Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Vision of Success through Life Mapping

Success is more than economic gains, titles, and degrees. Planning for success is about mapping out all the aspects of your life. Similar to a Holiday trip, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack / travel bag, landmarks, and route.

Origin: Who you are

A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m William and I am a 48-year old, Freelance Computer Technician.” It does not tell you about who William is; it only tells you his present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Upon introspection, William realized that he was highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. His inclination was in the service and technology field. Furthermore, he believed that life must serve a purpose, and that wars were destructive to human dignity.

Destination: A vision of who you want to be

“Who do I want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Continuing William’s story, after he defined his beliefs, values, and principles in life, he decided that he wanted to have a life dedicated in serving his fellowmen.

Vehicle: Your Mission

A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself. Bases on William’s self-assessment, he decided that he was suited to become a businessman, and that he wanted to become one. His chosen vocation was a Computer Servicing Specialist. Describing his vision-mission fully: It was to live a life dedicated to serving his fellowmen as a Computer Specialist in the country.

Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude

Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. This two-fold assessment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success. William realized that he needed to gain professional knowledge and skills on Computer Technology so that he could become a Computer Specialist. He knew that he was a bit impatient with people so he realized that this was something he wanted to change.

Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. Thus, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years. Going back to William as an example, he identified the following landmarks in his life map: completing his studies and National Service by the age of 24; completing Sales and Computer Servicing knowledge by the age of 27; earning his specialization in Computer Servicing by the age of 29; providing Computer servicing and related support to his fellowmen since 1989 till today.

Anticipate Turns, Detours, and Potholes

The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But often times our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes, thus we must anticipate them and adjust accordingly. In the case of William, he realised that the Computer Servicing industry is no longer as lucrative as before therefore he is exploring the potential of doing business in the web which is growing at an exorbitant rate as well as finding a network marketing business which can grow through a concept known as Time and Effort Compounding.

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