Journaling for focus and building your audience

A five minute morning and evening journal that keeps your mind like calm water and your happiness level steady while collecting your own stories.

Journaling for focus and building your audience

I have in the past, stopped doing my gratitude practice and suffered for it. Much like Jack living in one boring today pixel at a time, occasionally winning at something, achieving something, but ultimately the celebration never lasts. At times I have picked up a journaling habit where I would write three to five things that I am grateful for in the morning and evening of every day. I often did this on my commute to and from work or study which was also quite an efficient use of time (admittedly with slightly messier writing). The only problem with this strategy is that it was paper and writing. This meant that I needed to take a journal and pen that was easily accessible with me every day on my commute. Not a huge deal, but any hindrance to a habit you are trying to form easily turns into a habit you used to have.

Enter, stage left, Notion. With its easy databases, phone, tablet and desktop app, Notion has made journaling with a gratitude log not only easy but also an any time, anywhere affair. I have fallen so deeply in love with journaling again that, into the morning journal, I have incorporated one big thing for the day, gratitude, defining what truly matters, and focusing in on your new 2.0 identity. The evening journal houses Matthew Dick's Homework for Life, daily achievements, lessons learnt and short reflection questions. All of these are sourced from numerous places from Stoicism to coaching principles and happiness books mixed together into a five minute morning journal and five minute evening journal that keeps your mind calm and your happiness level steady (along with collecting a bunch of your own stories useful for all sorts of things).

Belinda's Morning and Evening Journal

✍🏼 Belinda's Journal System (feel free to copy this template into your own Notion).

My favourite things this week

  1. Learning about the future of social apps which is live podcasting with audience questions from these three apps under development: Clubhouse, Fireside and Twitter Spaces. These are so new that they have a purposefully limited set of users and are in Beta. I have a strong feeling that this is a type of social media that will explode (in a good way) when released (at least until the next big thing).
  2. This week, I delved into the principles of building an audience from scratch. The methods of gathering an audience may have changed but the four stages of audience gathering have not, for example, your new audience needs to discover you, trust you over time, access your writing, videos or podcasts or perhaps an e-book and finally purchase your online course or other digital product.
  3. This week, I also rediscovered "mind like water" the martial arts principle. Imagine a pond of still water, where you can see clearly all the way to the bottom. This is the clear and still mind. When you throw a pebble in (a new idea, a phone call, a conversation or interruption), the water acts appropriately (not under or overreacting) and then returns to calm. This is what we want our minds to be like, calm water reacting appropriately. David Allen likens this to emptying our mind of all our projects and to dos into a system, leaving it like calm water.

Quote for the week

"You begin to develop a lens, a storytelling lens, that is sharp and clear. And you start to see that there are stories in your life all the time. There are moments when you connect with someone and your heart moves, or your position on something changes, or you discover something for the first time." — Matthew Dicks (about Homework for Life)

Belinda Allan is an education advisor who is dedicated to empowering lifelong learners. By exploring the intersection of technology, personal development and learning futures, Belinda uses her expertise in education, IT and AI to guide individuals in creating the course or training program of their dreams. With a focus on how AI can drive productivity and well-being in the ever-changing landscape of education and work, Belinda will help you unlock your full potential.

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