Mapping is different 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. A Choice Map is a visual representation of a choice you made, a choice you are making or a choice you will make. 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. Mapping expresses how you visually capture your thoughts. The map is a vehicle to take all the details you can extract from a choice and organize them simply so that the insights you gather are easily accessible for your review.
To create your map you can use different media, whether that’s:
- Doodling in your favorite journal
- Typing bullet points on a Word document
- Creating branches in a mind-mapping software
- Capturing succinct words on index cards or
- Affixing sticky notes to your kitchen wall.
Regardless of the form it takes, what’s unique about mapping is that it allows you to present each choice visually so you can view it from a new perspective. When I began writing my book, 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.
How Mapping is different from journaling?
More important than what your map looks like is the process you undertake to uncover your truth. 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 travel, seeing where you stuck, while recognizing untapped paths of potential.
Mapping is a tool for exploration that’s always available to you, and gives 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. The inquiry process, which I’ll guide you 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.
In The Book of Choice: Mapping the Life You Want by Understanding the Life You Have, you’ll learn about how mapping is different from journaling and three types of maps. Also about how you can apply the process of mapping your life.