How to Map Out Your Life

Success means more that titles, degrees and economic gains. Mapping out all the aspect of your life is about planning for your success. Much like a map, you will need to define various details, such as origin, destination, vehicle and backpack, landmarks as well as route.

Origin – Who Are You?

There is always a starting point on a map, your origin is who you are at this time. Many times when an individual is asked to introduce themselves, will say, Hi, I’m John and I am a 17 year old, senior high school student. This does not tell you who John is, rather it lets you know their present preoccupation. In order to gain any insight about yourself, you will need to look closely at your values, principles and beliefs, aside from your professional, cultural, civil and economic status. Likewise, you can reflect on your various experiences to find insights of your good and bad qualities, strengths, knowledge, skills and weaknesses. Reflective thought, brings John the realization that he is highly motivated, service oriented, generous, yet a bit impatient. He is inclined to the biological-medical field. He also believes that life has a purpose and that wars damage human dignity.

Destination: Who You Want To Be

Who do you want to be? It is essential that you know yourself in order to gain a clearer idea of who you do want to be, as well as the areas that you want to change, whether they are point of view, habits or attitudes. When you do not know yourself, you vision of the future is unclear. Your destination should cover all aspects of your being, whether they are intellectual, spiritual, emotional or physical. After John defined his principles, values and beliefs in life, he decided to dedicate his life to serving others.

Vehicle: Your Mission

The means of reaching your destination is a vehicle and it can parallel your vocation or mission in life. Your mission, depends upon knowing yourself. The self-assessment of John, determined that he was best suited for becoming a doctor and he did want to become one. A medical doctor was his chosen vocation. Living a life dedicated to serving others as a doctor in areas of conflict, described his mission vision fully.

Travel Bag: Your Attitude, Skills and Knowledge

A travel bag carries such traveling necessities, such as food, drink and medications. You can bring certain attitudes, skills and knowledge, by applying this concept to your life map, as these will determine, your competence while aiding you in achieving your vision. You will need to assess the attitudes, skills and knowledge you presently have and what you will need to gain along the way. You can gain insights on your landmark measures of success, with such a two-fold assessment. To become a doctor, John needed to gain professional skills and knowledge of medicine. Although, he knows that he is a bit impatient with various individuals, therefore he realized he needed to do some changing.

Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. Objectives

Landmarks confirm when you are on the right road, while a route determines the time of traveling there. Therefore, when planning out your life, you need to have landmarks and a route. These various landmarks measure your success. Of course, these measures will be specific, attainable, realistic, attainable and time bound. Therefore you cannot set two major landmarks within a period of 3 years, such as earning your doctorate or masters degree, since the minimum number of years for completing a masters degree is 2 years. For instance, John identified the following landmarks on his life map, completing a bachelors degree in biology by 21 years of age; completing medicine by 27 years of age; earning his specialization in infectious diseases by 30; getting deployed in local public hospitals by 32 years of age; and serving as doctor in war-torn areas by the age of 35.

Anticipating Detours, Turns and Potholes

Your life map’s purpose is minimizing impulsive and spontaneous decisions, which can cause you to become lost. Although, there are times of modification to your plans along your way, due to some type of delay, inconvenience and various types of situations beyond your control. However, liken to any path, there will be detours, turns and potholes, therefore, you must always anticipate them while adjusting your course accordingly.


  • Doug Olson

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Yes it’s true you should map out your life but only if it werew that simple to follow sometimes life can throw you a curve ball and a slider on the same day and things change fast knowing how to handle that is key and sometimes you can’t do it alone if fact I don’t know anybody who can get through lifes struggles all by themselves so when offered a little help take it and be grateful there are people like that. It’s not how many imes you fall down it’s how many times you get up that couns. Hsve a good day. Doug Olson

  • tmobil8

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Greeetings Reed, Thomas Richmond here, it is always a nice suprise for me to have your blogs come in on a daily bases , thank you. Hope the holidays are keeping you warm buddy. My life and where its going, i was once a recluse, ignoring all the warning signs of my wonder years, lost so many precious things during those 30 some years including a wife. At age 33 i found my calling as a Christian priest and i knew i had to take care of an ailing grandmother, p.s. Frank Kern doesnt even know this stuff shhhhhhh lol. So before i moved from L.A. down to Carlsbad SD. I took some courses in computers and eventually got my Marketing Managament degree through online training at colorado Tech. In Feb. of this year another calling of mine was through a niche called Search engine optimization, i now run my own software through a huge cooperation and doing well with it, with it comes an affiliate sign up where you can join me or you can just buy , your choice, but since Feb i have atleast 200 affilaites..and growing and my members gow as well, i have atleast 200 there. I just started building a list for another team for a future business set up, i give out free lessons on search engine optimization and how to tweek it for your benifit. I also do my homework in following top marketers such as yourself, Frank Kern ,Mike or Tellman and others just to stay in the loop of getting good advice, im a simple guy but God thinks i rock lol so i dont mind at all if i see a mentor of mine or others who step ahead of the rest of us, im always learning. Till next time Reed. God_bless you and Merry Christmas to you and your new family 🙂

  • Percival

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    An internet marketer need not only learn concepts and skills directly related to this field, but more importantly learn how to direct his own destiny. The internet marketer is first and foremost a person leading a life of his own. Internet marketing is but a means or “vehicle” that he uses to reach his destination in life.

    He should not forget there are more important things in life, which gives meaning to whatever he is doing in life, such as internet marketing. He should remember that internet marketing is just a small part of a grander scheme.

    Percivals last blog post..How To Enjoy Your Weight Loss

  • Dave

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Thanks for the article.
    I have run my own brick and mortar business for 28 years and I am still rediscovering who I want to be and my mission. I don’t mean I’m lost but every day is new and so I find I continually need to adapt and change. This is good I think. I agree we need to be looking all the time.
    I have a new blog where I am trying to help people made changes around their house. You can check it out at Home Renew all
    Looking forward to reading more from you Reed.


    Daves last blog post..Top 16 Hand tools for jobs around the House: part 1

  • Georjina

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    And I thought I was stressed:) Reed, this is the first time I’ve seen one of your articles that reads like a ‘bad example of PLR’….ya outsourced this didn’tcha?:)

    Just messing with you, the tips are spot on and hope to see more of them.

    Georjinas last blog post..Solo Entrepreneurs: Do We Mean Business?

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Great post Reed.In any kind of business we all need the attitude outlined by you.The most difficult thing is to move forward and stay focus, no matter failure hits you almost everyday, this consistency in attitude will develop your character becoming more stronger and it build your integrity

    Ari Lestarionos last blog post..10 Tricks To Avoid Flu and Survive During Cold

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Reed, aha – that’s better. I totally enjoyed that like fresh air. This is the life plan, mission, focus, vehicle stuff that most humans have neglected to think about. Focus. You know, I love success at Internet Marketing but it’s a vehicle for setting up residual income sources only. IM injections will fuel me as a writer of novels. It is written in stone. Quartz seams are glistening with rivulets of pure gold.

    Geoff Dodd

  • Zach Kong

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Great post. Life fufillments are actually all about achieving personal goals and creating breakthroughs in one’s life.

    In your blog post, you did mentioned the SMART goals.

    T-Time Bound

    It is good that you provided this blueprint for us to follow. However, for those who want to make use of this SMART method, it is important for you not to get overly smart with it!

    During the brainstorming sessions of goal setting, it is very important for you to leave your ego and logical thinking aside and fully engage your creative mind.

    Oftentimes, people tend to mix in too many other factors during their goal setting process that they already decide if they can achieve their goals.

    If you have not been a chronic goal setter and achiever, it may be hard for you to convince your ego and logical mind that the goals that you have written down are possible, attainable and realistic.

    I like to believe (similiar to those famous personal development gurus out there) that you will always be given the abilities and opportunities to achieve what you desire in life. It will not be fair to you to have the idea of a goal but not able to do it.

    Achieving “attainable” and “realistic” goals are two main potholes of this method. Think about it, which part of you will decide if your goals are “attainable” and “realistic”?

    Yup, you are right, your logical mind and your ego. However, both are only using your past as a reference to determine your future.

    Therefore, if you want to use this method, remember to always write down all your goals, put aside if they are possible or not. Next, go for those which you think are more attainable and realistic. Seek to achieve them first and build a strong belief in yourself and your ability to achieve what you have in your mind.

    All great achievements are built upon a foundation of simple yet important goals.

    For more great and updated information of how to use goal setting to achieve a more fulfilling and motivating life, do feel free to head down to:

    I will see you there!

  • Joyce A. Anthony

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Thanks for the great advice, reed. This is the simplest, to-the-point post I have seen on creating a life plan.

    Joyce A. Anthonys last blog post..Questions and Answers With Mark Tewart–Sales Superstar

  • Matthew Lord

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Reed, Just wanted to say how important I think it is to step back and look at the big picture. Internet marketing is not just about making money, but about living the life you want. More time with family and friends, less traffic, and things of that nature. Take in life and enjoy it. You don’t want to just go through the motions, but work hard and achieve goals. I think this is an excellent post, and refreshing from the constant internet marketing strategies all of us consume ourselves with from time to time.

  • arbonne skin care

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Great layout, very easy to read and understand.

  • Gamini

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hi Reed!,Thanks for this article.
    (I enjoy reading your blogs).
    I failed to see the issue of oppotunity listed there.Unless an oppotunity is presented our planing will remain just that.All plans must be based on available oppotunities.What do you think?

  • Nickolove Lovemore

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Everyone has their own slightly different viewpoint on the definition of success. I like how Earl Nightingale defines success:

    “Success is the progression of a worthy ideal.”

    And, as Matthew Lord commented, Internet marketing is not just about making money. In fact, no form of work is just about making money. It’s the quality of life that having lots of money can empower you to have that’s important.

    Best wishes


    Nickolove Lovemores last blog post..Increase Your Failure Rate to Increase Your Success Rate

  • Jennifer

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Thanks Reed, this was a good and refreshing reminder of the “big picture” of life. Sometimes we get so caught up in marketing, blogging, SEO . . . blah, blah, blah . . . that we forget the importance of our personal journey.

    Jim Rohn says the way to succeed is to work harder on yourself than on your job. This is a great exercise in working on ourselves. Thanks!

    Jennifers last blog post..3 Reasons Big Ticket Items are the Easiest Way to Make Money Online

  • Tommy Linsley

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    @Georjina: I agree.


    This post is the kinda thing that should be
    mentioned more often in IM. All the salesletter
    talk about getting rich, but as John Delavera
    says also, the money is just a means to get you
    to your “bigger land”.

    We all need to remember that we have to give
    in order to receive. If you haven’t read
    “Before the Secret”, I think you would really
    enjoy it. You could pick it up through Gina
    Gaudio Graves at

    Success to all,
    Tommy Linsley.

    Tommy Linsleys last blog post..Twitter Updates 2008-12-17

  • Anna Kindler

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hey Reed, What a refreshing article and so true in many ways. This granny knows just how important a life map is in planning goals for ones life. I really believe in focus and learning. Knowledge is power and has a lot to do with the way you plan your life map.Goals and faith in yourself are two of your biggest assets. Thanks, Anna

  • Peter

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hey Reed,
    nice Blogpost but if siomeone follows your advice what you said in this Blog, you may loose your identity and spread out everything to the world. Who is interested in your life ? waht are the goals you like to achieve ? what is your target ? You learne every day and can prove how helpless you are and what do you get ? another day older and deeper in debt, what a real truth inside a rocksong. Work on yourself and don’t think about what others want to know about me. You should not think all the time about any success you have give to others any positive aspects of your walk in life.

  • Robert Hand

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hi Reed:
    What I like about you is you are for real. You are egar to help people become better at what they do and who they are and who they want to be.

    This article really moved me.

  • Nancy Boyd

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hey Reed, this is a great way to have people take a deeper look at what we’re doing — and more importantly why we’re doing it.

    It’s just too easy to get so tightly focused on getting something done, or even surviving, that at the end of the day you look around and wonder, how the heck did I get HERE? This isn’t what I wanted.

    You need more than a path to a short term goal like “making money.” You need a vision. And your article today helps people think through what their own vision will become.

    And you’re right, many folks skip this.

    That’s sad — and it’s probably why things are that are messed up in the world, got that way — we had people doing stuff they really hated, trying to make money or just get by.

    I think deep in each person’s heart they would rather be doing what they love — if they could only figure out how.

    Thanks for making that one bit more easy.

  • Rick Falls

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hi Reed, Merry Christmas.

    The clearer that we can get on what it is that we love, the easier it will be to live that life.

    I have come to realize that my purpose is to empower others in any way shape or form that I can.

    I think we need to first, allow ourselves to dream in order to live our best lives fully.

    If we live on purpose, anything that gets in our way will surely fall by the wayside as we continue on our overall path to our destiny.

    Thanks for getting all philosophical on us, this was fun.

    Take care, Rick

  • Al Sinden

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain:
    The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft a-gley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain
    For promis’d joy.
    – Robert Burns, “Ode to a Mouse” 1785

    Plans and maps are good and beneficial, but life has a way of intervening, thus changing them.

  • Jussi Koiranen

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Haven’t been reading your blog for awhile, haven’t been online reading for awhile as a matter of fact. And this article was just perfect to get back on track, I just finished adding some Tradedoubler links and banners on my site and now I’ll continue going thru my inbox so that I before New Years Eve can see my goals for the year come true!

  • Jay

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Reed, life is also a book, with each chapter unfolding before you, written word by word with every step you take. Each chapter is filled with good, bad and the ugly, with no one taking your education, your experience away from you. A plan is nothing more than an action to think. For plans change as we go. Without plans, without thinking, we stagnate and stall.

  • Asher

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Success is coming for 2009.
    I know it.
    I’ll be meeting it along the way 🙂


  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Terrific post Reed!

    A business plan, a family plan and a life plan are all essential to survival. This is particularly true today in the current environment.

    As for Gina and I we would like to add to that a plan for our members and followers…

    We will always give our group as much of ourselves and our knowledge as possible with the highest quality service available.

    We want all of our members to grow a healthy business and have a prosperous life!

  • phyllis neff

    Reply Reply December 19, 2008

    First of all thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am sure that it has and, will be helpful to many people. If you could find a way to get this in front of young people they would learn to look ahead down the road and, perhaps make better decisions before they hit one of those potholes
    and travel on with some guidance and stay on a good path. You did a very good job on this.

  • bet

    Reply Reply December 20, 2008

    Good stuff as always. You must have a plan for life. And a dream. Life does intervene, but hold on to that plan and that dream. Just be honest and don’t take advantage of others. I cannot sell these products from the gurus to poor unsuspecting clients. People are getting desperate for money. I’m getting on to eighty and just want to make a little bit of money writing articles and being an affiliate. My daughter has almost $100,000 student loan to pay off. And we all need money in this economy. Thanks for your help.

  • MARINA1965

    Reply Reply December 22, 2008


  • Melody Baker

    Reply Reply January 1, 2009

    Sorry but this time I cannot comment, because I CANNOT believe you actually wrote thAT

  • delords

    Reply Reply January 10, 2009

    Great Post Reed,

    very motivational.

    delordss last blog post..Get Yanik Silver’s 14-Point Web Copy Analysis Free

  • Signs of heart failure

    Reply Reply December 12, 2009

    I have looked at many sites on this subject and not come across a site such as yours which tells everyone everything that they need to know. I have bookmarked your site. Can anyone else suggest any other related topics that I can look for to find out further information?

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