How to remember your life

This article was inspired by Johnny Harris’s video where he shared his views on remembering life. But of course, I added my POV as well. So basically, we’re 7 billion walking POVs.

Remembering life is like exercising. Everyone wants to do it, but there’s a gap on how to do it and the right ways.

The key to remembering your life is quite simple.

Let me explain.

2 ways to remember life

Your values and the fact that you’re organised or messy will depend on how well you remember life.

All the ancient inventions were an attempt to make words and pictures timeless; pen, paper, printing press and technology dropped you here on my article like an angel descending a baby.

How to remember your life?

  • Delete photos
  • Write journals

That’s it.

One is digital; the other is physical.

Let’s get into it.

Deleting photos

Photo by Sam Pak on Unsplash

I know! Deleting photos to remember life? What an idiot.

Hear me out; the consensus is that if you want to remember particular parts of your life, take out the camera and press the shutter button until your thumb is sore or your storage is full.

But that approach is counterintuitive for two reasons:

  • First, you miss out on the experience of something when you indulge in over-photography. If that’s a term.
  • Second, the more cluttered your gallery is, the harder it’ll be to find and focus on the memorable pictures and what days you want to remember.

When you just click pictures, that’s what you’re left with. No wholesome experience of being there. Just the visual memory for later.

It’s about remembering not only the special moments but mundane moments as well.

Do you remember where you were on 16th august 2018?

It was a pretty normal day. I was going for my Spanish classes and the sky looked beautiful, so I clicked a few shots.

I constantly go back to my gallery every once in a while and review it. See what’s worth deleting and what’s worth keeping.

Good quality pictures keep your experience special.

Once my sister asked me how her 128GB iPhone storage is full? So I checked, and I found 1700 videos and 6000 pictures. It was a mess.

Most of them repeated shots, blurred videos and media that she never got time to review and delete. Chaotic.

How to declutter?

Living in the Apple ecosystem helps a little. But if you have android, not an issue. I used to do this with Google Photos earlier.

  • Create an automated system for this.

I have a running iCloud membership for the past 2 years. That helps because as I click pictures on my phone, it’s automatically there on my Mac to review.

Decluttering on Mac.

For google photos, it’s the same. Click the pictures and turn on the backup. All your images will be there on the desktop to view as you’ll click them. Go through them individually and delete delete delete!

  • Put all the images organised in a folder. That way, all the pictures will be easily accessible.

Try to strike a balance on the trip as well. For example, don’t just live for visual memories.

Enjoy the sunset, sit near the lakeside, sleep under the stars. Click a few pictures, and then keep your phone away.

Quality > Quantity

If I go on a trip, I pick a day after I return and spend a solid hour going through all my pictures and videos. Deleting the unnecessary, blurred or repeated shots.

Now I’m left with a few quality pictures from the trip that I’ll want to come back to and look at them again. Easy for sharing, easy for remembering. Easy peezy.

This is something that I do and used to do even before I came across Johnny’s video.

I want my gallery to be clutterless.

Not all pictures have to be remarkable. If every image is special, then no picture is special.

You are at your friends’ place, having good talks over a beer or two talking about life. Maybe there aren’t any pictures or just a few to spark a memory of that day and just relive it.

Do you think you’ll need all the 300 pictures and videos of your best friend’s birthday party after 5 years? No. Do you want to spoil the experience of a special day by having a million pictures of it?

No, you won’t. The next best way to remember your life is:

Write journals

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Again, this is something I’ve been doing it personally for the past 4 years. I have it on both mediums: my phone and my diary.

For the love of traditional writing, I have a diary for journaling, a separate one for writing poetry, and another one to make illustrations.

On the digital front, I’m trying to build a system on Notion about writing down my blogs and putting down all the ideas there.

Notion with ideas and stuff

I tried Google docs but having dark mode on Notion helps a little.

When something important or awful happens, I document it.

If it can wait, then by the end of the night on my diary, otherwise, on Apple notes.

Yes, the amount of source I write on sounds cluttered, but every platform has its use-case, so that shouldn’t be an issue if you know what medium is for what.

What to journal about?

  • Daily / weekly experience
  • How you feel
  • What you’ve been through
  • Long term goals
  • Short term goals
  • Creative ideas
  • Whatever the hell you want 🙂

One benefit of journaling about my life is that I sometimes read my old entries to understand my pattern of doing things.

To check if I’ve been stuck in a loop, if I’ve grown and improved.

I find it quite interesting; it’s like reading history, but you’re not dead yet, so you can still make things better.

Why should you remember your life?

It’s important to remember your life because every life is worth something. No matter how much you feel that life sucks, many would love to live yours.

It’s about documenting experiences in a way that you know what you’ve been through.

Where you were, where are you now and if you connect the dots, you can know where are you headed.

If you can relive everything that happened with a bunch of quality pictures and journals, then there can’t be anything better because we forgot almost everything that happens but having all the information can help is become a better version of ourselves and spark spectacular memories.

One thought on “How to remember your life

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