I kid you not, journaling is some kind of voodoo, David Blaine, Gandalf type of thing.
The benefits of journaling have been celebrated throughout history, from Ancient Greek philosophers to Ryan Holiday (a particular favourite of mine), so I am not going to rehash their words, I implore you to look for yourself, because its self-development gold at the end of the rainbow. No, what I am going to briefly talk about is the unseen of journaling, the bit that cannot be measured.
As I have previously said in other posts, I am guilty of being a dabbler with a full and complete history of dabbling in things, just sticking my toes in, trying something for an all too brief period of time, then forgetting about it, going back to my old self, my old ways, my old life, left dazed and confused as to why I am not achieving everything by now.
So, I have dabbled in journaling over they years, I’ve tried it a few times, with various old notebooks scattered around my house containing 1, 2 or even 3 journal entries dating from 1999 to 2010. But it didn’t work for me, or so I thought.
There were several reasons that I didn’t stick to it including;
· I didn’t know how you “should” do it / what to write.
· It took too long / was too much effort
· It wasn’t doing anything for me, there was no point to it.
All those reasons persisted, there was always something else I thought I could do with my time, always a Netflix to watch, or a PlayStation game to master, journaling was too damn hard and I didn’t know how to do it “properly” anyway, so I gave up dabbling. Until now.
The fact is, there is no right or wrong way to journal, do it as you want to. For me I combine what you might call classic journaling with a notebook and pen, and I write down my thoughts, my feelings, how yesterday went, my plans for today, I write anything that is in my head at that particular time, I put it on paper, I write, I let my thoughts free, I do something. After this I take a little trick I learned from James Altucher, another great writer, and I write down 5 to 10 ideas, ideas on anything, it could be ideas on what to blog about, business ideas, names for cats, anything, just 5 to 10 ideas a day is all that is required to ignite your creativity. This whole process takes me 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how sluggish I feel.
But its 15 to 20 minutes that has set a ball in motion, something has changed, something in me is different, and I don’t think I am a special case. In fact, I think I am the opposite, I am normal, but journaling is beginning to elevate me from normal, and if I can be elevated, anyone can. Journaling does something beyond that which can be measured, it stirs the spirit, it awakens the soul and it invites magic into your life.
Journaling gave me courage, the courage to write my first blog post. This hasn’t gone viral, or been applauded by Barrack Obama or Noam Chomsky (in fact, it’s only been applauded by my wife, thank you darling), but that doesn’t matter, I didn’t write it for recognition, I wrote it for me, to show that I could do it, to make a small step towards becoming the person I know I am destined to be. And you could do it too.
There is no secret to journaling except one, persistence, keep at it and let the magic happen.
Originally published at medium.com