5 Concepts to Consider When Planning Your Life Map

Most of us have a path we would like to follow that will lead us to a goal we would like to achieve. Very often, what starts out as a straight road to success, becomes a twisted, curvy and confusing maze of misdirection.

How can we better map out a strategy for getting through the maze of life?

Here are a few tips to help you stay on track, know which way to turn and continue your momentum.

Following are some thoughts to consider and some of the challenges we are likely to face with our life maze.

1 Direction

Where and when to turn is probably high on everyone’s priority list when it comes to proper navigation. Having a road map and signposts will help us to determine which direction to take when we are faced with choosing which way to go.

In life, we have many choices and very often, if we have too many options it can lead us to paralysis. We would like a little assistance before we make the right choice. What you can do to help determine direction is to consider how you feel about each choice and to follow your gut instincts. If you mentally decide to go in one direction and you feel okay about that decision, odds are, you will make it work for you.

When I was 21 years old, I decided to move to Europe. I had many countries to choose from and I decided on the Netherlands. I now see it as one of the best decisions I had made in my life. The adventures and experiences I had in the Netherlands were amazing to me and will be with me the rest of my days. No regrets.

Even as I write this, one of my Dutch Students and now friends is here in Thailand. Had I chosen to go in a different direction, maybe I would have adjusted equally or it could have led me back home to try again. However, when I made the decision, I felt great and it felt right too. When faced with more than one choice, make a decision and see how you feel about that choice. If it feels right, you are likely to make the most of that opportunity.

Please note that this does not mean you will not be scared, face tribulations and be forced to adapt and deal with your mental demons.  Most of my choices in life led me a challenge where I was forced to grow.  This stretching is hard to adjust to for many as it requires patience and a solid level of endurance.

2 Too many options

If you are faced with many choices, it is actually easier and less stressful to only have a few options or directions to go. Daniel Gilbert, in his book Stumbling on Happiness, talks about how we are happier with fewer options in life. When you have fewer choices you are less likely to second guess yourself or wonder if another option might have been a better choice.

Finally, what can really help is determining what type of person you are and the way you would like to move forward in life. Does the direction you are contemplating seem to meet your mentality while still providing room for growth and improvement? If so, then that is a sign that you are heading in the right direction.

3 Obstacles

One thing you can almost be certain of is that your journey will be met with challenges. I have had many along my path and I found that these obstacles not only helped to shape who I was as a person but they also tested my ability to adapt, amend and adjust. These are the key skills needed for managing in almost any situation. If you have the ability to be creative and patient while still pushing forward for your dreams, you will be able to navigate through the storms, climb over the rocks, and get up all of the mountains.

I have lived all over the world and these core skills were required at every location to make the most of my time and choices.

4 Terrain

The roads that you choose to tread on will need to be considered first before you take off into any maze. You need to decide what type of road is best for you and then you will need to prepare accordingly. For many, a rugged adventure may not fit their personality and they will need a much smoother road. Very few could have followed in my footsteps in the Netherlands as I went through some rather challenging periods in order to stay on my path. However, I knew what I was getting myself into and I made the decision early on to stick to it. A Motto I often use to stay on track is:

Stick to the task until the task sticks to you.

5 Distance

How far can you go? When will you run out of gas? And how can you recharge and get back on the road? Plan all of this out in advance so that you are already prepared and distractions don’t do much to slow you down. With proper planning and preparation, you can not only go much farther, but you have the options to go in more directions or return and start again when you feel you might have gone off course a bit.

Take some time to map out your own life maze and consider how you would apply some of your own unique strategies in order to accomplish your dreams.