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Self-Development Knowledge Base


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Journaling is the simple-but-powerful process of actively reflecting on your thoughts, emotions, and experiences in a recorded format. Later you can review your journals to gain further clarity, and to see the shifts in perspective you've achieved since that time.

In our experience, journaling is far superior to passive reflection, because it allows you to investigate more deeply and to see connections that would otherwise elude you. We'll explain more about why this happens below.

The ultimate goal of journaling is to maximize your self-wisdom.

BROJO's Journaling Process

BROJO's journaling process involves four core activities;

  1. Reflection- mentally reviewing past events, and your thoughts and emotions regarding them.
  2. Translation- turning those thoughts and emotions into language. This allows you to connect your rational and emotional minds in a way that enables them to understand each other far more completely.
  3. Capture- recording those translated reflections permanently, in written, audio, or video form.
  4. Review- later, reviewing your Journal to complete the learning process.

#1 - Reflection: Digging into Your Thoughts & Feelings

Start by recollecting past experiences, or by investigating your current thoughts and emotions.

The key to make Journaling focused and efficient is to direct your inquiry with the right questions. Questions direct your focus into a particular area of your life.

For example, if you want to develop your emotional intelligence, then some useful questions might include;

  • What difficult emotions did I feel today?
  • Why did I feel those emotions? What did my emotional mind want me to do?
  • Were my emotions, legitimate, or was I over-imagining and over-thinking things?
  • How did I react to my emotions? Was it useful? Did it resolve the problem?
  • If I could go back right now and change anything, how would I react in that situation now?
  • How could I react better tomorrow?

To develop your core values, you might investigate;

  • Which of my core values did I try to live by today?
  • How did I live by [my values of] honesty, courage, curiosity, respect, acceptance...
  • What's bothering me the most right now, and what can I do about it?
  • What could I change tomorrow to be more proud of myself?

To enhance your gratitude and appreciation for life;

  • What did I do today that I'm proud of?
  • What was I happiest about today?
  • What is the most beautiful thing I saw today?

And you can get deep;

  • How did other people treat me today? What boundaries need to be set? Who needs be to recognized for their helpful contribution to my life?
  • What am I not admitting to myself?
  • How can I do succeed better next time?
  • What's missing from my life?
  • What do I really want from my life on Earth?

Journaling is not the same as keeping a diary. In a diary, the guiding questions are about capturing memories, e.g. What happened today that was interesting? In journaling, the questions are intended to be much more focused, deep, and directed towards areas you want to challenge and change.

#2 - Translation: Turning Your Thoughts & Feelings into Language

Whether you're journaling on paper, or recording your voice into your phone or a video camera, you are translating your thoughts and feeling into language.

This process seems trivial but it completely changes the way that your emotional and rational minds relate to each other. You've likely seen this before, when you explain something to someone- and in that process you suddenly understand something new that you'd never noticed before.

This effect is a central part of journaling.

#3 - Capture: Taking Your Reflections Outside of You, and Saving Them

Always capture your journaling in a persistent form, on paper or in a digital format such as audio or video.

Capturing your translated reflections does three essential things-

  1. It brings your reflections outside of you, making them "real," more than just thoughts dancing around in your head. In this form, they are something that you can experience and relate to more objectively, which is essential to releasing them.
  2. It allows you to understand them differently, since once they're outside of you, your mind relates to them differently. Outside of you, it's also much easier to see what's objectively true, v. what's not true. This is important, because our minds are good at B.S.
  3. It saves them for later Review.

#4 - Review: Revisiting Past Journals, to Learn More

Later, review your journal entries. You will get immense value from this. This is usually when the major breakthroughs happen in your thinking.

Reviewing your Journals;

  1. Provides you with clearer, more objective perspective on you past experiences.
  2. Gives you deep additional knowledge about that situation, and about yourself.
  3. Lets you see how you've changed, and grown, in ways that you did not notice.

Experiment with 1 week reviews (e.g. listen to all of your audio journals on Sunday). 1 month reviews. Quarterly reviews, and Yearly reviews.

Further Reading

Why Journaling is Essential to your Growth

Introduction to Journaling [BROJO-U]