I’m someone who thrives when I have goals and a plan in place to get there. Not just for the big stuff like my family, education, and career, but for little things like hobbies too. I know that this is the only life I have, so I am constantly trying to improve it – not in an I’m-not-satisfied kind of way, but in a make-the-best-of-things way.
When I found out about the book My Life Map by Kate and David Marshall I was intrigued. It said it was especially geared toward people on the brink of big decisions or life changes, and although I feel somewhat settled right now I wanted to see if it would have any benefit for me.
Like the subtitle says, it’s more of a journal. It starts by explaining the concept of mapping out your whole life in one place, then guides you through your past, present, and hopes/dreams for the future through reflective prompts. Some of the questions were tough, and some were really fun and inspiring.
The questions aren’t an end in themselves but are mainly to help you discover what you really want out of life – to see if you miss something from your past, to find themes, to see if you have a good balance in all the areas of your life, to help you figure out how to get where you want to be, etc. In addition to the whole-life map there are also subject maps such as family, work, play, and service, and 10-year maps. Depending on what kind of thinker you are you can fill out the broad picture first or start with the details.
My whole-life map looks like this:
I thought it was a really fun and enlightening exercise, and for me right now it solidified that I’m in a good place. For example, when I first became a nurse I seriously considered going back to grad school to become a nurse practitioner, but seeing my life laid out like this I realize that it doesn’t really fit into my plan where raising a family is the most important part of my life.
I would definitely recommend this book for someone who is just starting out on her own, is facing a big decision, or is just feeling generally stuck or unhappy in life. I will probably revisit my life map as time goes by and if a decision comes up for us I will definitely pull this book out to go more in depth.
I read this book as a part of BlogHer Book Club and while I was compensated for my review as well as provided a fee copy of the book, all opinions expressed are my own.