Existential Friday Newsletter

v25: Journaling For A More Authentic Sense Of Self

Get rich quick ideas are all roughly the same. The reasons people buy today are the same as the reasons they bought hundreds of years ago. Sure, the products change, but people buy solutions to some type of inner pain. All you really need to do is identify a source of dissatisfaction for a group of people, discuss how you lived that pain too, present your solution to the pain, and use social proof to validate what you’re saying. Boom, you’re in business!

In the off chance that the solution works, money only satisfies some of that dissatisfaction.  You know those feelings of uncertainty, hesitation, dissatisfaction, or anxiety.  What if those feelings are created by living a life that’s inconsistent with your true self? What if the majority of what you need really exists in you?

There are numerous theories on the self. Martha Beck’s Essential vs. Social Self is insightful. She says that the essential self is our true nature. It’s what we really want to manifest and in some cases it might not be conscious.

The challenge is that we also have a social self and it likes to direct the show. The social self is what we’re taught to be like, to do, and even what we value. The social self is learned and as we get older it tends to drive our behavior and choices. When we’re dissatisfied, we’re probably making decisions based on what our Social Self wants rather than listening to our Essential Self.

Note:  I highly recommend this book by Martha Beck if you want a deeper dive.

Theories are great conceptually.  The hard part is recognizing and listening to yourself. Meditation and mindfulness are the typical solutions, but there’s something else you can start doing today. Journaling.

Sometime during 2017 I started writing stuff down. Every day. I was reading this book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and she recommended writing three pages a day. So I started writing. Basically you just dump your inner crazy out onto the page and repeat. There are no rules, grammar doesn’t matter, and sometimes it seems like there’s no point.  Nobody should go back and read the stuff you write down . . . especially you.  This writing isn’t for reading, it’s for finding clarity.

The power of the practice comes over time. You start to see patterns in your way of thinking. You realize things as you’re writing that you never realized before.  What you’re really doing is removing the crap in your head that keeps you from accessing your authentic self (Beck’s Essential Self).

I have no idea what you’ll find if you start doing it, but I guarantee that you’ll find something. The longer you do it the more you’ll realize. The key is writing first thing in the morning before the outside world pollutes your thinking. Ideally, do it before checking your phone.

Want to get started? Cool. Go buy a notebook and a pen. Write. Repeat. Saturday morning (that’s tomorrow) is a great time to start.  I don’t usually push tactics, but this is one you should try for at least a week or two.

You end up with lots of journals when you start writing every day.


Not to be a downer, but the video on this page is pretty disturbing.


This guy has been at it for a long, long time.  Pure awesomeness.


For some reason I keep finding pretty posts about retro technology.


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Jayson Martindale
Jayson Martindale
1 year ago

Journaling is a challenge for me. In my Ministry courses, it was a core component for each class I took. But it always felt like a chore, because there were prompts, and questions to answer. That doesn’t work for me. Your concept of simply writing without a prompt or direction has an appeal to me. I may give it a shot.