No seriously. Keep a journal! All the cool guys are doing it. Thats right fellas, we get to have little locked diaries to write about our crushes and dreams of being pro basketball players too! Just make sure to keep it hidden away with a desperate hope your big brother doesn’t find it and show the whole school!!
Okay, all jokes aside, thats how most guys view journals. I know I grew up thinking that was kind of a girly thing to do. But in reality, thats now it used to be. For thousands of years men kept some sort of journal, even if it was just a simple log of daily tasks.
George S. Patton: Failed some courses during his freshman year at West Point. Starting keeping a pocket journal and continued that practice throughout one of the most illustrious careers in American history.
Leonardo Da Vinci: Considered one of the most brilliant and creative minds of all time. It’s thought that he has somewhere between 20 and 30 thousand pages of notes and journals.
Pablo Picasso: Would keep notebooks with him at all times to record small sketches and notes about ideas throughout the day, often making several preliminary sketches before completing the painting.
That is a genius inventor, prodigal artist, and all time American badass that adopted this habit to great success! Now I’m not naive enough to think that journaling is the only thing that made them great, but this list could go on and on and on. Keeping a journal of some sort is a common habit that soooooooooooo many greats throughout history have in common. Just google “famous men who journal” and click any link to see a who’s who list of greats (I recommend checking out artofmanliness.com, they have multiple articles about this.)
How to start?
One: if you’re a person who might actually enjoy writing long entries and getting more in depth with your thoughts, keep a full on journal and commit to taking some time to reflect on your goals, personal life, your religion and family, basically anything you can think of. If you get stuck starting out, go checkout artofmanliness.com again for a 31 day prompt that did wonders for me. His program did so well that once It got me in the swing of things, I absolute took off on my own and didn’t even get to finish it!!
Two: if you’re a person who really doesn’t intend to get that in depth, keep a small pocket journal like Field Notes. Pocket sized, thin and durable. Carry it throughout the day. If something important happens, something you want to remember for later, a to-do list, a project that piqued your interest while shopping at Home Depot, literally anything you could jot down. And at the end of the day, just make a short bullet list of the days tasks. Chances are, you will eventually start adding more to it.
As for me, Ive recently started journaling after years of on again off again. I believe the biggest reason I didn’t stick to it longer than a couple days is that I really didn’t know how to make it useful. After seeing an article of how scientifically beneficial it can be for battling stress, and anxiety, and how well it promotes creativity and productiveness, i decided to give it another try. So I googled journaling info, found some useful formats that others are using, and paired that with a 31 day challenge, and the rest fell into place. I see a dramatic difference in my focus on daily tasks and goals. Just by writing them down, and revisiting them later, I hold myself much more accountable and use my time for achieving those goals instead of catching up on Iron Fist on Netflix (terrible show. I honestly don’t know why I’m still watching it.) Journaling is the single most productive thirty minutes of my day. If you can make it a priority to spend five minutes a day on it, I am 100% confident it will positively impact your life! So, man up and at least give it a shot.