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make your own map

How to pick your goal

Set your goals for the rest of 2014 with the Explore Your Enthusiasm podcast, on TaraSwiger.com

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Happy Middle of the Year!

How's your 2014 going? Have you come closer to your goals for the year? Or have you forgotten all about them?
Either way, this is a great time to reset your intentions for the rest of the year and make a new map.

But where are you going?

In this episode you'll hear my favorite ways to set a good, clear goal that will bring you to a business you really want. I also share an embarrassing story about getting lost, and the importance of not just setting your destination, but paying attention the entire way there (with regular review!)

Links mentioned:

 

How to listen

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Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

 

 

 

Dedicate + Release: the balance of map-making

dedicate

This week we're map-making – breaking down a destination (place we want to get to) into doable to-dos, and I'm sensing the tension between single-minded focus and going-with-the-flow. So let's talk about how to hold the tension, without falling into the what-about-this? swirl.

Once you have a destination + a map:

Commit yourself.
Be dedicated.
Go all in.
Do everything it takes to figure out how, specifically, you could get there.
Be willing to do whatever it takes (with integrity) to get there.

If you can't imagine giving it your all, take a break, step back. Locate your enthusiasm. And create a destination around THAT.

(If you can't find any enthusiasm, honey, you need to take a break. Rest, read, sip tea, snuggle…and then when you feel energized come back to this.)

 

From your whole-hearted dedicated space, remember:

The destination does not define you.
It doesn't indicate your worth.
Reaching it will not (necessarily) make you better, smarter, richer.
Reaching it or not reaching it doesn't matter nearly as much as dedicating yourself to a direction and then moving with intentional action to it, day after day.

It's not about the destination, it's about identifying what you want and how you could get there.*

*Tweet this 

 

As Danielle LaPorte puts it, “Want it with all your heart, but don't be attached to getting it.”

So why bother?
Because you'll never get anywhere without a dedicated, doable plan. It's not that you have to complete the map, exactly as you imagine it. It's that you learn as you go…and a map tells you how to start going.

 

The power of your own map is twofold:

1. It forces you to prioritize. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest? No,that's no longer the question. The question is: what actions will get you closer to your destination?
2. You learn by doing. Your map provides a list of things for you to try and experiment with.

And that's where all the learning, growing (even making money) happens:

Do something towards the destination.
Pay attention to what works.
Adjust.
Note what doesn't work (or feels bad/exhausting/overwhelming).
Adjust.

Without the destination in mind, you wouldn't know what to try. But if you stay too attached to getting it, you don't learn the lessons that come with adjusting.*

It's true! All that adjusting might result in:

Not reaching your destination.
Deciding you don't want to go to that destination.
Bypassing that destination in pursuit of a new, better-suited-to-you destination.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
-Bruce Lee

 

 

What's your destination for this quarter? What has it taught you about getting there?

 

*It can be hard to take a break to reassess and adjust. That's why I built it into the Solo Mission – so you don't have to remember it on your own. 

 

 

 

The Map is Not the Territory

Last week I was talking to  a map-maker and she said, You know, that goal I set, the endpoint for the map, it just doesn't fit anymore.

Exactly.
The map is not the territory.
Although maps are so vital to planning where you want to go, they're not the same thing as real life. Building your business, meeting your goals, exploring the world, it looks nothing like you thought it would.
Even if you crafted a really excellent, detailed map.
Even if you created it based on experience, and wisdom, and you thought we were traversing the same forest you've already been in.

Nope. The map you make is very different from the experience you have.

And that's a good thing!
The map is a guide, it's a starting point.
But the territory, the actual reality of moving towards your goals, that's the good stuff. That's growth and learning and adventure.

So if you made a map and set a goal and now you're only 1/3 of the way through it, and you look around, and you say, What the what? That's ok.
No, it's perfect! Because you are finally out of your head, off the page and on the real path.

You haven't done anything wrong, you've just learned more. So take out your map and edit it. Add in the rocks you didn't know were there. Build a bridge over that raging river. Take a side trip to refuel.

Whatever you learn from the territory: use it. Apply it to your map.

Or maybe you need a whole new map with a whole new endpoint. Maybe you realized halfway there that there is not where you really want to be. That's ok too! Find a picnic table, right there in the middle of your real life and make a new map.

(I totally stole this phrase from Alfred Korzybski. When I read it, I couldn't believe how totally it reflected map-makers experience!)

 

For more map-making inspiration, see Melissa's, Amy's, or Kristine's.

 

Linchpin in a Business of One

Last time I saw my uncle, he told me he had read a life-changing book. A read-three-times-in-a-row kind of book. An everyone-should-read-this kind of book.

What is the book, I practically screamed.

(We like to tell dramatic stories in my family…ones that can go off the rails by the constant interruption of cousins/sons/brothers.)

I was completely surprised to hear the title: Linchpin, by Seth Godin.

The only Seth Godin book I haven't read.

I thought the book was about being an indispensable employee…so I had skipped it. I'm not an employee and I'm pretty darn indispensable in my business of one.

But I trust my uncle, so I got the book from the library.
And devoured it this week.

It's a great book for employees and entrepreneurs alike, but here's what blew my mind: Seth talks, at length about the need to…make your own map. (I'm sorta into you making your own map, remember?)

He has an entire chapter on There Is No Map and here's how it starts:

What does it take to lead?

The key distinction is the ability to forge your own path to discover a route from one place to another that hasn't been paved, measured, and quatified. So many times we want someone to tell us exactly what to do, and so many times that's exactly the wrong approach.

Right?

 This is what I'm talking about. 

This  is exactly what I'm passionate about:
You, getting comfortable with your youness.
You, recognizing that your distinct talents (Seth calls it your genius), your amazing thing (or Seth likes to say, your art) are what your Right People are begging for.

You, getting clear, getting obvious, gettin' jiggy with your youness is what I want for you.

So whether you're working for the man, or your own womanly self – be honest:

Where are you looking to someone else to tell you what to do?

What area of business (life) could you be making your own map for?