Coffee with Art: Journal Idea for Building Inner Strength

Today, as promised, a puppy with a wolf shadow.

Okay! Journaling idea for keeping yourself sane! And when I told a psychiatrist I was doing this, she said it was the right thing to do!

Find a person from history you admire, find a book they wrote, and start a daily journal analyzing the things they wrote and how they could pertain to your life.

For me, that’s my dead mentor, Mark.

So, I went back to work to see if my last three days of drawing, blogging, and meditation would actually help… turns out… to my surprise… it did! When I was getting bullied, I really couldn’t help but think how funny it was that jerk was so pathetic that in order to feel good about himself, he has to antagonize others. It’s great!

I think there was something else that helped though. Something I did consistently a while back that I stopped doing, but all kind of came back at once.

When I was working at my old office job, I got there a few hours before my boss did. So, I found a pdf of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, downloaded it, read each of his journal entries, then wrote my own journal entries about what I took away from his wisdom.

I know that constantly being in the presence of someone who verbally makes you feel small to prop him/herself up can be damaging, but sometimes you’re just stuck there. Finding a different job can take months, and quitting your job to start a business is incredibly risky and not a lot of people can pull it off, and those who can run into all sorts of different problems.

Personally, I think it’s much more empowering to be able to control your own thoughts and actions. I don’t think you can control your emotions, but I do believe with enough exposure to Stoicism, you can be better about letting your emotions control you.

It’s not a popular idea, I know. The more wildly accepted thing is to listen to your emotions because they’re trying to tell you something is wrong even if you don’t know what is intellectually, but I’ve found in my own experience more often than not, when I act purely out of emotion rather than stepping outside my own ego and thinking things logically, I just end up making things worse for myself.

It feels great in the moment to lash out, sure, but the long term effects usually end up being much much worse.

I don’t know if I would have believed all this a couple years ago, but after nearly a year of journaling, getting so frusterated by my situation then reinvigorating my love for Stoicism, it’s really helped me become less miserable.


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