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MAPS for Your Journey
Unleashing your humanness will be no small feat. But doing so will be essential if you want to thrive in the Digital Era.
As we’ve explored in this series, almost everything about the Industrial Age has conspired to make the process of uncovering your innate creativity, imagination, and empathy a difficult one.
We also uncovered that the first step to unleashing your humanness is to dig deeper and focus on building awareness, curiosity, and engagement as a personal capability. Going deeper, sustainably, and effectively, however, requires more than just some ad-hoc activities, or one-time efforts.
The Big Idea
Unleashing your humanness requires a daily practice — a continual, active focus and reframing of daily activities that will help you cultivate awareness, curiosity, and engagement skills consistently over time.
In our interruption-driven world filled with constant distraction, however, that kind of reshaping is difficult to accomplish and sustain without proper guidance, and a solid foundation.
We need a way to achieve balance as we reshape ourselves so that we can maintain what is important to us, improve our quality of life and happiness, and keep the plates spinning smoothly – all without becoming obsessive, or turning to autopilot tendencies.
Like almost everyone, my wife Laura and I have struggled with maintaining this balance. (If you haven’t, please call me, I’d love to hear more about your secret sauce!)
As we looked at everything, we lamented the challenges of dealing with all of the noise and static the world was throwing at us while we sought to transform ourselves, and we wondered if there was a better way to find this balance.
As we explored this conundrum, Laura began developing what would become the MAPS program, and which eventually led us to launch what we now call The MAPS Institute.
MAPS is an acronym that represents the four counter-balancing elements that we believe are foundational to not only helping you rediscover and foster your awareness, curiosity, and engagement skills — but also to creating and sustaining balance in your life.
MAPS stands for: Mindfulness, Activation, Purpose, and Surrender.
The idea is that if we can simultaneously embody these four elements, it will help us remain in balance as we reshape ourselves. Using that equilibrium as our foundation, we can begin to live a healthier, more meaningful, and more impactful life — both personally and professionally — without sacrificing our humanness.
Let’s take a quick peek into each of the MAPS elements.
Mindfulness is the ability to observe the world around us in real-time, to engage with it without emotional clingy-ness.
While this sounds easy, most of us do just the opposite. We go through our days blithely unaware of what’s happening around us, we fail to engage in meaningful ways, and we make impulsive, emotionally charged decisions, falling victim to the repetition of mindless habits.
Activation is more than just taking “action.” It demands that we make choices with intention, aware of the fact that each action creates a reaction and will lead us to another choice. Most importantly, activation is a recognition that it is this chain of choices and reactions that create the path that we are choosing for ourselves, little-by-little, each day. And in that understanding, we come to own our choices.
Purpose is having a focus and intent for everything in your life. That being said, it’s tricky stuff, since being overly prescriptive inhibits the serendipity that comes with well-practiced mindfulness. The point of purpose is to catch ourselves when we are becoming tourists in our own lives, and, instead, to help us make conscious choices that shift how we experience our world. It represents a choice to live a life of meaning and value — however we respectively choose to define that.
Surrender is the final element of MAPS, and it may be the most difficult one to embrace. Much of what holds us back is our own fears, anxieties and temptations. We must, therefore, surrender them — let them go — into order to make room for the mindfulness, activation, and purpose we seek. Of course, it’s often a lot of work to accomplish something that sounds as simple as “letting go.” But it is the failure to do so that often inhibits our ability to grow and achieve our purpose.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot more to unpack here, which is why Laura and I created an entire organization to support the development of MAPS as an integrated, holistic practice that will help people find balance.
In creating MAPS, we are drawing on psychological, neurological, and a variety of other research disciplines, as well as incorporating practice elements from fields as diverse as mindfulness, traditional business guidance, yoga, ikigai, and meditation. We believe this combination creates a balanced program that extends far beyond what any of these approaches can achieve independently.
The Next Step
We are in the process of developing several ways to deliver the MAPS program and make it accessible. This will include a mobile app, online programs, and various other forms that we will be releasing in the near future. (So keep your eyes peeled for more information).
Meanwhile, you can get a sneak peak of an interactive MAPS exercise. It will help you assess your current maturity level in each domain — and where you may need to shift your attention to build a future-proof practice, lifestyle, and self! Once you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll get a FREE personalized exercise you can download to your computer, and use whenever you’d like!
With that, this series must come to an end. But the good news is that this is actually just the beginning!
There is so much more to explore.
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Thanks for joining us on this journey. It’s going to be quite a ride, but I’m glad you’re on it with us!