Top 5 Most Compelling Reasons to Read This Blog

dscn26791. Your life is not an adventure. You want to get excited about something again, like when you were a kid. You want to experience “flow” every day…not once in a blue moon. You’re bored. But every time you try to make time for yourself something else comes up. Some other pressing need: the house, co-workers, the boss, etc…and then there is no time left for you.

2. You have read “How To” and “Self Help” books but yet…here you are still. You try to follow the tips and advise of experts, but it doesn’t work for you. You give yourself positive affirmations every morning and focus all your energy on the “Top 5…” and yet 2 hours into the day you find yourself relying on your old habits and your day turns out the same as the last.

3. Your time is “limited” (true…we all have the same number of hours in a day but it seems like you have so much more to do than anyone else and you don’t have any help) . You’re life has become overwhelming. It seems like the only time you have to yourself is when you are too tired to do anything with it.

4. You really don’t want to work 24 hours a day and never sleep or take a break. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel either, you prefer to learn from others and maximize your time. You don’t want to develop a totally revolutionary system to enhanced productivity…but if someone has invented one that will work for you, you want to know about it. You want to focus on the the things you want, not meeting all of your obligations to everyone else.

5. You just want to learn how to make your own maps…cool!

Let’s get started then. Click on one of the categories on the right and find an article that applies to you and start reading. Most importantly, find something to get excited about and map out your course to change. YOUR course to change.

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 6:36 am  Comments (1)  

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.

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

The Map Habit…Map, Of Course

The Map Habit - Map

The Map Habit - Map

I honestly prefer to work on either paper or a giant whiteboard. For me the ideal office (apart from no office) would be covered with whiteboards with marker and eraser stations posted everywhere. It is so easy to create and subsequently forget things on a computer. Maps are critical, and that’s why I made The Map Habit map in paper. I want to see it and feel it and check off the tasks as they are done and see how I am doing and how close I am getting to my goal (or the treasure). If I had a giant whiteboard at home then this map would be on it.

This map in particular was done in a notepad I bought from Barnes and Noble. It’s a little more expensive but the texture and color of the paper lends itself well to the treasure map theme that I keep gravitating towards. In the end it makes NO DIFFERENCE what you make the map in and I will post more examples of electronic maps, and paper maps and whiteboard maps and you can choose what works best for you in any given situation. Obviously when working with distributed teams you really need to keep it electronic for efficiency but you need to find creaetive ways to keep bringing the map to the forefront so you keep everyone focused.

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment