OK… the analogy is incredibly simple. If I hand you a map and ask you to “draw your route,” what is your first question? Of, course, “where are we going?” This is what we in personal development and self-help coaching call an “A-HA moment.”
We spend a lifetime drawing maps only to get to a destination and regret that we were not somewhere else! We say things like, “I am nowhere close to where I want to be,” “I should have/could have/would have done something else if I knew,” and “I just never had the chance to do something I always wanted to do.” Is there something wrong with our maps? NO. Is there something wrong with the detours that inevitably occur throughout a lifetime? NO. Is there something wrong with the very thinking that we need a “plan” and that is why we are even holding a map? NO. So… where is the breakdown? The problem is simple. We spend a lifetime drawing maps, but we never stop to ask ourselves where is it we actually want to go? (I think we just experienced another “A-HA moment!”)
Think about this for a moment. If you have a big enough map, you can go anywhere in the world. To do that, you only need to know 2 pieces of information: where you are now and where you want to go. If you know the answer to those 2 questions, drawing a map becomes childs play. That is it! If you have not answered those 2 questions (honestly!), why are you drawing maps? I know… because it is what we are “supposed to do” and it is because we “should” do these things…
Now… guess who is responsible for your lack of “success” (whatever that means)? YOU! Nobody else. Now, before you say those horrific words, “YEAH, BUT,” keep reading.
When you stop making excuses and step back out of your life for just a few moments, it is easier than you believe it is to get some clarity. And when you have some clarity about what you are trying to accomplish, your map draws itself! How cool is that!
So… how do you map your life right? Follow these 3 steps and never look back!
1. Get clarity: What would you be doing right now if you could be doing something that you loved to do? Where do you find your energy? Who would you be with? Where would you be? What are you going to regret not doing in your life? Take the labels off your life and think about WHO you really are.
2. Get excited: As a motivational speaker and coach, people often ask me to “get them motivated.” I often think it must be what comedians experience when someone sees them and says, “hey, make me laugh!” My answer is simple… want to get motivated about something? Find something that motivates you! Think about this for a moment… if you hate your job and your are always stressing about something and you do not like your financial situation and you are choosing misery over happiness… I have news for you… I CANNOT motivate YOU! YOU need to leave your stress and find your energy. If there is something you really want to do… does someone else need to motivate you to do it? Or do you just go and do it? Of course you do! It is when we really do NOT want to do things that de-motivates us. SO… find the things that motivate you because they have meaning for you and replace some of your stressors with them.
3. Get moving: Knowledge without action is worthless. If there is something you want to do and there is a valid “why” you want to do it… go do it! If you are making excuses instead of taking action, you might not really want to do it. Be honest with yourself. There is no such thing as “failure” (whatever that means). The only way you can possibly “fail” is to never try something you will regret not trying.
Mark Twain said, “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did.” “Failure” should never frighten you. Regret should scare the hell out of you! If you choose to do nothing to make your journey fulfilling, try not to look back… you will not like what you see.
Get clarity! Get excited! Get moving!