Tag Archives: habit

Why men should be writing a journal

It makes you a better person, you get to complete your thoughts, and you will lead a more meaningful life.

In my personal experience, I have found journal writing as an acceptable trait amongst women; but very few men I know actually write journals. As I work with this topic of journal writing, and its many benefits to me as an individual, I began to wonder why men do not write journals as frequently as women do?

This realization was a surprise to me as some of my earliest inspiration for journal writing came from men who made it a life habit to write diaries and journals, namely Thomas Jefferson, Issac Newton, John D Rockefeller … these are some of my favourite journal keepers and I can read about their journal writing habits over and over again. And the more I read, the more it appears that these men used their journal to record their habits, ideas and responses to the world around them, and over the years used these records to better themselves.

So this brings me back to my current question: why are men not writing journals as much as they used to? Possible answers: Too busy, nothing to say, nothing to write, no time, I am too tired to write by the time I get home… the reasons are endless. But in my opinion, journal writing is a process that forces you to introspect.

Does your work often leave you with a thousand voices in your head, each one telling you to do a different thing? Are you sometimes over-awed by the amount of work piled on your table, unable to decide where to start? Is the internet pushing too much information towards you and pushing your brain towards overload? Well, journal writing can help.

I know this sounds like I am coming up with a single solution, no matter what your problem, but it is not really that. The fact is there are different kinds of journals you can keep – some for your secret thoughts, others for your goals and plans, yet one may be just a record of the people you have met and found something interesting about… to name but a few.

If you have never had a journal, I urge you to get one. It does not have to be fancy and expensive, just get something you are comfortable with and something you feel nice holding in your hands. Initially you may find it difficult to decide what to write, and you may want to start with just putting down the thoughts that float around in your head.

If after the first couple of days, you run out of thoughts, you can try opinions, or issues that are bothering you, you can pen down your thoughts on issues impacting your neighbourhood, city or even the world. Sure, you may ask ‘what is the use?’ But do it all the same. You see, when you begin to write something down, your mind begins to solve a puzzle. The points you put down will surprise you… don’t worry about making sense, and writing in your best English. You just need to put your thoughts down, that is all.

Do this often enough and you will find yourself feeling lighter, because you have shared your innermost thoughts and feelings with your journal. You will find it easier to deal with the world outside. You don’t always have to be the tough guy, it’s ok to get upset and rant a bit.

And for those idea seekers amongst you, your journal is a great way to keep track of your many ideas that pop up in your mind all day long. Capture them, pen them down and come back to your thoughts days, weeks or even years later. Your ideas will still be there for you to access.

As you can see, there are so many wonderful reasons to keep a journal, a book by your bed, that it would be a sad thing if you did not make the time to write your thoughts down. Each of us is unique and has his own perspective on life. The myriad ways of looking at a situation is what makes our lives richer. So join the tribe of journal writers, and celebrate your uniqueness by penning it down for posterity!

~ bharti athray

Image source: http://www.daan-mag.com/index.php/2016/03/10/the-mind-journal/
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A story a day keeps sadness away

people watching‘A story a day keeps sadness away’. I believe in this self-coined adage and try hard to work one into my day, but there are times when the business of life takes over and I am left with little time to write the story out.

Of course, just because I am not writing does not mean I am not creating the story in my head. When I see people, watch situations unravel themselves, I can’t help but wonder how things would have been if the character was different. I like to imagine different people reacting to the same situations and find it amazing how you can almost predict behavior especially of those you know well.

This activity of creating situations in my mind, of exploring aspects of a person’s nature that sometimes shows through in a very stressful situation, of connecting dots across a person’s lifetime are all things that I do almost unconsciously.

Let me share with you an instance. I met this young lady at a social event and found her to be rather loud and aggressive. While her confidence is impressive, the in-your-face behavior got a bit annoying after a while. It set me wondering what makes a young lady behave in this manner. Was she a tom-boy in her growing years? Was this aggression a way to protect the interest of her family given that her parents were mild-mannered and feared authority? Did she grow up seeing her parents denied their rights when they were too timid to ask or speak up for what they wanted?

I have always believed that the way each of us turns out is the result of what life has dished out to us and how we have chosen to experience it. Often you find children of timid parents growing up as timid, gentle adults. And there are some, like this young lady, who choose to stand up for what she wants, she is different from the rest of her family. She believes in fighting for her rights, she can be argumentative and she believes she is right in her approach to life – just as we all do.

To me, she is a character to be observed, studied and understood. Then I imagine her in a situation where she is wronged, how would she react? How would she deal with a tragedy? How would she behave in a situation where she realizes she is the cause of failure: would she own up the responsibility?

This exercise of thinking about people and the impressions they make can keep me busy for days. You see, I find people and their behavior patterns fascinating. They are my stories, my tales of wonder… and the next opportunity I get to pen down / type out my thoughts, I convert them into stories that can be shared.

And yes, sometimes the gaps are huge, but I guess that’s life. I know I would like to blog every day and reach out to you, my wonderful readers on a daily basis, but sometimes, it is not possible. And it can leave me sad. But not for long! A story in the mind, a post on the blog are things I keep coming back to as I define my path to self-discovery. And if you are like me, and you miss out on your goals, the thing to do is not give up. Keep at it, keep working in whichever form you can, and get back to your path as soon as you can.

Till the next time,
Cheers!

~ Bharti Athray

Image Source: Internet