How to Draw a Dream Map: The Pieces 🏷️
What are the bridges, rivers, lakes and roads that make up my Dream Map?
Live the dream! Use a Dream Map to get there. But where to start? The Dream Map operates the same way as a regular map, establishing a bridge between the abstract and reality. There are places, roads, and other symbols on the map; information that you see every day organized in a way to help you get where you want to go. Symbols that together take the real, concrete world and portray it neatly on the page.
If the real world is put together with roads, paths and rivers connecting destinations dotted across the planet. What’s the Dream Map equivalent?
🏷️ What are the pieces?
The dream is the future version of myself who has it all. That could mean a lot of things. Most of those things may be hard or difficult to bring into focus without a guide. That’s what the map is for. The destination on the map is determined by figuring out what’s important to me and optimizing for that. What’s important to me are my…
Personal priorities are the anchors of what I care about and where I intuitively spend my time already. As I am awash in a sea of stimulation, distraction and other invisible forces, my anchors help me to orient myself. These are a great guiding light because they are extremely personal, easy to establish and relatively unchanging as I live my life. To start bringing my dreams through the wormhole into this reality my personal priorities are a great scaffolding.
As I sit with my priorities in my hands and think about what success looks like in these different dimensions that brings me to my…
Each personal priority I outline will have a vision associated with it. The vision is the outcome I aspire to. The great thing about organizing my dream map around my personal priorities is that they give me a way to make sense of abstract concepts (something humans are no good at. As a human I attest to this). As I start to do this, that vague future vision of myself in an awesome house smiling and happy at age 75 starts to come into focus. As he comes into focus the dream changes and I understand how the different things that are important to me play into my future. The beauty is that despite each of the personal priorities being seemingly independent, when I think about them in this context they start to mix and mesh in ways organic to my sense of self and where I want to go. As I take stock of the landscape I can start the process of telegraphing my route to this conclusion. This telegraphing or road mapping is the…
The strategy is what I will do to move towards my vision based on what I know today. Sun Tzu describes strategy as all the work you put in before you even step foot on the battlefield. Whether I’m aware of it or not I have a strategy that I’m implementing today. It’s not particularly thought out or sophisticated and it didn’t get me where I wanted to go, so here we are. The strategy will change more than the vision and personal priorities by design. If my dream is the castle in the sky, I can build to it using sticks and spit or hay, bricks, even chairs stacked end to end up into the sky. Clumsy metaphor aside, changing strategies can be done. As I learn new information, I’ll want to adapt, but I do not want my strategy to vary wildly otherwise I risk getting lost in the volatility. If I don’t adapt my strategy then I’m just another “insane” person doing the same stuff over and over again and expecting different… sandwiches.
If my vision is the north star, the strategy is the other stars that make up the constellation. If I don’t have the right strategy in place because it’s incorrect or incomplete, the constellation won’t look quite right. One star makes the difference between celestial genitalia and Pisces. If one piece of the strategy fails, don’t throw out the whole strategy, work on the parts that aren’t working and change them, add to them or subtract from them. Which leads to the particulars of what I’m doing day to day as part of each prong of my strategy, the…
The tactics are the specific actions I will take to fulfill my strategy. If I’m driving a big boat across the Atlantic, maybe rather than planning around icebergs, I’ll just chart a course proximate to the equator. That would be strategy. The tactics would be all the little details that make the journey actually happen. Those particulars are subject to high volatility, developing as I make my way. If something isn’t working, I’ll change it. If something’s working I’ll keep doing (or not doing) it.
Each component takes a step towards mapping my abstract aspirational future reality into the present. Each step is intended to help me understand how my day to day actions influence my progress towards or away from my objectives. And the glue that holds it all together is…
Beliefs are so important, I wrote another article dedicated to them.
In this project that I’m calling #DrawingMyDreamMap, I set out from the beginning to outline, and document the details of this exercise and my execution of it to drive my life towards my dreams. Now that we’ve spent the time level setting expectations for what the Dream Map is and why I’m even bothering to try something different, it’s time to take you on this journey with me🔰 .
This is part of my Drawing My Dream Map series. For more, follow along here as I work towards my dreams publicly and in real-time.