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Life Mapping: Gaining Clarity About Our Identity

Life Mapping is a process that frees and empowers us to direct our life’s journey from our own point of view, rather than thoughtlessly following the prescriptions and proscriptions of prevailing institutions. This journey of self-exploration helps clarify our understanding of our self as a unique individual, member of society, and as part of the larger world so that we can orchestrate a more authentic, productive, and satisfying life. 

The process is energized by the following Life Map Template and by the curiosity and discussion that each of its subjects generates. We will be encouraged to write our thoughts and feelings about each subject to facilitate the development of our own Life Map. We will also have the opportunity to explore the Life Maps of others when we access the Database of Life Maps.

Page Zero Premises Personal Community
Values and Beliefs Role in Larger Community
Aspirations Financial Plan
Further Education Body Wisdom
Career Path Emotional Intelligence
Partnering Spiritual Intelligence
Lifestyle Social Intelligence

As we progress through the template and the processes of completing our maps, read authors that challenge our thinking, and engage in introspective and meditative reflection, we learn to awaken our mind. In other words, we reflect more seriously on the best way to live, both for ourselves and in community.

Fulfilling the potential of this template requires that we question the premises of our present orientation and begin to think and feel and consider what our own moral compass suggests about those major aspects of our existence. This systematic exploration helps empower us to become: (a) comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals; (b) liberated from illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, and (c) oriented in a complex, rapidly changing, global environment in a manner that is coherent, moral, and universal. The Life Map can follow us throughout our life and be a dynamic tool that prompts and documents personal growth.

We begin by writing our thoughts and feelings about the first subject of the template, Page Zero Premises. They are the basic principles that underpin the programs of the mind that form the basis of our worldview. At the core of each program is it’s own set of premises of that program. If we do not clearly know the premises of the programs we subscribe to, we follow the programs blindly. While some programs empower us to live an authentic, satisfying life that is free of illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, others contain ideas that imprison us conceptually and undermine our potential, if not survival. 

As we go through the process of assembling our Life Map:

  • We become more aware of connections among disparate elements of knowledge that we have learned in school and from our experiences during the course of everyday life.
  • We become much more motivated to understand the world and our role within it because learning has become a personal affair, rather than what may have been largely an impersonal, tedious process of trying to make sense of an endless number of disconnected facts.
  • We realize that the mapping process is designed to help us arrive at our truth and our true identity as unique individuals, who are becoming whole, free, and empowered to shape our existence consciously from our own point of view.
  • We understand that we as individuals are the basic unit of the social process. Therefore, if not enough of us become comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals, we should not expect that our institutions will flourish.

Such an open-ended, safe, learning environment supports the premise that the individual represents the basic unit of the social process, the authentic carrier of reality, not our institutions per se. If not enough of us get our own life together and dare to be great, we should expect that our institutions will.

I believe most of us, who experience the process of Life Mapping, will feel empowered by it and wonder why we were not encouraged during our many years in school to map our life in a systematic manner. We will realize that consciously mapping our life prompts us to be more independent-minded and to think more critically. As a result, we will feel better prepared to be credible and effective leaders and followers.

If these predictions are affirmed, the process of Life Mapping will eventually become an integral part of school curricula and help transform our system of education in a manner that makes it more efficient, more exciting, and more empowering.

It is important to mention that the segment that follows, Social Mapping, is very important regarding helping us fulfill our best possibilities because it focuses attention on the greater issues of our time.

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : Social Mapping or Life Mapping Syllabus or Database of Life Maps