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Drawing a Map

Posted on Oct 4, 2011 by


When I talk about drawing a map, I’m talking about picturing a kind of path between where you are now and where you want to be.  One can make a one-year map.  A five-year.  A one-month.  I also think it’s helpful to picture as a goal something that’s within the realm of the possible.  If everything were to go as well as it possibly could, where would you want to be in X amount of time?  Then all you have to do is draw it.  It’s one of those things that can seem so simple. But it can also turn out to be surprisingly powerful.


Find as large as sheet of paper as possible.

The first self-portrait, where you are now, is drawn in the lower left-hand corner. The portrait doesn’t have to be skilled. Stick figures are fine. Symbols. Pictures cut from magazines. Photographs. Collage.

The second portrait, where you would like to be, goes in the upper right-hand corner. Again, any kind of portrait is fine–literal or figurative.

Between these two portraits is the map. You can draw a line that twists and turns between the self-portraits. You can draw branches and detours and obstacles. You can label stations or stepping stones along the way—add titles and notes and paragraphs. You can make lists.

When you’re finished, take at least 20 minutes or so and write about what you’ve drawn. What surprises you? What compels you? What place on the map seems clearly to be the next step? And the next?