A couple of years ago, I was exposed for the first time to the art of journaling. Before then, I had never kept any type of journal. Now, I can’t imagine my life without a journal. So what is the big deal about having a journal?
If you want to truly improve yourself as a person, you need to learn to become a collector of good ideas. Ideas of things that you can use to improve yourself as a person. Unfortunately, most of us can’t rely on our memory to remember them because the reality is that we really don’t. The best collecting place for all the ideas and information that comes your way is your journal.
Don’t use your mind for a filing cabinet. You should use your mind to work out problems and to find answers. You should use your journal to file away good ideas.
There are many different ways that you can utilize a journal and you can certainly use more than one. Find a way that works well for you. For me, I keep a few different journals. I have a church journal that I use to take with me whenever I go to church. During the sermon, I write down notes from the sermons. Usually, I gain 4 or 5 main ideas that will really help me with how I live my life. I also keep a prayer journal. I use this to record major thoughts or ideas of prayers I pray, things God reveals to me, and also any main thoughts from my daily reading of the bible. The last type of journal I keep is my personal development journal. In this journal I keep notes or thoughts I read through personal development articles, talks, or hear on cds I listen to. I actually get a lot of the information I share with you in these blogs from this journal.
I’m not saying you need to do what I am doing. You need to work out what will work best for you. Some people use a journal (diary) to record things that happen to them each day. This can be a great way to work through different types of feelings you may be experiencing. Writing it out can be very helpful to many people.
Here is a great idea. Pick someone who is very important to you in your life and create a Thankfulness Journal. Each day write 2 or 3 things about that person you are thankful for. This can be very short and only take you about 5 minutes a day. After 3 months time, take the journal and present it to the person you wrote about as a gift to them. This will be one of the greatest gifts they ever received. You will also find that your attitude will be transformed in the process as well. You will find that you will find yourself more inclined to see the good in people and focus on the positive rather than the negative.
There is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. Just find something that works for you and be consistent in adding content. You can write as much or as little as you want, but even a little bit written each day leads to a wealth of information over time.
It is also important that you take the time periodically to look back through your journal and review thoughts and ideas that you wrote down. Some of the ideas will come back readily to your mind. Some ideas will be ones you had totally forgotten about and it will be like discovering that truth all over again. When that happens, one of the biggest benefits of keeping a journal will be realized.
When your life is over, the 3 most important things that you will leave behind are your photographs, your library, and your personal journals. These three things more than anything else will tell future generations what you were about and what was important about you. These are the most valuable treasures of all.
As we begin this new year, I challenge you to start writing things down in a journal. You may find, like me, that it will really make a difference in your life. Happy writing!