“Every great idea started on the back of a napkin.”
How do ideas spread across generations? Without a form of permanent communication, all knowledge would be lost from one generation to another. Writing is one of the few things you can do every day that will ensure your success in life. Write it down.
There are so many benefits to writing that have been catalogued in so many different ways, but I want to write a little about why you should be writing everything down, literally everything. As much information as you can store, you should write it down. This will help you do one of a few things. First, it helps you map your world. It also helps you see what you prioritize. If you don’t know how you are spending your brain energy, then you are living a life by default, not by design. If you want to design your life on your own terms, you need to get inside your head and understand exactly how you think. By writing everything down, you’ll start to see patterns emerge about how you think about the world. You’ll start to see where you are lying to yourself. You’ll see where your thoughts need to be changed, where your perceived reality doesn’t square with the actual reality in front of you.
Writing everything down also does wonders for your memory and cognitive abilities. You are creating new neural pathways as you think about a piece of information (a thought about something) and then manifesting it into the real world by putting it on paper. Every great idea started on the back of a napkin. Part of the creative process is to bring ideas into reality. The easiest way to begin that process is to write those thoughts down.
And here’s a radical idea. Spend the next week literally writing as much down on paper as you can. It doesn’t have to be organized. It doesn’t have to make sense. Just put pen to paper, if you want to doodle and draw, go for it. Try and write down everything you can. I mean everything, use ALL of your downtime to put pen to paper. You might think it’s silly but you will learn more about yourself in this exercise than you think. Any spare moment you have, write stuff down. Whatever and anything, let your mind run free. Maybe your sitting in your office and have a few moments, just layout the physical properties in your world. What color are your walls, where is your computer, what item in your office hasn’t been moved in a long time? What do you hear? What color is your co workers blouse? Did you just a delivery from Fed Ex, write down the time and size of the box? Copy the label into your notebook. When you have a little more time to write, try to recreate the happiest moment of your childhood, describe the experience, now try the saddest moment of your childhood. Now move onto adulthood. Don’t get caught up in editing, grammar, or even coherence, just keep pen to paper.
The point is to literally write anything and everything down. If you want to write down all the license plate numbers you see, go for it. There are no rules. The only rule is to write as much as you can over a 7 day period. Anything and everything is the only rule.
After this experiment is where the real fun begins. You will start to see patterns emerge about your reality. You will start to understand the most complex system in your life, your brain. You will become more self-aware. You will become more aware in general. You will notice more things happening in your life. You will be less distracted by nonsense, even though it felt pretty nonsensical to write down people’s license plate numbers for no apparent reason.
One of the best ways I have found to understand my thoughts are to bring them into reality. To wrestle with them on paper. It’s only when we map out our brain that we begin to realize how powerful it really is.
Write everything down…
About the Author:
Matt DiNinno is the Managing Director of DiNinno Consulting, LLC based in Redlands, California. He and his team help Small and Medium Sized Enterprises thrive. Matt spent 13 years as a licensed Financial Advisor with firms like Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch (see his FINRA Brokercheck Record here).