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STOICISM.DESIGN

Work Gratitude Journaling

April 26, 2019

Let's get a little woo. You've heard or maybe have even experienced directly advice about victory visioning. You know, imagine you'll cross the finish line and before you know it you're there.

I'm going to be honest, I catch this kind of shit in my ugh filter. I don't like woo. As a good Stoic, I recognize of course that I'm doing this totally irrationally - judging a thing before thinking about it - but, yo, biases are hard to correct for.

That said, I trust certain people and enough people -- the same folks who were talking about stoicism around me -- talked about this idea called gratitude journaling. I learned later that this all comes from a system called the 5 Minute Journal, which in turn was made ultra popular by Tim Ferris. I hate to be such a Tim Ferris lacky, but even happens by accident.

Anyway, gratitude journaling: you start your day with a brief journal entry, which - unlike a bullet journal or an agenda system, designed to focus you on your tasks - the purpose is to establish an emotional benchmark for the rest of the day. You awake grouchy and stressed, you feel like shit, you've got a bill upcoming, but the first thing you do over your morning joe is to answer these questions (in writing):
  1. What are three things that I am grateful for?
  2. How am I going to make today great?
I know. My cynic eyes roll really hard when I even type this out to you. The idea though - and I think it works, as I do this every day for the last year - is to force yourself to look on the bright side. Some days, I'm grateful for coffee, my cat, and an empty house. It doesn't have to be poetic. Don't be deliberately lofty. Find something that you're grateful for.

In the same way the Stoic trains themself to ignore what's out of their control, and not get flustered, you can train yourself to find the bright side. It gets easier with practice.

Plus, if you've been on this stoic journey with me for some thirty odd emails, you know that remember, you're going to die requires a dash of optimism.

Can we apply gratitude journaling to the beginning of our work day? I've been toying with the idea of starting a separate work journal for absolutely unrelated reasons (so I can remember things if I ever need to update a portfolio), but I was wondering whether emotionally benchmarking the start of your work day as your first sit-down task (before checking your email) would have any impact.

Ask yourself, before you check your emails or do anything for the mighty dollar:
  1. What are three things about this project or work that I'm grateful for?
  2. How am I going to make the work day great?
Let's give it a shot.

Craft virtuously.

Refer virtuously

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Michael Schofield · 1681 NW 107th Ln · Plantation, FL 33322-6439 · USA

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