In this video and support article, I aim to explain to you gents why journaling can make you a more successful, happy, and better man.
Why Keep A Journal?
A Queen’s University study found that, on average, humans have 6,200 thoughts per day. Your brain is bombarded with ideas that get lost in the shuffle.
With all of those thoughts falling out the back of your head, a journal can be like a second memory for you. If you have a journal by your side, any thought worth remembering can be written down quickly and revisited later when you have more time.
Let me give you an example. George Lucas had the idea for Star Wars while filming American Graffiti. As soon as this idea came into his head, he stopped filming and wrote down all of his thoughts immediately. After wrapping American Graffiti, he teamed up with his writing partner Gary Kurtz to pen the first script draft for Star Wars. If he hadn’t written all of those thoughts down, who knows how different Star Wars would have turned out.
In short, gents, if George Lucas didn’t have that journal – chances are we wouldn’t have Star Wars as we know it today.
Paper Journaling Is Better Than Digital Journaling
You might be thinking to yourself, “Why don’t I use my phone as a journal?”
Guys, I get it. We live in the 21st century where our lives are driven by high-tech gadgets. However, the simple answer to this question is this – distractions.
Sure, our cell phone notifications keep us up-to-date. But in doing that, notifications also distract us. The reality is that, once you lose focus and read that email or take that call, it’s tough to go back and finish recording your initial thoughts.
A paper journal has no distractions. You are free to write and think about anything you want for as long as you want. The best part? No loading times. Just open your paper journal and start writing.
Physical Writing Improves Your Memory
A University of Los Angeles study found that students who wrote out their notes – instead of typing them – had a better ability to synthesize what they had learned. The act of writing had improved both their factual memory and comprehension of relevant topics.
This same concept applies to journalling.
You’re a busy guy – you probably have tons of different tasks to complete in your day. Understandably, you find it hard to remember all of them. The fact is that, even when you quickly type them into your phone, you can still easily forget to do something on that list.
That’s why physically writing out your notes is a great idea for productivity. By taking the extra step to write out what you need to do, you’re improving your memory and your brain.
Physically Crossing Off Tasks Is Extremely Satisfying
Since you took the extra step to write out your tasks, you get the extra satisfaction of crossing things off of your to-do list for the day.
To-do lists take away the chaos of modern life and can help to free you from anxiety. Wake Forest University professors compared two men – one with a to-do list and one without one. They found that the man with a to-do list could easily accomplish more than his counterpart and also had a lower heart rate while working!
Journaling Makes You Immortal
Chances are your children will read your journal after you’re long gone.
Remember reading about Lewis and Clark in school? If you don’t, you weren’t paying attention in your US History class. Lewis and Clark led the first expedition exploring unknown territory west of the Mississippi River after the Louisiana Purchase. Any idea of how we know the stories from their historic voyage?
Great men have kept journals – including Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Winston Churchill.
Each of these men’s journals has been read and studied. They have become immortal icons to historians around the world.
One day, your children and even grandchildren will want to read your journal. They’ll wonder what you thought when the World Trade Center was attacked or when Barack Obama was elected or even when Donald Trump was elected.
Take my advice here. Don’t wait – start journaling and become immortal for your future family. Half of the time, people can’t even remember what they had for breakfast, let alone what they did ten years ago.
Keeping a Journal Improves Your Mental Health
Journaling requires the application of the left side of your brain. This side of your mind is your analytical, rational side. Basically, it helps you to work through any issue or feeling you’re experiencing while giving the right hemisphere of your brain a chance to refresh and allow your creativity to flow freely when you need it to.
Journaling has been found to boost your mood, reduce depression symptoms, and enhance your sense of well-being.
1. Find A Journal
This first step is simple – purchase a paper journal and begin using it. I also recommend a high-quality pen. After all – you’re going to be writing a lot and you don’t want something that will fail on you.
2. Start Writing
Journaling needs to become a daily routine for you.
Find a time that’s most convenient for you and stick to it. Some of you may like to write in the morning while having a cup of coffee. Personally, I like to write at night. My point is – find what works for you and make it a routine.
Now, you might be wondering what you should write about. The simplest answer is anything on your mind.
Write about your day – accomplishments and failures. Your journal will reflect your mood. Even if you think what you’re writing about is boring, keep going. The more you write, the more you’ll understand yourself.