I was reading this the other day and, while I agree with some of the things Shawn Binder mentioned, ultimately I think his advice works best for those who haven’t engaged in much healthy competition in their lives or, for whatever reason, aren’t able to.
Some of the greatest men and women in history have kept these books. Marcus Aurelius kept one–which more or less became the Meditations. Petrarch kept one. Montaigne, who invented the essay, kept a handwritten compilation of sayings, maxims and quotations from literature and history that he felt were important.