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Your ego needs a journal. Here’s why…

During your time inside…

What have you found to be absolutely necessary?

What have you learned you can live without?

Have you made plans for your future self (3-5 years from now)?

Have you taken the time to think about your legacy?

You are probably thinking, “What did he just say? Legacy? I am struggling to get through this week let alone the rest of my life!” 

Needless to say, this legacy stuff can be daunting. It’s often difficult to envision what you want to be remembered for or what you want to truly accomplish in your life. Most are struggling to hash out short term goals, family life, job frustrations, what to have for lunch, where the next paycheck is coming from, and so on. COVID-19 surely did not help, however, it may have forced us to press the pause button for a second to consider what is truly important.

Advisors, whether financial, spiritual, or the like, may too often move straight to the solution (product) to your problem without addressing the purpose of actions being taken. Basically, what will constitute “success” for you over the next few years, not just in financial terms, but in life terms, too? Are you allocating your time and money in line with your intentions, what you find fulfilling, and what brings you joy? These questions may be hard to answer, but only you can answer them. 

The healing benefits of journaling

According to research, (The Health Benefits of Journaling) journaling can help you in many ways and hashing out your legacy may be one of them. The article Why You Should Start a Journaling Habit + How to Begin lays out why journaling is a healthy habit to start:

  • Empowers you to live true to yourself 
  • Teaches you to make more intentional choices
  • Grounds you when you feel overwhelmed or out of control

When talking to entrepreneurs about business problems, I constantly run into their mental blocks. Sometimes they cannot move forward because they are thinking of situations where circumstances and people are tyrannically preventing them from completing an objective. This needful task is often necessary to sink the opposition’s battleship. Some coaches or advisors may say that blaming others is just a tired “excuse” and to get over it – then immediately giving a solution to the problem that the business owner will never execute because the solution was not paired with a purpose.

Make friends with your ego

It is not my intention to get overly philosophical, but I think understanding ego will help people journal more and become better leaders of their own realm. (Full disclosure, there’s an Ayn Rand quote coming up and I just want you to be prepared.) No one and no-thing should lead you. You are the leader of your own life. A common belief we humans hold is ego = selfishness. To squash this, I will now introduce to you the musings of cheery ol’ Ayn:

Selfishness, however, does not mean “doing whatever you please.” Moral principles are not a matter of personal opinion — they are based in the facts of reality, in man’s nature as a rational being, who must think and act successfully in order to live and be happy. Morality’s task is to identify the kinds of action that in fact benefit oneself. These virtues (productivity, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, pride) are all applications of the basic virtue, rationality. Rand’s moral ideal is a life of reason, purpose and self-esteem.

The Virtue of Selfishness | AynRand.org

I often reiterate to entrepreneurs that, every day, the plane is crashing; sh*t is going down. The oxygen masks have fallen, you don’t have much time. What do you do? Everyone who sat in a plane knows the answer: you put the mask on first then help the person beside you if they need help. Did the airlines take a page out of Rand’s book? Maybe airline attendants should be business coaches? Just thoughts…

The point is that you need to plan for the future by staying calm, seeking help, and taking responsible, calculated action. Ever hear the phrase, how can you love others when you don’t love yourself? (lol)  

One must have the conviction that what they are doing is right and beneficial to all within (and outside) their influence in order to move the success marker. Ego is a good thing, it means you are aware of who you are and what you can effectuate in the world (that you are confident in your skills). 

From Fast Company Why Real Leaders Have Strong Egos (And That’s A Good Thing) [the ego is] dualistic. Yes, you must serve and support and help and encourage [others]. And to do that, you must be compassionate and humble. But before you can do any of those things, you need to develop confidence in yourself–not arrogance, but well-justified faith in your own abilities. That takes discovering how you–uniquely–can support both yourself and other people to go through the same process, to “self-actualize” in reaction to all the messiness of business and life.”

Practice reflection to plan your legacy

Starting a journal will help you understand what you want your legacy to look like. Taking steps toward you legacy will require guidance (from the right advisor/mentor) to get there, and insight into who you are to fulfill (thus the journal).  

What did I out of the shutdown? I have been journaling, writing, and creating. Not to mention working hard, stress eating, and going stir crazy. To cope I looked for guidance. I found this article 5 pieces of essential life advice from seniors, read it, and started to have real conversations with friends and strangers. 

  1. Think of hard times like bad weather — they too will pass.
  2. Draw inspiration from all the people you meet.
  3. Love your work — for the salary and for the people.
  4. Find mentors who can guide you and challenge you.
  5. Make the most of less.

I found that I have been repressing creativity because I am always doing things for other people. Now I limit my altruism (Rand despises altruism and would encourage me to get rid of it altogether) and practice creativity -the article you just read is a product of that creativity I guess. Entrepreneurship is one of the most creative endeavors humans can undertake, probably more than traditional art.

Nick Briguglio
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