Writing is a superb way to solidify your thoughts and feelings. It is also a great way to incite action. I’ve had the pleasure of being exposed to the writing process and have experienced first-hand the power of writing to bring about more success and happiness in my life. This sounds so simple it’s almost ridiculous! But its power is enormous. I’d like to share ways writing can positively transform your life.
1. Draft your personal obituary. It may seem a little morbid, but taking the time to script your obituary can be revealing. Read through the obituaries in the paper to get in touch with what is being written about others. Most obituaries chronologically describe the life and achievements of the person. What would you like to see in your obituary? Use your imagination. Write your obituary describing your intended achievements and hallmarks of your life as if they had already occurred. Be inspired by Mark Twain who shared, “Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”
“Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”
2. Scribe a story in which you are the hero. Every great story has a hero, no matter the age, no matter the culture. You are the hero of your story. Use your imagination and write a short story with you featured as the hero. What obstacles will you face on your journey? What challenges will you defeat? What is your prize for moving forward and overcoming your adversity? Live the adventure on paper, and then go live your life with the same purpose.
3. Compose a full page of affirmations. What is your internal dialogue? Does it lift you up? Does it bring you down? Communication research shows that the average person carries on an internal dialogue at the rate of 500 to 600 words per minute. Unfortunately, most of that dialogue is negative. One incredible way to interrupt negative thinking is to recall and silently recite affirmations. Here are some examples: “I have an abundance of positive energy.” “I am confident in my abilities.” “I take action to achieve my goals.” Write a list of affirmations and display it in a conspicuous place such as on your refrigerator, pinned up on your office or cubicle wall or tapped to your bedroom door.
4. Script a list of positive qualities you possess. It’s easy to forget what our strengths are if we focus on our weaknesses. Draft a list of your positive attributes. It’s a good idea to get feedback from your friends, family and other associates. Review and savor your positive qualities. Refer to this list whenever you feel the need to get super-charged.
“All that is needed to make a happy life is within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
5. Write a contract with yourself. Contracts hold agreements intact. Write a contract with yourself describing what you are willing to do in order to achieve your goals. What actions will you take, what behaviors will you engage in to achieve your goals and by when? Sign your name and add the date. Have a witness do the same. Give this contract to someone who will hold you accountable to following through.
6. Correspond a letter to a friend or family member. Much appreciated is a letter from a kindred spirit. A short note or a lengthy letter, whichever you choose to offer will be graciously accepted. Connecting with people we care about holds a tremendous amount of significance. Take five minutes out of your busy schedule to get in touch with old acquaintances and to re-connect with family members, in writing.
7. Make a record of your ideas. Every day your brain processes ideas that can simplify your life. Each great invention started with an idea. The initial solution itself probably did not work but writing it down infused the idea with life. Ideas can change the world. Keep a small notebook with you and write down ideas as soon as they come to you. Write down any questions for which you need answers. Let your subconscious work out a solution through the pen.
8. Draw up a personal mission statement. Many successful companies, both large and small, use mission statements. Companies such as Federal Express, Ford Motor Company, J. C. Penney and Microsoft utilize the power of mission statements to direct their decisions and actions. Write a mission statement for your life. What is your personal credo or code of conduct? What is your long-term purpose? What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered? Write it down and commit it to memory. John Stuart Mill said it best, “He who lets the world, or his portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need for any other faculty than ape-like one of imitation.
9. Author your autobiography in advance.Schedule time away from everything and everyone and outline your life from the perspective of living to 100 and looking back. Fill in your major accomplishments, the challenges you overcame, the people you touched. The adventured you experienced.
Best of success to you!