E020: Writing Your OWN HIstory
This week on Across The Peak Rich and I tell you how to improve your health, lower your stress, and create your own historical record through the power of journaling! We talk about our show music, our new Instagram page, and introduce a new segment. We also divert into several long sidetracks about linguistic fossils and what the definition of “is” is. It’s a good show, folks!
Justin’s Drink: Harpoon Brewing’s Flannel Friday
What Did You Do This Week?
Rich: Awesome night at the dojo, rotated tires, and hit the gym!
Justin: Bought two fire extinguishers (kitchen fire extinguisher, regular fire extinguisher) and did one sitting for a very large tattoo
You: What did you do?
Why You Should Journal
The word “journal” comes from the French “jurnal” which simply means, “a day, a time; a day’s work or day’s travel.” Rich and I then go into a huge digression about language and “linguistic fossils.”
Book Recommendation: The Stuff of Thought: Language As a Window Into Human Nature by Stephen Pinker
Book Recommendation: The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
Physical Health Benefits: A journal can help you:
Track health issues, mood, periods, diet, weight etc.
Help keep you accountable to workout plans, etc.
Some research indicated journaling can improve your immune system
Emotional and Mental Health Benefits: A journal can help you:
Cope with stressful events
Understand others' point of view
Reassure and reaffirm yourself
Gain clarity on your own perspective on things.
Protect yourself, i.e.:
I had a meeting with so and so on this date, or
I turned the key in on this date, witnessed by this person
Be warned: if you use your journal as evidence, you may have to turn the whole thing over. so beware. If you have an attorney you may gain some legal protection by putting your attorney’s name inside journal. This may convey attorney-client privilege.. Consult your attorney.
Remember things and create a historical record
Day-to-day: When we started a certain beer, when we ordered this item
Longer term: where we ate on a certain trip
Rich’s combat journal
Create a Family heirloom
Your journal will let you see your own personal growth and maturity
it will give your descendants insight into who you were
Book Recommendation: Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball
Book Recommendation: Company Aytch: A Classic Memoir of the Civil War by Samuel R. Watkins
Privacy: Privacy is important. If you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy over your journal, you may hold back because you are worried about it being seen by others.
Consistency & Discipline: You have to have a consistent routine. We recommend choosing a time of day to journal (i.e. morning or night) and sticking to it.
Honesty: Never lie. Especially to yourself.
Journaling Form Factors
Digital (Justin) via an application called Standard Notes
Very easy to make private with encryption, strong passphrases, and two-factor authentication
Sharing with another person is very easy
Very portable, can be installed on any device
Very quickly and easily updated
Backups are quickly created, downloaded, and saved
could be hacked and spilled (minimal risk)
Service could go down
Less trustworthy as a form of evidence because a digital record could be modified at any time with no audit trail
Sensory input: the weight of the book, the smell and feel of the paper, the sound of the pen moving across it
Highly portable and accessible; you can throw it in your bag and go
Paper keeps you from mixing your work life (laptop) and personal live (paper)
Journaling on paper allows you to affix photographs, receipts, and other information to your journal.
Could be lost
Could be read by someone else
Could be damaged or destroyed in a fire, flood, etc.
For Justin, thoughts are coming faster than I can write them
Bullet Journaling (Justin). In this style of journaling you simply create a bullet entry for the significant events of the day.
Very quickly and easily updated; no big time commitment.
Very easy to stick to
Does not create a detailed historical record, but does help you remember significant events
Long Form/Narrative Journaling (Rich)
Requires more time and discipline. The empty page can be daunting at the end of a long day.
Provides less ambiguity to the reader.
Allows you to explore topics more fully.
Allows you to work on your penmanship. Rich likes a Lamy Medium Nib Fountain Pen.
Other Journaling Styles. You don’t have to use our styles. Your journal can look how you want it to look and cover whatever you want it to cover.
Miscellaneous Journal Thoughts
Use a high-quality journal (if using paper). Buying an expensive journal may motivate you to write in it.
Use a journal that YOU like.
Choose a style of journal that you can purchase over and over again.
If you’re struggling with getting started journaling, check out A Father’s Legacy: Your Life Story In Your Own Words
Make a 14 to 30-day plan and get started!
Book of the Week
The War of Art: Break Through Your Inner Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Stephen Pressfield