One of the threads in my “practice regime” posts is about tracking what we do. As humans, we may not be very good at dealing future and we may be too distracted to be mindful in the present, but we can and should keep track of what has just happened. Even more so because we know that we actually do not remember what happened – but what we want to remember. So tracking helps us see more clearly what kinds of story lines we are developing.
But what do we track? Calendards and “to do lists track WHAT happened. This is a starting point, but just tracking WHAT happened doesn’t help understand WHY it happened or HOW it might affect the future. We need more.
A simple addition is to track emotional reactions. We know that gratitude is a key emotional state. Why? Well, experiments show that it makes us smarter. That is right – when we feel grateful, our capacity to solve complex problems in creative ways goes up. conversely, anger makes us less smart.
Do you track these two key emotional states?`Here is a post that makes the case that you should track felt gratitude. While you are at it, track anger too.