In today’s uncertain economy, many of us have dreams of breaking out of working for “the man” and doing our own thing, starting a business that speaks to our deepest dreams, talents and aspirations. But not many of us actually succeed in doing so.
A surprising percentage of people start out with big dreams and the best of intentions, but somewhere along the way, those plans get scuttled by reality. They often have trouble seeing the steps they need to take to reach their goals. There’s just so much to think about that the pressure of the unknown pushes them back into their existing daily grind.
As a result, they never reach “escape velocity” – to borrow a term from new media guru Chris Brogan – enough momentum to break free and accomplish their big dream in life.
One of the biggest problems people face is making sense of the huge number of things that need to be done whenever you’re trying to accomplish a big dream or project, such as striking out on a new career, or doing those things you always wanted to do with your life. Mind mapping software can help, by giving you an almost unlimited palette upon which to explore all of the aspects of your pet project. From setting objectives to taking stock of your existing resources to conducting research and writing an action plan, mind mapping software can help you to get all of the details of your dream out of your overburdened mind and onto the screen, so you can organize your thoughts and get clarity on your course of action – which will help you to turn your ethereal dream into concrete reality.
I created the map at right as an example to help illustrate what I’m talking about (please click on the map to see a full, larger version). In this example, I have decided that I wanted to quit my day job and become an independent businessperson, making a living on my own without any corporate rules. As you can see, a mind map is a perfect way to do the “front end” research and planning to help you achieve your dream. I didn’t quite flesh out the left side of the map, but you get the general idea.
The key is to add your ideas to your map, reorganize them until they make sense and continue coming back to work on this “road map” over a period of a week or two until you have a fully-fleshed out plan for turning your dream into reality. The process of creating this map will give you added energy and passion, as it starts to reveal what’s actually possible. In addition, as you get focused, creative ideas will start to pop into your head to help you reach for your big dream.
If your map gets too complex during this thinking and envisioning process, break major sections of your mind map into linked sub-maps. This helps you to keep the amount of detail in your main map manageable, yet you can easily drill down to it with a single mouse click.
The bottom line is that mind mapping software is the rocket fuel that can help you to get clear on what you want to do, plan it out, execute on it and achieve escape velocity, like a rocket breaking free from the bonds of Earth’s gravity. No, it’s not foolproof; you could still fail, but at least you’ve turned the odds heavily in your favor.
So what are your big dreams? What have you always wanted to do, but didn’t know how to accomplish? Why not map out your big plans, so you can start to deliver on them?