Life Mapping And Planning For Success
Success entails a planning process.
Planning for success is about mapping out all aspects of your life. Similar to a map, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack, landmarks, and route.
Origin: Who you are
A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. When introducing themselves, most people would simply say, “Hi, I’m Jean, 17-year old, and a senior high school student.” This introduction does not tell you who Jean is; it only tells her 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 need to also reflect on your experiences to gain insights on good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses.
Upon introspection, Jean realizes that she is highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. Her inclination leans towards the biological-medical field. Furthermore, she believes that life must serve a purpose and wars are destructive to human dignity.
Destination: A vision of who you want to be
“What do you want?” The answer represents your vision. It is crucial that you know yourself to have a clear idea of what you want to be and the things you want to change. Your destination should cover all aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
Continuing Jean’s story, after she defined her beliefs, values, and principles in life, she decides that she wants to live a life dedicated to service for her fellowmen.
Vehicle: Your mission
A vehicle is the means by which you reach your destination. It is similar to your mission or vocation in life. Again, it depends on what you know about yourself.
Based on Jean’s self-assessment, she decides that she will become a medical doctor. Her vision/mission is to live a life dedicated to serving her fellowmen as a doctor in conflict-areas.
Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude
When you travel, you bring necessities such as food, medicines, and others in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you bring with you knowledge, skills, and attitudes. There is a need to assess current knowledge, skills, and attitudes that you have at present and those that you need to gain along the way.
Jean realizes that she needs to gain professional knowledge and skills on medicine so she could be a doctor. Her impatience is one thing that she needs to work on.
Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. objectives
In planning your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track, while the route determines the travel time. Landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus, you cannot set two major conflicting landmarks. You cannot earn your masters and doctorate degrees within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a masters degree is two years.
In Jean’s case, she identified the following landmarks in her life map:
complete medicine by the age of 27,
earn specialization in infectious diseases by the age of 30,
be deployed in local public hospitals by the age of 32, and
serve as doctor in war-torn areas by the age of 35.
In your journey, you should anticipate turns, detours, and potholes. The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and impulsive decisions that can make you lose your way.
Oftentimes, your plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond your control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes thus; you must anticipate them and adjust accordingly. After all, this is all part of planning for success.