The Power of Mapping Choices
A choice map is a visual representation of a singular choice you made, a choice you are making or a choice you will make. A map is a vehicle to take all the details you can derive from a choice and organize them simply so that the insights you gather are easily accessible for your review.
Mapping for an Examined Life
Since creating this process, I’ve been using mapping as a tool to live an examined life, turning to it when I want to flesh out and make sense of a gamut of thoughts or look at puzzling situations through a lens of expansive curiosity.
Becoming Your Own Guide with Mapping
Maps are a powerful tool, allowing you to become your own guide—a self-discovery method that helps you find your way from where you are to where you want to go.
Questions for Mapping Your Choices
As you experiment with the practice of mapping, you’ll frequently ask yourself these questions:
- What has happened because you made this choice?
- What will happen when you make this choice?
Drawing Yourself Out through Mapping
The mapping process allows you to draw yourself out by asking questions and paying attention to the first answer that presents itself. As you capture your answers in bite-sized nuggets, you’ll continue probing with the next intuitive or logical question, listening for a succinct answer. See this guide to get more targeted questions to serve as a jumping-off point to build your maps and more deeply explore your choices.
Reflecting, Moving Forward, and Gaining Clarity
Mapping gives you the opportunity to stop, reflect and move forward with greater cognizance. As you pay attention to the details of your choices, the perspective with which you view your life will become richer and more expansive as you notice and foster consciousness about the journey your decisions are creating.
Finding Structure in Challenging Decisions
Mapping supports you in gaining clarity around your choices and guides you through the confusion that surfaces when you become mired in your choice’s details. So often, big choices feel overwhelming. Mapping creates a tangible framework to organize the details of the difficult decision, providing structure to even the most complicated choices and making a challenging decision feel more manageable.
Extracting Intricacies with Mapping
Over the years, I’ve been using maps to guide myself as well as coaching people to guide themselves by creating maps of their own. The mapping process extracts the intricacies, nuances and key reflections around the complexity of your choices and distills them into tangible, salient points you can visually grasp and interpret.
Contemplation and Self-Understanding
The act of creating a map urges you to stop and contemplate your choice in greater depth. By translating multifaceted emotions and experiences into clear, digestible words that populate your map, you have the potential to better understand yourself and what you’re navigating.
Insight and Self-Awareness through Mapping
Mapping is an opportunity for you to gain insight and self-awareness as it aids you in being more present. As you practice mapping, your sensitivity to the nuances of your choices will increase. You will see clearly how each choice has led you to where you are today, and you’ll bring greater mindfulness to making your future choices.
Mapping vs. Journaling
Mapping is distinct from journaling. In journaling, your words, thoughts, and feelings flow fluidly onto a page. Key turning points are often obscured in the myriad of details within narrative journal format, causing you to lose sight of what’s truly significant.
While journaling provides a space for free-flowing thoughts and emotions, mapping focuses on concise and truthful statements that capture the essence of your choices. It helps you distill complex experiences and emotions into tangible points, enabling you to grasp and interpret them more easily.
The Goal of Mapping
The goal of mapping is not to free-write as you would in your journal, but to engage in a dialogue with yourself, asking incisive questions and capturing the answers as short truthful statements. The brevity of the format encourages you to hone your words into gems that resonate as your truth. Your questions and corresponding answers will form the foundation for your map.
Uncovering Your Truth through Mapping
When I began writing The Book of Choice, I feared the specifics of mapping might be overwhelming for those not technically inclined. What I’ve come to understand is that the actual process of how you document your choices is secondary to what you discover as you immerse yourself in the inquiry and exploration of why you made or will make a choice. More important than what your map looks like is the process you undertake to uncover your truth.
Impacting Relationships, Career and Confidence
As you reflect upon the decisions you’ve made in your past and visualize those you’ll make in your present and future, you create an opportunity to impact your relationships, your career path and your confidence. Expansively considering your choices allows you to venture into a profoundly personal and spiritual journey, noticing the richness of the terrain you’ve traveled, seeing where you’ve been stuck, while recognizing untapped paths of potential.
The Inquiry Process
The inquiry process, which I’ll guide you more deeply through in The Book of Choice, supports you to flesh out the components of your choice and continue asking yourself questions that enable you to go deeper, accumulate more details, gather more insights and learn more about yourself—who you were, who you are, who you will be—so that you can use this information to make more thoughtful choices going forward.
Mapping as an Accessible Exploration Tool
Mapping is a tool for exploration that is always available to you, giving you an accessible process for approaching big issues. Asking curious, pointed questions as you pull back layer upon layer of your truth allows you to comprehend all that’s happening and discern what may be keeping you stuck.
Carving Out Time for Self-Examination
During the journey of exploring your choices, there have been times when I’ve actively mapped, and times when I’ve lost sight that I have access to this tool. When I inevitably reach for this trusted companion, I’m astounded at the clarity I feel.
Giving greater attention to your choices is a practice you have the opportunity to embark upon daily. Should you find that you fall out of the habit of examining your life, as you may with any healthy discipline you’ve cultivated, you can carve out quiet time to resume it again. It’s as simple as that.
Support and Guidance in the Journey
The Book of Choice will support you to use the maps and accompanying questions to support you in the following ways:
- How to view your past choices with compassion and forgiveness.
- How to reflect upon your past stories with a fresh and objective perspective.
- How to engage in the inquiry and exploration of why you made or will make a choice.
- How to coach yourself through choices you’re making in the present to ensure you’re heading in a direction that matters to you.
Summary: Embrace the Power of Choice MappingChoice Mapping provides a powerful tool for exploring and understanding the choices you make. It helps you gain insight, self-awareness and clarity as you navigate the complexities of life. By engaging in the mapping process and immersing yourself in the inquiry and exploration of your choices, you can uncover your truth and make more thoughtful decisions.
Choice Mapping allows you to draw out the details of your choices, organize them visually and reflect on their significance. It supports you in gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and your journey, highlighting the connections between your past, present and future choices.
Through the process of mapping, you not only gain insight into your choices but also impact various aspects of your life. Your relationships, career path and personal confidence are all influenced by the choices you make. By exploring your choices expansively, you unlock untapped potential, recognize where you’ve been stuck and pave the way for new paths of growth and fulfillment.
It’s important to remember that the process of mapping is accessible to everyone, regardless of technical inclination. The focus is on the inquiry and exploration of your choices rather than the specific format of your maps. By immersing yourself in this process, you can uncover your truth and make more informed decisions.
Carving out time for self-examination is a practice you can engage in daily. If you ever lose sight of mapping as a tool, you can always return to it for clarity and guidance. Reflecting on your past choices, viewing them with compassion and forgiveness, and engaging in present decision-making with fresh perspectives all contribute to your growth and self-discovery.
As you read and enjoy the experience in The Book of Choice, you’ll utilize the maps and accompanying questions to support you in various ways. They will help you navigate your past choices, reflect on your stories with objectivity, delve into the reasons behind your decisions, and guide you in coaching yourself through present choices. This process empowers you to shape your life in alignment with your true desires and aspirations.
Choice Mapping is a transformative practice that fosters self-awareness, clarity and thoughtful decision-making. By embracing the power of mapping, you embark on a journey of exploration, understanding, and growth—a journey that will enhance your relationship with yourself and the choices you make.
Take some private time to embrace the power of mapping and open yourself to the insights and revelations it can bring. Let it be your compass as you navigate the intricate terrain of your choices and discover the path that leads you to a more fulfilled and purposeful life.