As a young man in my early twenties the activities of reading, writing and journaling were far from my mind. But as I headed out of my twenties and now in my thirties, these activities have become an essential part of my maturity as a man. Believe it or not, they can help you grow as well.
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I think it’s pretty safe to say that most men do not make any form of writing or journaling a part of their lives anymore. It’s something that takes time, patience and a discipline that this culture doesn’t promote. The problem is that without these things, it becomes difficult to grow in essential areas needed to excel in this life.
With the amount of available time being a critical factor in my own life, I decided to pursue learning and maturing in smaller bite sizes. I started setting aside short clips of time, like 20-30 minutes a week, and get into a good book. Books like “Wild at Heart“, “Man Up God’s Way” and “Next Generation Leader“, had deep impacts in my life. I started following sites and blogs like “FiveStarMan“, “Art of Manliness” and “EveryMan Ministries“. All of these sites and more continue to help me stay on track and mature in my walk with God.
If you want to mature, you have to be intentional in setting aside time to read and learn from other mature men. [TWEET THAT]
Now as you pursue this process of learning, growing and maturing; you will start to see the benefits of it quickly. You’ll start to see the impact of what you are learning in your relationships, your work, your marriage and so on. You’ll actually see enough benefits that you’ll continue to pursue this path because you’ll start to see things in a new light. This was the way it was for me at least.
When I did start seeing the benefits of all of this, I not only wanted more, but I wanted to track what was happening. So on one side I started writing Manturity, and on the other side I started keeping a quote journal. Again, this goes back to the time factor. The 20-30 minutes a day or week for deep learning is essential, but tracking what you learn becomes critical as well. This is why I have kept a quote journal for over 2 years now and have written nearly 200 of my own personal quotes.
A personal quote journal is not for tracking quotes you like from others; it’s for tracking quotes that you have written personally.
For the last two years I have maintained my own quote journal and I love it. The journal has become one of my strongest tools in keeping me on track in my maturing process and for helping me stay disciplined. There’s nothing fancy about my journal, in fact you can get the one I use right here; it just contains two original quotes on each page of the book, nicely written.
My own quote journal has been a powerful tool for me personally and I’d like to share with you the 5 benefits I have found from doing it.
1) Summarize the information you have been learning or living
Again, this goes back to making sure you are intentionally setting aside time to learn and grow. If you are taking this time on a consistent basis, then you’ll see how those things start to impact your life everyday. And as the impact is noticed, you can start tracking them via journaling. For myself, it took about two years after truly making an effort to learn and then I started keeping a quote journal. In short clips, I was (and still am) able to share my personal thoughts, experiences and challenges. Summarize them into a short quote and the benefits will last you a long time.
2) Sharing them with others and allowing them to learn as well
Manturity is first and foremost a learning and maturing ground for myself, and the added benefit has been sharing what I learn with all of you. This same idea applies to your quote journal. As you start to track your quotes, don’t be shy or ashamed to share them with those around you. Share them often on your social profiles, use them for reference when talking on certain topics or send them out as an encouraging email to your friends. Not only will others be impacted by what your quotes say, but they will realize your maturity as a man and want to know more about what you’re doing.
3) Having your own words available at any time
This is one of my favorites benefits and probably the one I enjoy the most. With two years of quotes under my belt, it’s a powerful thing to be able to go back and read them. They are a great source of what you have learned, where you have been and why you are who you are. They are also a great tool if you feel yourself drifting in your normal, everyday life. My journal is all quotes and Bible verses on marriage, manhood and maturity. So as I experience tough moments in any of these areas, I can always refer back to my quote journal. They’re my words and the words of God, therefore I have no excuses.
4) Sharing the idea and benefits with others
Don’t just take my word on how effective and beneficial a quote journal will be; pick out your journal this week and start filling it up. Make the process of filling it out a daily habit. Get some quotes under your belt! I recently spoke with Jose, the founder of ConqueringManhood.com and he asked me what one of my best tools was for staying on track in life. I immediately got out my quote journal and told him of how I use it and what it has done for me. Within a few weeks, Jose told me that he started his own journal and was loving it. He even mentioned how calming and rewarding it was to fill it out each time. Start your journal, mature and share its impact in your life to those around you!
5) You stay disciplined and you mature
Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. It’s so hard to stay focused these days. It can be even harder to stay focused on one particular thing for a long period of time. Going back and seeing quotes of mine for over two years now is a testament to my discipline. It’s a testament to my faithfulness in Christ and the strength He can pour out to you if you keep pursuing Him. My personal quotes and powerful verses from scripture keep me disciplined and are absolutely maturing me in more ways than I could have imagined.
Added Benefit: Imagine how cool it would be have tracked your own quotes for the next 10 to 20+ years. Imagine how awesome it would feel to have accomplished something like that. YOU have that power! You have that opportunity! So start this week!
Question: What is one way you could benefit from starting a quote journal? What other method of tracking your thoughts has worked for you? Share below or engage on social media.