“We Assume We’ll Remember Everything”

Recorded on February 22nd, 2016

A friend mentioned to me the other night how the days and months were running into each other, seemingly faster every year. I suggested to him that keeping a journal – of even the mundane stuff – could help draw the days out a little. I’m terrible at keeping up the habit, but when I do I notice that it helps slow down time.

I sent him Reshma Rajendran’s answer on Quora to “What are the benefits of writing in a journal or diary?”:

It’s one of the best and enriching ways to even attempt towards self-improvement.

-When you write a journal you ask yourself the right questions. There may be no answers but you discover what is really important to you in the process.

-You notice everything around you more. You learn to appreciate the small things in life.

-Your over analyzing and over thinking mind comes to control to a great extent because you are able to organize your thoughts and feelings when its [sic] put into words.

-You write down your significant moments and when you read it later you relive every moment.

-You process your past events and make your peace with it and grow as a person.

While I was looking for that link, I saw in my notes a snippet from this Dick Cavett article about meeting Steve Jobs for the first time. I should paste this up on every wall in my field of vision:

As with so many times in my life, I wish I’d kept some notes on the dinner conversation. In relative youth we assume we’ll remember everything. Someone should urge the young to think otherwise.

That is what happens to me. When I meet someone interesting, learn something new, or have a meal with old friends, I enjoy the moment and it’s gone. By the next morning, the details evaporate like the sweet fizz from a Coke. But if I take five minutes to write down what happened and who was around, and even just some bullet point notes about what we talked about, I remember things I had already forgotten in the past hour, and I trap a hint of the moment for reliving it later.

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