Road Map Of Life
If you were going to drive to somewhere unfamiliar - whether
cross country or just across the city - what would be the first
thing you would do? Map it out? And then after you mapped it
out, would you never look at the map again? Not likely.
More likely, you would refer to the map often, to make sure that
you were on the right track. You would be able to tell quickly
if you needed to make adjustments, correct a mistake, or
consider a change of plans.
Posting your goals, standards, boundaries, mission statement,
etc. is very much like having a map to refer to.A "Life Map".
In today's busy world, it's easy to get off course. Having a
Life Map to refer to helps you keep moving quickly and
efficiently towards your goals. It helps you to filter out
things that don't belong, helps you quickly correct things when
you mess up, helps you navigate unexpected problems.
But if you don't have the map where you can see it and refer to
it often, all the planning in the world won't matter. You'll end
up driving aimlessly around unfamiliar territory, being
distracted by many different paths.knowing where you want to go,
but having no tried and true method of getting there.
What else might that driving map tell you?
Perhaps that there is more than one way to get to where you are
going.the freeway or the back way, for example. It may show you
various ways of getting to the same place, depending on your
starting point. It may show you alternate route which could be
used to detour around unexpected problems (the inevitable
construction crew), or obstacles put in your way. It may show
you a phone number to call for assistance if you get lost, or an
estimated time of your journey, or even a time that you are
expected at your destination. It might show you milestones, or
landmarks, so that you can chart your progress.
All these things are important for your Life Map as well. Where
are you starting from? What are your resources? Do you want to
take the fast track, or do you prefer a slower approach? What
back-up plans do you have for handling the inevitable unexpected
problems? Who do you go to for assistance to make sure you stay
on the right track?
Without a map to refer to often, it might be easy to get
distracted from your destination. Let's say for example that you
were headed to a friend's house for a party, and along the way
you might notice a restaurant, or a beautiful piece of scenery,
or a movie that you wanted to see. Would you stop and go to the
restaurant or the movie? Would you put your ultimate objective
on hold because something else got your attention for the moment?
Of course not.
But that's exactly what happens when you let distractions -
albeit it attractive distractions - move you off your Life Map.
You "end up" somewhere instead of where you really want to be.
Time and space and conscious choice must be attached to any
decisions to detour or stop along your way. Is there time? Can I
do this at another time? Will it detract from my goal, or
Don't let your temporary, current desires take precedence over
what you REALLY want.
Because, you see, an important part of succeeding is deciding
what is and what isn't a distraction. For example, as you were
headed to your party, you saw a vendor with some fresh flowers
and you decide to stop and pick up some for your friend. In that
case, a stop along the way ADDS to your goal. However, if
instead you decide to stop and see a movie and arrive quite late
at the party, then you have detracted from your goal.
The Life Map functions the same way. For example, if you are
working on a College Degree, and you decide to stop and work at
an entry level position in your field to learn the nuts and
bolts of the industry, then that will ADD to your end result.
However, if instead, you decide to take time off to back-pack
through Europe, that will detract from your goal of finishing
Each "opportunity" must be evaluated in light of how it will
affect your ultimate goal.will it contribute to it, or will it
detract from it?
Therefore, both the driving map and the Life Map serve the same
high purpose: To Keep You On Track.
POST your Life Goals so that you can see them every day. Decide
that you will put as much thought into your Life Map as you do
into planning your Vacation. Grab on to the steering wheel of
your life. Check your map often, determine your current
location, and move confidently toward where you want to go.