There’s an Incubus song called Warning which explicitly states, “Don’t ever let life pass you by.” If you haven’t heard that song, and especially if you have not ever listened to Incubus, I suggest you go and listen to that song right now because it kicks so much ass. Youtube it.
The sad thing is that countless numbers of people, myriads, let their lives fly away daily. Everyone’s a Jay Gatsby, everyone’s stretching for that green light across the river at the edge of the dock. In this world of symphonies and heartbreaks, dreams and aspirations, very few people stay focused.
And just like A Tale of Two Cities, these are certainly the best of times and the worst of times. How can we keep track of our lives when everything around us seems to be spinning like a hurricane? How do we stay steadfast to our vision?
It is so important to have a dream.
It is even more important to be able to track that dream, to pull it out of the ethers and to measure your progression toward its attainment.
Even in today’s advanced society, many people neglect one of the best ways to measure one’s progression towards a dream:
Without a journal, your life is going to pretty much play out like Groundhog Day. It seriously sucks living in a pattern of constant stagnation where there is absolutely no growth, evolution, or involution. Sadly, so many people use their own damn volition to live such mundane lives. It’s the whole duckling syndrome, the sheep syndrome, the conformist’s decree, whatever you wanna call it: people don’t know what they want for themselves, so they follow others.
You are different, though, aren’t you?
You were meant for more.
Hell, you may not even know your purpose, but that won’t stop you from planning out a life of excellence, will it?
Of course not!
Fail to plan, plan to fail. – Proverb
Journaling helps you keep track of shit.
It helps you stay in touch with who you are.
It allows you to keep track of your inner workings.
You get to actually see how your mind evolves throughout the years.
It’s SO much fun going back and reading passages containing insights you had
ARNOLD Did It
If there is ONE thing we can learn from the Governator is that there is MAGIC in written words. This man has done it all.
He’s gone from pro body builder to Mr. Universe.
He’s gone from Mr. Universe to a Hollywood actor.
He went from a sub par Hollywood Actor to the lead star of one of the greatest action movie series to have ever hit the market: The Terminator.
He went from action movie superstar to the governor of California.
Is there anything this man CAN’T do?
No, there isn’t.
Every accomplishment he has achieved so far, for the most part, was written in his journals before he even accomplished anything on the measurable level.
The book that changed everything for him was The Magic of Believing.
There is Magic in Words
There is intense magic in your words. When you write by hand, you active hundreds of tiny muscles that work in harmony with your brain to create new neuropathways. These pathways enable your mind to see a separate reality, one in which your world consists only of the images you have written down.
Then, there is a part of your brain called the RAS- the reticular activating system- that works its ass off to bring you into alignment with the things you have written down. It looks for patterns in your environment that stick out, it looks for patterns that show promise of bringing you closer to your goal.
When you write down your goals, when you journal your life and measure your accomplishments, you’re kicking your RAS (pun intended) in gear.
There’s a more holistic philosophy behind this which essentially teaches that whatever you focus upon in life expands.
I’m not here to administer any holistic doctrine as of this moment.
All I am saying is that there is magic in words.
When you write down your intentions, there is a certain kind of spirit that takes off within the ink, and they breathe in a life of their own.
It is important to WRITE by hand- don’t type your journals.
You will realize that journaling is a very intimate process, and the book you are writing in really becomes an extension of your soul. This is something that computers can’t really match.
The way you move a pencil is much more intimate than the way your fingers blaze across the keyboard.
What to Journal About
This isn’t high school anymore.
OMG Mike is SUCH A DOUCHEBAG. I HATE HIM! I HATE HIM! I HATE HIM! UGH! HE MAKES ME SO SICK. Like seriously, WTF?
I LIKE HIM SO MUCH, WHY IS HE SO MEAN TO ME? sDASDASdadqw3eqrfef AHHHHH!!!! IM GONNA RIP MY HAIR OUT!
Please, none of that.
Realize: WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS. Whatever you feed your mind constantly, your RAS (pun intended) works night and day to bring your commands into reality.
Don’t write about all the messed up things going on in your life.
Your journal is supposed to be transformational.
Instead, write about how you would like life to BE.
Actually, the best way to journal is to write from the standpoint that you have already achieved the very thing you desire.
If you can’t write in such a tense because you can’t find yourself believing the words, then certainly put your goals off into the future. At least have SOMETHING written.
Write something to strive towards.
Write about goals, write about ambitions.
If you had a dream, write that dream out. Try to decipher its meaning.
Don’t mention anyone that brings you ill feelings; therefore, leave out all references of Mike, the douchebag.
Write about your thoughts.
Write about your feelings.
And if you are feeling down, sure, definitely write about it. But, when you write about negative feelings, don’t end your entry on a negative note. Instead, try to find a way to make that entry more constructive so that it ends off positively; therefore, if you ARE feeling bad, and you have nowhere else to turn to, you can certainly say the following:
Mike’s been annoying me somewhat these days, but I just cant help be feel pleased by his behavior. I know that I like him, and I can’t help but think that part of him likes me as well. But, if nothing happens, I’ll be fine. I feel bad, but I know that all pain is just a sign of resistance to the present moment. I don’t need to feel bad. There are plenty more fish in the sea, and there will be plenty more opportunities for intimacy and love in the future. For now, I need to focus on myself and become an even greater woman.
Write however you want to write. Just make sure that all your words bring you to a greater unfolding of the self.
Progression is always sexy.
Journaling lets you realize how much you grew throughout your life.
One day, after you are long gone from this world, somebody will read this journal of yours.
What impression would you like to leave behind?
What would your grandkids say if they read your journal?
You will be remembered for everything you have done in this life.
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.- Maximus, Gladiator
How will you be remembered?
A GREATTTTTTTTTT exercise you can do to start yourself on the write foot is to write your own eulogy.
“Bodybuilding 101: The Art and Science of Bodybuilding, Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Steroids, Weightlifting, Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness: Heavy Metal, Conservative Politics, Viking Pride, and Other Manly Viking Stuff. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <http://www.arthurshall.com/x_bodybuilding.shtml>.
“Gladiator (2000) – Memorable Quotes.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/quotes>.
“Proverb Quotes.” Find the Famous Quotes You Need, ThinkExist.com Quotations. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <http://thinkexist.com/quotation/he_who_fails_to_plan-plans_to/169985.html>.