FYI | Day 23 – Journaling

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

What better way to capture the moments, the emotions, and our reactions in one secure spot.  Witness our thought processes grow and evolve, analyze how we think, and remind us of times in our lives, both good and bad. Then, look at them at a later date, or never again, but the personal insights acquired are priceless. Journaling is a way to gain insight into our mind that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

I was one of those kids that would probably have teased you if I found out you wrote down your thoughts on PAPER?? Ludicrous! The kids that did were usually the ones that were ahead of their time and the benefits shined through.

Journaling is a powerful tool for problem solving, brainstorming, memory keeping, brain-dumping, and planning.

Reasons for Journaling

For most people, they find journaling not to be worth the effort and time. I of course disagree and would like to tell you why:

  • Mental Freedom. I enjoy getting everything out of my head and allowing myself to focus on the now without be bogged down.
  • Bird’s Eye View. I also love looking back a day or two (or months) and viewing my thoughts from 30,000 feet, and learning from them. Did I handle the situation right? Have I dealt with these issues? Or even, ‘wow! That was a great experience’.
  • Change. Thoughts and feelings change on a daily basis (if not more often), and the thoughts will never feel more real and true to you than they do right now!
  • Memory. Memory can’t be trusted and the details quickly fade. So, before I can skew them, I write them down when they are fresh and become a great trigger when trying to recall later. I love writing down my travels and adventures and experiencing them again later down the road!
  • Evolution. Do you think the same way you did 15 years ago? 10 years ago? 5? What about 1 year ago? I love witnessing change and the growth in knowledge and insight.
  • Problem Solving. Getting my thoughts out of my head is much better than keeping them bottled up and allowing the thoughts to bounce around in my skull like a mental pinball machine. I write down my thoughts and capture epiphanies as they come in and don’t allow them to be forgotten. I write down the problem, thoughts, and get it all out. Then I take a step away and come back later to analyze it.
  • Clarity. I gain clarity into my thoughts and emotion in regards to decisions, actions, or situations.

Personal Journal

Over the last 5 years I’ve struggled with not following my passions and doing what I think I should be doing. We are taught a system that guides us from childhood education to growing up and going to college, finding a safe job, a partner, settling down and working till we die. Who says we can’t break the mold?

I spent years preparing for what I thought I wanted and would later be unsatisfied because something didn’t feel right. I then would take a new path and again find that I was unsatisfied. What was going on? Well, from my journaling I recognized a trend that seemed to repeat itself. Below I’ve copied an entry from three years ago that started this little journey involving the mind, happiness and conscious living – and is one of the main reasons behind this blog.

It was titled ‘Random Thoughts’ (how appropriate) and it does not flow very well, but it captures how I felt in that moment:

Every once in awhile I feel motivated, driven, and I get excited about a positive aspect of something I would love to do.  But I always feel my mind goes towards typical jobs, occupations, and work situations that we have been educated to follow.  I try to think abstractly but the best I can think of is a writer, photographer, or something that does not confine me to a desk.

I realize I have a strong fascination with the inner workings of the brain.  I am completely fascinated by how the brain works and navigates our thoughts, beliefs, inner peace, happiness, addictions… and to be honest, I can’t really get a grasp in words of how I feel about the mind.

My other fascination is happiness. I find myself to be a happy person, but how do we arrive at happiness and how can we maintain our happiness.  We all have down times, but I think everyone would be satisfied with 99% happy-time.  I realize that our happiness can be determined by chemicals in our brain and that they are effected not only by external stimuli but also from the strength of your internal control.  I believe that these chemicals CAN be changed by using the forces of thought and controlling thought to have a physical change on your brain and body.  I want to know why.

But enough of these random thoughts (because I have millions right now).  What I really would enjoy doing is having a better understanding of thousands of different views on happiness but also creating my own unique view (which everyone needs to do).  THEN being able to pass this feeling and experience on to others.  I think I can really make a difference in people’s lives, and would love to be in a situation where I can.

I am writing this now to remind myself of how I feel right now and to leave it as a reminder to keep looking into this idea and how I can make it a reality.

Journal Software

I am NOT a big fan of writing my journals by hand. I can think much faster than my hands can write and I hate the cramping! I can type 20x faster than I can write, so all my journal writing is secured on my computer.

I will not ever recommend products I don’t believe in on this site, but one that you probably have already seen advertised on this site is called The Journal by DavidRM software. I love it.

The tool has several areas where you can either journal by date or you can create and organize notebooks to store your thoughts, goals, and plans etc. You also can create templates for journal entries, writing prompts or anything you can dream up.

There is even a free 30-day trial if your iffy about it. Regardless, this is the one I use and adore it.

Your Task

Is journaling for you? If you don’t already journal regularly, do yourself a favor and make a one month goal to journal. If you don’t like it, at least you can say you tried.  February is a great time to start… it’s the shortest month after all!

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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Share your thoughts or comments below!

2 thoughts on “FYI | Day 23 – Journaling”

  1. Travis says:

    Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

    1. Greg Yung says:

      Thanks Travis! I’ll try and keep it up 🙂

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