“Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up in your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.” — Jack London
You likely have thoughts everyday that have never been thought by anyone ever. If you are mindful to these thoughts there is a world of potential awaiting in your ideas and daydreams.
You can capture your thoughts and ideas by writing them down and using creative expressions. Your mind leaps over gaps in your thinking. When you write ideas down you force yourself to articulate them, and thus fill these gaps. Your ability to articulate your thoughts is dependent upon how well you can use your medium. (Your experiences and what you’ve read help a great deal.) We must capture them because it’s too easy to forget how you have changed as a person. What virtues and things are important to you? To what do you aspire? Maybe you’ve had the answers in the back of your head. Maybe you never took a step back to ask yourself; and maybe thirty years go by and you never do.
It’s too easy to get caught up in life. Occasionally when I am talking with a friend there will be an eventual pause in the conversation. In an instant I can see their body grimace, and cutting through the awkward silence I can hear their brain scream for stimulation prompting them to grasp for their pockets and purses. Twitter to the rescue!
It didn’t used to be this way. We used to have large chunks of the day in which all we could do was think. We spent hours in meditive states, stalking animals, gazing up at the stars. You may argue that before cellphones there was TV, and before that people could engross themselves in books. However, reading does not cause an increasingly lagging attention span. This brings us to an important point…
Information ≠ knowledge. My friend from the previous example is not gauging the nuances of Proust’s opinions on the meaning of life; rather, they’re more likely engrossed in the feed of a celebrity twitter fight.
Reading and fully experiencing others lives gives us perspective. We expand our humanity, tolerance, and knowledge. It is in the words of great thinkers that we may find important life truths. There is a sea of potential. Your consciousness is the vessel that you use to traverse this sea. When your consciousness interacts with ethical and moral dilemmas you decide based on your experiences and knowledge.
Make time to read and write every day.
We are shackled by obligations. Sometimes, in writing, reading and experiencing the profound, I come up and take a breath to realize “shit, I’ve been on autopilot for the last 5 days!” This is because it takes introspective experiences to escape the recurrent thought of “what’s next?” Yet, I know others may spend their lives in that state. Nowadays, even though we are aware nobody has our mind, our perspective, and our ideas we never take the time to express and explore ourselves. I urge you to make time. Journal, and impart your ideas and what you want from this finite life. Read, and travel to another world where you may discover and create yourself.