Documenting your life is one of the most satisfying things I think you can do.
Not only does it give you something to look back upon, but I feel it subconsciously makes you live a better life (who wants to document a rubbish life?)
On the 5th September 2012, I packed my bags and moved from the Shetland Islands down to Manchester after I was accepted into the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.
It was the start of a huge journey for me and I wanted to document what was now in hindsight the beginning of rollercoaster of emotions, adventure & hard work.
I moved to the academy as an alternative to University. I knew I wanted to launch my own business and felt this was the best route for me to go down.
I knew at the time I was in for a ride, and I wanted to document everything.
I wanted to be able to look back at my life 10-20 years later, to see what I got up to. What I was feeling. What I loved about running a business. What I hated about it.
I got the DayOne app and did just that. I wrote every single day. At the end of the day I’d take 5-10 mins to review my day.
I wrote that daily journal for 1,643 days.
I spoke about the things I did that day, how I felt, what I was looking forward to, what I was scared about. Everything.
It was my own secret place I could go and write. A place where I could get everything off my chest in the safety that nobody would ever read it.
But it became a chore. It became just another thing on my to-do list. Rather than something I used to better my life.
In the past I was someone who clung on to things. If I was reading a book, even if I wasn’t enjoying it, I’d read it to the end, just because that’s what you’re meant to do, right? Rather than just cutting it short, I had to keep going.
The journal was similar. I started to get bored of it, but I kept on going.
But enough was enough. As soon as something starts to become a chore, rather than something that I enjoy, it’s got to go. I don’t have the time or brain power to focus on things I don’t want to do.
I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with the same problem. When we’re trying to scale, we struggle to let go of menial tasks that could easily be outsourced to someone just as able (if not better!) than us. We struggle to let go of our baby.
But I said cheerio to the journal. Despite the crappy “You need to keep a grateful journal” advice you hear a lot of entrepreneurs spouting.
With my vlog and all the other video content I produce these days, my life is pretty well documented. And that’s something that’s only going to improve over time.
Documenting your journey, whether that’s through a vlog or a journal is a valuable thing to do. The vlog and journal are perhaps 2 different beasts: the journal being super private and the vlog being a public thing, but the fact that I need to focus on documenting a life I love (as opposed to a life I don’t enjoy) forces me to be a better person.
But at the same time, it’s just pretty cool. In 20 years time, to be able to look back at what you did on x date, and to see you were doing what you loved (or at least working towards it, hopefully) will put a smile on you and your families faces.