I was recently browsing through one of my local bookstores, randomly choosing aisles to discover something new, when I happened upon the stationery section. While I do journal frequently (mostly electronically for convenience), I haven’t taken up the practice of gratitude journaling on paper.
I do have a gratitude exercise & method that I do everyday, but I tend to not write these things down. I like the “in the moment” verbalizing of people & experiences that I’m grateful for.
Seeing the sheer number of ready-to-go gratitude journals is encouraging, in general, because they can help us to slow down and really appreciate everything around us. I feel that they also help us shift to a mindset based on “being enough”, “having enough” and hope.
My eyes were scanning the bookshelf quickly when something caught my eye that made me stop. It was probably just a shadow or the way the books were arranged but I could’ve sworn that I saw an “Attitude journal” staring at me. I started laughing to myself, and then started to wonder what an “attitude journal” would look like.
I like playing with ideas and odd concepts as a way to think laterally and not constrain myself to one mode of thinking. Sometimes, it borders on the ridiculous or amusing but that’s what makes it a fun exercise. So, here’s what I think my attitude journal would contain:
It would definitely have score keeping with other people; comparisons would be a key concept in my journal.
Related to that, there would be unrealistic expectations of myself & other people. These expectations would influence all my interactions & relationships and would likely cause a lot of undue stress.
While everyone is deserving of the best experiences in life, my journal would focus more on entitlements, things that I feel I’m due to have regardless of the effort I put into life. This would also be related to the comparisons with other people.
And of course, with comparisons come judgement. My journal would be full of that, judging myself and everyone around me.
My journal would probably have a theme if “lack” or scarcity as well. After all, perceiving something as “missing” that you “should” have would put you into that continual mode of searching for fulfilment.
In order to keep things consistent and have all of these ideas support each other, my journal would be focused on the past. I would always be looking backwards at my life, possibly with regret about things that I can’t change.
I think that sums up what my “Attitude journal” would look like. The thing that I’ve come to realize is that I probably do have an attitude journal, hidden somewhere between other “books” in my head, that I occasionally take off the shelf when I’m triggered by something and listening to the negative chatter in my head. I have a suspicion that we all have a book like this hidden somewhere.
Personally, I hope that now that I’ve dusted it off and had a look through it, that I’ll rarely use it anymore. There are way too many other interesting books that I want to fill my shelf with :).
I also really hope that this doesn’t spark a new product line that we’ll start to see soon for sale ;). I thank you for the time you’ve taken to read this and I hope that it has resonated with you in some way.