Most people have a mental map of where they live – they are familiar with the area surrounding their town and within even a greater sense about their state. People know where to turn to drive to the grocery store and can give directions to visitors looking for a nearby location. And most of us can give a very good estimate of how much time it takes to get from Point A to Point B. We are able to visualize our surroundings, estimate travel times over long distances and arrive at the proper destinations.
This powerful concept can also be applied to “mentally moving” toward a new goal or destination. By knowing where you are in life and knowing what your ultimate destination is, you can determine what route will get you there and how much time you need to accomplish your goal. You are able to create a clear and conscious path to navigate toward your goal.
”Mental mapping” can be accomplished by writing a list or by creating a visual mind map. You can lay down stepping-stones and build a bridge from one nebulous thought to a structured plan with several options.
Start by writing down one of your major goals and drawing a big circle around it. Now jot down words or ideas around that big circle that could help you realize your goal. These ideas often become the small successful steps that help you reach your goal. Many influential CEOs have built companies or made significant changes in their industry from a simple napkin drawing. By giving form to your ideas, you may now “see” your solution and can make thoughtful choices to move in this new direction.
Connect your circles (ideas) with “branches” to similar or associated ideas. This makes your steps easier to remember and creates a logical connection about how to move forward. If you hate to write, fill your mental map with drawings and images that speak to you. This process is all about realizing where you are and where you want to go. It is a very simple and effective tool for exploring creative ideas and options to make a change.
I have included a simple mental map as an example; there are many variations. Curvy lines, organic thoughts, and bold colors incorporated with free-association style thinking encourage many people to come up with even more ideas. Your free-form thoughts can be streamlined into a strategic action plan. Let yourself be open to new possibilities and experiences. You may discover a brand-new solution you never dreamed of before!
Share your maps on Twitter or Facebook. It would be great to see how others express their ideas!
Wouldn’t it be nice to worry less about money and focus more on financial freedom? A healthy relationship with money is freedom. Tune into The Money Nerve Show Sunday, August 23, and explore your personal decision-making process.
Learn what emotions are driving your relationship with money and create the new financial you! Define your “Money Nerve” and start making positive choices for effective financial decision-making in your life!
Mark your calendar for this Sunday, August 23, to listen to The Money Nerve Show. The topic for this show is an interesting concept, “How to get Rich without winning the Lottery,” featuring my special guest Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS. Join us as we share tips on building wealth, learning new investment tips and living a life of financial freedom!
Barbara Friedberg is a veteran portfolio manager, expert investor, and former university finance instructor. Friedberg is editor of several books including Personal Finance; An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management, How to Get Rich Without Winning the Lottery, Invest and Beat the Pros-Create and Manage a Successful Investment Portfolio and publisher of BarbaraFriedbergPersonalFinance.com. You can also find her “Young & Oldish Money” podcast on iTunes.
The Money Nerve Show with Barbara Friedberg will be broadcast this Sunday, August 23, at 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET.
Dreamvisions 7 Radio: 1510am WMEX Boston
Re-Broadcasts Weekly Each Friday: Noon & Midnight PST / 3 pm & 3 am EST
Please join us!
Financial concerns can be overwhelming, especially if your friends and family all seem to be doing well.
Ignoring the issue may feel like the easiest solution, but in reality, when you ignore problems, they can become larger-than-life and multiply. You may feel you have no control and can’t make a difference. It is easy to slip into a “victim” mode and feel you have no power to change your situation.
When people allow their debt to control their lives, it is easy to fall into a financial depression. That leads some to consider suicide because they are ashamed or feel that family members would be better off. Not true! Statistics show that a suicide directly impacts at least six people and often leaves family members in far worse condition emotionally and financially.
According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety and depression can lead to serious problems like:
• Headaches, weight gain, digestive problems and other physical problems
• Insomnia or sleeping too much
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Nervousness and panic disorders
• Conflicts at work and home
Financial coaches can share that burden with you: by facing the problem together, reviewing your bills and making plans to tackle your financial challenges – you can change your mental perspective. You now take control and begin to make small successful steps in resolving and defining what needs to be done.
Admitting there is a problem can provide the first glimmer of hope for many. It is smart to reach out for professional help. Do your research and find a non-profit organization with a focus on your needs, not making a profit for their business.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a non-profit founded in 1951, provides numerous money management services and educational programs, assisting millions of people to set a firm foundation for successful and long-term financial results.
Finding a trained professional that can assist you or a family member in prioritizing the debt and providing sound advice can create a more healthy relationship with money.
You are not alone!
Studies have documented that a negative mindset can make people more susceptible to addiction, lack of focus, health problems or perceived health problems. Learning new ways to cope and overcome negative factors can actually help you live longer and stronger.
Another form of negative thinking that can hold you back is often based on emotions, such as feeling alone in the world or being jealous of those who have more. When self-doubt, fear or anger becomes the basis for making decisions, it can create a downward spiral of poor choices.
In fact, negative thinking can have a very real and damaging impact on your health and your life! There is no magic pill for this, but it is possible to turn things around. I am a big proponent of stillness and writing thoughts down. Make a list of everything bad in your life and everything good in your life. Now begin to focus on the positive aspects of your life and spend some time thinking about how you could enhance or increase them.
By directing your negative energy toward positive actions and constructive thinking, you take away the power of the negative and can channel your thoughts toward a new direction. Just as you might work out your large muscles, you are now working your mental muscles and building strength to pursue an abundant life. As you increase your mental control, you may decide to expand your list of positive actions by setting intentions for your future success.
It will take some effort. One of the ways to begin training your mind is to be more aware of your day-to-day thinking patterns. If a family member or work colleague hurts your feelings – STOP before you fall into an old, habitual response. Explore your feelings and decide if that old habit is still working for you. You may find it’s time to let go of your reactive response and craft a new way of dealing with challenges in your life.
The last tip for creating a more proactive lifestyle is to choose different words. If you absolutely hate broccoli and are served a delicious meal that includes steak, broccoli, baked potato and chocolate mousse, state the positive: I am so pleased, I really like steak, potatoes and chocolate mousse. Forget about the broccoli, you have three foods you like and only one item you don’t. You are in the positive. What a difference! You are enjoying the best and leaving the rest – a wonderful recipe for life!