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Sunday, June 23, 2013

THE BENEFITS OF A JOURNAL

One of my must-follows on twitter is Michael Hyatt (I'm one of many as he has 190,000 followers).  Another weekly stop for me is his website/blog which has quality material on leadership, time management and productivity.  Recently he blogged about the benefits of keeping a journal.  I have long kept a journal based on the merits shared with me by Coach Don Meyer.  Coach Meyer would explain that it's not a diary.  You're not jotting down what you did.  You are writing down what you learned -- it's about significance.  I think those who already keep a journal or are interested in doing so will enjoy the merits listed by Hyatt. You can read his entire post this subject here.

Process previous events. What happens to me is not as important as the meaning I assign to what happens to me. Journaling helps me sort through my experience and be intentional about my interpretation.

Clarify my thinking. Writing in general helps me disentangle my thoughts. Journaling takes it to a new level. Because I am not performing in front of a “live audience,” so to speak, I can really wrestle through the issues.

Understand the context. Life is often happening so quickly I usually have little time to stop and reflect on where I am in the Bigger Story. Journaling helps me to discern the difference between the forest and the trees.

Notice my feelings. I understand feelings aren’t everything, but they also aren’t nothing. The older I get, the more I try to pay attention to them. They are often an early indicator of something brewing.

Connect with my heart. I’m not sure I can really explain this one, but journaling has helped me monitor the condition of my heart. Solomon said “above all else” we are to guard it (see Proverbs 4:23). It’s hard to do that when you lose touch with it.

Record significant lessons. I’m a better student when I am taking notes. Writing things down leads to even deeper understanding and, I hope, wisdom. I want to write down what I learn, so I don’t have to re-learn it later.

Ask important questions. A journal is not merely a repository for the lessons I am learning but also the questions I’m asking. If there’s one thing I have discovered, it’s the quality of my questions determine the quality of my answers.

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