A life worth living is worth recording. Anthony Robbins
Sitting in a tent in the Alaskan Wilderness, all chores are completed. The camp was set up, the kayaks were tied to a tree on shore, tents were pitched, and sleeping bags were unpacked. I had brought one book, which would not last long. From the adjacent tent, a family friend called out, saying she was writing in her journal, and she brought an extra one for me. Journal writing is stupid, I thought to myself. But since there was nothing better to do, I got up, got the journal, and began to write about whatever was on my mind.
Journal writing is an invaluable life experience.
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. Sharon O’Brien
As I continued to write, ideas I had been fixated on became expressed. I found myself able to let them go. Seeing them written in front of me caused a shift in my perspective. Suddenly I became an observer, looking down on my thoughts unattached, as a child spots his house from the window of a plane. With my new found distance the fixation melted away, freeing my mind to evolve toward newer and greater ideas. This evolution continues today.
Writing down a problem increases your awareness of it. With awareness, internal problems solve themselves.
Keeping a journal can resolve emotional conflicts as well. Occasionally, if there is something I cannot seem to get off my chest, I will write a letter to someone in my journal. Even though I am the only one who will ever read it, it is an amazingly cathartic experience. By writing down my problems in a private place I achieve a state of inner calm and relaxation. The inner difficulty solves itself. If the problem is exterior of myself, I usually think of its solution while I write about it.
The act of writing can be a lightning rod for bolts of intuition.
Writing your thoughts allows you to access them in a novel way. This shift in perspective is extremely powerful in generating new ideas, and gaining clarity on old ones. Keeping a journal has many practical uses as well:
- Aids in constructing new memories, and gives cues for remembering past events.
- Gives you perspective on your actions. Often unidentified behavior patterns can arise, such as spending too much time on non-meaningful activities.
- Gives you a gauge of your spiritual and intellectual development.
- Helps you to appreciate life more fully.
- It’s much cheaper than therapy.
- They’re a blast to read later in life!
Whether you keep a journal to record a trip overseas, the events of daily life, or only use it to solve problems, it can change your life if you let it. Make journal writing a habit. 30 minutes every other day is all that’s needed, and can be fit in to even the busiest schedules.
Learn as much by writing as by reading. Lord Acton