I wrote this article ages ago. And I never published it on my website, but have had it published in ezines and such. And recently, certain events in my life have made me realized how much I do exactly what I taught many years ago, and probably even more so now.
And today, with the advent of blogs, I believe this article about keeping journals has even greater meaning and power. So I did a little search and dug it up. Today, I've decided to reprint it here for you.
It may sound a little too wacky or too metaphysical for some of you. And I respect that. But the essence of the message is important, and more important than how I chose to deliver that message.
So please read with an open mind, because keeping a personal success journal can be one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal.
Read on, and enjoy…
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.”
— Richard Bach
“This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst then be false to any man.”
— Polonius, in Shakespeare's “Hamlet”
Before we begin, note that this article may not necessarily deal with specific tactics for creating wealth online. It may be somewhat philosophical, too, and might even be a bit “out there” for some of you.
But this is probably one of the most important strategies you will need to implement in your business, based on my personal belief and experience, that will lead you to true, abundant wealth and success.
First, realize that the path to true personal greatness can often be found through the use of a personal journal.
Remember that you will never be as successful as you will be to your own self, and the journal can enlighten you in more ways in this area than you would have ever thought possible. Many great successful men and women have kept personal journals.
As a young salesman, dealing with the psychological scars of an abused childhood, the one thing that kept me hanging on was through the writing and reviewing of entries in my personal journal. Knowing how far I've grown was the fuel that helped me grow further.
My journals contain thoughts, feelings, inspirational messages and all sorts of information about myself as well as about the people and events around me. In fact, my website is almost entirely based on, or the result of, entries made in my personal journal.
You can use a physical journal, a software program (like a blog), or a plain text editor on your computer — it really doesn't matter. But use it to reflect on, develop and prioritize your personal set of values, goals and, most importantly, learning experiences.
Better still, you should use one to develop and integrate the “best-better” system you will learn later on in this article.
Never underestimate the power of keeping a journal. You can use one to help associate feelings to thoughts and thoughts to feelings. And most important, it can help you to discover the motives that motivate you. For example, use it to capture ideas, new skills, different strategies learned, situations you are facing, questions about yourself and answers you come up with.
You may think you know yourself well but this is rarely if ever true. You only know yourself to the degree to which you learn about yourself. And the journal can positively and profoundly impact this important learning process.
Moreover, the journal can help you in developing, tapping into and exercising your most precious resource: Your intuition. Recently, psychologists have discovered that we do not operate at a single level but at three.
In other words, we do not have only one mind but three distinct minds. Beyond the conscious and subconscious minds, we also have an all-powerful, all- knowing, “super-conscious” mind (a term originally coined by turn-of-the-century American psychologist William James).
Some people call it the “infinite intelligence.” Others call it the spirit or soul. Simply, it is your intuition — this dormant, higher intelligence that's within us all. In essence, it is the place from which all flows.
Look at it this way: Your mind is much like a computer. The random-access memory (or RAM) is your conscious mind in which you sort, calculate and process data. It's your thinking brain.
But on the other hand, the subconscious mind is the read-only memory (or ROM), where information is stored, coded and retrieved. It's your memory or your functioning brain (which, like a registry, tells your body how to breathe, function, pump blood, etc).
However, the super-conscious mind is the programmer on which the other two depend, since the computer can not operate without one in the first place.
Therefore, your super-conscious mind, being all-knowing and perfect, can help you along your journey and maybe more than you think.
As such, your journal can become a great tool for tapping into the source that lies within you. You can record hunches, flashes of inspiration or whatever your intuition is telling you.
You never know: A breakthrough may be lurking in that mind of yours. In fact, some of the greatest thinkers, entrepreneurs and inventors of our time, like Edison for example, often used personal journals.
Additionally, it is of paramount importance for you to be able to keep records and refer back to them. References can help you to become resilient and flexible in times of challenges.
In other words, if you had a bad experience and overcame it in the past, the journal can help to remind you of your successes or of the learning experiences when another confronts you.
The best way to do this is to use the “best-better” technique. With any given situation in your life, look at what is the best thing you can pull from or liked about it, and then look at how you would do better next time or how you can better yourself from the experience.
Don't write what you hate about an event or how terrible you were in dealing with it. And more important, don't justify it by saying, “I have to know what I did wrong so I won't do it again.”
This can backfire.
Finding out what's wrong about any situation is in fact emphasizing it as well as reinforcing it. You become what you focus on. You reap what you sow. As Rene Descartes once said in 1637, “Cogito Ergo Sum” (i.e., “I think, therefore I am”).
So instead of writing down what you did wrong, write down what is the best thing you can pull from what happened or what you liked best about your experience. And look at what will make things better or how you would handle the situation better next time.
Understand that you must first work on your strong points instead of your weak points. Oftentimes, people work on their deficiencies and, as a result, unconsciously reinforce them or lower their self-esteem in the process. However, if they had focused on their strengths from the onset, many of their weaknesses would have been diminished or self-corrected.
Nevertheless, your self-esteem is crucial in business. And building your strengths will increase your self-esteem, which is the key to understanding your weaknesses and how to correct them.
And your personal success journal can be a wonderful tool for helping you do exactly that.
Michel Fortin is a senior marketing specialist, renowned copywriter, and digital marketing expert. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless successful marketing communications and profitable campaigns that generated in excess of $300 million in sales. He's broken many industry sales records, including being instrumental behind the first ever “million-dollar day” online marketing campaign in 2004. He's worked with thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of industries on building their businesses, improving their marketing, and increasing their profits. He's a published author and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.