Why You Should Keep a Journal

UPDATED: October 9, 2023
PUBLISHED: January 12, 2023
woman journaling to leave as a legacy

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 and leave it as a legacy.

I used to take notes on pieces of paper, 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, something people found interesting. “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 $26 to put in there. But if you ever got ahold of one of my journals, you wouldn’t have to look very far to discover that it’s worth more than that.

3 things to leave as a legacy

Keeping a journal is so important. In fact, it is one of three important treasures to leave as a legacy for the next generation:

1. Your pictures

Take a lot. Don’t be lazy in capturing an event. How long does it take to snap a photo? A fraction of a second. How long does it take to miss an event? A fraction of a second. So don’t miss the pictures—when you’re gone, they’ll keep the memories alive.

2. Your library

This is the library that taught you, instructed you, helped you defend your ideals. It helped you develop a philosophy. It helped you become wealthy, powerful, healthy, sophisticated and unique. Your library—the books that instructed you and fed your mind and soul—is one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind as a legacy.

3. Your journals

These are the ideas you picked up and the information that you meticulously gathered. Of the three, journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you’re a serious student. Taking pictures—that’s pretty easy. Buying a book at a bookstore—also pretty easy. It is a little more challenging to be a student of your own life, your own future, your own destiny.

Take the time to write notes and keep a journal. You’ll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind as a legacy when you go. What a treasure to enjoy today!

This article was published in May 2016 and has been updated.
This article originally appeared on JimRohn.com and has been republished with permission.
Photo by Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Shutterstock