaking to people). I don’t tend to use the journal to write about my day but will use it to brainstorm ideas and capture them. I also keep a table in the back of the journal which outlines my goals (both short term and long term) under the headings of ‘financial’, ‘things I want to do’ and ‘personal growth’. This website is of the product of one of those goals.
I am now on my second journal and thinking about what I could do with the content. It has struck me that as I continue to write in the journals I am picking up interesting insights across a range of topics. One example would be the topic of decision-making; I have gathered many interesting points on this but obviously spread across my journals. At some point I hope to start pulling the best content together under these key topic areas and hope that this will prove useful to me and to others who could benefit from these topical insights.
Graphic: Notes on ‘Principles’ by Ray Dalio
It has been a year now since I started keeping a journal and I do not think this is something that I will ever stop doing. In short, I am a convert. Of course, this is not going to be for everyone, it appeals to me as it probably supports my own ‘inner geek’. However, worth a consideration if you see some potential value as I have done. Why not give it a go?
Now on to Meditation….