Shape of my heart

It’s complicated…

FYI

A Five-Minute Exercise That Every Person Should Do Every Day

Just pick up a pen.

Tom KueglerNov 12 · 4 min read

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

I remember sneaking into my sister’s room as a child and reading her diaries.

It was a diabolical thing to do, I know.

I couldn’t help myself, though. Secrets are tempting, and I realized even as a kid that nobody is honest about who they are. Journals are a good place to find the truth.

I remember years later, when I was 21, I got a few journals in the mail from none other than my sister.

I was in the midst of the “drinking my face off twice a night” phase of my life. The last thing I wanted to do was spend time writing in a journal. I was interning at Disney and interested in riding rides, partying, and meeting other interns from around the world.

But for some reason, I took what she told me to heart. She said

“Tom, this experience is going to change your life. You need to write about it. You must document it.”

Looking back five years later, I can honestly say that taking her up on the journaling was the single best decision of my entire life.

Better than working at Disney. Better than traveling. Better than coming here to the Philippines. It trumps all of that.

Let me tell you why.

You’ll Have A Time Machine

I think people forget 95% of what happens to them during any given day. When you journal, you recover a good bit of those memories.

Reading my journal entries from 5 years ago is as close to jumping into a time machine as I can get.

If there was a fire in my house and I could only take a few things with me, I’d actually get my journals first. That’s saying something.

You’ll Become 10x More Self-Aware

Do you remember whether you were happy or sad two Thursdays ago? If I told you to rank your happiness from a scale of 1–10 for that day, would you be able to accurately give a score?

Most wouldn’t. I don’t even remember what I did two Thursdays ago. What was bothering me? What was I happy about? It’s good to write these things down and explore them because you can’t always talk about them in real life with people.

If I’m jealous of my brother, how many people can I legitimately talk about that with? It’s the same reason my sister’s journal was full of her secrets — because most things we think are also things we could never say out loud.

We have to get them out somewhere. If we don’t, we just forget about them and they might continue to plague our subconscious.

In doing so, we might find out we’re really jealous of our brother, or we’re not happy with our best friend, or we need to change jobs. In other words, we will become self-aware as we spend more time marinating on thoughts instead of forgetting about them.

My best-performing article of all time talks about how journaling can make us much more self-aware, so give it a shot.

Taking 5 Minutes To Write Is Therapy

Like I mentioned before, I got my journals in the midst of my “party animal” stage. Getting me to take 5 minutes every day after work to write was sort of unthinkable, but after the first few weeks, I actually came to enjoy my journaling time the most.

I started enjoying journaling so much that I’d do it during the day on Saturdays and Sundays — my off days.

I realized that nobody on my college program journaled. I never heard anybody talk about it. I had many friends who never seemed to ask me about the journals on my dresser. I may have been one of the only dozen or so interns out of thousands that actually journaled more than once per month.

It put me in extremely rare company. I think I was less stressed, more self aware, and more appreciative of every moment I had working at Disney than many of my other friends because of it.

You Start Appreciating The Moment More

In Disney, I realized how much my best friend meant to me from journaling. While my best friend was busy working and constantly caught up in the fog of the next thing to do, I understood that each passing moment was to be cherished.

It’s almost as if you start looking at real-life as a journal entry. You can exit your body for a few seconds and look down on everything in all of its glory. This is a moment you’ll write about later. This is a moment you’ll cherish. How do you know? Because you’ve written about similar situations before.

You’re much more appreciative of things at the moment. Writing gave me that wonderful gift. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

We are nothing without our history. Humans, that is. But so are we, as individuals. Who’s writing our history? I’ll give you a hint.. nobody. Nobody cares to write down your history, unless you’re Sherlock Holmes and you have a best friend like Watson who writes down your adventures.

Don’t just write for you, write for your friends. Memorialize your family and friends in your words. Make them immortal on the page. And catch everything fresh, so others can feel what you felt in all of that moment’s glory later.

This is a beautiful responsibility. There’s not much that’s more important than this.

Remembering.

You are remembering, through your writing, while nobody else is. And you will be rewarded tenfold for doing it in more ways than you can image.

Get a few free writing tips from me here.

Written by

Tom Kuegler

Vlogger. Travel blogger. 26 years old. Currently in Southeast Asia. Get my free 5-day Medium course via email → http://bit.ly/2olDN4V

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