The importance of a journal.

I’ve been keeping a journal,sketchbook, diary since I was 16.  There’s a stigma in American Society that classifies having a journal or diary is queer or feminine.  I used to be self conscious about it. Now I don’t care anymore because I’m a better person for having kept one.

Imagine if you are a scientist and you conduct experiments.  You would have to write down your hypothesis, controls and conclusions for each experiments.  If you didn’t you would have the probability of repeating the same mistakes over and over without knowing how to fix them.  My analogy is that your are a scientist and your experiment is your life.  Yes, you will make mistakes but if you document them and review what went wrong you are likely to succeed next time.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Recently I’ve been playing the game of Chess. It’s a fun game of strategy, tactics and decision making.  There is a plateau with skill level. Top level players have knowledge of notation in the game. The study the intricacies of the game by notation.  They progress through note taking. Much like a scientist and his experiments.  There’s a reason for strategizing your different plans. Strategize your life not one move at a time but several moves ahead.

Law 29- Plan all the way to the end.

I have been training Brazilian Jiu jitsu for several years.  What helped me throughout out the years was note taking the small essential details of a specific submission or sweep.  I’m also a visual learner so I would sketch out a position with instructions to help me retain it to memory.  Move sets and algorithms are a new idea in the jiu jitsu community.  I will continue to play around with that idea. Here is what I’ve come up so far.

jiu jitsu map
App. Mind Maple

I went to art school in Oakland, Ca.  One of my professors, Barron Storey, a famous illustrator for his incredible journals and monumental personality.  His journals inspired me and showed me that your sketchbook doesn’t have to be just drawings.  It can be writings, drawings, paintings or combinations of all. Your sketchbook/ Journal is an expression of your thoughts, emotions, concerns, work, relationships, and anything else that you wish to document. Your journal is a medium that has limitless potential. Make it your own.

Many times in my life my journal has been a private place where I jot my thoughts on paper. A meditative place  I used when dealing with a break up, stress from work, or anxiety from life.  I believed it helped me overcome some of my life’s major obstacles. That’s why I have been doing it for so long.

The journal is private place where you can be yourself without judgement of the outside world. You are your own experiment in your hypothesis for life.  Use it for strategy to plan your next chess move against your hypothetical life  opponent. You can write inspirational quotes that inspire you.  If you wish to understand complex ideas I found it best for me to draw it out and visualize the problem. Keeping a journal for over ten years was the constant  anchor that kept me stable. If you going through some rough patches in life, try writing it down. It has definitely helped me.