How We Got Here

I’ve journaled all my life. Have I been consistent? Nope! But when inspiration sparked, I was aiming for something, or there were things inside I couldn’t talk to someone about... I journaled.

I think we all have a story to share. My story features all the classics: Marriage / Divorce, Relationship Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Substance Abuse, Manic highs, and Suicidal lows. Creation and destruction. A guy full of ideas and wanting to build... something. I'm not alone in any of this. I'm not unique.

But we want to be heard. And our journal is often the only place where we can be. This is ok.

Feel Think Do started as a personal journey. It was never meant to be shared. But I always say that adventure starts when shit goes wrong, and the Feel Think Do adventure started when shit went horribly wrong.

I was lucky. I lost my job! In January 2017, after 10 years in finance, I accepted a redundancy and moved to a country I love, Thailand. Good food. Good culture. Amazing coffee. And the place is motorcycle heaven. Lose job... start a new chapter. Done.

A simple plan. Move to Thailand. Settle in for a month, then head back to Australia for a mate's wedding.

The wedding was great. I spent a wonderful day with friends. And then I got... the call,

“You need to come home right now. Your mum’s in hospital.”

The big “C”. I know it’s nothing personal. I know it’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate. But fuck cancer. I spent the next month sitting beside a hospital bed, holding my mum's hand as she slowly withered away.

The wedding was on her birthday. And less than a month later, she was dead. My mum passed away August 4, 2017. She was 58.

I helped my step-dad keep his shit together. And I journaled to keep my shit together.

Wrapped in grief. Unable to talk to anyone (my friends were there, but this was a day in / day out struggle). I journaled my arse off. And it wasn’t working. I was caught in an emotional loop, writing the same thing again and again. This wasn’t me. I can detach and analyse things objectively (externally). I always find a way forward (externally). But my writing wasn’t reflecting this outer ethos. There was no time for overwhelming emotions. I had shit to do. I had to change my writing.

Mum’s death hit my dad hard, so I had to step up. There was a funeral to plan. People to contact, and solicitors & banks to deal with. Detach the emotion. Find logic. Create action.

The funeral went off without a hitch. It was beautiful, and my mum is now swimming forever with the dolphins. Time to move on...

Nope. Remember, shit went horribly wrong!

The day after the funeral, I was out riding to clear my head when I received another call,

“You need to get home... Your dad’s in hospital.”


A massive stroke with 95% paralysis to the right side of his body. Thankfully, my stepbrothers were still at home. However, for the next few weeks, we didn’t know if he would live, or give up and let go. Would we be burying 1 parent or 2?

So things went sideways. But there is always a positive if you look. For me, it was Feel Think Do.

I’ve tried almost every journal available, and there are some excellent ones. But they didn’t do what I needed. Each had elements, but never felt complete to me.

So Feel Think do started as a personal journey. I needed to implement my internal method onto the page and create something that worked for me.

Emotion is totally a thing. I will never deny it. Positive or negative, it is the major driving force of our lives, even if we don’t realise it. Everything we do has an emotion attached to it. But so many writers (including myself) get caught up in emotion. They can’t take a hard look at what’s causing it. So we get caught in the ‘Emotional Loop’.

During this time, I stepped back from the page. I made myself look at my situation as though it was not mine. What would I say to someone else going through this? How would I see the logic behind "their" emotional turmoil?

I started to ask myself 3 questions every day:

“What am I feeling right now?”

“What is causing this feeling?”

“What can I do about it?”

During the parent crisis, this started to work. I could function. But damn, the page was a mess. I needed structure. I started using two separate voices. The 'me" voice. And the "no bullshit friend" voice. I divided the page to reflect this and examined and tweaked each aspect separately.

What am I feeling?

What's behind your feeling?

What can we do (or not do) about it? - What was in my control?

I also noticed that I kept waking up with the same thought running through my head. I realised it wouldn’t go away until I confronted it. So one day I wrote it down. My brain did an amazing thing. It answered. Thanks Brain!

The following day, I awoke, and the thought vanished. Of course, something else replaced it. So I did it again. Progress.

One thing I love is quotes! There are people I’ve never heard of saying amazing stuff.

There are journals out there sharing these amazing words. And I always enjoy that. But no one gave me space to reflect and write about these quotes. I would read something, think, “Aw... that’s nice”. And then I wouldn’t give it another thought. I wanted a dedicated space to reflect and write. I wanted to note how these words affected my current thoughts, or took me in new directions.

A method started to form for writing daily, and it worked for me. I had my style of Journal. A personal journey. The end.

Until a friend said, “You know... I’m going through some shit at the moment. Do you think you could write this down so I can try it?”

Feel Think Do was born. More people tried it and gave feedback. The same friend said, “Dude. This works. You need to share this.” I formalised a process I’d used for years when speaking one-on-one with people. Now I could offer it to anyone.

I'm left-handed. I grew up when you could still be caned for writing left-handed. I love being from the dark side. But writing has always been a bitch. Ink smudges. Dirty hands. Spiral binders are a bane. I spent my life flipping books and writing in unconventional ways.

Apparently I’m not alone in this. Many left-handers avoid writing. It’s a problem most of us aren’t even aware of. I wanted to fix this, so decided to make 2 versions of the journal. Hand specific.

We beta tested the journal with 100 people. Left Hand. Right hand. Mixed demographics. Different mental & physical states. We had addicts, mental disorders, aspiring artists, entrepreneurs, therapists, “gratitude” Kool-Aiders, and journal skeptics. We had them all.

Side note: My dad was a tester. Imagine an artist & calligrapher losing the ability to write. His test was learning to write again. Pages of scribble strengthening into Aa, Bb, Cc, written over and over. Sentences returned, and at the end he could look back and see himself improving. Simple… but not easy. It was physical & mental torture for him.

What we learnt was that everyone used the journal different. They embraced the method of Feel > Think > Do and then adapted the page to suit their needs. I cracked a ‘nana over this. I used it like this... So you should use it like this. It turns out... I was wrong.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Ink on page matters. People using it matters. People owning their shit (positive or negative) matters. People worked the method and broke their “loops”.

Months later, we finished the design and decided to Kickstart the idea. I was lucky to have my dad sitting beside me (he was visiting Thailand as part of his recovery) when I hit the ‘GO’ button. We funded. Feel Think Do was published. Each Backer chose a quote they love and you will see them in the journal with the Backer's name beside it. Every edition has a list of the Backers to honour their faith and support of this project.

The journal continues to evolve. I love sitting in a cafe and seeing someone write. I love chatting with them and hearing their stories. I love seeing them use Feel Think Do in ways I would never dream of. We receive feedback and stories from users all over the world.

Each Feel Think Do is a 3-month journey. New editions will print with different quotes to inspire and evoke new thoughts.

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to write. Your first DO is to get your Feel Think Do. Your second DO is to open it. Your third DO is to pick up a pen. Your fourth DO is to put ink to paper.

Starting something new is not always easy... but it is simple. It's time to start your journey!

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

- Bruce Lee