What I've learned from 10 years worth of journals

leadership mindset Jan 22, 2021

I have 10 years worth of journals and it's been one of my most precious business and personal assets.  

I think success is largely a game in self-awareness. That's why I’m religious about my morning routine and have been for years.  Up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. allowing me precious alone time to meditate, visualize, set my intentions for the day/week and practice gratitude. 

This is when I do most of my reading, which often leads to a stream of consciousness writing and reflection.  I’ve kept those journals because I love to look back, assess my growth and see how my intentions/goals at the time have played out.  

I was flipping through them this week and found 8 recurring themes, largely about success,  leadership and mindset that are true for me and thought I'd share with my community:

1. Ditch the “balance” for a Dashboard:  

Work, kids, family, relationships, health… Everything in perfect equilibrium is an impossible aspiration. Define what makes you feel successful and assess if you’re in the black or the red with each.  I visualize this as a dashboard with a) my family b)) my relationships and human connections  c)) my career and my purpose d)) my mind/body health

If you see and feel this as a dashboard, you’ll know when one of these is in deficit and needs a bit more investment and time. 

2. We are more than our accomplishments 

 Accomplishing hard stuff is worthwhile and crucial for growth but we are so much more than the sum of our accomplishments. Who we are becoming on the way there is just as important. Try stuff, fail and learn and remember that comparison is the death of happiness. 

3. Feed your soul more than your ego. 

 Ego tells you that you are not enough. Ego will attach itself to a title, an identity, a status, all of which are temporary and deceiving. Ego is what feels offended, guilt, the need to be special and worst of all, it loves fear. Fear of failure, embarrassment, criticism. It feeds procrastination, excuses and regret.  Feed your soul more than your ego.  

4. Always be learning. 

 The fail-proof, highest return on investment we can make is the one we make in our own growth and learning. Nothing provides more compound interest. 

5. Guard your time and energy

 Guard the energy you allow into your life and pay attention to your circle of influence.  Are you surrounded by people that make you better, challenge and inspire you? The most valuable non-refundable asset we have is time. Spend it wisely.  

6. Live in Minutes and Moments. 

 Don’t fester, ruminate or obsess over a small detail, an email, a tone of voice. As Mark Twain said “I’ve had many worries  in my life most of which never happened”  Our perception of how something happened is rarely the truth. It's simply the way we perceive it, through the lens of our state of mind at the time. Turn the page, sleep on it, live in minutes and moments. If it's still with you a month from now, then it's worth addressing but 99% of the time it's entirely forgotten. 

7. Find Joy Daily. 

 Don’t take life so seriously!  Happiness is a choice we can make daily, not an outcome to achieve. Bring joy to one person today.  Laugh often. 

8. Start. 

We greatly underestimate what we can accomplish in a year because we see the whole of what we have to do. Start with the first step. This builds momentum. Doing what is hard gives us growth, adventure, surprises. The opposite of this is stagnation which often leads to “being stuck”. We start to seek stimulation outside of ourselves and create drama that doesn’t exist.  Start. When that tiny step is done, what is the next? 

So much of success in my view,  is a healthy dose of perspective. Is there a nugget of truth in these for you? I'd love to hear from you. Get in touch or go comment on the instagram or LinkedIn post. 

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