What is Your Life Map?

It’s been a long time since I posted an update, and I look forward to reversing this trend in 2015. I have been seeking the topic, post, or theme that would inspire me back into writing posts. I have found one such topic.

The TED talk below introduces some social studies and technology that may change how you commute to work or the gym. Daniele Quercia calls his work, Happy Maps. in the 7 minute video he describes a cartography of his commute to work being driven by happiness and not efficiency. His discussion of his commute cartography moved me to consider this same concept applied to other contexts beyond a daily work commute.

Inspired by this video, I want to expand your awareness regarding Happy Maps to a larger context. Each day, we travel through our life as leaders in our families, work environments, communities, and even ourselves. In doing so, we create a cartography for our days. On any given Monday the cartography of our life may be characterized by family, work, exercise, and maybe some entertainment if we manage to squeeze in the favorite show we recored on our DVR. The cartography of our days will change based on the activities or destinations we experience. Some days may be filled with more happiness, if you change your work commute using the Happy Maps being developed by Quercia. Some days may continue to be ruled by efficiency, if you use your mapping app in a traditional manner.

I want to pivot this concept of cartography from the traditional mapping app through the concept of a Happy Map and into a Life Map. How would you describe the cartography of your life?

  • What destinations, activities, experiences, and emotions are you creating in your family, work, and community life?
  • What destinations, activities, experiences, and emotions are you creating in yourself?
  • How would your family observe and describe your life map?
  • How would your co-workers observe and describe your life map?
  • How would your community observe and describe your life map?
  • How would you observe and describe your own life map?

Having pondered these questions, I would then challenge all of us to consider if you are consciously designing your life map or are you unconsciously navigating life, missing opportunities to create destinations, activities, experiences, and emotions in yourself and others?

These same questions can be directed to the context of transformation, possibly as a transformation map. As leaders of change and transformation, what destinations, activities, experiences, and emotions are we generating in others and ourselves? Are they done so consciously with purpose and intention or are they accidental and unconscious thereby generating unintended consequences and resistance to the change.

Regardless of the context of the map, we can all take ownership of it by designing our map to reflect not only the efficiency and effectiveness that our societal environment so frequently demands, but also the emotional experience that we as human beings all deserve. Maybe you would design your life map to be characterized as a Happy Map, or maybe efficiency is the design, either way, I encourage you to purposefully and consciously design your Life Map based on what emanates from inside you with a whole life perspective inclusive of emotions and experiences.

2 thoughts on “What is Your Life Map?

  1. Thank you, Joe! An inspiring message to start the year and a reminder to be purposeful in everything we do – both in business and in life.

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