Prepare for the day ahead, reflect on the day that passed
Prepare for the day ahead, reflect on the day that passed is a stoic principle in many ways.
The day ahead
Not the decade ahead, or year ahead, or month, or even week..
Prepare for the day ahead. You don’t need to worry about anything else.
Albert Einstein said famously, “I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.”
Besides, there is far too much going on right now.
Thinking for too long about the past or future is a massive waste of time when there is so much to pay attention to now.
And reflect on the day that passed.
It’s alarming how many problems we face which are problems others have already faced, and already solved.
Or even worse, problems we have already faced before.
It isn’t too hard to look around and see the similarities in the issues we are facing wether it’s physical, emotional, or mental.
Many of our greatest struggles would be resolved if we consistently took the time to reflect.
You have to reflect, to grow.
It’s the reason homework was given out. I used to think teachers just wanted to waste my time, but fortunately I learned that teachers new simply showing us a lesson once wouldn’t instill anything. We needed to go home, practice, reflect on the lesson and work with it before it became common knowledge.
Your life is no different.
If you just drive everyday screaming at people without ever giving it a thought.. what lesson would you expect to learn.
It takes intention, thoughtful reflection, and practice to learn the right lesson and eventually make meaningful change.
Prepare for the day ahead, reflect on the day that passed is the reason journaling is such an effective practice.
In his article on journaling, Ryan Holiday starts, “The list of successful and wise and brilliant people who made time to journal is almost unbelievable..”
Sure it’s nice to follow very successful people in some ways but it isn’t why you should journal. You should do it because it works.
You have to practice thoughtful reflection to learn anything, and journaling is the simplest and most effective form of thoughtful reflection I have come across.
I covered my journaling practice in my post Get Rich Quick
Depending upon the form you choose to use, you can answer questions that force you to find moments in the day that made you feel good and moments that reminded you where you are improving.
The reason I use the 5 minute journal as my basic template is it allows me to cover both my preparation for the day in my morning questions, and my reflection on the day in my evening questions.
On top of the other awesome benefits of journaling, you not only get the daily reflection.. but depending upon how long you journal you can look back on last months journal.. last years etc.. and this is not the same self-indulgent act of ruminating on past events, this is the practice of thoughtful reflection. See your trends, where you were, what you were working on, how far you have come, or what you forgot to keep working on.
I remember when I was 13 I found out for the first time my best friend had a journal. I was so upset I was almost mad.. I couldn’t help but think, “Damn.. i have so many memories, and thoughts that I already forgot, why didn’t I do that, I could have done that my whole life and now I’m already 13.” And of course, did I start keeping my own journal right after that? Of course not, and I still have the same thought every once in a while as I journal now.
But I’ll end with Ryan Holiday’s ending to his great article on journaling because he had a very similar experience which reminded him to journal:
“I remember visiting the filmmaker Casey Neistat’s studio and seeing shelves and shelves of notebooks on one wall. They dated back to the very beginning of his career. I felt an instant pang of regret — why hadn’t I been doing this? — and then reminded myself that although the best time to start journaling would have been years ago, the second best time would be right then. So I did. If you want to get a chain going, start to day.
Good luck and happy journaling!”
Thanks to Ryan Holiday once again for writing a great article on this subject, Check out his article below.
Learn more on this:
Article: Ryan Holiday
Journal: 5 Minute Journal
My Post: How i journal (Get Rich Quick)