What My Morning Journal Looks Like

596 Comments

History is littered with examples of successful (and unsuccessful) people who kept daily journals. It ranges from Marcus Aurelius to Ben Franklin, and from Mark Twain to George Lucas.

But what on earth did they write about?

Or perhaps you’ve seen examples of their writing and thought to yourself, “Goddamn, that reads like the Gettysburg Address!” and become demoralized.

In this post, I’ll show you what my raw morning journal looks like.

Why?

Because it’s easy to imagine our heroes as unflappable juggernauts, who conquer insecurity with a majestic mental karate chop every morning. This is, of course, an illusion. Most people you see on magazine covers have plenty of mornings when they’d rather hide under the covers all day long.

A while back, I bared my soul in a post about “productivity” tips for neurotic and crazy people (like me). I was overwhelmed by the hundreds of heartfelt comments, letters, and more that I received.

Many of you have since asked about my “morning pages,” so I’m oversharing again…

The Daily Struggle

Nearly every morning, I sit down with a hot cocktail of turmeric, ginger, pu-erh tea, and green tea. Next, I crack open this large-format paperback (pic from my Instagram):

Tim_Ferriss___timferriss__•_Instagram_photos_and_videos

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To be honest, I never read the original Artist’s Way, which was recommended to me by many mega-bestselling authors.

More book consumption didn’t interest me, as I often use it to procrastinate. What I needed was a daily and meditative practice of production, like the tea ceremony. So, voila, I bought the journal. This “companion” provides plenty of context to be used by itself.

But why journal in the first place?

I don’t journal to “be productive.” I don’t do it to find great ideas, or to put down prose I can later publish. The pages aren’t intended for anyone but me.

Morning pages are, as author Julia Cameron puts it, “spiritual windshield wipers.” It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found. To quote her further, from page viii:

“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”

Please reread the above quote. It may be the most important aspect of trapping thought on paper (i.e. writing) you’ll ever encounter. Even if you consider yourself a terrible writer, writing can be viewed as a tool that you can and should use. There are huge benefits to writing, even if no one — yourself included — ever reads what you write. In other words, the process matters more than the product.

Below is one of my real entries.

I’ve typed out the text below the image, as it’s easier to read.

Evernote Snapshot 20150114 141515

SUNDAY, DEC. 28, NEW YORK

Woke up at 7:30am, before everyone else. Feels great.

It’s a Sunday, so I feel I can take it slow, which is probably the reason it feels great.

Why should Monday or Tuesday be any different? There are still people waiting regardless. Let them wait.

It’s funny how we work and aim and strive to get to a point where people wait for us, not the other way around. Cue Get Shorty!

And yet, when we arrive at this vaunted point, the masses of people (often rightly) incessantly knocking on the door, one after another, causes far more stress than when you were a mere peon (sp)! [I was unsure of spelling]

Is it because of the 100x more inbound, which decreases a feeling of self-directed free will? A feeling that you’re constantly choosing from someone else’s buffet instead of cooking your own food?

Or is it because you *feel* you must be defensive and protect what you have: time, money, relationships, space, etc.?

For someone who’s “won” through a lifetime of offense, of attacking, playing the defensive game conflicts with the core of who they are.

[END]

So… What’s The Point Again?

There are two ways to interpret the above journal entry, and they’re not mutually exclusive:

1) I’m trying to figure things out, and this might help.

For instance: I’ve realized conflicts between goals (become “successful”) and related side-effects one must manage (100x more inbound). I’ve also noted that my big wins in life have come from being aggressive, much like iconic coach Dan Gable, who’s epic rant here is one of my favorites of all time. But the fetters of even a modicum of professional success makes one feel like they have to play defense, or manage instead of conquer. This runs counter to my DNA, which leads to unhappiness. Therefore, I need to divest myself of assets that require “protecting,” or I need to better delegate this responsibility.

That all sounds pleasantly analytical. Aren’t we smart? But perhaps the real value is that…

2) I’m just caging my monkey mind on paper so I can get on with my fucking day.

#2 is key.

Morning pages don’t need to solve your problems. They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.

Could bitching and moaning on paper for five minutes each morning change your life?

As crazy as it might seem, I believe the answer is yes.

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Would you like more posts like this? Or never again? Please let me know in the comments (click here), or I’ll never know. Thank you for reading!

Posted on: January 15, 2015.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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596 comments on “What My Morning Journal Looks Like

  1. One of the discoveries I’ve made about morning writing (or any other time of day) is that the act of hand-writing itself yields ideas and answers that won’t be unearthed by typing on a keyboard. Thanks for sharing your morning page, Tim😉

    Liked by 7 people

    • Agree strongly…there’s something about the physical, muscular, tactile act of holding a pen and transferring thoughts to paper, somehow “captures” the mental transaction…solidifies it, gives it better scaffolding, better structure. From here, one can look at it again and again…each time re-digesitng, recalibrating. The thoughts are then brought back into the mind if and when we choose.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you healingprim, as your comment helped me resolve my dilemma of weather I should begin keeping an online journal or write it down on paper. Paper won!😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Tim!

    I love the personal aspect these types of posts have! It is always eye opening to see how much of a normal guy you are and not someone so successful you don’t have normal people thoughts.

    Ive never been interested in journaling until now, so my question is this…

    In this post you mention “writing” and “paper” a couple times along with showing a picture of your physical notebook, but would journaling in evernote be just as effective for a beginner?

    Thank you for all you do!

    Be awesome!
    Keith B.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Keith, it’s better than nothing but leaves it short as a large benefit of writing with the hand comes with its physical aspect. I highly suspect there is neurological patterns firing that link emotional aspects with the physical craft. It just feels more primal as well which can only help release yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the pros and cons are nice to consider🙂

        Paper: I used to have beautifully written/drawn journals, but it became a bunch of real estate in a box that I don’t particularly want to keep/read, and the shape/quality is difficult to scan to computer. Now what?!

        Electronic: Recently, I’ve been whipping out my laptop and at least my thoughts are on Ctrl+F… but Joshua’s right about there being a sterility to to typing, plus, sometimes electronics are a little distracting/work-inducing… and you don’t get to thumb through the pages, but it has it’s conveniences.

        Compromise: I saw one blog post on the internet where a guy went paperless with his tablet (and sometimes stylus). Maybe if someone wants to take pictures of it with evernote then trash, or write on scratch paper that’s scannable…

        Evernote is a nice idea and they let you insert scribbles too, you’ve got your principles, why not make them work for you🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • There is a lot to be said for writing in Evernote, but there is also a lot to be said for writing with pen and paper. In my experience, there are connections that just aren’t made when I use a computer vs. writing.

      Something worth considering is getting a Livescribe. I’ve had mine for years, and it’s literally world changing. A Livescribe pen will let you import your journaling into your computer, and you can also use it to take recordings of lectures. I’m obsessed.🙂

      Like

  3. Hey Tim
    I dont know if im just a part of a big trend or..
    but im also do the artists way ..ive learne a good
    crawl After thirty …im Training to draw the human body..doing Meditation every morning ..im learning langui. .ches (Obviusly still in proces) i wrestell with guitar..i mean..sine i found a one fits all teach-inspire. .please continue with the mailing.
    Chuk dee (thai)
    Troels Borum

    Liked by 3 people

  4. WOW, again.
    Thank you. I really appreciate the clarity of this perspective on journaling as well as the topic you wrote about.
    And sharing your real, personal example (tea brewer/infuser and all) is delightful and effective. It really made me smile : ).

    Thanks for all you do, Tim Ferris.

    Like

  5. Good morning Tim,

    First of all, thank you for your openness and honesty. It’s not always easy to live a transparent life, but I’m sure you’ll find that people appreciate you doing so because it helps to remind us that you have challenges too.

    I found this post and the previous post on “production tips for the neurotic and crazy” more heartfelt than your regular, scientific, ultra productive, “Superman of Silicon Valley” type stuff. Although I find many of your posts in the latter category incredibly informative, this post and the one mentioned above have a humanness quality about them which helps people identify with you better and is inspiring in a different way.

    What I noticed in your post about the Managing Editor position is that, and this is just my opinion Tim, perhaps you moved away from the real reason you started all of “this” to begin with. And perhaps now is a good time to ask yourself, why did I start the 4HWW? What was my original intention for the book? For the blog? For creating this life? What did I really want to accomplish?

    I think if you reflect back and think about what your original intention was, you’ll find a way to navigate back to that.

    Again, thank you for sharing. I would enjoy reading more posts like this on here in addition to the super hero type stuff.

    Renee

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Thank you, Tim. I just purchased “The Artist’s Way” with hopes that it will help settle my overly ambitions mind. I also just sent you a pot and a letter, I hope they find you well. Here’s a quote I thought you might enjoy:

    “The bridge builder’s position is always an uncomfortable one, apt to be shot at from both sides…Bridge building may be risky work, but somebody has got to do it, because the need is great…” Michael Cardew, “Pioneer Potter,” 1969.

    Sincerely,

    Joel

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tim,
    Thank you for sharing. This is an excellent insight. I’ve been keeping a daily journal for over a year but I run it as an evening activity (occasionally have to catch up the next day).

    Building on your point here:
    “Morning pages don’t need to solve your problems. They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.”

    That’s part of the reason I journal at night – to help me sleep better. I may well experiment with your journal approach though. My daily journal tends to have a “log of accomplishments/activities” style to it.

    P.S. Your point here (“More book consumption didn’t interest me, as I often use it to procrastinate.”) rang home! That’s why I have set a role to read less in 2015 (i.e. read 45 books in 2014 and plan for 30 in 2015 to give more space for production and business building).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes! Yes! Please! This is the kind of posts I like: Your spontanious reactions…and “solutions” to day to day life and preoccupations.
    Thanks!
    Luc

    Like

  9. Tim,
    Thank you for sharing. This is an excellent insight. I’ve been keeping a daily journal for over a year but I run it as an evening activity (occasionally have to catch up the next day).

    Building on your point here:
    “Morning pages don’t need to solve your problems. They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.”

    That’s part of the reason I journal at night – to help me sleep better. I may well experiment with your journal approach though. My daily journal tends to have a “log of accomplishments/activities” style to it.

    P.S. Your point here (“More book consumption didn’t interest me, as I often use it to procrastinate.”) rang home! That’s why I have set a role to read less in 2015 (i.e. read 45 books in 2014 and plan for 30 in 2015 to give more space for production and business building).

    (Apologies if this comes in twice – I had an error with the first attempt to post a comment)

    Like

    • I started getting up early to do a creative burst after being inspired to do so by Josh Waitzkin on Episode 2 of the Tim Ferriss show. The practise has been transformational, I am now well established on a book project and wholly committed to finishing it.

      Like you I didn’t read Julia’s book but I did follow her advice of cranking out 700 – 1000 words every morning. Often it’s jibber-jabber, but if I’ve been ruminating on something overnight I’ll get high quality prose. There is definitely something special about writing by hand on real paper, ideas just flow out more naturally and in a more sensible order than than when typed on a keyboard.

      My top tip is to use a Livescribe Smartpen. That way I can easily digitise the good stuff and get it into a word processable format. [Moderator: link and related content removed]

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tim – Your humility and transparency are inspiring. They give us all hope that we, with all our flaws, can also be as productive and amazing as you. As you said, a journal is for no-one else’s eyes. Part of the reason for that is you are free to be completely honest and uninhibited in getting those thoughts out. As long as you can keep that mindset while journaling, we want to see it! If knowing it could be read starts making your journaling work instead of therapy, I for one will be patient and wait for the finished product.

    Like

  11. I myself, have been contemplating implementing journaling in my daily life. I’ve been urged to start journaling. After seeing your sample journal entry, it gives me motivation to start journaling as well. Thank you. It seems as though that journaling is a type of meditation and the way of relaxation. It seems to be important to journal because it’s one of the best ways one can cope with stress, or aluminate the happiness in one’s life.

    Like

  12. I love this post so much. I loved your original “oversharing” post.

    This is what I most want from you these days. I already trust your abilities and effectiveness. They no longer need to be proven. I just want to know your ineffectiveness and struggles, because they make my struggles easier.

    These two posts, along with your post “Feeling Stuck… Read This…”, have made me feel significantly less alone.

    Like

    • I’ve also found the same to be true with morning pages on the few occasions I have done them. It clears me out and gives me awareness of what’s going on behind the surface.

      Like

      • Awesome Tim, Writing is a way of dancing between unconscious to conscious, so all those vibrations rather than be ignored will be expressed! Also when looked at your instagram when reading your email saw Federico Aubele and I listened to his music and fell in love with, completely unexpected side effect.🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. This is so cool to see! I’m curious if you picked a particularly benign morning of writings to show us?
    How does the writing and tea fit into your morning routine alongside meditation?
    Are you only doing Morning Pages for 5 minutes?
    I find that I usually do one or the other unless I have a long morning of free time.
    Tim – have you ever done “object writing” – Pat Pattison’s technique?
    This is another daily practice I’m juggling and haven’t quite found a groove between meditation, morning pages and object writing.

    I want more like this. The humanizing of public figures helps people realize that they can do great things too.

    Like

  14. I like that you posted this. I, myself, have been urged to start journaling daily. I didn’t know where to start or how to start but seeing this shows me that what I have to do is to just start. To my understanding, journaling is a lot like meditation. It’s a way to cope with stress in life. It’s a way to document the happiness that you encounter in life as well. Reading this post, encourages me to stop thinking about journaling and to start journaling. Thank you.

    Like

  15. Best post ever…. A cluttered mind is the worst thing that can affect productivity…. Intend to start writing from tommorrow morning

    Like

  16. You’re interesting and impactful without having to drop F bombs all the time. Think on that so I can share your stuff with my friends & kids…

    Like

  17. I started getting up early to do a creative burst after being inspired to do so by Josh Waitzkin on Episode 2 of the Tim Ferriss show. The practise has been transformational, I am now well established on a book project and wholly committed to finishing it.

    Like you I didn’t read Julia’s book but I did follow her advice of cranking out 700 – 1000 words every morning. Often it’s jibber-jabber, but if I’ve been ruminating on something overnight I’ll get high quality prose. There is definitely something special about writing by hand on real paper, ideas just flow out more naturally and in a more sensible order than than when typed on a keyboard.

    My top tip is to use a Livescribe Smartpen. That way I can easily digitise the good stuff and get it into a word processable format. I did a blog on my workflow a few weeks back that may be of interest to other readers who are looking to maximise the productivity of their morning writing.

    Like

  18. Thank you for this post, Tim! I saw you speak at the This Week in Startups LIVE event in SF back in September. I remember being intrigued to hear you describe the concept of morning pages at that event, and this piece builds on that talk with actionable advice.

    Like

  19. That was a resolution to me in this year. But, i feel more comfortable to write at night, before i go to bed. Release me from the problems and the stresses of the day, and give me a sense of good feeling with the good things that happen in that day!🙂 Keep going!🙂

    Like

  20. Thanks so much for sharing! I have a question, though. I recently read you actually were doing the 5 Minute Journal and not Cameron’s Morning Pages. I tried Cameron in the past, and it did not work for me. I am doing the 5 Minute Journal now and it seems better adapted to my needs. I would be curious to hear a comparison between the two and why you moved from one to the other.

    As usual, your writings and podcasts are a great inspiration. Saludos desde Buenos Aires. Te esperamos!

    Like

    • Yeah, this is something I’d love to know too.

      Maybe, the five minute journal can be used to figure out your priority for the day while the morning pages is a word-vomit to bring clarity of mind as Tim said here. Productivity vs. Meditation?

      Are both being used for different reasons Tim or do you favour the morning pages?

      Like

  21. Thanks Tim I liked this. I find I start a journal and then it last 2 or 3 days and I pick it up again in 6 months. I literally forget it exists very quickly… I need to find a way to do it long enough to create a habit.

    Like

    • In the morning pages you sign an agreement beforehand, a contract to do them. (If she’s still doing it the same way?) Therefore, if you feel strongly about keeping your obligations, a sense of honor about this, it might be helpful for you.

      Like

  22. Tim, OMG – I could cry!! I found myself purchasing this same journal all too many years ago, never read the artist’s way, in fact I picked out the journal based on it’s cover- I had a mount of some problems and new a I needed to do a mountain of journalling to help me sort it out. It was amongst those pages, that I would thrash through my thoughts each day. I have always journaled for as long as I can remember. I sometimes re-read them and sometimes I don’t because sometime it is a brain dump and I just want to let go of those thoughts and feelings.

    I love this honest commentary on how mess life can look like, feels like and yet you do have results. Helps me know I am not alone, and have more in common with you then I thought. I just have to work smarter on the results side of things.

    Thanks again – Mary Catherine (MC)

    Like

  23. Good post Tim. It’s always helpful to see behind the curtain at the stressed out little man (who you callin’ little!?) running the controls.

    I’ve been doing morning pages for about six months and I find it’s a great way to clear out all the junk and concentrate on the rest of the day. It’s also a gentle way to wake up. My eyes aren’t even open for the first 3 lines, but you can’t still be sleepy after 20 minutes of writing.

    One thing I do is, if something strikes me as something memorable, I’ll make a quick note in the margin. Then I can do a quick scan back to make sure I get that idea. Rarely more than one or two. Sometimes it’s an idea for a song or comedy bit, other time it’s just an errand I forgot about.

    Like

  24. Thanks for this post, Tim! I saw you speak at the This Week in Startups LIVE event in SF back in September. You mentioned something during the event about the concept of morning papers, which I found really intriguing. So it’s great to have these additional details and actionable advice!

    Like

  25. Hi Tim,
    This post really spoke to me. Not just how and why we journal… but also the contents of your morning page.

    As a business owner, your points on “the conflicts between goals and related side effects one must manage” and “A feeling that you’re constantly choosing from someone else’s buffet instead of cooking your own food?” really struck a chord with me… and perhaps made me feel a tad bit more sane in the process🙂.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    Kelley

    Like

  26. I’ve keep a journal for about 10 years and have tried both evening and morning entries both were quite therapeutic.

    A few years back I start block off my Sundays for longer entries or to read past entries.

    If you are ever out-of-sorts read your old journal entries and your mood will change instantly, especially when you rediscover you are now living the goals and dreams of years past. Cheers.

    Like

  27. Thanks Tim. I really enjoyed that. I’ve always been told I should journal, but it’s not natural to me, and I’ve never understood why I should do it. I’ve always thought it seems like a stupid waste of time.
    Your explanation is clear and for the first time I actually want to do it.
    Good stuff, keep it coming.

    Like

  28. yes I was only reading about doing this today in another book, so if it works for you then my question is how long do you spend doing this …

    Like

    • amazing thing is that I have all my dairies from the age of 11 to 13 each day I wrote a few sentences, such discipline, it was probably what kept me in control at a hard time, parents divorcing, boarding school blah blah blah.. strange reading them now i am 39…..

      Like

  29. Hello Tim!
    I definitely would love to see more posts like this. There are few times we get to delve inside moments in uber-successful people’s lives where we can relate so strongly to them (unless you know them personally), which in turn makes people feel that they could be like you someday, just as in the case of your entry here.
    I keep a morning journal myself, and sometimes I ask myself: “Is this what I should be writing about? Is this what everyone else writes about?” But you’ve reminded me that that is unimportant. I always feel better about myself after writing regardless.

    Keep up the great work, Mr. Ferriss!

    Like

  30. Lovin’ these posts Tim – I’m filled with both fascination and appreciation for having access to the raw honesty of someone like you. My hope for you, is that in doing this, it will help you mitigate some of the pressure you’re currently experiencing. Two things spring to mind. 1. As Buddhism teaches us (with a little of my twist) this is gorgeously and inspiringly ‘temporary’. 2. It’s a ‘reaction’, therefore you have 100% control. In short, thanks for the posts.

    Like

  31. I have always been more productive keeping a journal than not. During the 2 years I slowed to a complete stop, I became less productive. Thank you for reminding me that this one weird thing I do on a daily basis really keeps me on track for doing great things.

    Like

  32. Great post Tim. Please keep this sort of thing coming. I really love the idea of a morning routine like this. My biggest concern is that I couldn’t write something as “flowing” as this, it reads like prose to me whereas whatever I write tends to be more like a poorly translated instruction manual. I find this my biggest road block to any writing I guess

    Like

  33. Yeah Dude, keep opening the Kimono and putting stuff like this out there and like the master martial artists there won’t be anything left to be defensive of. Sooo Meta. You taking a page out of Altuchers book?🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. How do you make turmeric tea in a french press. Do you simply use powder? Do you add black pepper for absorption? That concoction sounds tasty, I think I will try that

    Like

  35. I like this type of post. I love seeing other folks morning routines. It’s really cool how people start their days in so many different ways. where do you get your tea?

    Like

  36. Tim,

    Thanks! I have been delaying my journal ambitions because yes, I feel like my writing is so pathetic. BUT, when I do go back and re-read the journal posts I have made, you can definitely tell I was shedding some weight that allowed me more energy for the day. Kudos for sharing!!

    Like

  37. Thanks Tim….I loved this post and you! You are successful and inspiring and at the same time such a real person. I’ve been journaling on and off for years and your right sometimes just bitching and moaning on paper can change your life because you get it out of your head and onto paper which helps let it go so you can move on to better ideas.

    Like

  38. For sure, these are my favourite type of blog posts. As a non-entrepreneur but someone who just applies Tim’s methods and ideas to every day life (automation, diet, etc.) posts like this are perfect. Will be trying this.

    Like

  39. Thought provoking read as usual Tim! I have sporadically tried to do this using the ‘Day One’ app on my computer, but I don’t think it is quite the same. Also, as someone who spends most of his waking hours staring at a computer, it is good to have any excuse to write physically, rather than type. Definitely going to try this out. All the best.

    Like

  40. Good stuff, it’s refreshing to meet someone (or, I suppose in my case, follow someone) who is willing to put themselves out there. Like their real-er selves. I loved your earlier post – “Productivity Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me) – as well.

    Like

  41. Hi Tim. Yes, keep writing posts like this, and as you always do. Julia Cameron (author of the book you mentioned) saved my writing ass many years ago. Had given up on my writing ambition. Bought her book, The Right to Write, and starting reading it as I rode in the Boston Subway.

    67 Morning Page Journals later, and one published book (Get What You Want) but more on the way. I find writing “just for the hell of it” in Morning Pages to be liberating. Anyway, thanks for you great work. Am 68 years old, but feel, act, and think like a 24-year-old. Your books and posts are shots of adrenaline to the spirit. Keep it up.

    Like

  42. Top post. I’ve known the value of journaling and wanted to start it for many years but my perfectionist inclinations have held me back for not having something ‘worth’ journaling.

    So tomorrow is the first day I brain dump my thoughts of the morning on paper… Now… Need to find the right pen to write with😉

    Like

  43. Thank you Tim. As I follow you more and more, I am appreciative of your personal insights because it gives me a better understanding of how you think and view life. Your ten questions podcast and these type posts, all help me better understand and interpret what you provide. Inspirational and educational.

    Now, go be awesome! (some more)
    Tane’

    Like

  44. I agree: You should definitely do more posts like this.

    The longest time I spent journaling was using the online application called 750 Words. They send you an email reminder each morning and allow you to save your ramblings to Evernote. Therapeutic is definitely the right word for this practice.

    Like

  45. Do you only do one page or are you only showing one page? I have attempted to make morning pages a habit for years. I am committed to making it stick this year, but sometimes the time requirement for 3 pages is a bit much in my morning routine (pickup house, eat, walk dog, exercise…).

    Like

  46. Like:

    I agree: You should definitely do more posts like this.

    The longest time I spent journaling was using the online application called 750 Words. They send you an email reminder each morning and allow you to save your ramblings to Evernote. Therapeutic is definitely the right word for this practice.

    Like

  47. I have been bitching and moaning in morning pages since 1999. I’m not sure I am any more successful but I must say that re-reading them 10 years later is entertaining at worst and has given me a few “aha” moments! I would love to hear more about your journey with your morning pages!

    Like

  48. Hey Tim,

    This is Ted from the quad squad. Hope your well mate.

    We just released the book of my friend Valerios journal (includes his blog post, Facebook messages, sms and personal journals) of the world record breaking journey.

    It’s amazing to read and relive the memories in my head and think about the good times we had together (as well as the tough times in our relationship).

    I would love to send you a copy. It’s a bilingual book which I know you would like.

    Email me. [Moderator: email removed]

    Ps keep being awesome.

    Like

  49. I believe this is a great email I’ve just recieved at the perfect time! I’ve been journaling like this for the past 2 years almost every single day. I’ve written about almost everything from people in my life to new discoveries it is raw as well. I think it’s great to share ideas I write a lot down. Whatever’s on your mind and is written down can help you and others in the future. I’m really glad I got to read even this. I was just thinking of all the pages I have written down in journals… would they help others?? You never know. Most probably yes!

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  50. Meditation, morning pages, 30 g of protein. What do I do first!? I have an overbooked/overspec’ed 1st hour of the day.

    Any recommendations? I suppose it depends on what’s the current goals. But, for instance: assuming no need for serious fat loss at the moment, can the protein wait until the 2nd hour?

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  51. I’ve done morning pages for 10 years now (I’m only 28) and I’ve noticed weird patterns — where sometimes it makes bad days worse. I think you have to push yourself to really dig deep.

    Here’s one question I’ve learned centers everything, especially for entrepreneurs: “What do I want my day to look like?”

    – Chris
    [Moderator: link removed]

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  52. Great read. I always noticed several things when I kept my daily journal up to date. First, as you succinctly pointed out, it is indeed like spiritual windshield wipers (clears the focus even after a rough night). I also noticed that when keeping up with it my handwriting (which is quite good) always got better as well I believe due to the calming and intimate nature of the subject (deeper concentration). One other point which I found interesting though is that when I was remiss in not writing it was like one feels when they did not floss their teeth in the morning – like one personally cut corners and it always seems to lay a guilt complex on me until I rectify it later in the day. Then everything seems better. I guess it is more or less a personal discipline than anything else.

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  53. This post = yes! I too blast off 10 minutes of mind babble in the mornings. (I also keep a separate sheet of paper nearby for “to-dos” as they come to mind; I jot them down and go back to writing). Lastly, the reason it works for me is because it’s so easy (wake up, throw on a hoody and write), no high level thinking required. On a really stressful day, I just wrote the f-word down for the first 3 minutes. Done.

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  54. Great read. Do you think you could have the same benefits typing a morning journal on a computer instead of writing by hand? Also, any instructions on your tea. Looks amazing!

    Thanks!

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  55. You are spot on with getting stuff out of your head so it doesn’t bounce around in there all day or night. I have to laugh to myself at times when i think “if anyone ever reads this muck, they’ll get the impression I was extremely unhappy or frustrated all the time.” And the contrary is more the rule, probably because I do journal all the gunk out of my head.🙂 Thanks for sharing your notes – I always learn and enjoy seeing another person’s perception of life and a peek of what’s going on in their head.🙂

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  56. love this post. I stopped doing morning pages years ago for no good reason but they were a cool way to dump mental clutter.

    Half your luck you’ve got a tame little monkey mind buddy…some days I get so lucky, other days I wake up with a pack of wild dogs in my head. They start up upon waking and run feral and psychotic until I do something useful to calm them…or not as the case may be.

    At least it’s made me spend a lot of time and money seeking stillness and they’ve been a blessing in disguise for that.

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  57. After many years of doing morning pages, I found many insights and understanding of experiences. They also allowed me to just get a lot of s… out that had no where else to go!

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  58. I loved this post Tim. I enjoy these posts about everyday habits and how one can go about one’s day more effectively. They really play a much bigger role than anticipated. I too find writing in the morning a great ‘harddrive defrag’ but as many other helpful habits it’s hard too sustain without reminders. I’m setting an alarm for it right now.

    Cheers,

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Agreed with everyone else. More posts like this.

    After hearing Brian Koppelman talk about morning pages on his podcast as well as you talk about them on yours, along with this post, that’s the last push I needed to start them.

    Keep inviting us in on your journey. Things like this are what separate you from the rest.

    Best,
    Kevin

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  60. I have to say Tim, that this could be my favorite post ever. I will start a journal tomorrow to write down all the nonsense stuff that is on my head in the morning. Who knows it may make sense if I read another day lol. Amei, escreve mais, por favor.

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  61. I really enjoy your posts in all their dimension. You always give something useful that you figured out and share it with us. It was interesting that your posted this now cause I just started writing my morning journal and a bit of inspiration is always welcome.

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  62. Hey Tim,

    It’s Ted from the Quad Squad. Mel’s friend. When I saw this I was reminded of the donation you made to our cause and thought I would let you know that we published Valerio journals of the world record breaking journey.

    Wanted to send you it. Let’s see if this works to somehow get it to you.

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  63. I think this post was great. I began the same jounaling process recently. I have done it in the past but only to get through stressfull times. Now I am doing it to help stay positive and meditate on improvement in all aspects of my life. This type of personal post is great.

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