Introduction: Journaling is a powerful thing; there are many different uses for a Journal, everything from personal thoughts to keeping an expedition written down for later resource. Many people dont use Journals which is unfortunate, my focus in this paper is to show the different areas of Journaling and to possibly make it a part of your life.
Thesis: My thesis statement is to show the importance of journaling in leadership and other positions.
Getting started, it doesnt take much to get started, all you need is a pen or pencil, preferably a pencil incase you need to change something, but a wise teacher once told me that his mom asked him a very interesting question, What do you use on crossword puzzles, a pen or a pencil, she then later stated I always do mine in pen, now the reason behind her always doing it in pen is so you know you did it write the first time, and you feel confident in that. The next thing you would or should need is something to write on, this can be anything from a purchased store journal to napkin from a restaurant, although having a booklet of napkins may seem absurd, it doesnt matter as long as its something to take your thoughts down on. The other thing that you should have is a positive attitude, trust me it is helpful in all aspects of life, a great man once said, The greatest discovery of my generation is that human being can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind by William James. (Pg.88 John Maxwell The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a leader). Thats about all it should take to start a effective journal, so stay focused as we will be going through the Purpose of Journaling.
The first area I would like to delve into is the thinking aspect of Journaling. I dont know about you, but I like to think, it makes me feel like Im the smartest man in the world. I took this class called Practicum Seminar Leadership and for the class we had to go on a solo trip for about 3 days, by ourselves, and I thought a lot while I was out there and I wish I had, had a journal to keep all my thoughts down in, because some of them were lost, but I came out of there with a deep understanding of what it means to be positive. Although I didnt have a journal on this trip, many of the other trips I did have a journal, at first I thought this is so stupid, but the more trips I went on, the more I saw the purpose of using a journal. It doesnt take a genius to think, anyone with half a mind can think. The truth of the matter is it doesnt matter what you think, if you think it is important to put it down on paper, write it down, it may be more important than you think. There have been so many important things that I wish that I wouldve written down in life, and you tell yourself at the time Im going to remember this moment forever, and then the next week or the next month you forget and you find yourself wondering what it was that you said you were going to remember and thats a good reason to keep a journal so you dont forget the important details, the ones that really matter.
The next venture is understanding in journaling. Its one thing to write in a journal, its another thing to understand what you are journaling, Ive caught myself writing stuff down and going then going back and reading it and thinking to myself this makes no sense, so its important to write clearly. Its also important to write clearly if you plan on sharing your journal with others. Choosing to let others read your journal is a big choice and not everyone will see the things that you have written in your journal the same way as you do so you might want to discuss some of your views with them and make sure they understand where you are coming from and even then not everyone will understand where you are coming from, but thats ok.
Many people ask what is the purpose if journaling in adventure education? The use of journals can be extended on many levels. They can be used in class, during interviews, or for personal insights; they can be used on City Search or environmental study sessions to take notes and observations. You may choose to grade the journals or you may let them stand alone. It is important, however, that participants make an attempt at contributing, since this is a group activity. Remember, however, that a journal is a private document. Disclosure should never be forced. Finally, you can transmit the idea that journal writing is a practice worth carrying over into other parts of their lives (Pg.147 Islands of Healing by Jim Schoel, Dick Prouty, Paul Radcliffe). Introducing journals at a very young age might carry over all through a persons life. The first time I was introduced to journals was in the second grade, although it was optional we shared our journals on a regular bases with each other giving each other a certain level of trust as we read our personal thoughts. I still journal to this day, not only for school, but also for my own personal well-being. I now can share my journal with classmates without any worries of what they might be thinking, and I think it was because I learned to share my personal thoughts with the others around me.
What to write on, There are no limits when you journal, you can put down personal thoughts, you can put down important information that you can later use as a resource for who knows what. You should write in you journal according to what you are doing, for instance if you are journaling from an emotional stand point, you should journal with the flow of your emotions, like if you are feeling sad, put why you are sad, when it started and on what date. If you are writing creatively you might just want to write only once a day. If you are writing to solve a problem, you will journal when you start figuring out your problem and if the problem ever arises again you can resort back to your journal for help. Here is a section from a web site that I found, How often should I dust off my journal and write?
This depends on the reasons why you journal. If your sole reason for journaling is Emotional Perspective, then write when your emotions overwhelm you and you need a break to gain perspective. If you write for creativity, then you should write everyday. As most of us write for a myriad of reasons, you must develop your own style. To form effective journaling techniques, it is best to make a habit of how often. Even if the weather seems clear, and you write for emotional perspective, it is best to form a habit of writing at least on a weekly basis. If all the emotions are in harmony and you write about them, your journal will lend you greater insight when you need to write for Emotional Perspective, since you can analyze your feelings of dread against your feelings at a time of stability. Some people find it helpful when they finish an entry to write in the next time they will write in their journal. Whether it is one day a week, everyday, or once a month, set aside time to write in your journal (http://echoingwhispers.tripod.com/gettingstarted.htm).
The next section of my paper Im going to cover is the effects of journaling. First is the positive effect of journaling, there are many positive effects of keeping a journal it helps:
Create a space to reflect about experiences
Encourages you to process what you are learning, (that goes back to the thinking aspect of journaling)
Offers a place to dream, which is important, it keeps the creativity flowing.
Allows opportunities to create
Involves expression and exploration of thought
“If you are seeking to know yourself and what is possible for you, journaling is the best single tool I know of. This handbook can get you started immediately on your personal journey of self-discovery and healing.”
Journaling is a tool which strengthens us, a tool which allows us to consciously go into our fears, hurts and unresolved pain and come out with greater strength, awareness and hope.
Journaling demands that we find within ourselves that spark of divinity that transforms the mundane world into a place of beauty, growth and compassion.
Journaling leads us to our strength.
Journaling leads us to our love.
Journaling reveals to us the essential sacredness and worthiness of our being.
Journaling allows us to find the deeper sources of conflict and anxiety in our lives and develop an effective plan for finding balance in our lives.(http: www.mindbodymed.com/Books&Tapes/hjournal.html)
Another positive effect that journaling has is on troubled youth is helping them out with their problem according to what they write in their journals. A journal entry by another alternative program student reveals some intensely personal things, issues that the student chose to have the staff be aware of (those sections of a journal that student dont want to share can be either stapled closed or marked confidential) (Pg.148 Islands of Healing by Jim Schoel, Dick Prouty, and Paul Radcliffe). If you