By: Patty DeDominic

London tourist woman on Europe travel sightseeing holding map by Big Ben and red double decker bus. Tourism people concept with mixed race Asian girl smiling happy, Westminster Bridge, London, England

It’s a simple fact of life that all of us lose our way sometimes; we get so caught up in the minutia of everyday life that we forget our purpose for being here and the reasons that we do what we do. Many people who experience dissatisfaction with their lives for this reason find life mapping to be a technique that not only helps them get back on track, but to discover something about themselves that they didn’t know before, and maybe even to chart a new course.

Life mapping is a personal activity.  You can do it on your own terms, with a few simple instructions and things to keep in mind. When you life map, you will chart out the major events in your life.  If you do so in a group setting, you can also share parts of your journey in a safe and confidential environment. At the end of the exercise, you should walk out with not only your life-to-date map, but a road map for the dream life you would love to create.

Before you begin life mapping, prepare four quotes that help you discover your life’s purpose, who you are or who you wish to become. You can find quotes from famous people, or turn instead to everyday inspiration or words to live by.

Use a paper and pencil to create a list of key events in your life and how they have shaped what matters to you. Include everything on it at first, but then take some time to pick out the top four or five things that are the most important to you.

Then, wait – give it at least 24 hours for the things you’ve pondered to really sink in. After that time passes, come back to your life map and think about how you would live if you were to concentrate only on those things – that’s your “as if” story. You can use this story to map out how you actually want to live your life in the future – and you may find that you want to change some things!

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