Friday, January 21, 2011

mind mapping to open up the possibilities

I love to mind map but every time I tell someone, who is stalled in their progress of life, to make one they look oddly at me.  Can it be that after being around for so long no one knows about mind mapping?  

Well in honor of my sisters birthday and because she asked me so nicely to show her how this works here is a posting on mind mapping. 

 This is the mind map a friend sent me to teach me how it works, I have her to thank for my skill in mind mapping

Why do you want to mind map?  School, work, etc has trained your mind that you can only do things left to right and top to bottom.  We are well trained and we can usually pop off a list of "To dos" very easily.  BUT what if you are an over worked employee, a tired mom or a grammie who's done so much you are in a rut? How can you look past the layers of trained thought? How do you discover new ideas?

Here are some of the stated rules to mind mapping. Mind maps morph into other forms very easily but try honoring this little list of rules. It will open your mind to things you didn't know you desired.

1. USE COLOR & thick and thin lines
2. USE key words and upper and lower case letters
3. Each word or image should sit on it's own colorful line
4. Make the lines only as long as the key word
5. Color code similar items (can be done as you go or after you are done)
6. use radial hierarchy, bubbles, outlines to create branches

We call these maps broccoli clusters because the first one we did was
a giant green one on how to improve our yard.  

What this does is allow your mind to freely think and not just list things. It also helps improve memory of your plan.  Write any direction you want, don't bother to be neat.  My most surprising thoughts come when I'm the messiest.  When you are finished you can redraw a tidy, colorful mind map removing what doesn't serve your goals. The real surprise is what your inter-mind will tell you about what you need.

Hay sis this is the mind map you and I made one night together for our histories.

I was working through an e-book my son gave me on mind mapping some years back.  It was fun and the first project was to mind map your last 5 years of life.  Yes if you were going to die in 5 years and you knew it what would your mind map look like?  I had a good chuckle and began the project.  I began to feel more and more serious.  There were truly some things I didn't know would bother me if left undone. 
The finished mind map only had nine things on it but WOW what a surprise so much of it was.  Now it looks like I will take bleach boy to the grand canyon for our 40th anniversary because that was one of those surprises in my last five years! 

So grab a piece of paper, keep the thinking on this simple.  It's not hard to do.  Grab some colors and make yourself a mind map that says "2011 how will it look" After you make a couple of maps you will be an expert it's just that easy.

You will notice some of my maps don't have color on them, but do use color as you work.  I am an artist and my mind retains so easily, color becomes a toy to me, I end up turning it into an art project too often.  USE COLOR.

As you can see by the mind map right above there are two centers that formed because my mind found another path that seemed more important.  Feel free to do this. You can make two tidy finished mind maps from such a project to save for using. The goal is free thinking not tidy list.

How do I use my maps?
  I post them on doors, walls or where ever I can be reminded of the plan.  The maps hang until I have colored in enough of the circles (I like to color in finished projects) then I  put them in a file to save them.  

So the goal now is to figure out your categories for 2011 goals and then find out what those goals will be. 

Next: how to keep this simple and get busy!