Simple is good. Albert Einstein is credited with saying if you can’t explain something simply you don’t understand it. Ever found yourself rejecting simplicity because you didn’t think it could be that easy?
Isn’t it ironic that many (likely most) of the greatest thinkers, inventors and creators in history commonly made the seemingly complex simple!
The Pathway to Simplicity
We think all day long. Our brains run through 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day, but we rarely capture them. We have thoughts (sometimes brilliant ones) that come to us while we sleep, but do we write them down?
Why did Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcus Aurelius, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, and Maya Angelou take their precious time to journal thoughts and insights that would rarely if ever be seen or read by anyone?
Journaling was the means by which they captured, sorted, and refined their thoughts—eventually turning the complex and random into simple creations of brilliant art, literature, leadership and contribution.
My Journaling Experiment
I’ve been running my own journal experiment over the past couple weeks and sharing part of the experience here on my blog. I really wanted to see what type of changes would result.
- My goal has been complete the journaling exercise in five minutes.
- I’ve focused on five questions.
- What am I thankful for?
- What one great thing can I do today?
- Who can I encourage today?
- What great things happened today?
- Prayers—who and what is on my heart today?
My experience has taught me that thinking about what you are thankful for every day takes you beyond the obvious. Thinking about thankfulness prompts you to be more fully present in the moments of your day. It has changed and redirected my perspective.
Journaling Changes Your Perspective
If you truly want to live a life filled with joy and build a legacy rich in impact keep a journal.
I read about a young woman who was working on a term paper for school. Her assignment was to ask the important people in her life to define success in their own words.
Her grandmother welcomed the question with a bright and enthusiastic smile. “Success,” her grandmother said, “is when you look back on your life and the memories make you smile.”
Which Path Are You On?
It’s not complex! Creating and capturing memories is brought to life when you put pen to paper. In the end, I think we find we have taken one of three paths over the course of our lives.
Some find they became the “Old Fool,” The old fool is the person who chased external rewards and pleasures.
Others sadly conclude they are “Bitter Fool.” The bitter fool is the person who chased external rewards, but didn’t get enough.
Ultimately, we desire to be the “Wise Sage.” The wise sage is the person who searched for insight and wisdom.
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” —Solomon
Make Memories that Make You Smile
Journaling is a habit of the “Wise Sage.” It is a positive, life changing and enriching habit. I’ve discovered that people who say they don’t have the time to journal are arguing for their greatest limitations in life.
If I argue for my limitations, I am sure to live within them and deny myself the joy of discovering the depth of my potential and impact.
30-Day Simply Thankful Challenge
My friend Renee Vidor understands the power of simple thankfulness. She just launched her 3rd annual 30-Day Simply Thankful Challenge. It’s simple and it is a great way for you to get your journal started.
- Journal—write down what you are thankful for today.
- Take a picture that reflects someone or something your wrote down in your journal.
- Post it with #simplythankful on social media.
- Share a picture or comment below to inspire others to do the same.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”