When was the last time you encountered an “aha moment”, one that invoked an inexplicable drive to follow your dreams? The likes of those you experience as the aftermath of watching an inspirational Ted Talks or reading a motivational quote. Only, you discover days later, that the catalyst which invoked the bout of inspiration and creativity was short lived in bringing about a tangible, lasting change. Perhaps because creativity begins like a spark of light, one that is unstable and intermittent at its inception. It is only with streamlined efforts that this proverbial spark morphs into a warm glow of steady light.
Given the number of hours I spend crunching numbers daily, I surmise that my idea of creativity entails color coding summary financials and applying conditional formatting to spreadsheets. (thanks, finance!) It comes as no surprise then that I have always been fascinated by those who effortlessly tap into their creativity to spearhead the process of creation, whatever that may be: painting, coding, writing, etc.
Imagine my excitement when I began to experience the aforementioned spark in the seemingly mundane ritual of jotting down ideas and tasks on the job. It was here that I uncovered journaling, which I believe helped stimulate the creative outlet that resides within.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a compulsive writer; it is not uncommon for my co-workers to find me scribbling in my notepad during meetings, conference calls or otherwise. Sadly, my manager jokes about a mental tally of the number of notebooks I finished during the initial weeks of training. In case you were wondering, it was three notebooks within the first month.
The ability to flip back to a number or concept that I could forget in the near future due to lack of subject matter expertise had me frantically penning down every bit of information during interactions. What I did not realize until recently was the manifestation of this habit into my personal life in the form of journals. Whilst majority of my day is rather technical, I take comfort in the task of jotting down ideas that permeate all facets of my life: work, lifestyle, nutrition, to-do lists, etc.
Over the months, I began to notice a fundamental transformation in the completion of tasks and how tangible seemingly elusive goals became. The written word almost coerced my subconscious mind to become accountable to the conscious.
It is often said that on average, a person experiences anywhere between 35 to 48 thoughts per minute, a statistic that leaves one wondering just how active and dynamic the human mind is. It is no wonder then that those who attempt to meditate often complain about the difficulty of silencing the mind. I have come to realize that journaling is an important precursor to meditation, for writing down those thoughts and emotions that inundate the mind must be given an innocuous outlet. It is almost cathartic to acknowledge these thoughts on paper for the written word allows the writer to perceive that thought as a third party, one who is rational as opposed to subjective.
Far too often and for far too long we mull over the past and worry about the future but journaling daily allows us to tap into those facets of our lives that we want to improve upon, celebrate or create. The ability to pen these thoughts and emotions, albeit transient, possesses a power that brings consciousness to the thought itself. Journaling is my channel of honoring my thoughts in the present moment, which is truly all we have.
If you had the power to actualize your dreams, one goal at a time, what would you write about? Happy journaling, friends!