Between the time from 1986 and 2011, the famous Oprah Winfrey show was hosted. It gained so much popularity and recognition, everyone who had a tv set would watch it, mostly in North America. Oprah built a brand for herself over the years. She went far and beyond the screen business and became a billionaire.
Ever wondered what was the key to her success?
She relied on one sole habit that is life-changing and that is journaling.
To journal is to write down your thoughts and your life or daily plans on paper. No need to do anything else. As simple as it sounds, journaling has been a key to success in the careers of successful people throughout the years. For instance, famous writers. From Virginia Woolf to Vladimir Nabokov, journaling always stuck to their side.
“I create myself in my journal” claimed Susan Songe.
These brilliant minds, thinkers, and inventors used journaling to settle their thoughts on paper. We are talking Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and the famous chemist Marie curie. Not only writers and scientists, as well we have political figures and leaders that kept journals like George Washington.
So why did the world’s brilliant thinkers journal, is it beneficial?
The benefits of journaling are limitless and vast, I will point out my favorite effective ones:
1) Journaling provides clear proof of your progress
I still have journals from when I was 15. I wrote about things I enjoyed and complained about how the school is such a pain. But I also wrote how I felt and how I dealt with dark days. Looking back at this journal, I realized how much I have grown as a person, and that the problems that I faced at 15, are nothing like when I am 20. It is like watching yourself grow, through journals you write your own.
2) It sharpens your memory
Your face changes over time and not everyone notices it. Having a journal sets an unerasable image of yourself over the years.
Cheryl Strayed, on her book, wild:
“My journal provided the who, what, how, when, and why with a specificity that memory might have blurred, but it also did something more: it offered me a frank and unvarnished portrait of myself at 26 that I couldn’t have found anywhere else.”
People like the idea of journaling but only few stick to the act. And if you are one of them, my friend, then turning journaling into a habit is the answer.
This is where we go back to our oprah story
After ending her 25-year-old career, she said:
“I kept a gratitude journal for a full decade without fail—and urged you all to do the same. Then life got busy. My schedule overwhelmed me. I still opened my journal some nights, but my ritual of writing down five things I was grateful for every day started slipping away.”
Her simple way to make journaling a habit is
Write one sentence per day.
Pick up a paper and pen and write down just one sentence. It is too easy that you will feel successful each day you do and you will keep wanting to write more and more.
A tip: you can add small doodles and drawing of things you saw or just scribble around in colored pens
Call it the One Line Per Day. For a prompt, write about how you felt today or how well did you sleep. Small progress is still progress. By the end of the month, you will find an entry of 31 lines, beautifully written by you.
By this, you will get into the habit of journaling. Madeleine L’Engle, the author of A Wrinkle in Time, said:
“Just write a little bit every day.”