At times, our minds carry the weight of the world. So many ideas, hopes, and fears all fighting to exist in one place. Samwise Gamgee, from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien once said to his best friend, Frodo Baggins, "Share the load." Let your journal be your Samwise Gamgee. Write down your worries and your concerns. Transfer your frustrations from your mind to that piece of paper and leave them there. Trust me, you'll feel loads better!
2. Writing down our hopes and our dreams is one of the major steps to realizing them.
No dream was ever fully realized until it was written or drawn out on paper. A cartoon character doesn't just pop out of its creator's mind. It has to be drawn out. The words in a book may be created in the mind of an author, but the world and characters aren't fully preserved until they make it onto paper.
Write down what you want most out of life. What are your dreams?
I recently read a book called The Jackrabbit Factor by Leslie Householder. It's a fictional story about a man name Richard who is trying to figure out what to do with his life. He is talking to a man named Andy about what he wants and how he can achieve it. Andy answers, "Okay, then. It's simple. You'll need to write it down, and know that the mere act of doing so causes unseen things to happen for your benefit."
3. While we often remember the significant changes in our lives, sometimes we forget all about the little moments leading up to these.
When you look back on your life, you don't just want to remember the milestones, you want to remember all the lessons you've learned and the trials you've gone through to get there. A journal is a great place to record life lessons. These will not only be an inspiration to yourself as you look back, but to your posterity as well.
Which brings me to my next point...
4. Shouldn't we want our children and our children's children to not only remember us when we've gone, but to know how we became who we were?
What are the significant points in your life that helped you become the person you became in life. These are the sorts of things your children down the line will look up to. They will read about your courage, your successes, your failures. They will learn from these personal moments and build upon the story.
Bilbo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings is a great example. He wrote his story. His nephew, Frodo Baggins then wrote his. Then, having no children of his own, Frodo passed his journal to his best friend, Samwise Gamgee. Their bravery and heroics became immortalized simply because they were written down.
5. Personal Satisfaction
Don't just keep a journal for reasons like the ones listed above. Keep a journal because you want to. From my own personal experience, keeping a journal has been one of the most satisfying things I do each night. There is nothing more pleasing than to see yourself immortalized in a book.
-Thomas Stanley, Jr.-
Attributions: J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, books and films). Leslie householder (The Jackrabbit Factor). Thank you for your inspiration.