After reading Roger Siep’s “Train Your Brain for Success”, I have been obsessed with the language our mind understands. Siep states that our brains are always working — either with or against us. He believes that our default gear is one that isn’t really helpful and is designed to keep us safe, but not in a position to get out of our current creative ruts.
Siep states that the language of our brain is images. Thus, by making such claims as “I’m not creative” or “I only do websites” — we are creating that image that our brains lock onto and file away as fact and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We, as programmers of our own mind, have the power to produce a positive snapshot that our mind will embrace and will actually push us forward. By stating a negative, you create that image in your mind and then your life.
As a writer, I put pen to paper for everything. From journals to grocery lists to daily agenda to driving directions, everything gets written down. This is how I function. Or, better stated, this is how I have been functioning.
I haven’t really given into the whole vision board or life mapping trend. Perhaps I didn’t understand it, but what Siep says about how the mind records, remembers and recalls via images has inspired me to step beyond the written word.
At first I was stuck as to “how” to incorporate imagery into my mental processing. Then, I read a chapter by Paige Stapleton from the compilation book “Audacious Creativity” (edited by Stephanie Gunning). Stapleton explains that the purpose of Life Mapping is “to explore your subconscious to find out what it is that is trying to emerge and become visible in your life.” After it has been created from various images, phrases and words cut from magazines or printed off the Internet, you are supposed to hang the map where it will continue to inspire and motivate you.
But it was her daily practice of creating a mini-Life Map that intrigued me. Every morning, Stapleton cuts out an “inspiring picture and a motivational phrase and paste them in my journal before I begin writing my morning pages.” She uses it as a daily guide to show herself what it is she wants, doesn’t want or is currently seeking in her creative endeavors.
Interesting, I thought to myself. Perhaps instead of scribbling out a daily to-do list with my first cup of coffee — perhaps I should seek inspiration for where I want to go . . . not what needs to be done but what I need to feel creative, inspired, productive. I need to go beyond the agendas, lists etc and look for something that will motivate me to stretch my creative talents.
So, I think I will give the whole morning map thing ago. If nothing else, it focuses my attention on me and my direction in life — rather than what I have to get done today. Laundry can wait. What can I do today to propel me forward? From quotes to inspiration . . . or even copied text from one of my books onto a Post-It. By searching for something to inspire me — I will find inspiration all around.
- 23 Tricks To Learn Anything Better (lifehack.org)
- What is Mind Mapping and how can I use it? (martinamcgowan.com)
- How to Use Mind Maps to Unleash Your Brain’s Creativity and Potential (lifehacker.com)
- What is Mind Mapping and How Can I Use It? (business2community.com)
- The Roots of Creativity Found in the Brain (livescience.com)