I started writing in a journal regularly a little over a year ago. Before that time I had read repeatedly about the benefits of documenting one’s thoughts, but I never found enough inspiration to begin. I started journalling as a resource to help keep me sane during a long summer of treeplanting up north. Working in an isolated place for such a timespan nearly drove me insane, and writing about my experiences daily helped me finish the contract.
Nowadays I journal as often as I can. I would like to say I do every day, but it ends up being more like a few times a week. I write for much different reasons than before, but I now truly see the value in doing so. My journal has become the creative grounds where I can reflect, ponder and bounce ideas around in my own head. Reading and writing regularly has contributed to a drastic improvement in my written communication skills, which is now beginning to help me progress in my career as well. The simple act of writing down a thought gives me a chance to contemplate and question it, and decide whether it is even rational. It is a valuable form of self reflection that helps me keep my actions in alignment with my vision, thus creating guidelines for how I want to live. I used to think that living with such defined standards was detrimental to being happy, but I now realize that is wrong. Being aware of personal needs and standards is actually a liberating concept. I believe it helps us become more comfortable with uncertainty and the prospect of making decisions. We are able to remain assured that we know what will be best for us. Having a defined set of values ensures that we base our choices on our own greater source, and not simply on how we feel in any given instance. If we do not define our own boundaries, other people tend to do it for us. We become more susceptible to doing things for external reasons and not for ourselves. For example, as I get older I notice myself becoming picky about who I spend my time with. I have too much going on to waste my most valuable resource in ways I don’t care about. I want to spend my time with people who bring a positive influence to my life so that I can simultaneously focus on my own vision of an ideal lifestyle. Remaining consciously aware of these values helps me prioritize them, and makes it easier to dismiss situations that do not align. Possessing the capacity to say no to the right things at the right time is a highly underrated quality that we should practice often.
The power of self reflection lies in the fact that it allows us to live with intention. When we are well aware of who we are, we automatically make choices that lead to the outcomes we desire. Self reflection constantly reminds us who we are and what we are looking for. This hyper awareness causes us to recognize the subtle opportunities that will help us get to where we want to be. In essence, it is the exact same effect as buying a new car, or even new shoes. As soon as we have the car, we begin to notice other people driving the same one everywhere we go. This is no different with career aspirations, opportunities to learn, and chances to mold a lifestyle you are interested in. When you know what are looking for in life, you will begin to become conscious of each chance presented to you. This is the law of attraction at work. The principle is not that we are physically attracting something to our lives, but that on a subconscious level, we begin to actively seek out that feeling, recognizing when it is within grasp. Writing down our thoughts is a simple but powerful concept. Self reflection causes us to live with pure unwavering intent, and that is where the true power lies.
Living with intention is a key element in the art of manifesting happiness, and it pays in dividends over the long term.