When you ask someone what’s their ultimate goal in life, most people would probably say happiness. In the pursuit of this elusive feeling we’re ready to work endless hours in a corporate world slowly climbing the ladder, or grinding the startup life waiting for the big brake. Happiness awaits us after the next promotion or after the IPO, we tell ourselves. But what happens once you manage to “reach” happiness? If you’re happy with how things are now, why would you continue to strive for more? Assuming you believe that as a human race we’re galaxies away from perfection, losing the drive to change and improve would be massively detrimental and would stagnate both an individual and a society. So the real question becomes, how can we be happy but not lose our hunger for reaching higher?
“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.“ ~ Natalie Goldberg
For a long time I thought that a writing a diary or a journal is for those, who can’t cope with their emotional storms and had to channel their thoughts on paper. I even read somewhere that women who kept a diary were more likely to end their relationships since they could go back into the negative moments with their partners though the text, moments that otherwise would have been forgotten. But the more I read about famous philosophers, artists and entrepreneurs, the more I noticed a pattern of keeping a journal to measure and reflect. I started to see how writing can morph into a mirror and a benchmark, if used correctly. It can empower us to understand ourselves better and help with focusing our energy on things that matter.
During the past four years I’ve been trying to keep a journal where I write about different aspects of life. Unfortunately the practice has been extremely irregular and during these four years I’ve managed to scribble down around hundred entries. One of the things I decided to track after the first year was what have I learned during today. The idea was that if I’d learn something small every day, I’d be 365 bits wiser at the end of the year. In addition to forcing you to seek education every single day, by reflecting on the day’s teaching, you’re much more likely to remember it in the long run.