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30 Days of Joy: The Affirmation That Could Change Your Life

Woman writing in her journal

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 18.

Six months or so ago, I was listening to an old Tim Ferriss podcast interview with Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip, “Dilbert.”

When asked about the different aspects of his daily routine, Adams mentioned the practice of affirmations.

His affirmations are simple:

I, Scott Adams, will become <whatever his current goal is to become>.

Every day, he writes that one sentence down 15 times.

And in time, that one sentence has come true.

He’s used this practice to help him become a world-renowned cartoonist and a best-selling author, among his many other achievements.

Clearly, a lot more has gone into his success, but sitting there listening, I was convinced this affirmation thing was worth a shot.

Each morning, in addition to my Five Minute Journal, I write in a journal I keep on Google Docs (for easy access). It’s mostly a brain dump, getting out whatever I’m feeling or whatever’s weighing on my mind.

After hearing Adams’ interview, I determined this journaling time offered the perfect opportunity to experiment with his affirmations.

So, at the end of each entry, I began typing my own affirmation:

I, Brent Stoller, will become a successful writer, speaker and golfer.

Those are my three self-minded goals.

My results have been mixed.

OK, “mixed” is too generous. While I have enjoyed some teeny, tiny baby steps, most of the time it doesn’t feel like I’ve moved the needle at all.

Which is why I decided to change things up this morning.

Instead of typing my affirmation into my Google Doc, I wrote it out on a piece of paper.

This was an adjustment that dawned on my yesterday, even though I wasn’t sure why — and even though I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the extra time it’d take to do so.

But I figured I’d try it out.

The initial return has been positive.

Obviously, I’ve achieved no additional external success within the last half-hour.

But internally, I did experience a shift.

Specifically, I experienced a shift with the process:

  • There’s a difference between typing something on a keyboard that pops up on a computer screen and writing something down on paper. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I felt much more connected to my words when putting pen to paper.
  • Because I write slower than I type, my process was much more deliberate. Instead of steamrolling through the 15 sentences, I now had the time to contemplate and internalize the message behind them. Which, I imagine, is the point of the practice — and what I should have been doing all along.

What will come of these written affirmations, I have no idea.

But the few extra seconds it takes to write them out seems to be worth the risk.


This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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