I’ve learned much in the years I’ve been a student of personal development. I’m certain I have become more than I would have, had I never begun this journey so many years ago. By far, one of the most important lessons I picked up was taught to me by Jim Rohn, on the importance of keeping a journal.
The benefits are vast. One of the many reasons for keeping a journal is that you not only want to take in information that you hope can help you in some way, you also want to look for opportunities to apply it in your life, and be able to review how doing so worked out for you.
Friend, you want to be able to save the experiences that helped you grow, learn new skills, the times that served you. And in some cases, you even want to be able to record those things that didn’t quite work out as you would have hoped, so you can reduce the risk that you’ll have to repeat them. Your journal, if you will keep one, can serve you greatly in this capacity.
Imagine having a resource that not only you, but your loved ones, or friends and colleagues can look back on and learn from. Keeping a journal allows you to not just float through life, but better learn from each and every experience. It helps you be an active participant in creating the life you live.
Here are a few more of the reasons journaling can be such an important tool to implement in your personal development (btw. I wrote an entire chapter on this in my book)…
– It is a wonderful place to keep score. In life, where things are often happening at what seems like breakneck speed, it is important to know whether you’re moving forward, standing still, or backing up. The best way to know is to track your results (unless, unlike me, your mind is such a steel trap that you need only refer back to it to know the answer. Doesn’t describe you? Yeah, me either). It’s the same principle of following a budget, or a marketing plan, or even just working a to do list. You can either let things float around in your mind, or you can have a simple system you can refer back to, just to make sure you are making progress.
– A powerful source of validation. We all have times where we just don’t feel like we are doing as well as we would like. It is easy to get lost in the moment, losing sight of the fact that if we could see things in totality, we have actually made great progress overall. It can help balance the line between what needs to be done, and the due credit you deserve for the progress you have already made.
– Your journal is a great “catch all” for the things you learn, whether in books, audio programs, seminars, just about anywhere, that you know if you could just recall at a later time, or somehow internalize you would be the better for it. If you’re making the effort to journal then you get the benefit of being able to refer back, and apply these nuggets of wisdom at a later time.
– Record your legacy. We all want to feel like we’ll be remembered beyond our time. We want to leave a legacy of some sort, even if we don’t give a whole lot of thought to it. And here’s something you might be surprised to consider. You are in fact going to leave a legacy of some sort. Now that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to be proud of it. It just means that the fact that you have lived upon this earth, and interacted with someone other than yourself, you’re going to, in some way have an impact on folks outside yourself. For this reason alone, it’s worth considering your legacy a bit.
Why not strive to leave a positive impact in some way. You don’t have to think about this in monumental terms. What I’m saying is, because you’re going to be leaving some sort of legacy anyway, why not give it the old college try as they say. When you journal, you have the opportunity to share the things you believe would be worthwhile with those who come behind you. You get to control, at least to some degree, where others go to read about your legacy.
I have been keeping a journal for years, and when I began, I wasn’t sure that I would have anything worthwhile to share. However, the interesting thing is as the years have gone by, and I’ve grown, those journals have been filled with years of thoughts and ideas that I hope will impart a little wisdom to others.
These are just a few reasons you should be keeping a journal. Hopefully the ideas above have prompted you to begin this practice yourself. It can have a real impact on your life.
It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!