Podcast notes: The power of gratitude with The 5-Minute Journal

A lot of planners help you plan your work so that you can make it efficient and free up time to squeeze in more work so that you can make it efficient and free up time to squeeze in more work so that…

The 5-Minute Journal helps you start your day with gratitude. Pat Flynn interviewed the creators of the 5-Minute Journal, UJ Ramdas and Alex Ikonn.

(Check out the full interview on SPI 271: An Interview with The Five-Minute Journal Founders UJ Ramdas and Alex Ikonn – it’s better than this post!)

The power of gratitude

Why gratitudes?

I’m not quite a type-A personality, but Tim Ferriss definitely tips the scale. Tim talks about why he uses The 5-Minute Journal in Tools of Titans:

“It’s easy to obsess over pushing the ball forward as a type-A personality, which leads to being constantly future-focused. If anxiety is a focus on the future, practicing appreciation, even for 2 to 3 minutes, is counter-balancing medicine. The 5MJ forces me to think about what I have, as opposed to what I’m pursuing.”

(This episode also has them talking about how they met Tim Ferriss. He’s become one of biggest promoters of The Five-Minute Journal. I first learned about it on Tim’s podcast.)

How can I apply it?

They talk about creating the 5-minute Journal for themselves. Like many people, they were information junkies but they knew how much a difference it is to read something and actually apply what you’re learning.

“But in reality I didn’t really care, because I just wanted to have this product in my own life, because I wanted to use it and practice it. Because I knew the power of doing this on a daily basis. Especially in writing.”

The journal is centered around gratitudes. They’d read the books and seen the research on the power of daily gratitude. They wanted to make something that would make it easier to capture their gratitude daily. There were plenty of planners out. These were the ones that allow you to be efficient with your work to fit even more work in to make efficient to fit even more work in.

A journal for gratitudes didn’t exist, so they made it.

My use of the 5-Minute journal

I downloaded a 5-Minute Journal quick-start PDF explaining how the journal works and it included a few sample pages. I imported one of the pages into Notability and then just copied and pasted it and filled it in.

Then each day I would duplicate and clear the page. I had the same Rick Rubin quote every day.

“On their deathbeds, people don’t think about their work or their life experiences or the items remaining on their to-do list. They think about love and family.” — Rick Rubin

I bought the app after a couple weeks of that. I’ve put an entry in probably 4 days a week ever since. For a couple months, I recorded a voice note going through the 5-Minute Journal template on my walk to work. It’s a little harder to go scroll back through voice notes, but those really capture the mood of the day.

Something different in the app is the daily photo entry. It’s great to just scroll through that. You know how people say it can be bad scrolling through your friends’ highlight reels? Scrolling through your daily highlights is better and probably healthier. It reminds you of all the things you’re grateful for day to day, not just tropical vacations.

How can I apply it? Part II

Last year I read a book a week. This year, I’m on about the same pace with reading and have increased listening to 2-4 each month. I haven’t been applying it all, though. UJ Ramdas and Alex Ikonn created the 5-Minute Journal to make things easier for themselves.

“With all these books you read them, but what about the follow through? How do you actually implement all these things into your daily life?”

“Prototyping” might be overstating things, but I’ve been trying to create one-page PDFs that I can fill out to remember to apply things I’m learning from books. So far I’ve got two. One is a W.O.O.P sheet to apply something from Barking Up the Wrong Tree. The second is a Stretch + S.M.A.R.T. sheet to apply something from Smarter, Better, Faster.

I want to create a few more and start sharing them. Then maybe someone will use them like I used the one page PDF sample of the 5-Minute Journal.