Update on Inpowr: the importance of daily diaries
Posted January 30, 2008on:
So why do we need web 2.0 applications when an ordinary pencil and supermarket notebook will serve quite adequately as a diary?
This is my experience.
1. By now anyone in the positive psychology world knows the Lorenz ratio. You need 3 positive thoughts to 1 negative thought to function. 5:1 is good. 11:1 is too much – think intoxicated.
2. If you have one major bad event in a day – something important to you does not work well and you are grieving the sense of lost opportunity – the ripple effect through the rest of the day can be significant. Who is it, is it Seligman, who talks of the three P’s : persistent, personal and pervasive. If a setback blocks off a sense of opportunity and hope, yes, it feels persistent, personal and pervasive. You feel very blue.
3. Now here is where diaries and web2.o come in. If you keep a pencil and paper diary, you are likely to rehearse the bad event and the feeling that everything is going wrong. When you use Inpowr, first it reminds you to log in and record your day which you might not do, wisely, if it means writing down what went wrong; second, it effectively runs you through a checklist of your goals. It is very likely that everything else is going quite well, and certainly that your inputs into the bad situation were quite sound.
4. So what do you gain?
- A prompt to spend some time reviewing your wider life rather than wallowing in the misery of one negative (though important event) and an easy to follow format so it is not laborious
- Acknowledgment of what has gone well so that so that is factored in to your decision making and is not swamped by what went badly
- Less self-blame. You are able to distinguish what you put in from how things turned out. And as you blame yourself less, you blame others less, I suppose because the issue is no longer blame. You are back in action mode and thinking about what to do next.
We were built for action and much of our sense of dignity comes from our sense that we are able to act and act appropriately.
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