When I first got the email from the BlogHer Book Club advertising My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future by Kate and David Marshall, I was immediately intrigued. I enjoy setting goals (lack of goal posts notwithstanding) so a book that helps you set goals and “map” the future sounded very interesting.
I was right. This is a very interesting book. However, it’s not so much a book book as it is a “work book”. This particular book review required me to do much more beyond reading. To get the full experience out of this book, I actually had to do some of these exercises.
The point of the book is to “map” your life, from the past to the future. The authors take you through a series of questions and reflections in order to identify key moments in your past and present that can help you determine what you want out of your future. It covers 8 facets of life: place, family, friends, learning, work, service, playing, and other. You start by answering questions and reflecting on your past, and then putting key events, people, places, etc on an actual map (provided in the book and online), and then repeat the process with your present. Using what you’ve learned about past and present self, you try to figure out your future: where you are going, what you are going to, with whom you will be with, how you will spend your time, the kind of person you want to be, and so on. The questions are detailed and really made me think.
This is not an easy book. It’s not something you can do in one night, or really in a week. It requires time and mental energy to answer the questions and map your life thoroughly. However, I think it’s worth it. At the end of the journal, the authors talk about goals and how y0u can use your map to set goals. You’ve mapped out where you’re going and what you’re going to do, so you have the tools to figure out HOW you’re going to accomplish these things.
If you are interested in learning more about yourself, if you’ve reached a crossroads in your life, if you are interested in self improvement and change, then this book is for you. I would like to take the authors’ advice and revisit my maps and notes a year from now. I think it would be interesting to see how I’ve changed in a year and if I’m following my life map. Overall, I give the book a solid B+.
Interested in learning more? Join the BlogHer Book Club discussion.
I received a copy of the book and compensation from BlogHer, but all opinions in this post are mine.