Both Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln are said to have kept journals. They used them as tools, recording their thoughts and aspirations, goals, progress, and lessons learned from setbacks and trials.
Keeping my journal gives me quiet time, time to reflect on the day. Things I did well, areas and times where I slipped and did not do as well as I know how to do. Often it’s not that I did wrong per se but rather that I did not do my best. This is most true in human interactions, particularly in times when I am choosing to interpret things as stress or pressure or criticism. Fatigue often is a factor.
Take the high road. Take the highest road you can imagine. This is my mantra to myself: Take a higher road. Not in a sanctimonious way but in a humble, authentically human way. My responses in times of heat are often not wrong or even bad, it’s just that they could be gentler, more helpful, more effective. There was a higher road I could have taken.
I remember my dad, my greatest role model. Even though he raised three rambunctious kids by himself, I only remember Dad losing his temper once. Once over decades of 24/7 exposure! Oh, to do as well.
Find a higher road and take it. Every day, another level higher. Even if only a silly millimeter, it adds up. Persistence is powerful and intelligent, good-hearted effort counts for a lot.
And as always, I share what I most want to learn.
“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” — Abraham Lincoln
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share our riches but to reveal to him his own.” — Benjamin Disraeli