Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

What Journaling Can Teach You

ARCHIVES

Last week I wrote in the first few pages of a new journal. I haven’t counted all of the old, filled-up, dog-eared journals I have. I’d guess there are around 10 of them. I started journaling in the mornings for a few minutes around 15 years ago. If you’ve doing the math, you’ve probably figured out that I’m not a very consistent journal keeper. Some weeks I’ll write every day in a row and other weeks not at all. I’ve even taken entire years off. For example, the journal I just finished spanned from January 2010 to October 2013. When I flipped through it the other day, I was reminded that I had written two entries, both in January, for all of 2011.

Still, I keep coming back to journaling. I know why I do. It’s not so much the act of capturing whatever is going through my mind on a given day. Rather, it’s the historical record that those entries create over time.

What journaling has taught me is that most everything I was worrying about on any given day has had a way of working itself out. Children worries, career worries, health worries, money worries, relationship worries – they all worked out. Did they work out the way I thought they would or hoped they would in every case? No, not at all. Some outcomes were OK, some were worse, some were better. The point, for me, is that I’m still here and while there is always a new set of things to worry about, the old ones have faded away. I wouldn’t even remember most of them, frankly, if I didn’t have a written record of them and browse through those records occasionally.

And that’s the beauty of having all of those old journals. They’ve become a physical source of perspective. I’ve been writing in them long enough now to know and understand that things somehow work out. Does that mean I never worry? Unfortunately, no. I think, though, because of all those volumes of perspective, I usually don’t worry as deeply as I used to and I certainly get back to the present moment a lot more quickly than I used to.

So, while I’ll probably never journal every day and hardly ever for more than five or ten minutes at a time, I’ll likely keep doing it. Where else can I get so much perspective?

What about you? Do you journal? If you do, what has it taught you? If you don’t, what questions do you have about getting started?

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.