The Startup
Published in

The Startup

To Unlock Your Full Potential, You Need To Write Every Day

I was interviewed for a podcast yesterday.

My man Bryan Teare (Owner of The Quarter-Life Comeback) definitely put on a great show and asked me some great questions.

One of them was this…

WRITING,” I said, without hesitation.

Then, for a moment, I had to think about why the hell I just said that and come up with a REAL answer.

The thing is, it was the perfect one already.

Let me explain..

Self-Awareness and Journaling Go Hand-In-Hand

How many of you journal? I assume since we’re on Medium a lot of you do.

When I started journaling 3.5 years ago, it changed my life.

“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.”

-Robin S. Sharma

I started spitting stuff out onto the page that I never thought about before.

Three, I found I focused way too much on the negatives, and almost used my journal as a punching bag to unload my stress.

Over time I found myself writing about the future a lot. My mind galavanted off to Ireland, and traveling, and living in many different cities over time.

The first time I wrote about this I shrugged it off. The second time I wrote about this I chuckled, then thought about it some more.

The third time I wrote about this I realized this is who I was!

Three years ago when I started journaling I had just ditched my college in Central Pennsylvania to do an internship at Disney World 1,000 miles away.

It never dawned on me WHY I made that decision until I started seeing patterns emerge from my writing.

Fast forward two years and I did a 4-month road trip across the country that changed my life.

Glacier National Park, MT
Arches National Park, UT

Self-awareness alone is a huge reason you should journal every day.

I didn’t know I liked to travel that much, but after writing every day I slowly realized this is who I was.

I blame journaling for a lot that’s happened in my life — including becoming a writer online — and without it I would just be shooting blind, trying to hit something I enjoyed.

Journaling Will Make You Happier

A study recently showed that journaling can improve mood, stress levels, and depressive symptoms.

I can’t tell you how many times I opened up my journal angry, wrote like hell, then tossed it under my bed satisfied as all get-out.

Do you realize how many times I would’ve fought with friends if I didn’t have a journal?

Or how many MORE times I would’ve filled people’s ears with nasty words because I needed to vent about something?

I’m already a loose-cannon type dude.

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

-Natalie Goldberg

Writing every day saved me so much.

When nobody else is there to listen, the white page will.

It’ll never interrupt you, check its phone while you’re talking, or decide it’s angry at you and never talk to you again.

The page is always there to listen and turn a sour mood back around, which does SIGNIFICANT damage in making you more level-headed, patient, and overall a better person in the short-term.

5% Of People Regularly Journal, That’s Why You Should

The number above is completely made up, but seriously, how many of your friends/family members/relatives journal REGULARLY?

Probably not that many.

Everyone used to look at me like I had just risen from the dead when I opened up my journal to write on the bus.

I felt like saying, “Yeah dude, I’m practicing something mankind has been doing since literally 6,000 years ago.”

James W. Pennebaker, a lead researcher in the study from above, says:

After journaling regularly for the last three years I finally made an income from blogging online. This has been my goal for the last three years, a goal YOU BET I mentioned in my journal in 2014.

So what should you do?

  1. Buy a Moleskin journal from Barnes and Noble and commit to a writing schedule. Once, twice, three times, or even five times per week will do.
  2. After your first month, look back on your entries. What themes keep coming up over and over again? Do this again after every month, and you’ll be MUCH more self-aware about what you want in life.

Happy journaling!

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 344,974+ people.

Subscribe to receive our top stories here.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tom Kuegler

Travel blogger. 29 years old. Currently in Mexico. Get my free 5-day Medium course via email →