We have a lot of projects, collaborations, capsule collections, joy drops, and pop-ups at KOCH, but this Journaling project is extra special to me. When people ask me what I love most about KOCH, I tell them the experiences we have that connect KOCH and our mission to our community. We talk about Joymakers and Risktakers constantly because I believe it will help people find their purpose, and I believe this life on earth feels extraordinary when you have a purpose. I wear a Joymaker necklace around my neck to remind me; we have Joymaker Risktaker boards in our office to put up the risks we want to take and remind ourselves of the things that bring us joy. At our home, handwritten notes are found in the kitchen, on our bathroom mirrors, and next to the bed. It’s all around KOCH and my everyday world because if it seeps into all parts of my life, it will seep into my existence. Even with these constant reminders, I still get scared. Recently when I was feeling fearful about the prospect of opening two new KOCH Houses, my best friend and incredible entrepreneur told me to game up, stop thinking and to do it, and do it with conviction. That’s what taking a risk is all about. Jumping in even when your stomach is aching at the thought of the possibility of failure—taking the information you have and making a decision. Too often, we don’t make the decision because then failure is eliminated, but to me, inaction can be the saddest failure of all. It’s the safest, yes, but it also takes the least amount of courage and, quite a possibility, the fastest route you can take to mediocrity.

So how do we learn to take risks and have the courage to make decisions even when we have no idea what the outcome is? For me, you have to work at it, and journaling is my way of defining it and clarifying to act in life. For this project, I reread some earlier journals. For years after my father died, I wrote to him in brightly colored notebooks. I called them my magic notebooks. I truly felt like the words on the paper expressing my hopes, dreams, and fears might be transported into the world like messages in bottles floating to faraway lands and eventually making their way up to heaven to him. And of most of all, I felt if I sat quietly and reread them, I could hear the advice from above from my father and God. What surprised me the most when I read back through the journals of 20 years is how many of the things I wrote down that I wanted to be or achieve had happened. They had sometimes occurred in a different way or on a different timeline, but as I started to connect the dots, I understood how in the end, it does all make sense. I’ve always believed in this incredible place called earth and this ridiculously imaginative malleable thing called life, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t baffling and at times heartbreaking. It’s in the painful and bewildering moments that you must keep writing and having faith.

So I hope we can journal together, and I hope by starting this process with us, you can find a deeper sense of connection to life and its possibility and your dreams for yourself. I believe if you keep it up through the years, you will see your dots connect, and the things you wanted to achieve, the parts that mattered, the genuine parts, will emerge and become a reality. I always say life can’t help you realize your dreams if you can’t define them, so let's start together; even if you don’t know what your dreams are, write down what brings you joy, and I promise you will begin to dream appear, and a map of sorts of places life wants to take you!

We will officially start on November 1st, and I can’t wait!

The KOCH journals are officially online! Of course, you don’t need a KOCH journal. Any journal will work. We hope that you will join us, and the process will make you think, and in the least, it will get you off your phone for a few minutes!

Join us this Tuesday, October 19th, for the kick-off and journal launch and on October 26th for the first entry!

We will have our live giveaways this Tuesday on TikTok Tuesday and Instagram. (an extra good double one since we missed last TikTok Tuesday)

Don’t forget to grab your gameday Erica’s, and as the weather starts to cool off, check out our KOCH sweatsuits. We love wearing them with our Annie Blazer. Our silk hunter joggers and Avery sweater are the KOCH uniform right now at the office.

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