Primitive cave drawings and hieroglyphics date back 30,000 years and humans have had a need to record their history in various ways. Telling stories in pictures was the earliest form of recording our history. In medieval days oral storytelling delivered by bards, painted pictures with song and verse. It was only 9,000 year ago that civilizations began to use written records as they developed language and alphabets to preserve historical and fantastical events.
Whether it was the ancient Greeks, or the Phoenicians written language began to help capture history that could be passed down from generation to generation. Today, we record our memories with technology and social media every day. Coupled with photos, “Technology has given us the ability to practice our intrinsic nature as visual individuals” (Medoza, 2015).
So, ask yourself, how are you capturing your history? What details will you forget if you don’t memorialize events and experiences so you can share them in the future? In light of the COVID 19 Crisis, our personal and business histories have all been affected. We are all living through actual historic events and are facing new experiences that we may not, and hopefully we will not relive again. How will you remember this time? How will your capture the emotions and the feelings and more importantly, how will your share the story of this time to future generations?
Journaling is a great way to record your history. Not only is it an effective way to captured details you might forget, journaling has other benefits.
Journaling has long been recommended within the business community as a great way capture idea, and revisit creative thoughts. Today, journaling can additionally help you as a business owner chart the path through this crisis and may help you find revelations for future efficiencies. Keeping a dairy or journal doesn’t mean you are recording long and winding prose about your day. Jotting down ideas, learnings and questions during the day can provide you great seeds for reflections tomorrow.
“If you need to initially just write a single line, or detail the specifics of what you had for breakfast, do it. Don’t preoccupy yourself with managing perfect punctuation, grammar, or spelling. Just write and don’t censor yourself. This is for you. Remember: You don’t have to be Shakespeare” (Bailey, 2018).
Journaling can help you keep all the ideas organized. Getting in the habit of writing every day, helps you improve your writing skills and penmanship (some believe is a dying art). Additionally, “A journal is a good place to write your goals, ambitions, aspirations and new year resolutions. By keeping them in a diary, you can monitor your progress and continue to focus on the next milestone” (Journey.cloud.com, 2020).
Intermountain Healthcare also touts several health benefits such as stress relief, mood booster, memory enhancement and creativity stimulus. Capturing your prospective will allow you to go back and reflect and keep you from negative reactions in the future. “Your journal is a living book that chronicles your business journey right from the point you’re at right now” (Barnaby, 2019).
So how do you get started? Here are five quick tips.
- Make it a habit; find a time every day to journal. Like brushing your teeth or creating an exercise routine, making a habit makes the success factor exponentially more likely.
- Make it natural; be authentic and whether you doodle or write eloquent passages, be yourself. Be candid and real. It is from these raw uncensored entries from which you are likely to learn most.
- Watch for patterns; go back and review your entries and look for patterns that may indicate where you are stuck. Written entries which include similar feelings, or observations will unveil previously hidden obstacles or challenges you are facing or more importantly are avoiding.
- Whine, but do it with a purpose; air your grievances, record disappointments and “dark moments” this a great way to get the ‘poison out’ so you can move forward. Always write with a solution in mind. Sometimes you have to let your unconscious mind find clarity while you are articulating your roadblocks.
- Don’t focus on style; you don’t have to have perfect punctuation, grammar. You can sketch, use different colors and even scribble doodles, just make sure you are capturing real time feelings, events and experiences. Don’t mimic styles because someone on social media has a “prettier journal than you”. Make it your own.
It is never too late to start chronically your business’ history. Barnaby says “Your journal is a living book that chronicles your business journey right from the point you’re at right now.” Like the ancient peoples, recording our history is paramount to learning. Barnaby encourages us, “You’ll use your learnings to teach others. Pull out ideas for blog posts. Cringe with shame at how naive you used to be. Feel a surge of awe at how much you overcame” (2018).
Pick up a notebook, a pen and or pencil and start your journey. Start recording this history and spreading the learning with others inside and outside your organization. Together, alone, we will be stronger.