Time Capsule #34
On the benefits of journaling, world-class mathematicians, and Italian cathedrals.
Journaling is paying attention to the inside for the purpose of living well from the inside out.
I have tried journaling on and off for the past few years, however, only recently have I found a system that works for me and have been consistent with it for long enough to start reaping its benefits. Since I have committed myself seriously to journaling daily I have found it extremely helpful in decompressing the mind, providing perspective on obstacles and emotions, and useful in tracking progress towards goals.
What gets measured gets managed.
Journaling is both an art form and a tool for managing oneself. The act of journaling, when done consistently and passionately, will connect you with yourself in ways that you never predict until you take it up. Like meditation, it is so easy to do because there is no right or wrong way to journal; you can simply start with a blank page and write whatever comes to mind. My daily journal entries are quite unstructured: I usually start off with a few sentences about how work was, things that I did well and things that I need to improve on. After that, it is simply whatever comes to mind. Any conversations I had during the day that left a mark on me are further elaborated on and assessed; oftentimes, with the perfect vision that comes with hindsight, I am more objective in the examination of my personal conduct throughout the day. Journaling gives you the space to honestly reflect on the decisions of the day removed from the emotions of the moment, and helps identify deficiencies or tendencies that need addressing. My weekly reviews are more structured: I use a template with a few questions that I ask myself at the end of every week, and I typically read through all my entries from the past week to remind myself of anything noteworthy that may have happened. The weekly reviews provide useful insights on what worked, what didn't work, what I learned, meaningful connections I made, as well as offer an opportunity to explicitly set goals for the next week.
Consistent journaling has de-cluttered my mind and allowed me to better measure the small, incremental improvements that I make towards my goals.
Journal to awaken your mind and transform your life.
📸 Photo of the Week
Featuring the famous Il Duomo, the world’s largest freestanding dome without a supporting wooden frame. Started in 1420 and completed in 1436, it was created by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi.
📖 Book of the Week — On Writing Well by William Zinsser
I picked this book up after seeing it on many book lists for writers. It has not disappointed. For all writers, particularly non-fiction writers, this book is full of wisdom and insights on how to write clearly and effectively whilst still retaining your own personal style. I have learned to focus on writing for myself, and to make sure each word is a necessary and contributing part of a sentence. High-sounding adjectives and long-winded sentences are okay if they are necessary, on topic, and contribute to the overall piece.
💭 Quote of the Week
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.
🔭 Sunday Best
Terence Tao’s Blog — an Australian-American professor teaching at UCLA. Considered one of the best living mathematicians.
I guess not much has changed since 1846.
Autumn Leaves by Jazz Music Korea — one of my favourite renditions of one of my favourite songs.
💡 Food for Thought
We are happy when we are growing.