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Why I finally started journaling


When I was first introduced to Sandler years ago, one of the first things they told us we should do was journal. I heard, "If you really want to be successful in Sandler, and you want to continually get better, you need to journal."

That was a new idea to me. And when we hear new ideas, we either embrace them, defend against them, or blend them with how we currently think about the world.

When it came to journaling, I wasn't ready to embrace it. I wasn't even ready to blend it. My subconscious immediately defended against it. I rejected the idea!

I remember my thought process vividly. My subconscious mind said, "That's dumb. Teenage girls journal. I'm not a teenage girl. I don't need to journal."

Then I went to another Sandler meeting. Then one of our regional meetings. Then one of our conferences. Time after time, I kept hearing successful people in Sandler say good things about journaling.

Yet I still defended.

Then I was visiting one of my counterparts in Sandler down in Dallas. At that point, he had been in the business about 20 years.

To this day, I think very highly of him and the business he's built over the years. He's done an absolutely amazing job. He has tremendously loyal clients, including some that have been on retainer with him for more than 20 years now.

We were sitting in his office, and I asked him how I could achieve anywhere close to the same level of success he had achieved.

"Look back there," he said, pointing to a bookcase in the back of his office.

I turned around. I hadn't paid attention to the bookcase previously, and there was row after row after row of nice, leather-bound notebooks.

"What are those?" I asked.

"Those are my daily journals," he responded. "That's every journal I've written in for the last 20 years."

"You're kidding me!"

"Mike, when I started this business, I thought I had it all figured out. I didn't think I had to listen to anyone. I struggled for years! Until I finally embraced the fact that journaling could help me."

We visited for a few more minutes. When I left, I had decided to give journaling a shot. I stopped at a bookstore on my way back to Oklahoma, bought a leather journal, and started journaling as soon as I got back.

What I saw happen in me and my business was a dramatic transformation.

Now, I'm not saying I'm problem free. But what I found was that journaling allowed me to work through issues, frustrations, and challenges. It allows me to get to resolutions far quicker than I did before. Journaling allowed me to see things more clearly, including things that I used to way over-complicate.

Obviously, I can't force you to embrace journaling. But I resisted it for a long time, and now I'm a daily journaler. I find that mornings work best for me, so I journal Monday through Friday morning and occasionally on the weekend as well.

Journaling gave me the ability to slow down and reflect on what was and wasn't working, the good that had happened, the bad that had happened, and how I felt about it all.

Journaling changed my life. If you stop defending against it like I did, it can change your life, too.

Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall

Crandall is the Principal of Sandler in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He works with business owners and motivated individuals to create and implement Professional Development Strategies to foster the growth of individuals, teams, and organizations.