What I Learned from My Grandpa – Journalling

I’m visiting my relatives in Taiwan and my grandma was curious as to when my birthday was in the lunar calendar year (as I’m Chinese). So she flipped open my grandpa’s old notebook as my grandpa was very organized and had took down all of our birthdays.

As I reminisced about the good times that I had with my grandpa (he passed away 4 years ago), I decided to flip through his notebook to see what other information he had wrote down. His notebook was filled with his scribbles that included the date and various topics of things that he thought was important or that happened to him and people he knew. In his notebook, I learned what’s a good way to cook a sea cucumber; what needed fixing around the house and how he was able to fix it; the times when him or my grandma had health check-ups or got injured; a Chinese poem that he liked, and more…

What I realized that it’s important to start “journalling” or keeping a diary what’s happening in your life.

There’s 3 main reasons for this:

1. You’ll Remember Your Lessons/Improvements and Implement Success Steps Better – When you write things down, you’re more likely to remember it by 70% as compared to when you don’t write things down (this was based on studies and my own observations as a study skills expert since 2008). Therefore, if you’ve made mistakes or have actions plans for how to improve and reach your goals – you’re also more likely to implement it and reach success as you’ll remember it better when you keep a daily diary.

2. Easier to Teach Others What You’ve Learned -¬†If you decided to write a book, give a speech, or teach others about the lessons that you’ve learned – when you write down the lessons that you’ve learned each day when it’s fresh in your mind, it’s much easier to have the details so that you can give people an example of how to implement your teachings. If you had to think back 3, 5, 20, or even more years for an example of how you learned the lesson, it’d be hard to have all the details (not impossible but slightly hard if you don’t have a really good memory).

3.¬†Easier to Share Your Life Story with Others – If you wanted people to learn about your life or if others wanted to know more about you such as through a biography or autobiography- it’s easier for you to share your life’s story with others when it’s all documented – you just have to compile it. It was easier for me to find out even more about what kind of person my grandpa was like by reading through his scribbles to see what his thoughts were, etc.


1. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes each day of undisturbed time to truly reflect and write down what happened in your life that day

2. Write down any mistakes that you made and the context of the mistake – people can learn better through examples of mistakes and improvement points instead of you just teaching people what to do and not letting them know what’s an example that they can use it in.

3. Write down how to improve upon the mistake the next time you’re in the same or similar situation -by noting this, you’ll be 70% more likely to implement this improvement action compared to if you didn’t write it down as you’ll remember it better. Even if you forget, it’s more likely to be ingrained in your subconscious – causing you to be more likely to implement your action point.

That’s it – 3 main steps – and just make sure you include the date.

You can write it down or blog or simply keep an electronic diary.

I look forward to learning about who you are and what you’ve learned in your life.