Catchy titles an´ all
Despite what the title may imply, this is not actually a guide to how to get started writing, rather a little story of a guy who did.
I have known this young guy for a short while only, but we have quickly become friends as we get along well and share interests. We have also been talking a bit for not so friendly reasons, namely that he did an internship in the company where I work.
This was the first time this guy was out on his own, and not just was he on his own for the first time, he was so in a new city and country. That new city and country was Barcelona, Spain, so there is always a lot going on that can be distracting for a young guy.
This new guy was doing a great job and impressing everybody with his character, charm, and workmanship. Unfortunately, he sometimes wasn´t able to get out of bed in the morning, meaning someone had to call him to get him up and to work.
This lead to us having to have a serious meeting what we could do to avoid this happening again, as this could not go on. The young guy was very sorry and promised to improve, but it wasn´t really clear how this was going to happen until we got onto the subject we found we shared, reading and studying fascinating people to learn from. I told about how I had found the ever intimidating Jocko Willink (if you haven´t heard of the beast that is Jocko Willink before, check out the Tim Ferriss Show podcast featuring him that propelled Jocko to fame here) to be a great inspiration when it came to discipline, especially getting up and getting after it.
As of the next morning, this young guy started sending me pictures from the gym at 06.30 in the mornings (he had to report in for work at 08:00), and always made sure to be at work 15 minutes before shift start, to be set and ready to grind when the shift started.
What does that have to do with journaling?
Not much, and then again. The young guy had been telling me about how he had been watching Tedtalks and listening to podcasts by inspiring people for a while and always had wanted to do something himself, create something, do something more than just living, but had never managed to find out how.
However, one day recently he told me that he had just started writing and journaling, and now kept a notebook on him at all times to jot down thoughts and ideas as they passed through his mind.
And the trigger? One day he was walking along, saw a notebook displayed in a shop window, went in and got it, went to the beach and just spent the rest of the day sitting there writing down what he saw and his thoughts about it.
He has not stopped since.
Now, this does not mean that he has started creating or is going to change the world, but it does mean he has taken a large step in the right direction, regardless of what he wants to do with it.
So what, you may say, however, I feel like there are two very important things most people can learn from this:
1. If you want to do something new, start something or try something else, but you find yourself never doing it, maybe you need to focus somewhere else where you can make a positive habit change instead. And the best place to start is to do a health and well being related change, quit smoking, get up earlier, go to the gym, whatever it may be. It wasn´t until this young guy did this change that he was suddenly able to just do it, when the right trigger presented itself. Some of the reasons why one little positive health change is so important are:
- Doing one thing, anything, and succeeding, primes you for success. If you could do that thing, you can probably also do something else, and that generally makes you feel better about yourself, setting higher goals and doing more to go after them.
- Changing a health-related habit for the better can have a whole host of beneficial effects, such as more energy, looking better, feeling better and living longer, which all benefit to the extent you can perform in any other area.
- One positive health change usually precedes a whole multitude of positive habit changes, which in term makes the above effects even stronger.
2. Just doing it. This is echoed by everyone from Nike to the aforementioned Jocko Willink. But however much we hear this, and however true it is, it is still difficult, as I am sure many can testament. Sometimes you still need an extra “trigger” of sorts to get started, like the notebook in the window for this young guy. But it is important to look for these triggers and embrace them when they show up, and not sit back and expect someone to come and do it for you. And a trigger can literally be anything, waking up one morning feeling this is the time, getting a hint from a friend or colleague, suddenly thinking of a new narrative or idea when engaged in deep thought, or a notebook in the window as in the case of this story´s protagonist.
Misleading titles an´ all – part 2
As you probably come to see by now, this really isn´t a guide on how to start journaling. What it is, however, is an account of one guy started writing and journaling, through a positive mindset change. And a positive mindset change can be used as a catalyst for all sorts of good things, not just journaling, so whatever you have always wanted to do, but never been able to, start now with a positive change.
Now we can just wait and see if our young guy starts actually posting his content somewhere for others than just himself to enjoy, maybe here on Medium? And even more interestingly, what his motivator for doing so will be, another positive change, a “trigger” or something third?