“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
If you write down 3 things each day, an amazing thing starts to happen.
You take control of your life.
In the book Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond, Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge make the case that there are three keys to live longer and stronger: nutrition, exercise, and commitment.
And writing about these 3 things each day, helps you examine and count what counts.
Simply put it helps you get on track and stay on track.
The Examined Life is the Good Life
Writing stuff down, as lame as it sounds, actually works.
“Back to earth and some mundane advice about the mechanics of caring. One of the great keys to caring. One of the great keys to caring about your own life is to watch it. And to keep track as if it mattered a lot. Which it does. If you’re going to have a good life, a full life, a life that you and others care about, it must be the examined life. And that means writing stuff down. It sounds banal, but it works. It’s so easy to look out at the rain and give it the Full Teddy — ‘I don’t care’ — and go back to sleep. If you know you’re going to have to admit it, in writing, you’re more likely to get up and go.”
Write Down 3 Things in Your Log
Track what you eat, your exercise, and your passionate pursuits.
“So keep a simple log in which you write down, every stinking day, these three things: 1) what I ate, 2) what I did for exercise (or didn’t), and 3) what I did with my life — sexually, socially, morally … whatever lights your fire. It is a tremendous help to know as you decide from minute to minute what do do, that ‘All Will Be Written’ and ‘All Will Be Known.’ It is a talismanic business, a sign that someone cares. Even if it’s just you.”
Keep a Log or Lose Your Command
Your log is your tool. It helps you keep control of your life.
“Keeping the log — and keeping it accurately — has been the sacred duty of captains and commanders from the earliest times. Those who tampered with or kept false logs faced grave penalties, certainly including loss of command. That’s a good phrase, actually. If you do not keep an accurate log, you will lose command. Of yourself“
The Great Trick in Life is to Care
The trick in life is to care. By writing things down, you learn to care about them.
“I first learned this log stunt from my passionate one-on-one diet adviser, Stephen Gullo. He had a sensible regiment and a hundred clever tricks. But his first trick was that he cared. His real trick was that he taught me to care. And his most important device was the keeping of a log.”
Your Log is Your Sword and Your Shield
Let your log be your light when things get dark.
“A daily log is a crutch to lean on when you’re weak. A shield to ward off boredom when you’re tired. A sword to symbolize your resolve when you falter. It is a practical tool and a magical device that stands between you and the relentless thought “You know what? I just don’t care.” A couple of times I lost my log and, without fail, went straight to hell. In my experience, there is a perfect correlation between dropping the log and going to hell. So now I carry it everywhere. And I keep it religiously.”
If you focus on nutrition, exercise, and commitment, you create a foundation to live longer, stronger, and more fulfilled throughout your life.
You get what you focus on.
Log your life.
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Image by Erin Kohlenberg.