Sunday, September 1, 2013

Keeping a Daily Journal

To surpass self is life's greatest occupation, says Leonard Read. One practical way to do this is by keeping a daily journal. After five days of doing this, I find it delightful and I saw myself more productive.

Read suggested that in keeping a daily journal, making an entry should be a regular discipline as you wake up in the morning and retire at night. This type of practice stimulates fresh flow of ideas. It includes both accomplishments and failures, insightful ideas from books and articles and any meaningful conversation both offline and online. The habit is beneficial for you to see gaps and inconsistency in your thoughts that need improvement. 

Read describes keeping a daily journal as a kind of "capturing device" or the way to intercept the beams (p.12). Abundant ideas are passing us by and without a tool to capture those ideas, a person will either stay intellectually stagnant in the midst of plenty or confused due to idea overload. However, there is one danger to avoid and that is to think that we are the source of such abundance. 

I like the way Read used the Mosaic Law in relation to abundance of ideas and ingratitude. The passage actually comes from Deuteronomy 8:17-18. What it says is this: "You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today."

The passage does not only apply to material abundance. I think Read is right that it is also applicable to intellectual abundance. Its source is not us, but the Creator who gave us the ability to think. Violating this law would bring punishment upon ourselves. 


Read, Leonard E. (1976). Comes the Dawn. New York: The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.

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