The Science of Success and Happiness Step Three – Journaling

pencil eraser

Keep a simple journal. Very simple. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or even J. K. Rowling when it comes to writing down your thoughts and experiences. You simply need a small notebook that you keep handy and then start journaling – something small enough to squirrel away in a pocket or purse. Eloquence is secondary. The important thing is to honestly capture what you are feeling and thinking and observing. It might be:

  • A note about a TV Show or book you enjoy.
  • A comment someone made in a meeting that you thought made particular sense.
  • A description of someone who caught your attention that day.
  • Your private expression of personal concerns, fears, joys and insights. There is freedom in that expression.

Journaling has the accumulated effect of tuning you more deeply into life and the experiences that fill your day, and it tunes you into yourself and the others around more deeply too. (Be sure to not only write in the journal, but go back and review it every few days too. You will discover a surprisingly objective view of yourself.) Again, you don’t have to do a lot of journaling. That usually results in people giving up. Do a little, and if it works, build on that. First step, buy the notebook and a pen or pencil and keep them handy (or use your smart phone and dictate if that works better). Start with three sentences a day, maybe right before you go to sleep.

This can also help with step five, but first, step four

If you missed Part One of this article, you can find it here.

If you’re interested in reading more of Chip’s books and other writing, visit Look for his upcoming cover story in National Geographic Magazine this January 2015.

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