The Power of Journaling In Keeping You Focused On Your Purpose
by Jason C. Prater
Your single greatest tool is your purpose; your God-designed mission on planet Earth. The single greatest tool in keeping you focused on your God-designed mission on planet Earth is your personal journal.
I am not talking about a diary (although that can be great as well.) I am talking about a serious journal where you record the progress of your life.
WHAT A JOURNAL IS
Simply put, journaling is a way for you to privately record your life.
You can record the good, the bad and the ugly. You can record your hopes and dreams and the obstacles that stand in the way of you achieving these hopes and dreams. You can record your thoughts and feelings, creating more space in your mind for other thoughts and feelings. You can gossip and share secrets than only you will ever know. You can process through tough times and tough emotions.
Really, a journal can be whatever you need it to.
However, in order for your journal to be a valuable tool for you, I recommend you (1) keep it private and (2) keep it productive.
Keep It Private
I cannot stress this enough; your journal is just for you. You should never share it with anyone, including those you consider to be closest to you. This is a space where you are allowed to write – or think – anything you want. Your highest of highs and lowest of lows; these belong in this space. If you were to write in your journal knowing there will be other readers you will lose a great deal of personal authenticity, you would not truly be honest with you.
Keep your journal safe. Keep your journal to yourself.
Keep it Productive
While your journal can be used however you decide to use it, you will find the greatest growth when you use it as a tool for productivity. Sure, you can vent, gossip, rant and rave in your journal; everyone needs this kind of outlet. However, once you get your real feelings on paper, begin deciding how you can turn your life. Write about your purpose and your dreams and then focus on the steps to reaching these goals.
This is your space. However, because life is short use this space to help you push forward your mission. Don’t just waste time. If you use your journal for ramblings and writings, you will soon grow bored and your journal will simply be another task in a long list of tasks you are already doing.
Keep this space productive.
WHY YOU NEED A JOURNAL
Life is busy. There are so many daily distractions that vie for your attention. Your job. Your career. Your spouse. Your children. Your finances. Your goals, dreams and aspirations. If this is not enough, just today you will think roughly between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts!
Where in the world do you process all of this information?
Your mind is you. It controls you and dominates what you do. In order to remain focused on your purpose, you need to dominate your mind. Your journal will help with this.
You can divide your life into four different dimensions: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual (MEPS). Place these dimension together and you will have you. However, each of these different dimensions could be divided into many sub-dimensions. Under “mental” you can discuss your mental state, the books you are reading, what you are learning, information you are processing and more. Under “emotional” you can write about how you are feeling, how certain people and situations make you feel, what is draining you, what is filling you, your reactions to partners, children and co-workers. Under “physical” you can record how you are feeling physically, what your diet is, any problems you are having with your body, your exercise habits and more. Under “spiritual” you can discuss religion, your spiritual disciplines, your connectedness to God and others, your spiritual growth and so much more.
You get the idea.
You are the makeup of many competing ideals and emotions. A journal will help you to compartmentalize these ideals and emotions, allowing you to make the best and right decisions on the journey of living your authentic purpose.
Getting to Know You
The greatest aspect of journaling is this: in time you will come to really know and understand you.
Be honest, how well do you really know you?
Why are you so driven? Why are you not driven at all? Why do you prefer summer to springtime? Why do you prefer the East Coast to the West Coast? Why do you prefer sunny days to rainy days? Why do you get so defensive? Why do you get angry so easily? Why do allow people to take advantage of you? Why do you not finish what you start? Why do prefer running over swimming? Why do attract the kind of people you attract? Why you love your spouse? Why do you overeat?
I could go on.
If you are honest with yourself, you really don’t know you at all. You know everyone around you and everything about everyone around you, but you have no clue who you are.
You will never be able to live your purpose or accomplish your mission on earth until you know who you are. Your true and authentic self.
HOW A JOURNAL WILL HELP YOU.
It will keep you focused.
Once you have discovered your life’s mission – your purpose for living – there will be multitudes of distractions that will work to keep you off your game. Potential job offers. Potential opportunities. Potential lovers. Potential money-making ideas. Potential books. Potential classes. Potential ideas. Each one working overtime to make you distracted, to keep you away from your God-designed purpose.
Your journal will be able to serve as your compass, your true north, consistently pointing you to your mission and your life’s purpose. You will be reminded daily, “This is what I am called to do. This is where I am going.”
There’s a great saying out there that says, “If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.” The same goes for your goals and your purpose. If you are not taking time to cement your purpose and goals in writing and then keep track of them through consistent journaling, you will never fully live the purpose you have been designed to live.
Journal today. Change the world tomorrow.
IMPORTANT NEWS! NEW BOOK COMING THIS FALL!
If you have read this post and have a strong desire to discover your purpose, stay tuned! I am excited to make available to you my new book “Live Your Purpose,” due out early this coming Fall. It will detail 3 key ideas on how to live your purpose. You will not want to miss out on this book! More details coming soon!
Journaling is a great place for these thoughts. With our brains firing neurons back and forth, simply keeping our thoughts in our heads is not enough. It is only when you get all of these ideas and thoughts on paper that you can rightly decipher what is needed, what is most important. If you are solely relying on the discipline of your mind, at some point it will drive you insane and you will find your productivity beginning to decrease.
However, writing allows you to think and record your thoughts. Getting these thoughts on paper will be crucial to your forward progress.
WHO SHOULD JOURNAL
That’s right. You need to journal and everyone around you needs to journal. Whether you believe it our not, your life will be much more organized and focused when you begin to daily, weekly, even monthly take some time and write out your