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Kerry Kilpatrick

“Do you keep a journal? So I make my first entry to-day.” 

(Henry David Thoreau’s first journal entry-October 22, 1837)


While reading the biographies and autobiographies of some of the people who have done great things with their lives I noticed a recurrent theme, most of them had the habit of keeping a hand written journal! Often they carried it with them everywhere they went and wrote in it abundantly. They wrote down the thoughts that popped into their head or their observations of the world around them. They wrote their deepest feelings or simply the mundane facts of their existence. They trapped seeds of ideas as soon as they germinated so they could ultimately flower and mature. This habit prevented their ideas from withering away as is often the case with our ideas that don’t get written down. The written material that ensued became the foundation of their great accomplishments in whatever field they chose. It ultimately became the rich ingredients of their powerful creations.

From my study of the actual journals that many of the greats left behind I have come to this conclusion: If you want to improve your life, earn more money, make changes in your health, take charge of your thoughts, write a book, give a speech, clarify your thinking, become a better parent or nurture great relationships, it all begins with trapping your ideas through the discipline of a written journal.

In this blog I will share specific examples of the journaling habits of people throughout history who have understood the power of keeping a handwritten journal and how it dramatically empowered their lives. If you decide to use a journal from the information presented here, I would enjoy hearing any of the stories that result.

Kerry Kilpatrick
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.


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