By Chanda Temple
I’ve always wondered why people kept journals. Sure, I used to write in a diary as a kid. But once I got to high school, I stopped. I no longer saw a need to write down my daily thoughts.
But after watching a 2007 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” today on a 2012 repeat of OWN TV’s “The Best of The Oprah Show,” I’m a believer in the power of the journal. I’ll be starting mine today.
On the show, Oprah interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” In her book, Elizabeth wrote about her journey of self discovery. After the book’s release, people often asked Elizabeth how could they do what she did. That’s where they got it wrong, Elizabeth said. They don’t need to do the exact things she did. They have to ask themselves the questions she asked herself and shift the way they looked at their life.
One way of doing that is to have a happiness journal.
Oprah loved the idea and challenged viewers to keep a happiness journal for 30 days to see what manifests in their lives when they start to resonate with happiness.
Today, I accepted the challenge of keeping a happiness journal. If you are interested in starting a happiness journal and going on your own inner journey, here are three things to know:
1. Ask yourself what you really, really, really want
Truthfully answer that question every day. “You can’t set your journey if you don’t know what you are for,” Elizabeth said. The answer will come.
2. Start a happiness journal and record your day’s happiest moment
Do you know what makes you happy? At the end of the day, write down your happiest moment. Your comments will remind you of what truly makes you happy. Review your comments to see what’s consistent.
3. Refine your mantra
Whatever you repeat constantly in your head, is your mantra, Elizabeth said. If you tell yourself you are a loser or a failure, that’s your mantra. Whatever you tell yourself, decide if it’s working for you. If it’s not, find something else to say.
Great tips, right? But I still felt I needed a little insight on getting started. I turned to blogging expert Javacia Harris Bowser, founder of See Jane Write in Birmingham, Ala., to get her two cents on journaling. Like me, she used to write in a journal as a kid. Here’s what she had to say about journaling as an adult: “These days I fill the pages of my journals with blog posts and story ideas and with plans for See Jane Write. I also keep a prayer journal, something I’ve been doing since college. I could type all these things, but there’s something very intimate about writing with pen and paper. It even feels meditative.”
And with that, I’m ready to write.
Note: Elizabeth Gilbert wrote “Eat Pray Love” in 2006 after visiting Italy, India and Indonesia. It was an international bestseller, translated into more than 30 languages, with more than 10 million copies sold worldwide. In 2010, her memoir was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The book became so popular that Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, according to her website.
Chanda Temple is a former reporter now working in public relations. She blogs about being better in business and more at http://www.chandatemplewrites.com. Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.