How you can make journalling a life-long habit starting today
The undefeated champion boxer Bivol had no chance to win his next match. Well, that's according to the bookies, who had him as a massive underdog against Saul Canelo.
Canelo has 60 pro fights, with his last loss over 9 years ago. Using his flashy speed, defence, and relentlessness. Canelo could solve any opponent and dismantle them. And many of his defeated opponents were championship pedigree.
Bivol hasn't been a pro for that long.
He only has 19 pro fights under his belt. And on top of all that, he is a very simple boxer. Using no more than three punching combinations. So it's easy to see how Canelo would walk through Bivol.
But Bivol defeated Canelo!
How could a superstar boxer like Canelo fall to a simple fighter?
Many people couldn't understand this.
Except for the boxing purists who understood one thing about Bivol. They knew Bivol was well trained from his amateur days. And the key skills he developed during that time helped him in defeating the flashy Canelo.
So what are these key skills?
The boxing fundamentals!
When it comes to taking care of yourself, you need to rely on the fundamentals of your wellbeing.
And one of these fundamentals is journalling.
I know, I know, there are a million and one pieces of content talking about journaling. And I'm not going to tell you why you should journal or bring some sexy journalling tactic.
My journalling structure is boring but simple.
All it includes is 10 minutes before bed to answer three questions from the ancient Greeks and a recap. And in this article, I'll divulge the details a little bit more.
So let's hop onto the first question.
Question 1: What did I do wrong?
Easy question, but it's not a question we ask ourselves too often.
And for a lot of us, it's not easy to admit we did something wrong. But when we do, it allows us to learn from our mistakes. And it's those lessons that enrich us with wisdom.
Our mistakes allow us to better understand ourselves and human nature better. Because whatever you are going through, millions, if not billions, of people are in the same boat.
Anyways, when you ask yourself what you did wrong on a daily basis, you're learning lessons. You will see patterns, misunderstandings, and ignorance. And this puts you in a position to correct it.
Half the battle in correcting mistakes is identifying them to being with. By keeping track of them, you are offering yourself a chance to correct them and grow as an individual.
And to be sure I am not making anything up, take a look at this quote from the Arabian Nights:
"Time was no friend to those who did not look at the consequences of their actions."
And a bonus quote from Gracian:
Pay attention to the last sentence of the below quote.
"Know how to help yourself. A stout heart is the best company in tight situations, and when it falters, the other parts of the body should step up to help. Troubles are lessened for those who know how to help themselves. Don't give in to misfortune, for it will end up being intolerable. Some help themselves very little when confronted with difficulties and double them through not knowing how to bear them. A person who knows himself addresses his weakness with careful thought, and a discreet person emerges victorious over everything, even the stars."
Alright, let's hop on to the second question.
Question 2: What did I do?
This question is more positive, as it asks us about the good things we did today.
One of the issues of self-help in most genres is that it's too focused on mistakes or errors. If we were being honest, we do a lot of great things on a daily basis.
But we forget them!
So it just feels like we are not making progress and think we are failures. That's why it's crucial to take note of the good that we have done throughout the day.
That could be following through with a good habit.
Or engaging in a courageous act. For me, I take note of the books I read, workouts, applying to a job, etc,. Whatever you thought was an accomplishment for the day, jot it down.
It's so easy to get hard on ourselves, that we need to realize that we are more than the mistakes we make.
Again to go back to my boy Gracian, here is a relevant quote:
"Immediately find the good in everything. This is the blessing of those with good taste. A bee heads for something sweet to make honey and a snake for something bitter to make poison; so with our tastes, some making for the best, others for the worst. There is nothing without some good in it, especially a book, the product of reflection. Some people's characters are so wretched that, amidst a thousand good qualities, they find the only possible flaw that might exist and proceed to censure and celebrate it. They scavenge the will and the understanding for dirt, burdening themselves with faults and flaws. This is more a punishment for their misguided discernment than a sign of their subtlety. They have miserable lives, always feeding on affliction and gorging on imperfections. More fortunate are those who, amidst a thousand flaws, immediately find the one good point which happens to be there."
Okay, the third question.
Question 3: What duty's left undone?
This is the most straightforward out of all the questions. You just simply jot down what things you neglected.
Like homework, delaying an uncomfortable conversation, or not finishing a project. Whatever was supposed to be done for the day but didn't get put here.
This question is simply just to remind you of the things you need to complete. Instead of not completing it and forgetting about it, putting this down in your journal makes sure this stays top of mind.
It's easy to forget things in life.
Especially when you got school, work, friends, family, lovers, etc. But despite all that, it's no excuse to not work on yourself and your dreams.
You don't want 20 years passing by of unfinished business, only to wonder why you didn't commit to completing them.
By asking yourself this question and the previous two, you are going to be looking at yourself in the mirror daily. And you are going to commit to growing and creating the life you want.
You just have to remember it.
Alright, after you answer the three questions you can do a quick summary.
Recapping the day.
All you have to do is, briefly recap the day.
Was it a good/bad/meh day?
Did anything interesting happen?
How did you feel?
Or whatever, just recap your day and call it a journaling session. The whole point of journaling is to not make it complex. Just a simple method to keep track of yourself and to a certain extent, your dreams and goals.
However, some people will still object that even this journalling structure is not easy.
Being too tired journal.
I know early in this article I said to take 10 minutes before bed to journal. However,r people are tired by the time they go to bed and crash.
Or if they have some energy, it's not enough to think about the day and journal. So they just toss the journal away.
Because journaling is simple, this also has a simple solution.
You simply journal in the morning. If the evening is a low energy time, then switch it up to when you have the most energy.
So right after breakfast, spend 10 minutes journalling on the previous day.
And just like that.
You will be able to start your day off with the wisdom from the previous day.
Life is all about simplicity.
If things seem to be complicated, you have to find a simple solution or alternative. The best things in life come in simple ways.
And speaking of the best.
When it comes to journaling, you need to avoid the mistake of getting a low-quality journal.
I know this sounds shallow, but poor-quality journals make it less likely to journal. And this causes people to stop journaling.
So to avoid this preventable mistake, go get yourself a nice journal. Don't be afraid to splurge, because this journal will be an extension of you.
It's the place where your thoughts, ideas, and soul will reside. When you pull it out, you want to do so with pride.
I carry my journal with me everywhere.
It's a nice sand-coloured leuchtturm1917 journal. It reminds me that if this high-quality book holds my soul, then I am treating myself with self-respect.
But if I had a typical school notebook to be my journal, where it falls apart easily. Well, that shows how much respect I put on myself.
I know this is going off track but is worth reminding.
The way you treat yourself, even for the smallest matters, is an indication of how you treat yourself in general.
Treaty yourself properly.
Buy a high-quality journal.
Buy good clothing.
Buy things to treat yourself appropriately.
When you treat yourself right, the world will too.
And to treat you right, let's wrap this article up.
To journal, follow the three questions from the golden verses and a recap of your day.
Question 1: What did I do wrong? By taking note of your mistakes, you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow and learn about human nature.
Question 2: What did I do? We can't be too hard on ourselves. We need to take note of our accomplishments, to show that we are making progress in life.
Question 3: What duty's left undone? Taking note of this will help keep the things we didn't finish on top of mind. It's easy to forget our dreams and goals. So this question will remind us what is left undone in that department.
Lastly, just recapping the day. This is just to jot down a brief summary of the day. Just so you get a sense of it.
People feel they are too tired to journal before bed. If that's the case, then journal in the morning. Do what's easier for you.
A simple mistake people make is by using low-quality notebooks for journalling. Treat yourself right by getting a high-quality journal. This is a place where you will put your soul in, so get something you can respect.
Journalling is talked about all the time.
And I got sick of it before I tried those simple questions. Then journalling has become part of my life, where I have filled up journals from the previous years.
And I was able to do this, after failing for years.
Again, life is simple. If you follow the fundamentals consistently, you'll surprise yourself with what will come as a result. Just like Bivol did against Canelo.
Until next time,
The Charismatic Nerd