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Who doesn’t know it?
You once had a really good idea for a project. Or a good approach to solve a difficult problem. You woke up from a dream and had the inspiration of a lifetime. Of course, it feels so vivid that you’ll probably store it in your head forever.
Until you walk through the next door or the one after that. This door frame effect is often cited as the cause when you forget what you were about to do just a moment ago. And in the same way your not yet consolidated thoughts get lost.
Of course, this does not always happen. Sometimes the thought flies back to you like a boomerang.
How I came to write down my thoughts
During a vacation in Porto – together with two friends – I began spontaneously and in a rather intuitive way to write down the most diverse experiences of this vacation. This was done without any photos and I wrote down many trivialities that outsiders would consider unimportant.
Quite some time later, one of these two friends, Sebastian, got a severe cold. After a week, he still hadn’t fully recovered. However, since his soccer team needed him, he decided to go against his intuition, participated in the game, and gave his full effort. That same evening, he developed a very high fever and even had to spit blood during the night. His father acted without hesitation and drove Sebastian directly to the emergency room.
My friend Jonas and I visited Sebastian in the hospital on one of the following days. When it occurred to us that we had been in Porto exactly one year before, the three of us went through my vacation memos. It was noticeable that we enjoyed the seemingly trivial things the most. It was great fun to relive the crazy events and petty conflicts together, and Sebastian found positive thoughts as if on his own. Suddenly, other details that I hadn’t even mentioned in my notes came to mind again. It was a reliving of happy memories, triggered by single anchor points, which developed their power again a year later. Even though our current situation was not good because we were worried, the experience pointed out the following to me:
Happy thoughts can be frozen and thawed when you need them. You can compare this quite crudely to a pantry for a rainy day. What matters most is that you are the author. The more you collect, the more it can help you get through and recognize personal crises later: If there were good times once, there will be good times again.
This vivid moment of reflection encouraged me to capture other everyday thoughts in a memo.
I started to write down poetic, funny, musical, melancholic, creative, creative and visual thoughts. This is possible at any time, since I use my smartphone as a tool. But of course you can always take a small notepad if you prefer the old-fashioned way, or you can switch back and forth between the techniques.
How do I specifically record my thoughts?
Since this is also about reflection, it can be quite useful to prepare a concept for your approach. And if you really develop your own concept for it, then it will be best suited to your style in the end. Incidentally, I’m most productive and creative with something when I’ve built up a rapport with it.
If you want to get other people excited about your project, let them participate in the creation process. You inspire yourself by bringing in your own ideas.
Six tips to keep in mind for your concept
Tip #1: Divide your thoughts into different categories
I have the following categorization for jotting down my thoughts: lyrical inspirations, witty leaps of thought, drama and accidents, business ideas, song ideas, movie ideas, picture ideas, and dream journal.
Tip #2: Record place, time and circumstances
Initially, I didn’t write any of this down. However, it’s very helpful if you have this supporting data, because it helps you get back to your original thoughts even better. I now consistently record the date and time.
If you find that you always have refreshing, good thoughts at a certain time or place, you can consciously influence the nature of your thoughts in the future.
You can also record the exact circumstances you experience after exercising or visiting your grandma. Write down whatever influenced you. This will also help you identify patterns that beam inspirational thoughts into your head. Of course, this gets better and better the more data you’ve collected, by which time it may seem like a chore. I still don’t necessarily keep track of all circumstances. However, I’m noticing that I’m finding this extra effort increasingly easy as it becomes more and more automatic.
Tip No. #3: Secure your thoughts
When you write down your thoughts using your smartphone, you should back up the data on different platforms at sensible intervals. For example, you can send them to your e-mail address so that they are available there. At the same time, you can save them on your computer. After some time, you can then summarize the accumulated thoughts, print them out and file them in a folder. The only thing that helps is to keep track of them.
Also, always remember not to reveal your notes and experiences lightly. Your thoughts are something deeply personal. A social platform like Facebook or Instagram doesn’t offer the necessary discretion here. That doesn’t mean you can’t share them with anyone. Just try to be thoughtful about it. Listen to your intuition when it warns you about something! Trust people you know well, such as friends or family members.
Tip No. #4: Write down your thoughts unchanged
Yes, that sounds strange at first. When you write down your thoughts, you should not pay attention to grammar, spelling, sentence structure or sense. Be consistent and don’t suppress your feelings when writing. You can always revise your text later if you are not satisfied. Heavy ruminating can distort your content if you start it too early.
I can also put it this way: Listen to yourself when you talk to yourself in your mind. Don’t interrupt your subconscious when it’s trying to tell you something important. Write it down verbatim, trusting your associations. This is how you show your subconscious recognition and respect. In fact, your conscious mind is only the tip of your iceberg of knowledge. Everything you don’t currently need to recall is shifted to another level. Your consciousness as a busy working memory and your subconscious as a gigantic hard drive can work well together if there is a harmonious exchange of information. This works best if you don’t slow down your subconscious by censoring it.
Tip #5: Stay loose and relaxed
If no interesting thoughts arise for a longer period of time, this is quite normal. Don’t be annoyed if an idea flies away from you. It’s like trains. If you miss one, then you just wait for the next one. Interesting and beneficial thoughts are something you simply can’t force.
Tip #6: Continuity
Try to capture your thoughts as often as you can, but don’t forget tip #5. The steady drip will eventually fill a lake, and your writing muscle will get better and better the more regularly you exercise it.
You write down your thoughts for two months. What could be your motivation?
- You start to deal with your inner self.
- You use it to reflect on yourself.
- You use it as a meditative relaxation exercise.
- You get to know yourself and your different emotional states.
- You use it to process difficult situations. Painful experiences are also a part of our life.
- You use it to write your first creative texts.
- You want to be able to compare your current thoughts with your previous thoughts at some point.
- You’re convinced that at some point you’ll come up with a brilliant business idea. To capture it for sure, you want to build a routine for easily capturing your thoughts.
I’m sure you’ll come up with many more good points if you regularly write down what’s on your mind over the years. As with reading, which can help you gain knowledge, and as with wealth building, you need to have a very long time horizon in front of your mind’s eye. For great success, you need those long time horizons. For the most part, it doesn’t matter what you’re aiming for in the process.
As difficult as it sometimes is to find the right words, it can be all the easier to record your thoughts exactly as they are, completely uncensored. You may have to justify to your boss how you work, to your parents your choice of words, or to your girlfriend how you run your household. With your thoughts, you remain free of any restrictions. For me personally, thinking is the symbol of freedom par excellence.
In politically extreme situations, your physical freedom can be completely taken away. But not the freedom of your thoughts! This small spark can spread to a fire and give you back this basic right. Therefore, become aware of the high value of your thoughts. Writing them down is one way to make yourself aware of them.
And another thing: Every innovative invention, every political movement or every other historical event began with a thought! If you practice this and get to know yourself well, you too will have the necessary tools to make this world a freer and more beautiful place for you and everyone else.
Now you are asked
Your thoughts are welcome in the comments section
What is your opinion ?
May we continue to think freely in the future ?
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Thanks a lot
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I can recommend the following books on the subject of freedom:
Don Miguel Ruiz: The Four Promises – A Path to Freedom and Dignity
Tom Hodgkinson: The Art of Being Free – Handbook for a Beautiful Life
From my notes from 2018 when I started writing down my thoughts:
If your life, your happiness, your strength, and your abilities were expressed in inseparable connection with the well-being of the world …
What would you be willing to do? For the world, to make it better.
Would you still waste its resources? Would you waste your resources?
You are one with your environment.
Why only me or why not me is what you ask yourself.