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Map of Life: The mindset that leads to success and fulfilment

As I was planning my last holiday, one of the first things I did was get out a map and plan our route. Whether it was online maps or old-fashioned paper maps – they all helped guide us to our destination. As I was looking at the maps spread across our dining room table, I thought, “wouldn’t it be great if there was a map of life” that could guide you along your life’s journey?

A personal motivation map is giving you those life lessons that one typically learns way too late in life. Does such a “map of life” exist?

IT’S THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY.
I believe this to be true and have experienced it with my own family. When I think of the times where we laughed the most or had the most fun, it was when we were doing the simplest things; swimming in a pool, combing a beach for shells, playing a board game, or sharing a delicious meal – all simple things making up the best times we’ve had as a family.

SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN IN PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAMS.
How many of us had parents who have, in not-so-subtle-ways, influenced us to take careers that were not in-line with our dreams? Be honest now, did you pick your current career because you’re passionate about the work or were you trying to make your parents proud? How do you feel about your career now? As a parent, it’s difficult to accept when your child wants to take a path other than the one you had hoped and planned for them. “Give them roots and give them wings”. Give them a solid foundation of love, but give them the freedom to follow their dreams.

THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO LEARN AND THAT IS THROUGH ACTION.
Trying to learn without doing is like trying to lose weight by watching someone else exercise. It’s just not going to work. We are all fundamentally hands-on learners.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.
Set goals and make a plan to achieve them. It’s like the saying, “a goal that is never written down is nothing but a New Year’s resolution” – and we all know what happens to New Year’s resolutions.

MAKE A DECISION AND DIVE IN WITH MASSIVE ACTION.
The river of life will take you to places that you have never imagined. Once you make a decision, take action. You’ll be surprised to find where it will lead.

MOVE ON – ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD.
It’s okay to look back once and a while, but don’t live in the past. You can visit “Pity City” for a short time, but after a while, you have to leave it all behind and walk on.

YOU WILL ENCOUNTER OBSTACLES AND TAKE DETOURS WHILE REALISING YOUR DREAMS.
As you strive to achieve your dreams, you can count on there being some setbacks and disappointments. Don’t get discouraged, the road to your dreams may not be an easy one. Think of these challenges as tests of persistence and courage that life throws at you during your quest. They were necessary and were meant to help you grow as a person. Learn to adjust the sails of your life to unpredictable winds, while keeping your focus clear on your destination.

DON’T FEAR THE UNKNOWN.
As long as you’re resourceful and have a few skills, you’ll be able to provide for yourself (and your family). Have confidence in yourself at all times.

LEARN TO UNDERSTAND THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE – THE LANGUAGE WITHOUT WORDS.
There is so much more said from a person than just words alone. You can read the expression on someone’s face, sense their body language, or hear the tone in their voice – these things are all part of the unspoken language. The more conscious we become at noticing them, the better we become at interpreting them.

CHANGE WHAT’S NOT WORKING.
The example that comes to mind is our automotive industry. For many years, cars were being “built-in obsolescence,” meaning they seemed to last for 5-6 years and then things would go south. Around the 1970s, companies like Toyota and other foreign car manufacturers started to be imported into the USA on a more massive scale. Those cars were deemed more reliable, fuel efficient and longer-lasting. Thus, the automotive industry began changing. Because they did not change fast enough with the growing imports, American automakers lost significant market share.

DON’T CHANGE YOUR CORE VALUES.
If your company has a mission statement and core values that were established at the time of incorporation, or have been developed over the years, stay consistent with those values. Bring these positive values to the forefront and deliver your products and services with them in mind. Your values cannot become stale unless you no longer believe in them.

RECESS.
Children are given recess, which allows them to get away from a subject, refresh themselves and come back ready to learn. This philosophy should be true when it comes to a business. You cannot expect your employees to thrive unless they have time to disconnect from their desk or workplace. Kimberly Elsbach, Management Professor at UC-Davis, says, “Never taking a break from very careful thought actually reduces your ability to be creative. It sort of exhausts your cognitive capacity and you’re not able to make the creative connections you can if your brain is more rested.”

EXPLORE.
Let’s take a look at retail and shopping. Most retail purchases are done by impulse. This means you need to get your products noticed on the shelf. How are you going to get your products noticed? By exploring, that’s how! No matter what kind of business you are in, taking the time to research, observe, and study what your competitors and related businesses are doing will give you that competitive edge. If you are a company who is in the activewear business and you want to try to get people to buy your products, you are going to try to out-do Nike, Adidas and other similar brands on the market. Being different and refreshing catches a customer’s eye and enhances your chances of getting noticed.

HIRE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU. Stability in the workplace is very important, but so is change. If no one ever changes, bad habits may continue. Age and diversity of employees are just as important. Taking it back to retail, the population you sell to is diversified with varying ethnic groups, male vs. female, and tastes. If you are the leader of an organisation and don’t actively get out of your comfort zone and hire people that are different from you, you’re destined to only make decisions that appeal to you, not other people.

ABOUT SARAH JONES

Sarah Jones is the UK’s leading holistic lifestyle expert. Her clients include Lorraine Kelly and Anthea Turner among many others. Her motto is: “What consumes your mind controls your life.” For more information, please visit the official website at sarahjonesuk.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram @sarahjonesuk

This article was first published in ESTILA Vol7/2018.