So What is “The Map Habit” Anyway?

The Map Habit is relatively simple to explain in theory, but as complex and diverse in practice as humans themselves. So let’s get straight to it…here is the theory:

Always seek to know:

1) Where Am I Now?

2) Where Am I Going?

3) How Do I Get There?

See…simple enough right? The Map Habit is just a matter of knowing where you are and where you want to go. You are unique and you have very different strengths and weaknesses than anyone else. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn and borrow success strategies from others, but you have to make your own map. This will take some time and effort but it is critical to break the “Self Help Addiction” pattern. It can be very frustrating to see other people being successful (or at least telling you they are) and then after following their “10 Steps” or whatever you find that you are not getting what you want. Sorry, but you have to make your own map. I am a very visual person. I wish I could retain every “TOP 5 blah, blah blah” that I read, and act on it every day, but that has not been the case for me. That is why I have developed the Map Habit.

Say "Map!"

Say "Map!"

Fortunately that is what this site is all about. Developing the Map Habit and using it in YOUR life to make YOUR map to get what YOU want. If you are new to Self Help, or young, just recently decided to make some changes in your life then maybe you can take some advice from someone that has been at this for over 10 years: No one can chart your path to success. You are unique and therefore need a unique map. Only you can make your map.

So how do you get started? Ask yourself:

1) Where Am I Now?

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the things you struggle with day after day? You don’t need to make an exhaustive list of everything (although it would be helpful). Just be aware that you are unique and keep your strengths and weaknesses in mind. This is your starting point so you need to put a symbol of some sort to remind you that you have to start Where You are Now. You can’t start where someone else is…this is part of the reason why other people’s maps will usually not work. They may have acquired certain skills that you don’t have yet. They may have natural abilities that they don’t even recognize that allow them to succeed by doing certain things…that others can’t do easily. But remember that you can reach your goals, but you have to find your own path.

2) Where Am I Going?

What is one of your life goals? What are the treasures you seek? Do you want to make more money? Do you want to have more fun with your kids? Do you hate your soul-crushing job? Whatever it is…pick one. I highly recommend you follow Leo’s advice and keep this to just ONE GOAL at a time, to allow you to focus completely on it and minimize distractions.

Just get started. Take any 2 opposite corners of a piece of paper or a whiteboard or whatever and put where you are in one corner (just a symbol is enough, something to remind you that this is your map and it has to be your starting point, not anyone else’s) and a description of where you are going in the other, opposite corner.

3) How Do I Get There?

Now you need to map out the steps that will get YOU from here to there. Remember though, DO NOT COPY SOMEONE ELSE’S MAP. This is very important, you need to make your own map. You need a full understanding of where you are now so that you can create a series of steps that will take you where you want to go. You need to challenge yourself to confront your own reality and make sure that each next step is achievable, realistic, and precise. Here are some examples  for steps in your map:

GOOD:

– Wake up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow

– Contact a specific author and solicit advice

– List the skills needed to accomplish a particular goal

NOT SO GOOD (not specific, not realistic, not achievable for you, etc…)

– Write a novel

– Eat healthy

– Create a website (Unless that’s what you do…unless that is one of your strengths. More likely you need to break this down into achievable next steps and possibly get the help of others to achieve this.)

As I said before, I will continue to post samples and templates and anything else I can think of that will help yor create YOUR  map. So go on and get started…make a map today, right now.

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Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 9:47 am  Leave a Comment  

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