If I want things to be different moving forward, I’ll need new Life-Maps.
I have to be authentic (and humble) to realize the maps I’m playing from in life do not perfectly represent the territory. By territory I mean not only the reality of where I am now, but the potential and destiny I’m meant to experience.
I’m in need of being a map creator.
We’re living from the maps of the life-scapes we routinely use. Maps change over time as we become more accurate. Take a look at Ptolemy’s world map from the 2nd century (15th-century reconstruction) …
Consider the area of relationships. We have entrenched patterns we have developed in how we relate to people. And also, the types of people we relate to.
These are deeply scripted patterns that tend to hold our relationships in the same level of orbit. It’s a gravitational field of sorts. Of course with relationships, this is vital because relationships affect most everything … our basic enjoyment of life and our personal and professional development.
If we keep operating from the same maps with our relationships, we’ll stay at the same level. We’ll have to venture forth and create new maps if we want a new relational life.
What could that look like? We improve our relational and conversational skills. How about developing our EQ quotient (emotional intelligence)? … empathy, understanding, communication, etc. We create healthy networking to meet new people.
What is our need? What is our opportunity? We can create new maps in various areas of life by poking, leaving, exploring and new map-creation.
Poke those edges
Let’s not allow the edges to define us. What defines us is huge and mysterious. It lies beyond our current edges … what feels like our limitations.
Limitations (of knowledge, experience, perceived ability, or whatever) are edges which we are meant to poke. It will probably be uncomfortable. The edges encompass our zone of comfort.
But deep down we know that our real lives are above and beyond our comfort zones. Poking, however small, is an act of faith.
Let’s get on the leading edges of our lives.
Interesting read: see Dan Miller’s post, ‘Need a New Map for Your Life?’ … it’s not quite what you think.
Explore virgin territory
Our current maps do not represent the real territory we are called to possess.
New intellectual territory. Emotional territory. Relational territory. Spiritual territory. Health territory. Business territory. Financial territory. Life-experience territory.
My wife and I were discussing something today. I think it was related to something at the office she works at. I felt to say, “We are called to own things, not rent them. We are to possess (territory). Be an owner.”
Explore and then possess new territory. I believe if we go too long in life without taking new territory, we get bored and frustrated. We’re designed to take ground.
Leave the shoreline
During the Age of Exploration, early explorers hugged the coastline of western Africa as they sought a way to get to India. The default sailing method of the time was to keep the shoreline in sight.
Columbus, Magellan, and others broke away from that mindset and discovered new territory and sea routes for which there were no maps. They invented maps based on newly discovered territory.
Replica of the Nao Victoria, the first ship to sail around the world. The Victoria was part of a Spanish expedition commanded by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. Of the 5 ships which began the voyage, the Victoria was the only ship to complete the circumnavigation in 1522. Of the 42,000 miles traveled, 22,000 were unknown to the crew.
In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Brutus convinces Cassius they need to face Octavius and Anthony in a decisive battle immediately. If they do not seize the opportunity, it will not come again. Brutus implores Cassius …
“We at the height are ready to decline. There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full seas are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.”
This is the interplay, the partnership, between the Greater Story and our Personal Story, between Providence and our free wills proactively moving in faith. There is the tide. And there is the venturing forth.
If we always stay, we won’t create new maps.
Map-readers and life-cartographers
There’s a big difference between those who merely read existing maps and those who create new ones.
Cartography is the art of map-making. Of course, map-making requires poking, exploring and leaving.
The accurate and complete territory you are designed to explore and possess will require new maps. The old maps will not do.
Let’s not make the mistake of thinking our current maps are the territory. The maps are never the territory. Maps are our best understanding and representation of the territory at a point in time.
A continuous attitude of venturing and exploring in life is the best approach. We will understand more accurately the territory of our lives. And we will discover new territory we did not know existed.
Christopher Columbus discovered two new continents. They weren’t on the maps because no one really knew they existed.
There’s more for you and I …
Is boredom and frustration talking to you about something in your life? Yes, I believe our life-design can speak to us through the voice of boredom and frustration. Are you making new maps? Are you willing to leave, allowing the winds to fill your sails?