What is a diary, really?
I found a couple of my old journals and started paging through them. It was interesting. I barely recognized the person writing or the events described as belonging to me (some were as recent as 2010–the last time I attempted a journal).
It is surprising how much an important event (important to me) can consume my life and transform my thinking, and it is surprising how a small event I might barely remember can have a big impact years later.
It turns out most of my journal entries, though, are a catalog of complaints or reasons to pity myself and I am glad now I gave up the practice.
In fact, the most surprising thing I found in reminiscing was not even in any of the entries themselves. It was how different a person I was then from who I am today. I have a completely different internal dialog.
So I tossed out my old journals.
Rather than cataloging my complaints and mistakes, I find it is more fulfilling to reflect on one lesson I learn each day. Pulling one lesson from every day is far more powerful than pushing a bunch of complaints to paper.
Today’s Lesson: A diary is something we rarely look at and, really, is mostly a record of our complaints. Maybe a better way to reflect on life is to look at all the good things we do each day… and just repeat them.