When I was a kid I recall playing games like Simon where you would submit a blank piece of paper and record a set amount of points. Although this may have been a lot more fun for me as a kid than it is for you right now, there’s a lot more to it than that.
I know this because I was first introduced to this game just one year ago while I was interning for the Content Integration division of American Public Media. Along with my colleagues, I was asked to submit our own secrets to success to their annual competition they call The Secrets to Living Right. The form is almost like a game where you are asked to list your biggest struggles with very little time to go through the list.
I signed up for this program and I decided to give it a shot on a daily basis. This past summer I wrote that piece I mentioned above. While writing that piece I was surprised to see that I had over 100 specific in-box items listed in my log. Over the course of 12 weeks, I completed 12 specific wishes, or dreams, in my quest to dream a new dream. I also bought a notebook and I recorded each day in my log. In just over a month, that notebook almost doubled in size.
Of course, I never realized just how much writing in my diary and pen would enhance the experience of the program as well as my own goals. Here’s how it worked: As I was working on my journal I received an email notification every day when I crossed a goal or a spot on my log or were notified when I was in the middle of a category.
The most difficult part of the program for me wasn’t the program itself. The most difficult part was actually keeping track of it. As my journal continued to grow I became more and more irritated that I wasn’t accomplishing everything I set out to do. After about a month of logging I started to become despondent that I wasn’t realizing the goals I set forth for myself (and sometimes a few others) that most of the people with whom I speak.
It was definitely depressing. This was driving me crazy! Then one day I hit a glass ceiling where I thought that this random and thoughtless goal I just set could actually end up overwhelming me.