To help me decide what I want to get out of life I have begun a process which I call Life Mapping. The idea behind Life Mapping is to sit down and look at where your life is and where it has come from. This process gives us the data to move forward in a positive and controlled fashion. The results of the life mapping process will be a plan for reaching your goals. It will illustrate the pitfalls that stand in your way and point to the easiest path to reach those goals.
The process of personal cartography is not going to be a painless one. This is the time to take out past mistakes and look at them, not to agonize over them but to find what caused you to make bad decisions in the past so that in the future you can avoid making similar errors. By the same token, take a hard look at the victories in your life and see what you did to make those happen. Between these two extremes you will begin to be able to devise the metaphorical terrain of your life.
Once you have the land charted it is time to give yourself direction. The points of the life mapping compass are Values, Desires, Passions, and Commitments. I will be talking more about these ideas tomorrow but for now here is a brief look at each point.
- Values: the concepts and ideas that are important to you
- Dreams: the big picture things you want out of life
- Passions: the things that grab your attention and make you go oh yea that is cool
- Commitments: the tasks that are required of us by our choices or by cultural mandate.
With these things in mind we can begin charting our course into our future by setting goals that are realistic and practical. Goals that will guide us on our journey to the life we wish to have.