We’ve all written things down so we wouldn’t forget them. When was the last time you wrote something down you could forget it? What if I told you they were the same thing?
Your External Hard Drive
Writing things down is like saving them to an external drive on your computer. Once you know you’ve put something somewhere you can find it later, you don’t have to think about it anymore. Added bonus, writing things down forces our brains to slow down and concentrate on the idea while our hands physically do something with it. You could say it’s priming the fuel pump of your ideas engine.
Build Threading Your Life
Keeping a journal is a great way of giving yourself that simple, external hard drive. It’s a convenient place to get things out of your head so you don’t have to keep thinking about them right now.
Tyson Hugie’s been keeping journals since he was 10 years old. Someone gave him a blank notebook. He decided he needed to write stuff in it. So he started writing—and hee’s never stopped. Dude’s been journaling for 28 years.
Today, he’s got boxes of old notebooks, each filled with notes and memories of places he’s been, things he’s done, people he’s met. Some of it’s even in Spanish?
We live in a world where our attention is being mined for advertising and political gain. The real, human interactions that used to make up most of our existence, those which led us to math and science and culture—the connections we all thought we’d make through social media—have been reduced to simple likes and shares for the most part. Whether or not you actually buy anything, your attention is worth real money—even moreso than your data. (They want our data so they can better steal our attention, after all.)
Our collective ADD (not to discount those with clinically diagnosed conditions) makes it that much harder for us to see our own good ideas through, let alone hang onto them long enough to do anything with them in the first place. How many good ideas have you had in your life? How many of them have you tried? And when was the last time something really—really—pissed you off? So much that you just couldn’t get it out of your head?
If you hear “journal” and think “little girl’s diary”, you’re letting a bunch of lazy, pop culture bullshit keep you from one of the best kept secrets to success. Mark Twain kept a journal. So did General Patton. George Lucas, Beethoven, Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin—great people who did great things that changed the world forever felt it was worth jotting things down in notebooks.
Real World Application
This episode of the podcast is a conversation with a gearhead like us—like you and I—who’s been keeping journals for nearly 30 years. Who better to learn about this simple, effective, impactful habit than a fellow car-lover?
It’s a great way to save all those million-dollar ideas you’ve had so you can do something with them. It’s a great way to get unproductive thoughts out of your head so you can get on with your life (because you can always come back and fire up old grudges at any time—not that you’re likely to do that, of course). And it’s a SOLID way to build a habit that connects your body and mind.
This isn’t your sister’s diary. Check out gearheads like us use journals.