Mind mapping is a free thinking exercise. A lot of people are unfamiliar with it and don’t quite know what it is. Put simply: it’s just brainstorming with branches! We have two sides to our brains: the right brain which is the creative side, and the left brain which is the logical side. I describe it as the left brain being in charge of our head and the right brain being in charge of our heart. Most of us spend most of our time in the left brain – the part that organises us, assesses risks and makes ‘sensible’ decisions. While the left brain is very important and can serve us well, it also holds the seed of self-doubt which can be very limiting when we bring up creative ideas from our right brain. The trick is to tap into our right brains and visualise ourselves living our goals. Once you’re visualising what you want out of life, map it out! The left brain can help with those goals later. Right now it’s the right brain’s turn. Some questions that might help you to get you started are: What would you like to accomplish and learn? Where will you live? What about kids and others in your life, your work and your income? If you are new to mind mapping, you need to practice. After your ‘grand plan’, visualise something smaller or one aspect of your big plan.
The more the mind map is expressive of you and the way you think, the better. If you get stuck, put the paper down, go away and do something else and come back to it later – maybe in an hour or even days later. Alternatively, try using the ‘wrong’ hand to draw or write with. Never mind the awkwardness and mess – it frees up the other side of your brain. Push past the initial ‘I’ve dried up...’ feeling and keep going; there’s more in there. You’ll know when you’ve finally finished.
What does your mind map tell you? Somewhere on there, there’s the idea that’s waiting to happen. You’ll know it when you see it. The more you use mind mapping, the better it gets. The process frees up your mind. It will get easier and it will go deeper.
These days I use mind mapping for everything from planning seminars to writing books, designing homes, running my business – and even coaching the junior league football team! Whenever I need to ‘think about’ something, I ‘mind map’ it at the same time.
>>> Coming Next: The Power Is in the Goal