I’ve written about the Levenger 5 Year Journal in the past (almost a year ago to the day). Yesterday, during my guest appearance on the always excellent podcast, The Pen Addict, I mentioned it once again and it seems to have garnered renewed interest.
In that earlier review, I said this about its intended use:
“For those not familiar with how a 5-Year Journal works, there are Pages for 366 days, including February 29, with 1 page per day, with 5 line entries – one for each year. It allows just enough to highlight the bullet points of a busy day but forces brevity. It is like Twitter for a private and bygone era. There is no pressure to catalog every detail of life or how you are feeling. Want to simply write a single thought or idea? Well, that is OK too. The beauty is that, those who have felt the pressure of maintaining a journal in the past (like myself) will likely feel far less so with such a low barrier to entry. Take just a few seconds at the end of the day and write what strikes you.”
And, while that is the intended use, I can think of a whole bunch of other things it can be (and has been, for me at least) used for. Here are some ideas and examples:
Use it as a “Something new I learned today” log.
Use it to record the weather for the day and start to notice patterns and trends over time.
Write down your 3-5 most important tasks for the day (hint: My dash/plus system is perfect for this.)
Log your workouts or diet.
Basically, anything one could think of needing daily tracking for and you can fit it into five standard ruled lines, the 5 Year Journal is perfect for. And, because each page contains up to five years of entries, it is a great way to be reminded of year-over-year progress.
Also, here is something else that applies to journals in general but is especially true of this one: Don’t be afraid to stick stuff in them that is a token of the day. Did you get a good fortune in your fortune cookie at lunch? Tape it in on that day. Go see a great concert or movie? Stuff the ticket stub between the pages. It adds character and helps to bring the day back to life when you inevitably come back across it next year.
So, the sleepless nights continue. Last night, I awake at 2am and could not get back to sleep. Despite being dead tired from so little sleep the previous two nights. There is no way I’m even lucid enough at this point to as trick complete thoughts together, let alone sentences.
Read the first draft of the latest Hugh MacLeod book instead. It is a good continuation of the discussion I started yesterday. Seriously. This book is a real ass kicker and fear buster. You need it.
"The Art Of Not Sucking" | gapingvoid
Pretty tired tonight (as I write this). I’ve not gotten particularly good sleep the past couple of nights and it is really wearing on me now. Not sure I can even form enough complete thoughts to write this but I’ll try to do some broad strokes.
I had a good discussion today with my friend Garrick about discouragement vs. dissatisfaction.
The premise being that we live in a society that, in so many ways, simply wants us to be satisfied. It seeks to actively discourage us from making an impact on it. Those that are like everyone else are accepted. Those that are different are shunned or treated with suspicion. If one fits in and follows the crowd and stays largely unnoticed is promised a life with very little risk. Just be satisfied with the way things are.
There are many people who are happy with such a life. Those whose only ambition is to have a job they can show up at, do the bare minimum, get their paycheck and benefits with automatic inflation-adjusted yearly raises, then retire comfortably in someplace warm. They discourage themselves from sticking out one way or the other. They find satisfaction in their mediocracy. And, society is largely satisfied with them there.
On the other side, there are those that are that are driven by dissatisfaction. Those for whom there is always something better or something more. Those that live to stick out like a sore thumb. Those that are not afraid to challenge the status quo. Often, these people make terrible employees because they are never satisfied with their jobs. They are restless seekers. They are full of ideas plans and schemes. Society likes to romanticize these folks but often brands them reckless and dangerous.
Perhaps I’m biased but I believe the only cure for discouragement is dissatisfaction. That it is a key ingredient, perhaps the key ingredient, to success. That only once one is sufficiently dissatisfied will they be able to make real noticeable change — either in themselves or in society as a whole.
I’m a writer. Writing is how I make this world better, friendlier, stronger place. If these words improved your day, please let me know by contributing here.