The Power of Writing Your Own Thoughts
Whenever I lepak (Malaysian slang for chilling) anywhere, I would always bring my pencil case and notebook (real physical book with actual papers) around.
And for a good reason: To capture all the insane ideas and thoughts I had in my head.
I actually learn this practice from Richard Branson actually. He always had a book with him all the time to jot down ideas that flash by, and guess what, some of them became one of his biggest business venture to date.
And as a result of this habit, I have tons of business ideas in a top-secret vault I had at home.
Some are great ideas, some insane, but silly, and some are just pure imaginary thing.
But here’s the thing, if I didn’t jot there ideas and thoughts down, who knows if I might miss some great ideas that can create great impact in this world?
While I don’t immediately act on these ideas, it’s good to know that they are in black and white so you won’t have those moment where you say:
“FUUUUUUCK, I just thought of a great idea but I just forgot about them! Fucking HELL!”
Okay, I would actually say that to myself (learned that from Gordon Ramsay)
Aside from the benefit of being able to capture your million dollar ideas, here’s a few reason why writing is good for you.
#1 You become a happier person
Most people simply let the day pass by without having any habit or technique to control the state they are in. I’m sure you have those days where you feel truly happy and exciting, while some days you are just plain dreadful and depressed, and actually prefer to spend the day rolling on your bed and cry.
I’ve been there too lol
But here’s the thing, you can actually set the tone for the rest of the day by simply doing this one simple practice of writing the things you’re grateful for.
If you haven’t noticed it yet, the reason why you get depressed or angry in the first place is the thought you had in your head, and writing actually helps you become more aware of your thoughts and giving you that control that most people are simply not conscious with.
Simply write about at least 3 things you’re grateful for, everyday.
You can simply start the sentence with “I am truly happy and grateful for_________________
It doesn’t have to be lengthy or an eassy. Sometimes I even wrote 1 sentence for my daily journal and I already feel great.
21 You get to understand yourself better, uncover limiting belief and create a new one
I call this my daily journal. In fact, I simply model this practice after some of the most successful people out there. Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the list goes on.
For this one, you simply write a reflection on the things that happened that day, especially on why you act a certain way towards certain things. If you ask yourself deep enough, you will finally come to the realization that your action and belief is a result of the meaning you create somewhere in your childhood.
I did this daily and one of the best thing that ever happened was I understand why I am so poor and broke before this. It was because of this bible quote where it says “Money is the root of all evil”.
While I’m sure Jesus or God has no intention to make my life poor, broke and miserable, it was my own interpretation of that bible quote that actually causes me to be poor.
The meaning I created within myself is that I should not have a lot of money because it’s evil. And the rich people are rich because they get their money from doing bad things.
Guess what happens then…
Whenever I have some extra money, I would always give them away since I don’t really want to be an evil person, and that someone else needs this money more than I do.
Yeah, I did that, and I become fucking poor and in debts and in all kinds of shit.
Thankfully, by practicing the act of writing my own thought, I was able to uncover these negative belief I had and replace it will a better one.
So the old money belief I had?
I replace it with a new belief I learned from the book Millionaire Mindset by T Harv Eker.
And the new meaning I created is:
Money is a blessing. It’s a blessing from the value you provide to other people. So the more I help people, the more blessing I get, and the more people I can help in return.
What a great positive loop right? lol
Still, this is just one example.
There are many other old and outdated belief I have in other areas of my life, and they all need constant update and renewable.
It’s the same for you as well. So writing down your thoughts really helps you to understand yourself better and crush bad belief that you have.
#3 You get to focus better (and achieve more)
I learn this from one of the greatest innovators of our time, Peter Diamandis. He has this habit of writing down 3 goals he wants to accomplish within that day itself. And by the end of the day, he would make reviews about them and see where he can improve.
Do this the moment you wake up, or before you touch your smartphones and gadgets. Simply write down 3 things you want to accomplish that day and you set out to do them regardless of other task that you have.
One tip from top productivity hacker Tim Ferriss is to write down goals or task you are most uncomfortable with, but one that will really take your life to the next level.
#4 You become less angry (and a more zen person)
This is a hilarious one. I actually have many occasion where I’m angry at someone and actually wrote an “angry love letter” that I actually want to send to them. But at the last minute, I just throw it away.
At first, I think this is such a waste of time and brain power. But then I realized that I actually become calmer and actually can forgive those person who actually wronged me.
So you can call this technique “write then thrash it” or burn it, if you will.
Your anger and all that negativity actually disappear with those papers.
#5 You can better overcome hardship
In one study, participants who wrote about traumatic events are able to cope with depression and cope with the pain and hardship they went thru at the time, instead of denying it or running away from it.
They ended up become a stronger willed person because they are able to write down their pain on papers.
So if you’re experiencing hardship, write them down, and who knows the new insight you gain can help you overcome them.
#6 You get to write better (obviously)
This post was written in one go. There was no editing, no reviewing and adding of bombastic words. Before this, I kept procrastinating about writing because I always expect to deliver the highest quality of writing (well, can’t help it since I’m a copywriter who is driven to become the best out there)
And one of the reasons I started writing again is because of Tim Ferriss where he would just write 2 crappy post everyday regardless of whether he’s feeling shitty or great.
It’s how he gets to become a great writer. And that’s what I set out to achieve as well. Like the old saying goes: Practice makes perfect.”
But you know what, most of you who are reading this probably not gonna do everything I just said above.
Like myself, I rarely act on the advice I get on blogs unless I am choiceless, or in other words, when I had enough of shit in my life and is looking for a change.
So here’s how you can go about this:
Simply start with writing one sentence of gratitude. I already gave you the head start, all you need to do is simply fill in the blank.
I am truly grateful for__________________
Forget about writing 2 crappy posts or whatever, simply write about that one sentence of gratitude for 21 days straight.
Once you get that habit rolling, then only you add one tiny improvement to it. Eventually you’ll get to that place where you become a great at writing and understanding yourself, and actually become more successful in life because of it.