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.