I know that the actual physical act of writing is a powerful and impactful method of auditing, editing, curating and creating new lives, new plans and new ambitions.
I know because I have done it myself and so have almost a thousand people I have worked with over the last ten years.
But as well as writing down goals for the future, we should also write what we are grateful for-as a reminder of how much good we already have in our lives. By bookending our day writing down just three things we are grateful for, we will have better days of inspired activity and better nights of sleep-constantly checking your social media feeds before bed does not offer the same soporific effect-in fact the impact on our health and wellbeing is quite the opposite.
So exactly what is the science behind the power of the pen and the paper?
How is it that two such simple objects and one simple action can create such incredible stuff?
The strength and power of writing stems from the fact that writing is the primary basis upon which communication, history, record keeping, and art begins. Writing is the frame work of our communication system and punctuates every part of our lives in one way or another.
We encounter writing in many forms every day of our lives, and often dismiss the importance of it and how it helps us because we are used to seeing office memos, meeting agendas, reports, or restaurant menus. We disregard its simple energy and ability to motivate us to do things which are relatively mundane, and yet if we all used writing more as a self -development tool we would see astonishing results and significant change.
Writing is incredibly pliable; you can use it to give information, an opinion, ask a question, or write creatively to create poetry or literature. Words can take a bounty of forms within writing. The words you use can show who you are as a person, the things writing has done in our lives and the world is profound. I cannot personally imagine a life that didn’t involve writing in one way or another and I am at my happiest when I am actually and actively engaged in writing projects-whatever they may be.
Although we inhabit a world of digital information technology with screens and keyboards as our primary ‘writing’ tools handwriting still has a very important role to play. The most crucial, important binding contracts and agreements that we manage in our lives are still written and signed by hand. Writing is part of a creative project, whether it is a film, the design of a building, or a piece of literature. Without writing the flow of ideas halts sharply beyond the initial creative source and ideas and concepts simply never grow.
Writing also entertains us and has intrinsic creative value as we can delve into our subconscious to conjure up fantastic imagery and create everything and anything we want to-from imaginary creatures and characters to entire worlds and ultimately the life that we want to live. We can convert what may be seen as daydreams into reality and documenting our dreams, thoughts and ideas in this way gives us perspective and offers our ideas a feeling of permanence that they may actually become reality.