Putting your hand to a piece of paper with an instrument to document your thoughts is liberating. Once a chore while we sat in uncomfortable chairs in school, writing when you’re older allows you to realize what’s important to you, can actually save you from your busy mind, and help you take control over your legacy.
Writing benefits my life in three major ways and I encourage everyone to pick up this habit in a way that you enjoy. Writing has many forms where the process of structuring your thoughts to document them on your computer, your smartphone, or an actual piece of paper can help improve your life.
- Wherever you choose to write, your mind immediately structures your thoughts to communicate coherently.
The first area of my life that benefits is my overall psyche. Habitually forcing your mind to write allows you to identify reoccurring themes. Since I picked up writing earlier this year, my overall focus and my confidence have exponentially increased. I’m figuring out who I am and what’s important to me. My writing excites me where these energy levels – derived from simply writing about the topics I choose – help me gain clarity on how to live my life.
To gain clarity on where to spend your energy, document your thoughts regularly. You’ll come to realize that certain subjects are important to you because you’ll write about them often. This can help you identify your passions, your strengths, and realize where to focus your future energy. Thus, this form of writing leads you to a happier life because you’re pursuing your passions and interests in subjects where you gain energy naturally.
“What did I tell myself to remember again?”
Many moments pass by without acknowledgment or realization but some moments are defined by an idea popping into your head. You might think, “Wow, I need to remember this.” If you’re lucky to recall later, you build on that idea to pursue the intended path. However, many pivotal thoughts pop into our heads and then become lost forever.
I personally refer to these as “Shower Ideas.” You zone-out in the shower and then, a brilliant idea pops in. Right when you dry yourself off, you ponder, “What was that idea again?” These missed opportunities frustrate everyone, especially when you know it was a really good idea.
One habit can help decrease these annoying moments: write. Leave notepads around your place, install a note system on your smartphone or computer, or mark a note on your hand. A method that proves successful for me is I write myself emails with memory “jogger” words, or if I’m driving, calling my fiancée and leaving her a voice-mail or asking her to scratch a note for me.
- Memory “joggers” help you maintain the momentum you created by simply forming the initial idea.
Leave a Legacy
My writing gives people a window into the mind of Dan Andrews. I’m proud to share my thoughts and I’m happy to document my persona through my words. If that bus comes tomorrow, I’m excited that my writing will be available for people to remember my personality.
Think of the names of famous authors that passed many years ago and are still remembered as household names. Shakespeare, Emerson, Thoreau, Carnegie, Orwell, Vonnegut, Giesl (Dr. Seuss), and the list can go on-and-on. These authors were risk takers and pursued their passions to write as their careers. Most of them didn’t begin their careers as authors. Shakespeare is rumored to have been a schoolmaster and Dale Carnegie sold bacon, soap, and lard for the Armour & Company. If you discover your gift is writing, time might add your name to this prestigious list.
Reflections on your writing will take place during the grieving stages of your friends and family members. Do you notice the “your” in your writing? You have control over what you write and what you share. We are still reading scriptures from Mesopotamia that were written in 3200 BCE!
- Your documented thoughts have a much longer life span than a pumping heart.
One Thought Away
You know what happens when you start writing? You start writing tons of bad material. This draft is probably my tenth – scratch that, now eleventh – attempt to craft my voice for this article. The only reason why I edit these articles is because I choose to publish these via the internet. If this isn’t the platform for you or you never intend on publishing your work, congratulations. You never have to worry about proofreading!
Everyone needs to write. Don’t be ashamed if your grammar would never be published in the New Yorker Magazine. Just let your thoughts flow and then structure them to type on the keyboard or let your hand dance on a piece of paper. Writing has liberated me and helped me reach the confidence and self-awareness that keeps me striving towards my personal well-rounded success. Who knows what idea might pop into your head that could change your whole life trajectory? And, aren’t you glad you wrote it down?!