Write to explore, examine and expand your philosophy of life
Keep a journal to:
help process your environment,
review and examine intentions and actions,
identify opportunities for improvements, or self-directed learning.
This is a common leadership training exercise today, but did you know that journaling is not unique to our busy hectic lives? The Meditations was never meant for publication: it was the private journal of Emperor Marcus Aurelius intended for self reflection on his philosophy of life. As well, other authors like Seneca and Cicero wrote "consolation letters" dealing with compelling issues that were intended to bring comfort in the face of adversity...to the reader...and the writer!
Donald Robertson (an eminent stoic scholar) writes about this in his blog (Consolation Literature and Stoic Self-Help) and refers to another stoic, Paconius Agrippinus who (according to Epictetus) wrote "consolation letters" to himself to help explore and examine a variety issues he encountered in his life.
"The Consolation of Philosophy" is another classic example of a consolation letter written to bring comfort to its author. (see Stoic Living / Lady Fortune)
Your exercise in journaling should be a calming experience. So, get comfortable and take time away from your busy day to settle in for some sober self-reflection and self-evaluation. No one else has to see it. It's for your personal edification. It can make you a better person.
To make your journal useful, consider these tips (and Seneca's advise for evening meditations):
Identify what went right today? What went wrong? Identify challenges.
Consider actions taken by yourself. Did they help or hinder you? Upon reflection, are there alternative ways to deal with these challenges?
Do you need to congratulate or reprimand yourself for actions taken?
Who else can help? What are their strengths?
What did you learn today? Who helped you see the light? Did you thank them?
Prioritize. What needs your attention today/tomorrow?