Write It Down, Don’t Trust Your Memory. Drew Hunthausen, Blind Motivational Speaker

Life is full of moments both memorable and fun, and some not so much so. We experience special events like birthdays, vacations, family gatherings, and sporting events, and not so special events like visits to the dentist, painting the bathroom, mowing the lawn, experiencing an illness, and the list goes on.

In the midst of life’s journey, these experiences pile up more and more the older we get. Unfortunately for the vast majority of us, our mind does not readily hold on to the details of the significant events the way we would like. After all, it is from these experiences that we learn and grow as persons, and Jim Rohn reminds us that they will stay with us longer and more effectively when we write them down.

This time of year is full of holiday cheer, excitement, and smiles for many, while at the same time for others it can be a time of the remembering of tough times and immense loss. The bright colored lights, Christmas music, and even the huge sales at favorite stores, can often serve as painful reminders of past years with loved ones that are no longer here, or of other struggles we have or are encountering.

As I read the stories of extraordinary joy, alongside the ones of deep sorrow these last few weeks on Facebook, I was drawn to this journal entry from last summer. It reminded me not only of the wonderful time I had over the weekend described in the post, but also how important journaling is in my own life. The entry is below.

“This past weekend I had the privilege of traveling to San Diego California with my sister Chelsea for a music festival on Saturday, and a triathlon the following morning. We both were really looking forward to the two events and had just found out we would get to see my brother and sister-in-law who were coming in from Texas. One of the first things we did after meeting up with them, was to take a group photo. Throughout the night we took quite a few pictures, and even though I can’t see them, the verbal descriptions bring back wonderful memories of the fun we had together.

The Triathlon was the same way on Sunday with my sister taking a few photos and a video of my guide and me in action. We had a wonderful time with all three events, swimming, biking, and running, all documented with still photos and video. Remembering the good times, the laughter, and being grateful can go a very long way to supplementing the negative memories and loss, while putting a smile on your face. It doesn’t take care of all the pain, but it can put a different spin on a difficult challenge that we all face at times”.

My friends, I am so thankful for both visual and written journals in my own life. If you haven’t tried journaling, or don’t always think to take a picture or two along the way, I encourage you to begin one or both today. Just like the quote above so clearly states, this is a common habit of folks who have gained significance and success in their lives. Whatever significance and success means for you, I believe it is something we all desire and deserve. Happy journaling, and Merry Christmas! Always remember that the best is yet to come!

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