We’ve always been curious as to why most of the world’s successful leaders, past and present, carried journals or notebooks with them every day. Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson and Aristotle Onassis to name a few.
Was this where they kept their innermost thoughts and ideas?
Would they write in them about their day to day lives or simply use it as a tool for further self-discovery?
It’s clear that daily use of their personal journals has significantly contributed to how these powerful men have influenced the world around us. This article will shed light on three very successful world leaders, and look at how anyone can take a page from their book – to improve their lives both personally and professionally.
These leaders have each come from different walks of life and yet the journaling process has positively impacted all of them significantly. They, like many others past and present, found a respect for the art of journaling and reaped the rewards for doing so.
Barack Obama – USA President
Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, explained one of his main reasons for writing in a journal,
“In my life, writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are. The process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions.”
It is not always an easy task to put your thoughts onto paper, however, one is provided with an effective way in getting to know themselves better through the process of doing so. This man was also awarded 2012 TIME person of the year. As Barack Obama noted himself, journaling helps everything becomes much clearer.
Richard Branson – CEO Virgin Airways
British business magnate Sir Richard Branson has been journaling for many years now and believes it to be vital for his everyday work. In one of his autobiographies he states that,
“my most essential possession is a standard sized notebook… I carry this everywhere and write down comments that are made to me by Virgin staff and anyone else I meet. I make notes of all telephone conversations and all meetings… the discipline of writing everything down ensures that I have listened to people carefully.”
As one of the most powerful and successful entrepreneurs in the world, carrying his notebook has evidently assisted his work life which in turn has allowed for him to be more efficient in his role as head of the Virgin brand.
Aristotle Onassis – Greek Shipping Magnate
Famous Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis advised on the importance of always carrying a notebook with you,
“Write everything down. When you have an idea, write it down. When you meet someone new, write down everything you know about them. That way you will know how much time they are worth. When you hear something interesting, write it down. Writing it down will make you act upon it. If you don’t write it down you will forget it. THAT is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school.”
Those are examples of very different yet successful and inspiring leaders who found great use for journaling as their notebooks and journals proved to be valuable possessions for a multitude of reasons.
So the question you should ask yourself is not why should I keep a journal or what will I write about? Instead, ask yourself how you too can benefit from journaling each and every day, regardless of what you write down. Think about what changes you want to make in your life and how writing down details, thoughts, feelings, ideas and conversations will empower you to become the master and commander of your own destiny.