The 10 Year Plan

Book Discussion

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic.

"The goal of life mapping is a meaningful and fulfilled life. Seeing your entire life on one map helps you to live with intention and purpose, and increases the chances that you will achieve your goals. If you develop and organize your thoughts into a visual picture of you hopes and dreams, you are not only more likely to actively work toward them, but you will also be better prepared to recognize and take advantage of unexpected opportunities that may come along." Page 6

Is my life map perfectly filled out? Goodness, no. And that is perfectly fine. The Marshalls say very plainly that whatever works for you is the right way to do it. In my case, that includes not working too hard on the "work" category. I know it's a place where some people find it really easy to plan but let me tell you, I have an odd resume. Very, very little on my resume has ever been planned and my employment path over the previous ten years have led down many unexpected routes. I fully expect the randomness to continue in the future. Yet even then, the work sections of the life map were insightful. They helped me pin down what I've like and haven't like in previous positions, which in turn will help shape what I may look for in the future.

land of opportunity signage

Image Credit: Opportunity signage via Shutterstock

I'm still most excited about the learning and play sections. I really did need the kick in the pants to figure out a few things in that regard. Do I have it all figured out? Nope, but I've got a lot more figured out than I did a month ago and I'm looking at course catalogues -- both for fun community courses and for other more academic courses -- to figure out if I can squeeze anything into the coming months.

My life map isn't perfectly filled out. It likely never will be perfectly filled out and that's ok. The value of My Life Map doesn't come from a creating a perfect map. It comes from taking the time to reflect and think seriously about things. It's in seeing where you came from so you know where you want to go. It's about learning who you were, are and want to be in the future. I learned that I'm not quite as allergic to the thought of long-term planning as I thought I was. So thank you Kate and David!

What did you learn during your My Life Map journey?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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