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It’s like journaling, but more “right brained.”  

Mind mapping has helped me make career decisions, prioritize my time, and let go of stuff that no longer helps me in my life. Why? Because it’s like a picture or a collage that you create. When you look at your completed mind-map, you see the bigger picture of the part of your life you‘re exploring.

The first thing to do is decide on your mind-mapping style. There are software programs out there, some free, that are awesome. If you're comfortable with learning a new program (and they're not hard), you might try a few. I tried [Link Removed] and liked it.

If you‘re a pencil and paper type mind-mapper, here’s the most basic way to start.

You need a large piece of unlined paper. I taped 2 letter-sized pages together and it was large enough, but some people go for posterboard-size.

In the middle of the page, using a pencil with an eraser estatic , write the word or phrase that’s at the heart of your current quest.  

(You can mind-map for specific issues and answers, or you can do a map that defines your life in a larger way.)

For mine, I was doing my usual "what is life" type thing, so in the middle I wrote the word Love , and surrounded it with a heart.

Flowing from this innermost desire, and without thinking too much about it (thus the pencil eraser, because you may change your mind a lot), you might draw or write your major issues. Surround each issue with a circle to keep them separate. For mine, I drew an arrow from the word "Love" toward 4 circles that surrounded that word, and in each circle I wrote the things that meant "love" to me. In one circle I wrote Family and Friends , in another Spiritual Activities , in the third, Work and Income , and in the fourth, Being Part of a Group of Some Kind . I used highlighters to put some color and emphasis on the page.

From there, you can just let your free-flowing associations take over. You can get down to specifics, you can include “sub” ideas, you can do a complete, assymetrical off-shoot about something else, you can add collage elements, you can fill circles with your hopes and dreams. Anything goes. Any shape goes - just try to keep things relating to each other near each other.

When you‘re done, you’ll see a magnificent imprint in front of you, of stuff from beneath your mind. And for me, seeing it makes it easier to know what’s important to me, where I need to invest my time, what I may have been neglecting, why something is or is not working, what pieces to the puzzle are missing.

It’s a glorious process. If you try it, let us know how it works for you, okay?

[Link Removed] 

Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Dec 3, 2010
    • This is a very interesting suggestion and one I think people might try as we approach New Year.

      It’s funny this last week I have been chatting with friends and most have said they never normally plan for the new year but due to this ongoing uncertainness economically etc they are now doing detailed plan A’s , B’s ,C’s etc

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Dec 3, 2010
    • This is a great way to start the new year. I really need some kind of

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Dec 3, 2010
    • I am going to check it out online but if I think I can’t do it then I will try the ole pen n paper.

      Kind of reminds me of the seminars I took through Landmark Educations aka EST....

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Dec 4, 2010
    • I once did a mind-map when I was going through some issues, and it was all digital images that I put together on Photoshop. Maybe it wasn’t a real mind-map, I don’t know, but it totally blew me away because when it was done, there was an externalized image I could look at, that made sense, that I could observe, of the stuff the had been a muddle inside my head.  

      Great idea about using mind-maps for New Year’s resolutions.

      Vikki, let us know how to the online one works out!

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