3 Unorthodox Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling
The benefits of regular practice are profound
We the people of Medium share the love for words. We believe in their transformative power, which is why we indulge both in creative writing and in the consumption of fellow authors’ ideas.
We also acknowledge the tremendous benefits of regular journaling practice. At least most of us do.
If you haven’t explored the beauty of journaling so far, I want to provide you with three unorthodox reasons why you should start right now.
Three arguments for journaling to become a powerful engine in your self-development journey.
I purchased my first ever journal four years ago when I was in a deep rut. When I got my shiny black Moleskine, I was ecstatic. I convinced myself that a single notebook will profoundly change my life.
I yielded all the power and voluntarily assumed the observer role.
It took me three years to fill it with my notes. Rather sparse frequency, isn’t it?
In the end, nothing changed. My trusted Moleskine hadn’t turned out to be the desired savior.
Writing into your notebook once a month, or continuously for a week and then going five weeks without a single entry — that’s not journaling.
To reap the benefits you have to be consistent (as with any other practice). Block a time every single day, sit down and then puke some words on paper. Whatever comes to your mind.
Only by doing it regularly, you will recognize how powerful journaling is.
Last year, I finished three journals. I have consciously learned to end most of my days by scribbling down the emotions, events, or experiences accumulated during the day. I have no template, my entry looks different every day.
There are still many lapses in my consistency — after all the true perfection doesn’t exist. But I have done the most important thing.
I have turned journaling into a habit.
You should too.
1. It Is an Ultimate Bullshit Detector
Apart from psychedelic sessions, journalling embodies the most honest conversations I have ever had with myself.
With our everyday behavior, we often deceive ourselves. We know we should do one thing, then do the exact opposite. We even dare to defend our decisions although we know we are bulshiting ourselves.
Sometimes it can get pathetic.
But when you write knowing nobody but you will ever read the text, you are dead honest. You describe your feelings and opinions in their utter nakedness. You go to the point.
Writing down anything other than your authentic feelings would be an entirely new level of denial. Just imagine the effort to handwrite for ten or fifteen minutes knowing you are lying to yourself.
Absurd, isn’t it?
That’s why journaling is an exceptional way to have deep, honest, and profound conversations with your ego. You exchange the swears and compliments, sometimes you spit out the hate, next day you are melting with love.
Whatever you write down, it comes straight from your heart and soul. It is as raw and authentic as it gets.
When I read back through some of my entries, I am taken away by the emotions. When things are tough, the paper reeks with desperation. When I hit the streak of successes, the words glow with enthusiasm.
The journal perfectly reflects my state of mind in given periods. Because it detects and denies all the bullshit.
2. It Is a Personal Idea Hub
Often, our minds remind a dark cloudy sky. All that mental clutter prevents fresh ideas from reaching the ground. There’s simply no space since we are so occupied with daily agenda.
Regular journaling is like a sun piercing through all the clouds. The sky suddenly clears up and bright sunshine reaches the ground where fresh ideas sprout.
All of our concerns lie in the corners of our minds, untouched and rotting. Eventually, they will eat away all of our imaginativeness. As a consequence our brains automatically shut down anything unconventional — it is rejected right at the gate.
A journaling habit can spark your creative flame once again.
Every time I hit at least several days streak, I come up with a solution to a certain problem, or fresh perspective on one of my projects pops out of nowhere. Often, an article starts to take shape (like this one).
It feels like brainstorming with my creativity.
That’s why your journal can easily become a generator for fresh, unorthodox thoughts. Just continuously feed it with entries and it will generously reward you.
It will become your very own idea hub.
3. It Is a Pocket Time Machine
Your journal will take you to the most exciting journey across space and time.
It can transport you back to the numerous beautiful and inspiring moments of your life. Or the painful ones, which had taught you profound lessons.
These moments would otherwise be forgotten in the abyss of your mind.
Some of them you experienced alone, so they continue to live only in your memory. But memory is a treacherous friend and it often betrays you when you don’t anticipate it.
Other events happened in the company of your friends or lovers. Again, you can bring them to life only by a conscious conversation with that person.
Or you immortalize them in your journal.
You know what else you can write there?
The future, where you live your best life as the ideal version of yourself. The future you have only been dreaming about.
Don’t be overly modest, that notebook can handle anything you throw at it.
Put those dreams into words.
When you see them in front of you, you will realize it is not the stuff of the wildest imagination. Maybe you will acknowledge those dreams can become reality.
So, what’s next?
Get to work and start chipping away from the future you want.
And don’t forget to write about it in your pocket time machine.
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