I am one of those people who has kept every diary and journal I’ve ever had. I got my first one when I was 8. It was pink and had a little lock and key. Now they’ve graduated to Moleskins and whatever notebook I can find to fill with copious amounts of psycho-babble and ramblings. Recently, I decided to put them all in one stack and go through them to find any lasting gems. Here are the results:
1 – Our lives have themes. Turns out, I’m dealing with the similar struggles I had when I was 16! Of course they’re not the same people, or even the same issues, but in a very general way, my “problems” seem to focus around being heard, being recognized, and finding my voice in the world. I found it fascinating to see this theme repeated over and over again, through the ages, and even in positive situations. It made me wonder if this is simply human nature – our entire lives spin around one theme which is a central tenet to our life’s purpose.
2 – The world is many shades of grey. We love extremes. We love to think in black and white. But reality contains so many possibilities and variations that we choose to ignore. There is never just one way to do something or think about something. Once we practice emotional flexibility it becomes much easier to navigate the highs and lows and find a neutral position to weather the daily grind of getting down to life’s work.
3 – Change is slow. Everyone talks about how fast babies change and it’s true if you’re looking from a mile away. Kids grow up incredibly fast when they’re someone else’s, but if you’re in that grind day-in day-out the incremental changes seem to take for-e-ver. That said, as each experience leaves a bit of baby innocence behind, it creates a beautiful overlapping age mosaic that weaves on forever. As adults, we need to pay even more attention to our own growth to realize all the beautiful incremental changes we make over the years.
4 – Time is flexible. Where you put your attention matters and this can be used to your advantage. Time feels slower when your days are routine-focused and predictable, and it speeds by when your days are filled with new and interesting things. If you can train your focus, you can lose yourself in almost any activity. Then you can fully take in what you’re doing, no matter how predictable or adventurous, which means you’ll be at your most present and alive. And isn’t that really the point of life?
Now, tell me 4 radical truths you’ve discovered in your life of experience. And don’t forget to write them in your journal!