People have been doing it for years and importantly, many of the world’s thought leaders throughout history, not only have shared how and why they have developed the discipline of keeping a journal, but have encouraged us through their own writing, teaching, and coaching of the benefits of keeping a journal.
In this post I simply want to share my personal experiences of keeping a journal and the benefits I have gained from doing so.
My intention in sharing this with you is to allow you to try journaling if you haven’t before, to give it another crack if you have, or to continue with your current journaling process with even more passion.
My ‘Active Learning’ Journal
After years of trial and stoppage, I have now two main journals. The first is my active learning journal. This is where I take key notes from the personal and business growth books I am reading, conferences I attend and other learning programs I participate in. (If you’d like to read reviews of some of my favourite books you can do so by visiting the resources section on this site).
As I complete each book or learning program, I’ve jotted down key points along the way, and then my final entry in my journal are the following three questions:
1. What have I learned or relearned?
2. How will I apply what I have learned or relearned?
3. What do I want to happen based on my intentional action from what I have learned or relearned?
Two points I’d like to make here.
The first is to encourage you to adopt or continue to adopt Inescapable Truth #8 of the Intentionomics Blueprint, which is to be an intentional lifelong learner. Set learning goals to study the vast array of wisdom literature available – build your knowledge, your philosophy and character… don’t allow yourself to ever stop being open to learning opportunities.
Wisdom wants you to discover it!
The second point is this practice of journaling, summarising your learning from the wisdom literature and learning programs you attend, and making this a weekly or monthly discipline will increase your capacity to understand your own truth (Inescapable Truth #2 of the Intentionomics Blueprint is to Take Stock of Your Truth), and in so doing, increase your capacity to understand and engage with others at more deeper and intentional trust levels.
My ‘Life Lessons’ Journal
My other journal is what I now refer to as my ‘life lessons’ journal.
It’s in this journal that I record the moments of truth that present themselves to me just through the ‘normal’ course of living.
I might be driving along a road and see a signpost that makes me laugh or pause in confusion. It might be something said by a taxi driver. It might be an experience in customer service or something I see or hear. It could be a quote from a movie I am watching or one of the many lessons my two sons teach me without even trying.
The opportunities to discover wisdom are everywhere.
Two points I’d like o make here as well.
The first is to repeat that wisdom is everywhere and life’s lessons are being presented to you, served up to you in every-day experiences that you can easily miss unless you personally choose with intention, to be on the lookout for these experiences. To exist daily is a sad decision and unskilled choice. To live daily with the expectation of wisdom wanting you to discover it is an exciting and skilled personal choice of character.
My second point is this takes discipline.
If you leave this journaling to chance, chances are you’ll just leave it.
Diarise weekly a 30 minute meeting with yourself as your journaling time. Some people write in their journal just before they sleep or first thing in the morning. I personally now diarise it at the end of each week to remind myself that life’s experiences are worth taking the time to reflect on and learn from and grow in competency and character from.
Yes… Journalising is a discipline.
I personally still choose pen and paper journals, although I am slowly moving to also trial new technology – and these Blog posts are in a way often reflecting my learning that I have recorded in my personal journals.
Whatever works for you, I encourage and challenge you to give this a go (if you don’t already). The value you will personally gain will be significant and the value you will be able to create for others through your own personal growth will be positively powerful.