There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius
While there are many approaches to choosing a topic to write about, one of the easiest methods is reflection.
If you keep a journal, simply open up your journal and review some recent entries. See what was on your mind at various points in time. In a separate document, make note of any topics that come to mind.
If you don't keep a journal, take a few minutes to write a quick journal entry about recent events. I've also provided some prompts below if you need some inspiration!
How to Analyze Your Thoughts for Topics
Reflection provides insight into your learning process, your accomplishments, and your emotions. All of these, when shared, provide value to your audience. Wisdom also comes with time, which is why reflection is important. It may not be obvious what lessons are learned until some time has passed, but if you don't take time to reflect, it can easily be overlooked and missed. Yet these lessons are worth sharing so others can learn too.
Sometimes, it's a strange combination of circumstances that can trigger unpredictable behavior and outcomes. These can be positive or negative, depending on the circumstances. As much as we may compartmentalize different parts of our lives, we're still human. Work and life blend together, sometimes invisibly. Look for noticeable changes in your mood. What triggered these changes? Do you have any habits that work well over time? Why or why not? These patterns and changes can serve as a source for inspiration. The inspiration is there, you just have to find it - to notice it. What does your mood tell you?
It's important to look at events over a span of time in order to understand the impact it had. It is in this analysis that insights occur. Challenges provide an interesting topic because most challenges are experienced by many, and knowledge sharing is powerful. If you've solved a challenge recently, there's a good chance someone else has had the exact same problem and is also looking for a solution. If you haven't solved it yet, there's a chance someone already may have solved it. If no solution exists, then maybe the solution is working together to solve it, but this only happens with communication. Challenges are great to write about because it allows feedback, insights, and expertise to be shared. People will also appreciate the time saved by knowing which routes to not take. What challenges have you faced?
While some accomplishments can occur seemingly overnight, oftentimes, accomplishments occur over a span of days, weeks, months, and years. They are the destination at the end of a journey, and it's the journey that's worth sharing. Sometimes, accomplishments are the result of solving challenges. Other times, accomplishments are through lessons learned with time. They come in many forms and often aren't accomplished alone. Make sure to credit those who helped you on your journey. What journey have you traveled on recently?
If you need some prompts, here's a few below.
- When did you last feel intense emotion? What triggered it?
- What has been causing stress in your daily life? How has it impacted your daily life?
- Was there anyone involved in those changes in mood? How did they impact your mood?
- Name 5 things for which you are grateful.
- Name a recent challenge. Was there anything in particular that led to that challenge?
- What could have prevented some of those challenges?
- How did you overcome this?
- Did anyone help you with this challenge?
- What did you learn?
- What is your latest accomplishment/success/win?
- What led to these accomplishments?
- How did you accomplish the challenge you faced?
- Did anyone help you?
- Was there a pivotal moment that changed the direction?
- What happened after the accomplishment?
- Was it well-received or did it lead to further unforeseen issues?
- What did you learn?
Now it's your turn.
What will you write about next?