Writing in and Out: The Magic of a Journal
A pencil might be stronger than a sword after all...
How it all started
It was a fresh morning. I woke up, half asleep, half awake. It had been a rough week: creation, managing pending tasks, writing in and out; essentially, embracing the so-called part-time creator life.
Once my morning routine was almost done (which I´ll write about soon), I grabbed my phone after some magnificent 40 minutes had passed since a woke up. I caught up on some news, posts, and tweets when suddenly, a video appealed to my eyes: Ali Abdaal´s personal experience using a journal, and how it changed his life. (Link to that video —> over here)
I know how this affirmation may sound, but it truly can change your life. See… the problems that we have to struggle with, most of the time, are just there because we erase the idea of listening to our mind.
Imagine your brain as a huge treasure chest, where you can only keep very important information and some stuff that might be of value as well. You would not want to fill it up until the point where there´s no more space for any other “thing” that might be useful; at this point, your treasure chest would be so overloaded that it wouldn´t even close, making it an exhausting journey to get everything back in order.
That´s exactly how we can feel when our ideas, thoughts, and processes are not distilled, analyzed, and understood. That´s where the power of journaling or a profound and easy brain dump comes into place.
Journaling is not just writing down ultra-ambitious goals for the day, explaining how you will achieve them, how you will feel, and your most profound thoughts and ideas that might change the game, no. That kind of journaling isn´t so helpful when it comes to true growth and self-introspection.
Writing down all your thoughts, in the order, form, style, and pace that you want, all trying to speak and understand yourself and your motivations, questioning your current reality, and overall letting all those thoughts out so that you can pause and reframe, that my friend, is what journaling is all about.
The Magic Behind Writing
Writing. Reading. These two simple words have far more impact on our lives than many of us may think. For instance, reading helps you think better and helps you gather the necessary knowledge for you to transform it into useful judgment. Now, if you can think better, you can translate that into writing as well.
The way we write is a reflection of how we think, and vice-versa, as a well-known professor has stated, Jordan B. Peterson. This approach helps us understand the value of critical thinking, and overall, the issue with low reading and writing skills.
We use our thoughts as a form of communication in our daily lives. Each day we expand those thoughts, reframe previous ones and tackle the useless ones. If we start to write down most of these thoughts, we would be able to better reflect on them, hence allowing us to understand our perspective, balance our focus, regain clarity, and most important, empty our brain and make sure it recovers from all the work we delegate to it.
Writing on paper has its benefits, writing on any digital app has its own too. The way I like to journal, and, in a way, what Ali also explains in his video, is through physical pen and paper. It just feels like a more complete experience, an immersive one.
It´s up to you to choose the best system for your use. The key here is to keep writing and keep learning not only from outside sources but also from you. Keep training your mind to communicate with ease, to understand each inch of your world, and ultimately to re-prioritize your attention, our decisive resource.
Writing down our thoughts is the most powerful distillery method. Our mental fog is cleared, and now we can find and create what truly matters on our action map.
Do we own our Thoughts?
This whole idea of processing our thoughts through writing leaves us with the question on do our thoughts have any intrinsic meaning to us? Do we own them? Are we a reflection of them? Are they just inputs that can be discarded without any consequences?
Well, on a logical level, our thoughts are a reflection of the inputs we receive as humans; on a deeper level, our thoughts are constructed guidance for us to walk in life, but by any means, they translate into who we are.
I can think of being an incredible writer or filmmaker, but that doesn´t mean I´m one, right? Yes, there are a whole bunch of ideas around this thinking, but it helps for the lesson. I can think it´s a beautiful day when the sun shines on my face, but will it truly be one?
That´s the key. Our thoughts are our tool. They can point us in the right direction, but they aren´t the ones determining our lives, we do. As long as you can make proper use of your inputs, and of your thinking, well, you can create astonishing destinations with it.
And believe me, when I say this, training your mind to think by writing the chaos in it and organizing it, is just a complete game changer.
The Brain Dump
So, what does journaling look like? Well, we each have a style and a way of thinking, don´t we? Therefore there´s no perfect system that can apply to each one of us, but there´s a general rule: just dump all your thoughts.
Seriously, I mean it. Let your thoughts invade you. Write them down. Don´t ask, write them. After you´ve finished doing this, you´ll notice an amazing relief from within you. Yup, that´s your soul thanking you.
Now it´s time to analyze all of what you wrote. Start making connections. Visualize where can each thought lead you and follow on. Consider each thought again, would you keep it? Would you rather let it there, outside of your reach?
Describe there your emotions, your plans, your past stories, any recent experiences, any important day, action, reminder, or phrase. You´ll end up discovering that most of these thoughts were just empty, without any real reason to be there, or other times you might find a new question or solution that can wrap many of them. Who knows, the magic is discovered through writing.
Will you give journaling a shot? Let me know fam.
My Top Content of The Week
❔ Episode 228 - Deep Questions with Cal Newport (deep life, what can I say?)
✍🏻 How training to failure taught me not to judge others - Existential Expresso (Simple but highly impact life lesson, great read)
📸 Christopher Lawley - What´s on my iPhone: My Everyday Apps (Clean. Productive. Insightful)
🎙️ Jean Paul Sartre´s quote: Let´s be realistic, let´s ask the impossible.
The Lonely Reflection
Have you told those important people in your life, how much you love and appreciate them? Go on now, make their day.
Thanks for tuning in. Let´s make this time a great one.
See you on the next life brew,
Stay happy 💭
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