Journaling: Rigorous Exercise Most Won't Do

I love how journaling engages the best parts of my mind. It’s an exercise that I look forward to daily. In the activity I am engaged in the pursuit of clarity. I am not as drawn to what is found as much as the process of how it all comes together. It's a hell of a puzzle that we are inevitably attempting to construct. This process enlivens me. There is a tension of ideas which spotlight that there is some undiscovered realization that requires attention. Internally the wheels begin spinning and my mind is off to another race. Journaling can become the most rigorous form of exercise you subject yourself to. Thinking seems to be an afterthought in an age where available information on any subject matter is in such abundance.

Make sure your actions are the product of your own conclusions. ~ Jim Rohn

No matter where the origins of ideas have spawned, the journal can literally become the mind's dojo. Each incoming idea must first prove itself on the proverbial mat.

How do the ideas hold up in the face of challenge and scrutiny?

The journal can be used as a platform to explore and inquire about the integrity any subject. Journaling becomes an extension of one's thinking. There is a cathartic moment as the pen is slowly approaching the paper. In the those moments, a mental combustion takes place. Scenarios are calculated for how to best express a newly received concept. Our mind can see it fully and now we must bring all of our resources available to articulate it.

What are your preferred tools of the trade?

Pentel - Liquid Gel Ink - .07mm

Paperchase A6 Flexi Lined Notebook

Being left handed has it’s own set of restrictions. Throughout school left-hander’s have to adjust to a right-handed world. The criteria in pens and notebooks reflect our assimilation to the standard for writing. Look at how an average left-hander writes. In schools there was never any elbow support for left handers. As a result we use our wrists for that support. This leaves us prone to smear the ink on the page. Writing from left to right restricts our view of what we are writing, thus the crook in our hand to give us ample view of the words as we write.

Pentel has magically quick-drying ink. Paperchase's flexi journals are soft on the palms as I write. I’ve been ritualistically using both brands consistently since 2005. Admittedly, I'm completely obsessed to the point that I cannot write my journal with any other brand of ink.

What's your methodology?

My Pentel pen and my Paperchase journal act as my intellectual Atom Smasher. If you remain still and totally present as ideas collide the impending shrapnel sends off fragments of deep abiding truth. There is always a small amount of general momentum moving when getting started. Some of the ideas that are entertained have been chewed on in a way that elevated them to the standard of possible entries into the journal. The journal becomes the platform to record the observation before any correlation and interpretation occurs. Beginning with conclusions restricts our capacity for the new revelations to shine through. In those open moments the universe opens wide up and ideas flow in new profound ways.

There isn't an any forcing the issue. In attempt to force it would be like driving with the emergency brake on. Ultimately, I find that getting into a relaxed state works best for me. Cultivating an environment of curiosity and inquiry sets the stage perfectly.

When does it flow effortlessly?

There are times when I just flow effortlessly. I absolutely love these times. In them, I always have something very clear to share. Other times it flows when the momentum of other accomplishments spill out into other areas. Most of the ideas I presume come together fully packaged waiting only to be translated. Ideas carve my worldview into it's more refined version. Being present to an idea's authentic integrity creates insights and implications which are filled with more ideas to explore. A great idea will give you pause and inspire you toward taking a moment for reflection. Ideas by their nature should inspire more questions than conclusions. New revelations show us more mystery and more uncharted paths.