How to Keep a Journal

By Robin Sharma

#1 bestselling author of The Leader Who Had No Title

Keeping a daily journal has not only changed my life – it saved it.

During my hardest and most painful times, I’d write my suffering out on a blank piece of paper. And I’d reconnect with all the simple blessings in my life – along with my highest dreams. My journal kept me going…

Groundbreaking research on elite performance and ultra-achievement is now confirming that keeping a journal on a regular basis boosts mental focus, increases self-confidence, elevates your mental attitude and increases the levels of happiness that you feel.

For YEARS, people at my seminars + those following me on Facebook + Twitter have been asking me to record a practical training video on why + how to keep a journal.

So in my hotel room in Luanda, Angola I did it. It’s a GREAT little video that explains the game-changing value of journaling in easy steps.

Please share this video:

Hope you’re getting a ton of SUPERB value from all this free training I’m sending over to you. I really wanted to do something special for you.

Let’s get you + your life to a completely new level of productivity + success + happiness. Actually, let’s help you shatter your limits, doubts and excuses so you become “one of the Great Ones.” Life’s just too short to play small.

Your success partner,

P.S. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A YEAR, I’m making a limited number of memberships to my famous 21-day online program for ultra-achievement and living a life you love available. The Robin Sharma Success System has helped THOUSANDS of people just like you defeat their fears, achieve giant goals and enjoy more happiness than they could ever have imagined.

If you’re ready for some DRAMATIC and LASTING improvements in your mindset, energy levels, productivity, performance, financial life and overall happiness, then – seriously – you truly cannot afford not to try this 21-day online Success System.

It comes with 100% money back guarantee so you have absolutely nothing to lose and the life you have always wanted to live to gain.

I’m not ready to make any of the limited memberships available as of yet, but to get onto the priority access list (PAL) to get advance chance at one of the limited memberships, go here.

Ok. That’s it for now. Go do something great today. Please.

Begin Video Transcript:

Hi. It’s Robin Sharma, the author of The Leader Who Had No Title. Welcome to my hotel room here in Luanda, Angola.

I just finished a Lead Without a Title presentation for about 500 leading executives here in this amazing country with incredible opportunity. Businesses from around the world are pouring into Angola. And I had a great presentation, a great time with them.

I’ve got my water filled with some vitamin C, one of my secret weapons on the road. I’m on this 10-country tour. I’m getting ready to go down to the gym to have a nice work out where I not only get my cardio going and do some resistance training, but also put on my iPod and go through audio books.

But this video is a very special one. First of all, I want to express gratitude to you for being with me on this video. I appreciate your time and I want to some great value. And this video is about a subject that a lot of people have been asking me about for a lot of years. Why keep a journal? And I talk a lot in my books about journaling.

From the stage I really evangelize the power of journaling to keep your mindset positive, to reconnect you with your goals every morning and your mission, to keep your productivity high, and to keep you nice and happy. And towards the end of this video I’m actually going to let you inside my own journal and show you what I wrote this morning, just to give you a really crisp and clear example of the kinds of things you can do in a journal.

But let me get right into it with why you should keep a journal. Number one, writing in a journal allows you to record your daily progress. There’s a lot of scientific research on the small win theory. And what it says is this, if every single day you record small daily acts of progress, you actually dump dopamine, a neurotransmitter, into your brain.

And that is a great source of motivation. You feel happy and you feel strong, and you feel inspired. So every single morning, in your holy hour from 5 to 6, take 20 minutes, record you’re wins of the previous day in your journal. It’ll keep you motivated, it’ll make you feel like you’re making progress, it’ll keep you inspired versus always feeling like you’re never achieving enough.

Second thing that you can do in your journal. Record daily insights. So every single day is a platform for learning more. I mean, if you just learn something but you don’t really record it, you really don’t deepen the learning into your mindset. So part of what I do my journal is I record daily learning in my journal. And that just increases my awareness.

So if I’m reading a book or listening to an audio book, by writing it down it increases the stickiness of the learning. And I can actually go back a week later and highlight the learning, so it becomes more powerful and I can act on it. Because you know this, ideation without execution is delusion. So you want to be executing constantly about what you’re learning.

What else? Writing in a journal is a great way to record gratitude. So you know, I think about that Persian proverb, I cursed the fact I had no shoes until I saw the man who had no feet. What am I suggesting to you? Well, the third reason to journal is so that you heighten your blessings, the good things in your life, in your mindset.

I mean, most of us have food on our table. Most of us have fresh drinking water. Most of us can breathe fresh oxygen. Most of us have people we love. Most of that us have work that matters. Most of us have all these incredible blessings that most people would never imagine having.

And yet we curse the fact that there’s too much traffic. We get upset about a difficult conversation with a hard customer. We stumble as we move towards closer our goals or our mission, and we get frustrated. And to make little things into big things and we start developing this mindset where little problems become problems. And as you know, a problem is only a problem if you choose to see it as a problem.

And what I’m suggesting to you is recording gratitude in your journal. Shift your mindset so you start to see things you didn’t notice around you. And everything becomes a miracle. And even this day becomes a blessing. And even if customer or a teammate or your child in front of you becomes this incredible blessing.

I mean, I remember when I was in South Africa on a previous trip that I was talking to someone driving a cab, who was driving us around from event to event. I said, where do you get your point attitude from? He was always smiling. And he said, every person in front of me is a blessing. I said, why? He said, because it’s not a dead body. He said, most of my life I’ve seen so many dead bodies around me. And he said, when I see a person in front me I smile because it’s life. It’s a human being in front of me. It’s not someone dead. And to me that’s the kind of thing that you could write about in your journal.

What else can you write about in your journal? Well, Bruce Lee, when he was worried, would dump his worry out onto pieces of paper and then he would light those pieces of paper onto fire. And he said, that little trick allowed him to clear out the worry from his mind so he could focus on what’s most important.

Now there’s a few lessons in that idea. I mean, first of all, creativity needs a space to present itself. If your mind is full of worry then there is no space for the muse, the creative goddess, to show up with your game changing ideas that you can then act on to get you to world class. So again, creativity needs space, but if your mind is so full of worry and different ideas, then creativity will not present itself.

The neurobiology, or neuroscience of it is alpha state. I know I’m giving you a lot of information here, but your brain needs to let go of the worry and relax so it can rise to the realm of genius, which is called alpha state. And that’s the state you have. We all have the realm of genius. But you need to create a space for those genius ideas to present themselves.

So writing in a journal allows you to release your worries, release all your mundane, trivial ideas that are swirling around your brain so then you can create that space to get those game-changing ideas that get your career, your business, you like, your fitness, your finances to world class.

And what I’m simply saying– this comes from the Ohio State University. They’re realizing that thoughts are almost like material things. And so when you write in a journal, you take these so-called almost-material things out of your mind, pour it out into paper, you’re then free to focus, to create, to relax, and to feel peaceful.

What else? In your journal you can write and record life’s daily progress. I mean, you have a great meal in a restaurant– I actually will take the business card, I’ll glue it in with my glue stick, I’ll put it right into my journal. And then I’ll write about the food, the space, the chef, the conversation, how I felt, when I learned.

I mean, Your life is worth living. Your life matters. Your life is legendary. Your life is epic. Record it every day. If you would have come into my home and walk into my study, you would see 10s and 10s of these leather bound journals, where I’ve recorded my days, my victories, my lessons, quotes that I love, pictures that I sometimes take on my phone and then I print out and put in here. I’ve got my collages in here of the places I want to ski, the places I want to visit, the things I want to have, the impact I want to have, it’s all in the journal.

Which brings me to my journal. I’m going to let you in it. This morning’s recordings, right now. OK. I promised I was going to take you right into my journal. So you can see, right here– and you can see I write things down all the time. This is my mole skin that I write– that I work out with. And I just get all these different ideas from audio books that I listen to or different influences.

So this is my journal. I’m letting you right into it. Today is Wednesday, February the 19th. I’ve written down [? Blessed ?] Luanda, Angola. You can see right here, daily gratitude. I hope you see this clearly. I’m just trying to be of service to you and let you right into my personal journal. And I’ve written down, I am grateful for my family, health– my family, they’re healthy, they’re passionate, they’re authentic, they’re loving and then they’re awesome.

Underneath that I put down I am grateful for my great health. Wealth is peak health. Health is the crown on the well person’s head that only the ill person can see. Right from my journal here in Luanda, Angola this morning.

And then I put down this thing, iteration. Because with better awareness you can make better choices. Better choices, better results. So leadership and excellence and world class is about iteration. So I’ve said, iteration– I want to start drinking four litres of water today, eat every four hours, which I try to do, and just stay clean. In other words, eating clean. By writing down your daily goals, research has shown you have a much greater ability to get the goals done. Daily goal setting is another thing you can do in your journal.

What else is in here? My daily gratitude. Well, my mission. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve 500 people today. To inspire, to uplift, to elevate, to educate, and to spread the Lead Without Title message. I hope this is helping you. Just trying to show you really practically– I’ve also written, I am so grateful to be out on this tour with Jason. Jason is our CEO. I so appreciate his excellence and commitment, and my team’s dedication, and our opportunity to do our part to change the world. Right out of my daily journal. Just to reinforce what’s most important. In this age of dramatic distraction, I come back to my mission every single morning in here and so can you.

I don’t want to bore you. Let me just keep on going here. I’m so grateful for the simple but beautiful meal at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday and the– oh, I can’t even read my own writing. Oh, the amazing audience at the event. And then, I am grateful for this day. My life in miniature. To pursue my craft, express my talents, and to have some fun.

And then what did I do this morning? I went, tour goals revisited. So daily goal setting. It just locks me in while the rest of the world is asleep, it locks me in to what this day is going to stand for so I can execute flawlessly. I put stay fit, strong, focused, and positive. Create content, ideate, and learn daily. That’s another one of my tour goals. It’s a 10-country tour. World class at every show. Serve the client. Proper rest, pacing, and be peaceful. Have fantastic meals, great– what is my writing here? Great conversation, have fun, increased experiences as a– increase my experiences as a global nomad and evangelize my message, Leading Without a Title, and being an inspirational force.

So there you go. I actually took you, for the first time I’ve ever done this, right inside my own journal and the notes that I made this morning here in Luanda, Angola. I hope you keep a journal. I hope you adopt this daily best practice that I’ve shared with so many elite performers from around the world. And if you’re currently already journaling, I hope you take the practice to the next level. I hope I’ve been of service to you. Bye bye from Luanda, Angola.

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55 Responses to “How to Keep a Journal”

  1. Vijay Nahata says:

    Thank You Robin for inspiring me:):) You are doing a great job for the mankind:):) May God bless you with the BEST always:):)


    Thanks Robin great inspiration and great idea thank you so much.

  3. Jean-François says:

    Hi Robin
    I’m keeping a journal with Evernote, more convenient than a paper book because I can update the journal with my smartphone, tablet and MacBook, anywhere and anytime.
    Is a handwritten journal more efficient than an electronic journal?

  4. Fiona Khan says:

    Hi Robin.That is very awe inspiring. However I found at first that keeping a dairy at first helped. The times and dates made it so much easier to start. It also hlped with the discipline and making one conscious of entries. Soon it is an enjoyable pleasure and one has so much more to write that the jounal is inevitable.lots of love n creativity.

  5. rohan mech says:

    Thanks Robin I will keep my journal and write my daily events everyday … keep motivating, keep inspiring …. God Bless You.

  6. Joe Okpara says:

    Hi Robin, this idea of keeping daily journal came into mind many years ago as an undergraduate. And since, it has always being in my mind. I kept on postponing it. The time has really come through your inspiration and no going back.
    Thank you very much Robin. Keep up this good work.

  7. Janice says:

    thank u robin,video transcript is a wonderful idea..sometimes we miss out a few words due to connection continue the same in the future too..thank you.

  8. shantha says:

    Dear Robin

    I am following all of your articles and videos , this video is muted ? No sounds , Please see whether there is error

    Thank you ….

  9. robin says:

    Thanks to each of you for your comments. Jean-Francois–i love writing on paper. Just tactile and powerful for me. But pls do what feels best for you. Kindest wishes. Robin

  10. Tarcitius Lakra says:

    It is going to strengthen my earlier practice which is lying dormant for sometime. Thanks for the inspirations … I’m also getting continuously inspired by your writings.. thanks once again.

  11. Dinesh Kumar says:

    Dear Robin,

    Your videos are awesome. I’m following all your instructions as much as I can to transform my life. From my life birth, I made my mind that I’m born here to do some great thing. so for I achieve little bit…… I hope I can achieve my destiny. you are one of the tool for my success….. Thank you soo much for your transforming teaching!!!!

  12. Kei says:

    Hi Robin, I’ve been enjoying your blog in Japan. Your inspiring writing always reminds me that seeds to happiness are already inside us, and we can change our life regardless of where we are and what we’ve been through by taking actions.
    I will keep journal to unlock potentials lying dormant in me and I’d like to strengthen my ability to love others and myself as you do.

  13. mukesh says:

    I regularly see ur video, inspiring a lot, helping in achieving mile stone.
    but some time implementation is little bit tougher task, journal keeping is one of than, any u will try hard. Thanks for video.

  14. sangita patnaik says:

    Thank u so much Robin Sharma for this valuable video.

  15. Deepak says:

    Good Morning Robin,
    ” I WILL” formalize this practice from today…. NOW….
    Thanks once again.

  16. Susanne says:

    Good morning, thank you for this reminder. I have started to write in a gratitude diary every night in bed but haven’t really started journaling yet. Will do from now on since I can related to all the mentioned benefits. Thanks for letting us into your very own personal journal. That is big.
    For a long time now I wanted to ask you the following. Is there a reason for you to always wear black or white shirts? I am super passionate about colour and am convinced that we all need all the colours there are around us- doesn’t mean we need to wear them close to our faces though. Just wondering. I love the power of colour and the psychology behind the great shades there are in this world. Lots of colour-full wishes.

  17. ami gaur says:

    m really thankful to God that He has make me to meet such a great person in my life.
    robin sir….thank you soooo much for this idea of being self motivated.
    i am following this and have learned a lot from my solitude time.
    love ur words……sir.

  18. V says:

    Thanks for sharing this great video, Robin. Do you think it makes a major difference whether I use a digital journal or a paper journal? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  19. Hamza says:

    I am grateful that I watched this video today. Lets start this practice of Journaling

  20. Drew Eversley says:

    Great idea Robin, I’m a novice at keeping a journal but have been familiar with the idea from Jim Rohn’s teachings years ago. I believe it something that I will begin to implement into my journey. I have different ways of planning and reviewing my day currently but I think that this will enhance it to see it in writing and be able to revisit it. To your continued success. Blessings.

  21. dr.thirumal says:

    hi robin,

    i been following ur videos since 2-3 yrs. fell in love with ur amazing book (Who Will Cry When You Die?) which i happened to read for the first time even before knowing about u. Since then i’ve been trying to change myself , i tried to change my lazy, procrastinating and many more bad habits , but im still the same old guy with continuous failures at work and getting scolded by my bosses daily . i tried to change myself thousands of times and took many resolutions but no change.

    Im a resident doctor in neurosurgery in hyderabad, India , i’ve got many miles to go in my life , but this my worst attitude killing me and making me use antidepressants,
    kindly help me plz
    thank u

  22. srividya says:

    Thank you sir, that is very inspiring video. I am following all of your articles and videos, very inspiring and self motivated.
    Thank you sir for your support.

  23. SANDEEP SHARMA says:

    Thank you Robin for such an awesome video…its really motivating & encouraging….thanks again

  24. Natarajan says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience on writing journal every morning. Even though I read about this idea from your books, I haven’t started the practice. I’ll do it from today.
    I have one doubt. As for as writing the blessings we have and our plan for the day is considered, it’ll help us to feel happy and focus on our daily goals.
    But is it not better that to review in the night before going to bed what has gone for that day and get an insight of the learnings?
    It’ll mean writing journal two times a day, one in the morning about our daily plan and the second one in the night to review and get an insight of the learnings for the day.
    Please give your view.
    Best regards

  25. Dr Nadeem says:

    Wonderfully explained Robin! You are a powerhouse of motivation. Does it matter if I write the journal at bed time?

  26. Aconcepts says:

    Hi Robin – I love your passion.

    The title was misleading. The title “How To” keep a journal is nothing about the “how to” of it, its about gratitude. I would think by the title you had a lay out or techniques to keep one inspired to write in a journal. Record daily learning, record small victories, record gratitude. Make space for creativity – So suggesting I journal my worries? I see the value but I don’t see the “How To” aspect. Blessings BTW what is the Mole Skin you work out with?

  27. Birendra NEGI says:

    Really reinforcing the basics to do each day work as per what you expect and align everything as per your way of being

  28. Brin says:

    Hi Robin, I have read/listened a lot about the benefits of “journalling” from you and this is one thing I could not do. Today I reread your blog and thought about it a lot. Writing is cathartic for me, but I usually destroy what I have written. However I have decided to make a worry list, maybe a first step to journalling. I have my goals and plans pretty clear in my head. I know where I am set. still there is a humongous amount of room for improvement.

    Thank you for sharing and not giving up on people like me who constantly need to be shown the right direction.

  29. helena says:


  30. Lisa Trepasso says:

    This message was inspirational and thank you. I am thankful that you were so open and honest sharing your journal. I follow your notes and teachings from the email and your pod casts and love the lessons you have taught me. I write down daily goals and have been for a year. It does truly help to launch a person forward.

  31. Reema says:

    Hi Robin, is your video not accessible in India?
    So keen to see it, but I’ve tried so many times and it simply doesn’t load.

  32. karunanidhi Bhargav says:

    Beeeeeeeeg Hiiiiiii Robin Sir…. maintaining a journal has always been on my priority list but I have had this keen desire to peep into your journal….. My wish of life get fulfilled in this video of yours… Thanks a ton..

    Your fan , ever and beyond…


  33. Diane Paulozza says:

    Thank you for sharing your Ways to Us in journaling our thoughts on paper with positive affirmations. I believe, they are good tool to empower ones capabilities for making us stronger and distinguishing that we truly are blessed people of this Earth and everyday is Eyes to see the wonders to Happiness right under our noses and free to capture it’s sensibilities to enjoy this freedoms of expressions of the Heart on paper. I like the idea!

  34. Suwarna Deshmukh says:

    Hi Robin, Your fan here. Its always inspiring to listen to your videos. I feel myself blessed to get immense inspiration from you. My lap top is full of your videos and blogs. Good thing I have already started writing my journal since beginning of this year, but wasn’t much clear of what more I can write, than just my daily goals. You shared it very positively. Its more than a journal for me now. My Best Regards Always. Thanks a lot!

  35. Morelle Love says:

    Thanks Robin, you inspire me a lot and always look forward to what you have to say. Am currently journaling and have always been ever since I was a little girl. And after watching, listening and reading your work, am definitely going to take it to another level. Thank you.

  36. Kartik says:

    Thank You ! Robin ! I am going through a tough time financially, your videos and mails have provided me with inspiration to fight my way through these difficult times.

  37. Natalia says:

    Robin…you are giving me soo many via your books, videos, emails..Im 16 so I consider that all as a great source of knowledge which I definitely will use in my life. I LOOVE THAT ALL SO MUCH! THANK YOU! You are doing GREAT JOB. <3

  38. BalakrishnaReddy .V.M says:

    Hi Rabin Sharma Garu , really i like all your inspirational advises and are very much awesome and very , very useful to everybody . Though it is very best and old concept to write journaling , in modern days , many of us forgot this useful one .But due to you only again this great Motivational advice came from you sir . You look like present day Mr.M.K. Gandhi and Sri. Swami Vivekananda . I am requesting sir , you please give your inspirational speeches and Motivational advice in every university , college and school in the world . So that every student will get benefit for their lives . As a human being , you should work for the entire Mankind .Since you are having caliber and you are practical man , may I wish this small request sir . Because you seem Global peace leader ,please think of it . Thank you sir

  39. Abdul rahman Abdulla says:

    Since I met and listened to you in a one day training in Bahrain, I have become addicted to your motivational teaching, speeches and books.
    You are doing a great job Robin Sharma.
    Thank you a lot.

  40. praveen says:

    Hi Robin,
    Really great. I use to write goals every day and follow-up for Project works, but not so familiar with journal writing. Thanks a lot for that.
    I am trying to implement most of your suggestions following listening your valuable seminar held at Bahrain. Thank you for all motivational videos, emails and encouraging in positive way.

  41. Lisa Chien says:

    Hi Robin,

    Thanks for coaching. This is a profoundly remarkable video in which show me the ideal, insight and perspective with writing a journal. We all know how it benefits our life from daily journey; however, we mostly are not having how is exactly to improving our life.

    I am going to do more from your coaching since I’ve been recording my daily schedule. Now, I’m going to do more with follow up with details of gratitude, awareness and inspiration.

    Enjoying your meaning trip. Thank you so much.

    Lisa Chien

  42. George P.O. says:

    Hi Robin

    Thanks for your messages and video. Inspiring and valuable. Going to do journaling right away. Thanks once again

  43. Bandula Jayasinghe says:

    I have been doing this for a long time now after reading your books.
    Thank you for the finer points.

  44. Shahour Khan says:

    Hi Robin,

    Thanks for the amazing motivational video on journal, I would like to tell you that I do practice journaling however I lose interest and stop finding time for it after a period of time.

    I shall be trying not to do so, perhaps you help on this would make a titanic difference.

    Your Fan Always.

  45. Anuradha says:

    Dear Robin,

    Thank you for leading us “without a title”



  46. Raghunath Iyengar says:

    Dear Robin,
    Excellent! !
    Simple but great learning.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts, this has helped me to be a better person.
    Warm Regards
    Raghu Iyengar

  47. Lobna says:

    Hi Robin
    thanks for the amazing video, and for constantly keeping me motivated
    i just wanted to ask a question: do you go back and read what u write in your journals?? and how often do you do this??

  48. Geeta Sudhir Kadam says:

    Hi Mr Robin, I hav been trying to keep a jr. since many days, but always put off after some days. Now I hope to be a regular. Thanks .

  49. Rachna says:

    Dear Robin,

    Thanks so much for giving us an insight into your journal. It has really helped me take my journal to the next level as previously I was sticking to writing only what I was/am grateful of. I also appreciate that you said 5am-6am is the best time to write your journal. It is your own, private “me” time and the bliss in the quietness of your surroundings will just make the words flow out once the pen hits the paper.

    Thank you very much once again, you are a true inspiration and leader. God Bless

  50. Haribhaskar says:

    Hi Robin… Thank you very much for educating us on how to keep journalising our daily routine.. You are a real inspiration to me.. I am reading your famous book, The Mon who sold his ferrari.. I will say this is not a mere book, its a bible and we all should adopt what Julian enlightens John. Its a message to mankind.. Wondering how you come across those techniques. Excellent is the only word I can tell..!!!

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