Tuesday, January 08, 2008

You Need A Map


Man: I know where I am going.
Woman: You should stop and get directions.
Man: I don't need directions I know where I am going.
Woman: Then why have we passed that gas station three times?
Man: Just wanted to get my bearings. Hmm, yes, this is the street. I got it now.
Woman: No you don't. Admit it we are lost. Why don't you look at the map.
Man: We are most certainly not lost. You may be lost but I know exactly where I am.
Woman: It's just too bad you don't know where you are going.
Man: (actually he doesn't say anything because the truth hurts)
Woman: Are you sure you don't want to take a look at the map?
Man: Give me the damn map already!

Although this might be a humorous look at a couple of people trying to get somewhere they need to be, how similar is this conversation to the one you are having right now with your spouse, significant other, or even yourself? Except the conversation isn't about where you need to drive to but where you need to drive your life? Ah ha....you didn't think I knew about that did you? Well of course I do and now you are busted!

Of course your conversations with those in your life or even with yourself may use slightly different dialogue the impetus is the same. You think you know where you want to go in life and you may even have some vague understanding of how to get there but something is holding you back. Maybe it's the experience. Maybe it's the understanding of what it takes. Maybe it's your unwillingness to recognize when you need to stop and ask for directions (aka help). Or how to use your own map!

Whatever it is, it's important to understand that we should all be packing a map. Not a map to show us how to get from New Mexico to Texas but a map that outlines the major destinations we want to take in life and how we plan to get there. You wouldn't think about leaving your home today with a desire to drive to a major city (pick one) that is clear across the country without using a map would you? Why would you want to go through the next year, five years or next thirty without a clear understanding of where you are going and how to get there.

Without a map we are simply a passenger of life. With our own map we can be the conquerer of it.

Here's a great exercise that might be a great way to get your map started. Go to an office supply store and ask for big paper. You can get rolls of paper or use some sheets from a flip chart. Buy some colorful markers and some fine pointed pens. Spread it out over a conference table or pick a nice big space on your living room floor. Give yourself at least an hour, preferably several, to just imagine, think, contemplate, create, dream and just play.

Start by asking yourself as many questions as you can think of. For example, what age do I want to live to? Write that in the upper corner of one of the sheets of paper. Write your current age at the absolute opposite end or corner of the paper.

Ask....

What do I want to see myself trying? Do I want to skydive? Do I want to ride horses in Italy?

What kind of careers do I want to try? Maybe I want to go back to school and get my law degree.

What kind of trips will I go on? What far away lands do I want to explore?

What hobbies do I want to take up? Will I be a budding woodworker in fifteen years?

Will I be driving an RV or speeding down the freeway in a brand new Corvette? Put it on there.

Write, draw, play. Put anything and everything you can think of on the paper. Draw pictures, create life-like mile markers, create recognizable landmarks...draw, write, doodle, scribble...Have fun with this map as it is yours.

Once you have your destinations mapped out then its time to become your own Google Maps Direction function. You need to, in detail, write down on a separate piece of paper, your destinations and the very precise steps you need to take to get there. If you don't know, put that down too. Guaranteed someone you know or heck, someone you meet because of this BLOG or our Ripple community surely can help!

Try this exercise and have some fun with it. It will be amazingly insightful and a great way to start planning this journey we call your life.

Ripple On (with map in hand!),

Steve

1 comment:

terri said...

So, you want me to make myself accountable for my successes or failures??? But then I won't have anyone else to blame when things don't go my way! ;)

Of course, I'm kidding and I think you're really onto something here. Most people really do just float along, hoping for change but not really doing anything to put those changes into effect. (And yes, I'm just as guilty!)