Journal It

In 9th grade I had a crazy algebra teacher. He would explain a new concept in just a few, confusing phrases. As we sat–shocked into a stupor and trying to grasp what he had said–he would bellow, “Write it down!!” He seemed to think that writing down what we didn’t understand would help us understand it. How right he was.

Writing out our thoughts helps us make decisions, change course, and generally enjoy life more. This is true because we are generally clearer, more intelligent about the world outside of us than we are about our inner lives. By writing out our inner thoughts, we can use our clearer, smarter “external” intelligence to solve internal problems.

Use approaches such as journaling (similar to writing a diary), mindmapping, and The Ladder to


In your corner,







2 responses to “Journal It”

  1. Paul Martin Avatar
    Paul Martin

    My crazy math teacher, as we sat there slack-jawed after he gave us a calculus problem to solve, would say “Draw a picture” in a thick German accent. Barely scraped through calculus, but remember that advice to this day. Works for almost everything (although not, for me, calculus).

    1. Mike Avatar

      Love it. I can hear him saying it. And drawing pictures is really useful.

      Funny thing: my crazy math teacher was German, too. And one of his favorite lines, delivered in one breath, was, “Did you do your homework last night why not?” Heaven help you if you said, “I tried.” You’d then hear The Diatribe: “Oh, you tried. Show me all times where you wrote it down and tried. Do you know what they say to people who try, hmmm? They say, ‘Nice try.’ Do you know what kind of people they say ‘Nice try’ to, hmmm? Losers! Would you go over a bridge if the builder said I tried?” Et cetera.

Leave a Reply