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Volume 14, Issue 3                     March 1, 2018                    $4.95

Welcome to this month’s EZine. Do you keep a Journal? Read about my 7 reasons for keeping one.
Best regards,

Mark Matteson
The Value of Keeping a Journal  
by Mark Matteson
I re-read my latest journal this morning and was amazed by the quality and quantity of great ideas contained therein. It hit me then, when did I start on this journey of discovery and personal reflection? In 1983, my wife and I went to Mexico for a delightful eight-day vacation. My mother, who was a travel agent for many years, gave me a journal for the trip. She did that for her clients. I diligently kept track of what we saw, did, and spent. The journal made the trip much more meaningful. With the journal, I got FROM the trip, not just THROUGH it.

Since that time, I have faithfully filled up at least four journals a year for 34 years. They make up a good part of my personal library.

The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal. Take long walks in the woods. —Robin S. Sharma, author and speaker

I kept a notebook, a surreptitious journal in which I jotted down phrases, technical data, miscellaneous information, names, dates, places, telephone numbers, thoughts, and a collection of other data I thought was necessary or might prove helpful. —Frank Abagnale, author of Catch Me If You Can

I heard Jim Rohn speak in 1994. He was Tony Robbins' first mentor. It was a life-changing day. He said:

If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential , cultured, and unique individual, keep a journal—don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down. I used to take notes on pieces of paper and torn-off corners and backs of old envelopes. I wrote ideas on restaurant placemats, long sheets, narrow sheets, little sheets, and pieces of paper thrown in a drawer. And the best way to organize all those ideas was to keep a journal. So I became a buyer of blank books. People found it interesting that I would buy a blank book. ‘Twenty-six dollars for a blank book, why would you pay that,’ they’d say. Well, the reason I paid it was to challenge myself to find something worth twenty-six dollars to put in there. But if you ever got a hold of one of my journals, you wouldn’t have to look very far to discover that it’s worth more than that.

So why keep a journal? Here is my short list of reasons. My hope is they inspire you to develop the journal habit. It changed my life.

  1. WINS! When something good happens, you close a sale, win an award, finish a challenging project, visit some exotic land, or your children earn a 4.0 grade point average, capture it all in your journal.
  2. GRATITUDE LIST! What are you grateful for? When you focus on what is great in your life, it gets bigger. It’s the Law of Focus. Gratitude attracts abundance. Cynicism attracts lack.
  3. LESSONS LEARNED! What went well? What could you improve? When I teach sales training, I encourage my audience to capture the lesson right after a sales call when the ideas are fresh.
  4. MIND MAPPING! Creativity and innovation exist on the right side of your brain. I liken mind mapping to a solar system. Place the goal or problem to be solved in the middle of the page of your journal and then fill it out with planets and moons. Once the page is full, prioritize the list of ideas (now you are working in the left side of your brain). Every book or article, including this one, began as a mind map.
  5. A LEGACY FOR YOUR FAMILY! After I am gone, my children and grandchildren can read my journals. They will understand the challenges I went through and experience the precious moments of their lives in a unique way. They will have, in a word, perspective.
  6. TOUGH TIMES! Journaling allows you to navigate through the rapids of change and adversity; trudge through the molasses of doubt and fear; and overcome worry and indecision.
  7. MAKE NEW MISTAKES! There is wonderful bit of advice from the TV show Breaking Bad when Walter White is treated to some wonderful wisdom, “Never make the same mistake twice!”

In my first book, Freedom from Fear, Len says, “The palest ink is better than the strongest memory.” If journaling was good enough for Anne Frank, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, Sylvia Plath, Lewis Carroll, Harry S. Truman, Mark Twain, George Patton, Beethoven, Ernest Hemingway, Ben Franklin, Anais Nin, Marie Curie, Lewis and Clark, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Nelson Mandela, why not for you, too?

I need to re-read that journal from Mexico. My wife and I are headed to Cabo San Lucas in May. I think I will invest in a new blank book just for the trip. Now hand me that pen…
Publication Data
Mark Matteson publishes his Sparking Success EZine Street newsletter on the first day every month.
Book of the Month
It's About Time  
By Mark Matteson
I dedicate an entire chapter on journaling. You can receive a signed copy from me by clicking on the link below to my online bookstore. I will toss in “The Hour of Power” Planning Pad for good measure! One of my clients read it and said, “This book should be called one thousand great ideas I never read before!” Thanks, Dave…
Mark resides in Edmonds, Washington and takes great pride in the fact he flunked high school English. To watch Markʼs demo video, go to:  

Mark Matteson gives over 75 presentations each year. Book him now to secure the inspiring message that will spark your group's success! To watch Mark's demo video, go to: Call 206.697.0454 or e-mail him at
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Mark Matteson is an inspiring speaker and the author of the international bestseller,  Freedom from Fear . For over 20 years, Mark’s positive humor and peak-performance tools have impacted organizations around the globe, igniting personal and professional success for tens of thousands of people.

When you schedule Mark, his high-powered, highly entertaining message will be tailored to your specific group – your audience will enjoy the take-away message  you  want them to hear. Mark will leave your people feeling encouraged, energized and empowered. They will feel good about your event, and they’ll feel great about the future.