Another one that goes hand in hand with Stoic is Journaling. It grounds me similarly to meditating. I always heard on the Tim Ferriss Podcast that “successful” people meditate and journal a lot. I never understood the term journaling until I started it myself.
What helped me get started was the instructions by Derek with the idea of Thought On files. By doing all journaling digitally in a plain text file and creating a separate one. Therefore I can read at a glance what I journaled, pondered, and thought off last time, can reflect on it, and go deeper. Sometimes the previous journal entry is from years back, and of course, I do not remember, but giving me tons of insights as these are my thoughts. It’s a little like time travel back and talking to myself back then.
Besides the thought of journaling, I also do dailies whenever I have time. In these, I usually dump whatever is stuck in my head right now and offload it to my journal and then ask questions about it. Why do I feel like this, or what can I change to feel better, and so on.
Every two or three months, I reflect on all levels where I have a bunch of questions (I use the 🔃 Reflection Template by Zowie from Systematic Mastery) about all kinds of things which takes me about 30 minutes and more.
# Digital vs Paper
Writing is therapy! I usually write as much as possible on my laptop because I can type as fast as I think. At the same time, my handwriting can’t keep up with my thinking speed. There is no slowing down and forgetting ideas or thoughts. On the other hand, I can reformat, re-arrange, add, and delete, which will help my thinking process which wouldn’t happen in my brain. The advantage of pen and paper is that I use different muscles and brain activities when I write, which helps me think differently. I usually use them when I need to outline my blog post, if I’m stuck or distracted on something, or if I go out in nature and only bring my physical journal.
Also, when writing journals or other ideas within my second brain, I can start connecting them. Improving my thoughts over time and generally refind easily and read them, whereas, on paper, notebooks get lost over time, and finding the right things when needed is very hard.
Read more on Journaling to Find Myself Again:
One day, DJ read some of her old journal entries and had a “cosmic” realization: she was in a toxic romantic relationship that she needed to get out of. She started writing to process her emotions and construct a path back to herself, her perspective, and a new beginning.
# Daily Journaling Questions
- “What did I do yesterday?”
- “What am I working on?”
- “What’s coming up?”
- “What am I grateful for?”