"Be a collector of good ideas, but don't trust your memory.  The best collecting place for all of the ideas and information that come your way is a journal." - Jim Rohn
After consistently journaling for a few years now I have gone through many different systems.  I want to share what has worked best for me and how technology made a big impact in my journaling system.

At this point, I feel like I have tried every system imaginable.  I started off with a small journal but that hurt my wrist when I would get to the bottom of the page.  Switched to a big journal but that was inconvenient for traveling.  Finally decided on a medium journal however there wasn't enough room for all the things I wanted to write! 

I tried having multiple journals for different topics: business, sales, personal, relationships, etc.  That was nice but only when I was at home and didn't have to carry around 5 different notebooks.  After getting fed up with lugging around 5 notebooks everywhere I decided to go back to one.  This time I was going to use different colors for the different topics.  Frustration soon followed.  If I didn't have the right color ink with me when I had an idea I was screwed.   So instead of using colors I tried using tabs to section off the different parts of the journal.  That was probably the best system I came up with while using physical pen and paper. In the back of the journal I left a few pages to write up an index in case I needed to find quotes/topics quickly.  

Finally, after talking to my life coach, Hal Elrod, I decided to try an online journal.  The app I decided to use is "Day One."  I could not be happier with the transition.

Most Important Features of Day One

1. iCloud enabled.  Write in my journal wherever I go using my iPhone, iPad, or computer. 
2.  Search through all my journal entries for keywords to find ideas quickly.
3. Star important entries so I can look back at them often to not forget important lessons throughout my life.
4. Automatically tracks date, time, weather, and location of entries so you can start to see trends. 
5. Tag entries for different topics.  Example: (business), (relationship), (writing ideas), etc
6. Day One will ask you questions to give you thought joggers of new journal ideas.
7. Lock your journal with a pass code so people can't get access to it.
8. Type faster than you can write long hand.


This is what the interface looks like.  In order to stay more organized I changed the date to a year in the future for my most important entries.  Like lists that would be added to regularly, affirmations I read daily, and goals that would be changing.  By setting the date a year into the future those entries always remain at the top of my journal so I have quick access to them.

On top of that I took advantage of the tag feature by tagging things like: book notes, business ideas, 30 day challenges, miracle morning, lists, coaching calls, and writing ideas.

How do you journal?  Here's how I do it...

A lot of people are reluctant to start journaling because they don't know how.  There is a misconception that when you journal you have to be super emotional and spill out all your problems starting with "Dear Journal..."  However that's completely not true.  Generally I use my journal to just write down important ideas I don't want to forget.  Or track a challenge I'm doing.  Here are two questions that I will often ask myself to spur my journaling.

1. What just happened? And how do I feel about that?
2. Whats going to happen? And how do I want to feel about that?

Occasionally my journaling time won't involve writing it all.  Sometimes I just spend 30 minutes reading old entries and looking over important lists and ideas.  

It's important to remember your journal can be whatever you want it to be.  No one is going to look at it and no one is going to judge your writing ability.  Have fun! 

If you want more help with starting to journal one of the guys at my Toastmasters Club offers coaching.  You can learn more about him here.
 
 
Slumps can be an extremely difficult thing to deal with.  Even the happiest most successful people go through them.  If you're in one, don't lie to yourself and think that Person X never has them.  I want to be vulnerable for a minute and confess that the last few weeks of my life I was going through a slump.  Want to know the weirdest thing about it?  Prior to the slump I was extremely happy and on top of it.  Waking up early, working hard, burning the midnight oil, and loving every minute of life.  The slump came out of no where!  Here are 3 simple steps that helped me get out of it.  Hopefully they can help you too. 

Step 1: Take ACTION

Often times when we feel negative or sad it's because we know we're not doing what we're suppose to be doing.  There is a sense of guilt that overwhelms us and pushes us to take a nap, watch TV, or just do nothing.  The single greatest way to get yourself out of a slump is to take action!  Any action.  The size of the action all depends on your state.  If you are so sad and tired you can barely get out of bed, then putting your shoes on and just walking outside is the perfect first step. 

Jot down all the things you know you should be doing then slowly start tackling them one at a time.  Feel the satisfication of crossing items off your list and let that boost your confidence.  Momentum will kick in and soon enough you will be back on track. 
When we're depressed the things we want to do the least are the things we NEED to do the most. 
-SD
Exercising is another fantastic way to take action.  It releases endorphins and helps improve your self-esteem.  Studies show that people who exercise regularly benefit with positive boosts in mood and lower rate of depression. 

One of the things I did recently to get out of my slump was make an  "Anti-Slump Plan."  It consisted of a few simple actions I could take to start the ball rolling.  Things like: call a loved one to catch up, set up 1 sales presentation, go for a walk on the beach, and write down a list of things I'm grateful for.

Step 2: Balance Your Values... Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Intentional imbalance has definitely been a good thing throughout my life.  Whether it be a sport, instrument, or hobby I want to learn, having extreme focus has always helped me.  However for the first time that narrow focus really hurt me.  My happiness was reliant on one thing and when that one thing wasn't going well I became screwed.  Throughout the last few weeks I've started to learn the importance of balancing my values.  Making sure that my happiness relies on many different areas of my life not just my career, my relationship, or my goals.

Step 3: Shift Your Focus To Gratitude

You can't have positive without negative.  As hard as it seems in the moment, it's important to be grateful for our slumps.  A lot of times when I'm feeling sad it's because I'm focusing on all the things that are going wrong.  Jim Rohn says that for things to change first you must change.  Once I started to shift my focus to all the things going right in my life I was able to defeat my slump and get back on track.  Instead of being upset that I was in a slump I became grateful knowing that I had nowhere else to go but up.  
 
 
What makes you an awesome person?  Did you learn how to walk when you were extremely young?  Have you ever come in first place in a competition or event? Whatever your list of accolades are it's important to write them down and keep them close.  All your accomplishments act as ammo to sell yourself on why you are just as deserving and capable of extraordinary success as anyone else you know.  

Business and sports champions alike have a common habit that often gets overlooked.  They constantly sell themselves on why their great.  Mediocre people tend to think why they can't do something versus why they can.  Napoleon Hill says, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."  If you think you can't, then you can't.  On the flip side if you think about all the other past success you've had it will inspire and motivate you to truly believe you can accomplish whatever new task is at hand.

In the process of my daily journaling I started a list that I now look at every day during my morning routine.  It's called my "Why I'm Awesome" list.  Interestingly, not everything on the list is positive.  Some of the reasons I see myself as awesome are for attempting big goals and failing.  This positive outlook on negative events has allowed me to learn from my mistakes.  More importantly, the habit of looking at my list daily,  allows me to remind myself of those lessons.

Imagine a professional football player is headed into the last game of the season.  The competing team is undefeated the whole season and is known for being extremely tough.  That football player is not going to waste his time thinking about how challenging that game is going to be.  He is going to think of all the reasons the other players aren't as good as him and his teammates.  He will be constantly selling himself on what makes him a great player: the hours and hours of practice, the hours of watching video tapes of the opposing team, the bond between him and his fellow teammates.  He will be reviewing his "Why I'm Awesome" list in his mind before running out to the field to start the game.  

Benefits of creating a "Why I'm Awesome List"

1. It makes you smile
2. It builds your confidence and reminds you of the things your proud of
3. Gives you perspective when things arn't going your way
4. Provides inspiration to persevere through tough times
5. Allows you to review life lessons from past failures

Challenge:

I want to challenge you to take action.  To make your very own Awesome list.  Next time your feeling down about yourself you can take a look at it and I promise it will help improve your mood.  

Ideas to get you started...

-Competitions you came in top 3
-Goals you accomplished or failed
-Risks you have taken
-Physical traits
-Mental traits
-Personal strengths
-Things people compliment you on
-Skills you have spent a long time developing.  Example: musical instrument, web development, etc...
-Grades in school
-Sports you play
-Jokes you've said
-Signficant others you've dated
-Sibling rivalries
 
 

1. Freedom of expression.

In selling you have the opportunity to be yourself.  There are many different ways to get the same result.  You have the ability to tailor your job in a way that brings you joy.

2. Income is limited by you.  There are no ceilings.

You have the freedom to make as much money as your willing to work for.  One of my mentors Tom Hopkins always says "Selling is the highest-paid hard work, and the lowest paid easy work, that I could find."  

3. It's a daily challenge.

Most jobs that are 9-5 don't have too many obstacles to overcome.  In selling each day presents a new problem for you to solve.  Each day is an adventure to go on with new friends to make and rewards to reap. 

4. High returns for low capital investment.

It costs very little to enter into a profession that has no income ceiling.  Often times it's free! If you buy into a franchise it would cost a couple hundred thousand dollars.  On top of that you would most likely be taking a low salary the first few years so that you could get the business running.  Launch into a sales career and you have big earning power immediately.  All it takes is a little elbow grease.

5. Selling is fun.

How many people do you know that have fun at their job?  Not many.  Selling can be such an enjoyable experience.  Life was meant to be fun.  If it's not fun then why are you doing it?

6. It's satisfying.

You feel good when you close a sale because you know your client is better off for owning your product.  You feel good knowing you've helped people to save money, make more money, have more free time, or benefit in some sort of way. The better you are at sales the more you benefit society and the bigger impact you make on this planet.

7. It stimulates your personal growth.

Selling teaches you how to dream big.  To break through self limiting beliefs.  There are no natural born salespeople.  All sales is learned through trial and error, mentors, books, and audio.  When you master the selling profession it opens up your eyes to everything else you can master through hard work, persistence, and practice.  
 
 
What is the "Harness Fear" motto?

That's a great question.  It's moments of doubt, indecision, and fear that hold most people back but if used properly these moments are the ones that can truly allows us to grow and live up to our fullest potential.  Fear is the #1 killer of dreams.  It has even been said that the fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death! (Robert Kiyosaki)

Harnessing Fear is about taking nervous energy and turning it into action.  If you can harness those butterflies in your stomach they will allow you to fly.  The only way to overcome fear is to take action.  Harnessing Fear takes it one step further.  It means getting EXCITED when you start to feel fear.  You get excited because you know that now there is an opportunity for GROWTH.

 In the blink of an eye you have to make a decision.  A decision to settle for mediocrity or to take a chance and be all you can be. That is what the Harness Fear motto is all about; it reminds you that fear equals growth.  To achieve your dreams it is necessary to overcome fear and not be held back by it.

Nelson Mandela once said, "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers fear."

My friends and I  made these wristbands to wear everyday. They remind us, in times of need, that in order to get where we want in life it will require courage, action, and determination. They remind us to harness our fears.  If you would like to have one let me know and I can bring you one. 

My hope is that next time you are faced with a tough decision this motto can help you to take action.  When we take action the death of fear is certain and the fruits of success inevitable.