That heading sounds like a quick fix solution to how to think clearly and everything else in life.
However, recently, I did indeed stumble upon a fascinating strategy that's helped me think clearly when confused and feel stronger in my weak moments.
It has also helped me stay motivated throughout the day and work much more regularly towards my goals.
This interesting "magic trick" is…
"Journaling" or writing for myself has been the solution to most of my problems.
When I say journaling I simply mean writing out my thoughts clearly, as if I am talking to myself in a special secret document called my journal. When I am sad, I write down my thoughts in my journal and try to understand my sadness. For some reason, I soon feel clearer and happy! When I am already happy, I express my happiness in my journal and feel happier. When I am stuck in a mess, I clarify my thoughts by writing my thoughts out in my journal - and soon the situation appears to be much easier. When I feel I am not working towards my goals at all, I go ahead and start writing what I feel in my journal and I soon feel motivated enough to go ahead and have a go at my pending to-do list. When I am lazy and don't want to work at all, I talk to myself, buck myself up through my journal - and am soon out and kicking!
Now you might say - are you talking about a diary entry? The kind of diary entries that teenagers write when they want to vent out who said what to whom and how the day passed?
Yes - in a way I am talking about a diary entry - just that when I use the word "journal" I am also talking about much more. I am referring to a place where you can write out any problem that you are facing (all of us have problems) and clearly think out a solution that resonates with you. A place where you can motivate yourself to keep going and working towards your goals even when external circumstances are not favorable. A place where you can express your deepest feelings and thoughts any time you want and process them and rise above them too. A place where you can find out why you are not working towards your goals and scold yourself to buck up and take action! And also a place where you can get in touch with YOUR own thoughts, YOUR own feelings, YOUR own desires and aspirations and figure out how YOU can achieve what you want irrespective of what others think!
Since January, this year, I have regularly been maintaining a journal. Whenever I face a crisis at work, related to my goals or relationships, I think clearly and connect with the deepest part of me using this journal. I also plan out my days and my weeks and figure out WHAT I WANT in life through this journal.
Why don't you try maintaining a journal - yourself - for a week? If you don't like the idea, you can always reject it - but I recommend that you definitely try it out.
1) When You Have a Problem on your Hands
Recently, I felt very controlled with respect to my relationship with Mr X. I felt suffocated because I felt I didn't have any personal space at all! And to make things worse I couldn't even see a way out.
That's when journaling helped. One night I sat down and wrote down what was NOT OK with respect to my relationship with X. I asked myself - how can I change this relationship? Earlier, I had thought and thought but not found any solution. But while journaling I suddenly realized that the main problem was that "I was not being assertive about my desires" in my relationship with X. X was not wrong in the sense that he was just expressing his desires clearly. I wasn't. Journaling made me look at the situation from a third person's perspective. I suddenly felt so clear headed!
Suddenly, my relationship with X improved drastically! I began being more assertive, I began saying no when I wanted to say no and I started being more genuine.
I as able to understand my behavior and change it simply because I could write down my thoughts and feelings in a crystal clear way in my journal.
What problem do you have right now? Maybe you think your finances are not upto the mark. Or maybe you think your relationship with your partner is not working out. Or maybe you are just feeling dull and bored. Why don't you take a journal and ask yourself - "what is it exactly that is troubling me?" and write down your thoughts? As you write down your thoughts clearly, you might suddenly find yourself moving towards a solution. For example if your finances are troubling you - you can write down - "How can I improve my finances right now? There must be some way out?" Then write down the ways that come to your mind.
Most problems we have exist because our thoughts are all muddled and mixed up. If we clarify the problem and look for a solution, we will definitely find one. And that's where journaling can tell you how to think clearly.
2) To Track Your Progress Towards Your Goals
Many times, we set BIG goals but don't move towards them as consistently as we should.
One goal I have, for example, is to learn lucid dreaming. Yet another goal is to quit my job and become financially independent. Now the goals are all fine - but what is it that will motivate me day after day and week after week to achieve them? If I just think aloud once or even write down once "I want to learn lucid dreaming " or "I want to do something that will make me financially independent and also free up more of my time", I might be motivated and fired up for one day. But on the very next day, I will start getting sucked into my daily routine - the life I am living currently - and I will forget about my goals! Then, maybe some weeks later - I will beat myself up about why I am not making any progress towards my goals. This won't happen if I journal frequently about my goals.
These days, I journal at least twice a week talking to myself about where I have progressed with respect to each of my goals. I ask myself - "What am I practically doing in real life about my goals?" Did I read up on lucid dreaming last week? Did I practice any lucid dreaming technique last week? If not why not? What do I want to do about my goals within the next week?
Journaling basically, helps me think about my goals. Why does any one set goals? Because he or she wants to change his or her life in some way. However, everyday we keep receiving inputs from our environment which keep showing us the same life that we are already living. Journaling gives us different inputs. It tells our minds "this is what you want to achieve, so go ahead and take action on it"
No matter what goal you have for this year, 'journaling' is a goal setting tip that will help you keep that goal in mind, and track your progress every now and then.
3) To Find Out What You Want
Isn't that really easy? Finding out what we want, that is?
I think it is easy if we want to find out whether we want an ice cream or a brownie for dessert. But what do you really want to achieve this year? In which areas do you want to improve this year? What desires do you really want to fulfill this year?
That - is what journaling helps in clarifying.
I see that without journaling, it is very easy for me to get carried away and "achieve what others want" throughout the year. For example, I may end up increasing my income by 25 % this year. And I may end up taking 2 vacations this year. Or I may end up applying for a new job this year.
But then - do I even want all that? What do I want in the first place? Anything in the world is possible if we clarify what we want first.
Maybe I want to travel to 5 countries this year. Maybe I don't want to increase my income because that doesn't appeal to me - but maybe I want to go scuba diving, and bungee jumping? Maybe I want to start a blog and improve my physical health this year? And also my relationship with my wife?
The point is - isn't it a great idea to just ask yourself - what is it that I want in the coming months? If noone on this earth objected, what is it that I would truly do this year?
Journaling is a great place to clarify that! And once you are clear about what you want - won't you be happier?
|Do you already journal? Or maybe you know of another interesting method that tells you how to think clearly. Share your experience with journaling or your clear thinking story right here!|
4) To Have a Date With Yourself
I am sure you meet many people in the course of your week. Some people are people you may be intimate with. Some people may be people you just say a "hi" to. But many, many hours of the day are spent knowing others and interacting with them. The same is true for me too.
But how many hours of the day do you spend with yourself? All the time, you may say. But the time I am talking about is not the time when thoughts randomly keep coming and going. I am talking about the time you spend in really understanding yourself, listening to yourself and figuring out how YOU are doing.
Before I started journaling, I would say almost zero. I would spend quite some hours understanding other people in my life and asking them how they were but hardly anytime asking myself how I was.
Journaling gives you an opportunity to go out on a date with yourself. You can spend an hour for example, just asking yourself how you are. Are you happy with life as it is? Are you comfortable with the way things are going? Are you OK? What would you want in the next week - anything special?
Talk to yourself with love, care and a desire to understand. Of course that will make you happier!
I've written out just 4 ways in which journaling helped me in answering the question 'how to think clearly?'. I am sure there must be many more benefits. For example - you can clarify your values using a journal. What are the core values you believe in? You can understand that. What are your strengths and weaknesses? You can find that out! How can you improve in a particular situation? You can figure that out. There are just so…many things you can do with a journal. :)
The point is - why don't you give it a try? I journal using a simple word processor on my computer. You too can use a password protected word document and start journaling. Or you can use a notebook. It might seem weird at first - because you may not be used to talking to yourself at all. But then, initiating any relationship is weird at first, isn't it? :)
A simple way to write your first journal entry is to ask yourself the question - "How are you doing in life? What's up, genuinely?"
Then write down the answer. Write out your feelings. You can then proceed and ask yourself how you think life can get better. Then write down what comes to your mind! Of course that's just an idea. You can write anything you want to.
You needn't journal of course - if it doesn't appeal to you - but then what's wrong in giving this 'how to think clearly' technique a try?
All the best for the day ahead. :) May it be awesome!
How to think clearly enough to not forget ideas you get at odd times
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