We all know that we should be grateful. It’s right up there on the list of things we’re supposed to do regularly like get enough sleep and exercise regularly. But we don’t always prioritize the things that are good for us, which means we don’t often get to enjoy the benefits.
For many, gratitude doesn’t become a habit until life gives a reason to deeply reflect and recognize all the things we treasure and couldn’t imagine living without. Consequently, most of us don’t acknowledge and appreciate the little things until they suddenly don’t seem so little anymore, once big things have cleared our vision.
This was the case for Dominik Spenst, creator of The 6-Minute Diary.
Everything changed for Dominik one day in Cambodia, far from his hometown in Germany, when he found himself covered in blood, lying face up on burning hot asphalt with his left calf bone jutting through his skin.
In a split second he’d gone from a motorcyclist enjoying the countryside to a long-term patient, with twelve surgeries and a full year of recovery ahead of him—and the prospect of losing a leg.
Many people would become despondent under such stressful, uncertain circumstances. But something shifted in Dominik when he realized he couldn’t depend on externals to fuel his attitude and state of mind.
He couldn’t go back to who he was before—someone constantly searching for joy in accomplishments and milestones, each more disappointing than the last once achieved.
Before the accident, he was constantly obsessed with making a career and getting outside validation: If he made it to the top 5% of his graduate class, all doors would be open for him. If he worked for this and that prestigious company, a house and family would follow automatically (although the wife was yet to be found). While none of these IF’s actually made him happier, he was still trapped in their treadmill… and had it not been for the accident, he would most probably still be chasing the same outside successes today.
He couldn’t keep postponing his happiness to someday in the future when everything lined up just right.
If he was to rise above his pain and find joy in the now, he needed to shift his perspective and focus more on the good than the bad.
True, he was confined to a hospital bed, but he still had one working leg, a healthy brain despite the concussion he’d endured, and family who loved and supported him through this trying time.
Armed with his own personal experience, Dominik began researching gratitude and positive psychology to learn how we can train our brains to develop optimism and a growth mindset—both crucial for our mental health and happiness.
Since the accident Dominik has spent thousands of hours studying the human psyche and has helped more than 400,000 users worldwide transform their lives through the power of small habits. The book has been translated into fifteen languages ranging from Russian through Chinese to Spanish.
And the beautiful thing is that it doesn’t take much time to see monumental changes in our lives.
We all have six minutes to spare in our day, no matter how busy we may be. And that’s all it takes to become a happier, more fulfilled person.
Don’t let the title fool you—The 6-Minute Diary is so much more than just a journal. It’s a powerful tool, fusing theory and practice, that can help you transform both your internal and external world.
The seventy-page introduction explains the power of habits, self-reflection, and positive psychology, citing cutting edge research for neuroscience and psychology.
The 210 pages that follow offer scientifically proven writing techniques to help you foster a positive mindset and build habits that can help you grow and flourish every day.
All you need is three minutes in the morning and three at night—a tiny window upon waking and right before bed—and you’ll soon find yourself starting your day with excitement and ending it with peace and satisfaction.
In addition to daily pages for your morning and evening routine, the diary also includes:
- Weekly questions to help you self-reflect and connect with yourself
- A monthly check to help you record and track progress in different areas of your life
- A habit tracker to help you establish healthy habits and break unhealthy ones
- More than thirty-three pages for free notes and ideas