📝Documenting your journey
You already know that I like taking notes. Another similar concept that helps you get better clarity of your mind is journaling.
How journaling differs from note-taking? When you take notes, you are focused on what you learned and want to hold for the future. With journaling, you're focused on the present and you write down everything you don't know as well as what you know.
Journaling can take different forms. Some of them are more structured than others. There are Morning Pages (which can also be a therapeutical device), there's interstitial journaling, gratitude journaling (I'm particularly fond of Five Minute Journal), and even art journaling. You might have heard of the Bullet Journal method as well.
Cool, but what are the benefits of journaling? I've mentioned clarity of mind. It might not be obvious how this happens. Let me give you an example.
On rubber ducks
Have you ever struggled to solve a problem for a long time only to give up and ask for help finally? Then, as you were explaining the situation to someone, a solution came to your mind? This is known as a rubber duck effect. The name comes from rubber ducks people put on their desks. You talk to the duck if there's nobody around to talk to.
After all, it is not the person you asked for help which led you to the solution. It is the fact that you articulated your problem which made you think about it differently. This is where journaling comes in. Instead of a real person or a rubber duck, you can articulate your thoughts in a journal.
You shouldn't think of your journal as something disposable, though. Even though it's focused on the present, it can also document the past. There were many times when I found myself solving the same problem I had before. But alas, I couldn't remember how I solved it the last time. With an indexed journal that I now maintain, it is easy to check the steps I took.
The myth of the Labyrinth
In other words, a journal can be your Ariadne's string leading you out of the Labyrinth of your thoughts.
In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos. The same king commanded Daedalus and Icarus to built the Labyrinth, an elaborate maze almost impossible to escape. The Labyrinth was a prison for Minotaur, a terrible half-man half-bull.
When Theseus set out to conquer the Minotaur, Ariadne gave him a ball of string. This way, Theseus could retrace the steps that led him to the deadly beast. Rather than being imprisoned in the Labyrith himself, Theseus was able to escape and celebrate his victory.