Creating the Blueprint for an Evolved Enterprise Part Two: Creative Journaling
This article is a summary of Yanik Silver’s webinar about the art and science of journaling. It’s part two of a three-part series where we explore the tools and techniques that can help you:
- Define your vivid vision. (Part One)
- Capture new insights and create a deeper awareness of yourself and your business through journaling. (Part Two)
- Create phenomenal engagement through storytelling. (Part Three)
*The full Creative Journaling workshop is available for free when you buy one of our Village Visionary book bundles.
Part Two: Creative Journaling
For Yanik, his journal is like a “magical secret weapon.” Looking back through history, some of the most influential leaders have kept journals—so there must be something to it!
Before you start, Yanik outlines a couple of must-dos:
It’s for your eyes only. Take security precautions if you feel it’s necessary to protect what you write in your journal.
- Write, but don’t edit. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or how it looks.
- Set time aside to write in your journal! Just schedule out 10-15 minutes a day to let it become a habit you enjoy.
An excellent way to enhance your journaling is by choosing a high-quality journal you’ll enjoy writing in. Yanik also uses a whole collection of Stabilo colored pens for his writing and drawing. (He recommends choosing an unlined journal so you can draw pictures.) Customize it so you feel a personal attachment to your journal. And most importantly, have fun with it!
You might be thinking, “But I can’t draw!” The quality of your drawing really doesn’t matter—it’s the process that’s important. Pictures, colors, words—they all fire different parts of the brain and help you remember more!
The Science of Journaling
Journaling helps you create the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Whether you’re writing about an idea or maybe recording a deal that went bad, journaling is a proven method to help you work through the process and is proven to make you happier.
“So this is just a quick example of one. And this is more like a thought I had around New Year’s Eve and how… You know, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But what if, really, we had some sort of new world or new earth resolution, what would we contribute to that? And so that was this idea, and so it turns into something else.”
Another well-recognized benefit derived from journaling is when you make notes on all the things you can be grateful for. Our day-to-day routines often focus on the mundane, so by listing all the good things in your life, you can re-balance your outlook and increase your happiness.
Keep at I
Useful journaling is about creating good habits, so set aside 10–15 minutes each day, maybe first thing in the morning or later in the evening. Whenever you do it, the secret to success is making it an integral part of your day.
Journaling is an excellent tool for working through ideas and answering important questions. It’s the place where you draft out your thoughts, amend them, and create new versions. A look at the journals of great inventors is proof that this iterative process is the key to innovation.
|Here is an early version of Yanik’s Ecoverse concept…|
|…and look how it has evolved.|
Asking the Right Questions
Journal entries can be triggered by a question—and by asking better questions, you can generate high-quality answers. Here are a couple of Yanik’s favorite questions:
- What would I do if I was starting over knowing what I know now?
- What would my 111-year-old self tell me?
- Would I be happy in the same situation ten years from now?
Here’s a huge question (from a book called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown):
What would I do even if I knew it would fail? This question asks that you separate “reward” from the life you live or the work you do and ask yourself, “Would I still do it?” Another way of approaching that topic is with the question, “What would I do if money wasn’t even a consideration?”
The language you choose when posing your questions is vital—instead of “Why isn’t this working?” go with empowering questions like “How can I make this work?”
|When Yanik asked himself, “What would my 111-year-old self say?” his answer (by way of a drawing) was: “Light 1,000 suns who have the capacity to each light 1,000 more.” This image became the foundation for Maverick 1000 and Evolved Enterprise. The sun is a metaphor for entities that create their own universe and sustain it through life-giving energy.|
Left Hand, Right Brain
Bill Donius wrote a book called Thought Revolution, and it’s a highly recommended read. Bill has a technique for unlocking the answers you need when journaling by writing or drawing with your alternate hand. This process activates neural pathways that open up your brain to more creativity, wholeness, and intuition.
You can use this technique when posing questions: First, answer your question with your dominant hand. Then go back and answer it with your non-dominant hand and see what the answers are. Your dominant hand tends to write from a place of aspiration, whereas your non-dominant hand usually comes from a place of higher wisdom.
Quotes, Hidden Messages, and Symbolism
Journals are the perfect place to gather and record your favorite quotes. Yanik likes to add value to his quotes by associating them with a drawing or an image that intensifies the meaning and makes them more memorable. Drawings can trigger ideas, and on occasion, they can even send subliminal messages to you.
|A simple giraffe drawing by Yanik inspired the thought: “Looking higher and further, what do I see?” This thought led him to develop the ideas that ultimately resulted in the Evolved Enterprise model.|
Carl Jung believed that humans decode meaning through images and symbols—they provide insight into the collective unconscious memories that reside in all of us. For example, the praying mantis symbolizes patience and taking it slow.
Yanik was considering what to do on his birthday when he encountered a praying mantis at his front door. He took this as a message to slow the pace down and spent a very productive day journaling on his thoughts for what’s next!
There is no doubt how powerful journaling can be, but you shouldn’t take it too seriously—keeping it playful is the key to gaining those wonderful new insights into your world, and it’s important to have fun with it and enjoy the outcomes.