Free Self Help Tool. The Map.


Free Self Help Tool. The Map..

For the majority of us moments of real happiness, at the best, are

short lived. To fall back to a state of not being unhappy is a normal,

stable, workable state of being that allows the moments of real

happiness to just happen.

If you find your normal state of being is unhappy then there is

something wrong in your life and though your unhappiness is caused

by an outside (outside of your control) influence, as I take you

through the meanings of each image you will find the path away from

unhappiness is totally under your control.

Technically, as you can see, the Map is not a map as you will know

maps to be, but with a little understanding of what the six

illustrations represent, a life journey can be planned.

Have you ever had a big life­ changing decision to make?

Did you think of, or write down, the pros and cons of the

consequences of your decision/action to give yourself something

tangible to help you make a decision?

The Map endeavours to take the idea of a pros and cons list much

further, to make tangible much more information.

Each picture depicts a place we can be mentally and emotionally in

our relationships with the world, different places for different

relationships, all at the same time.

With the Map, once understood, if we can be honest with ourselves as

to where we are in any particular troubling relationship we can then

see the steps to take to improve our situation .

There are a few rules to this type of map reading, the first, and most

important rule is that it is only for you !!

It is not possible to consider where someone else is on the Map to try

to help them.

Having said that it could be helpful for a relationship for another to

see where you feel you are in your relationship with them.

Our position in the world is defined by how we relate to everything

and everybody, how we relate to our friends, our environment, our

partner, our family, our government, our neighbours , our poverty,

our riches, our education, our boss, our workers etc. etc. Our

problems come from how all the above relates to us!

I trained as a nurse for people with learning disabilities in Liverpool

and it was during this training I gave a talk to a group of nurses and

tutors on the map, at the end of the talk I took questions and one

nurse, looking at the blackboard on which I had drawn the places of

the map, asked me “where does it start ?”

There is no start, and no end, life goes on regardless and the problems

life throws at us we rarely see coming, often we only know we have a

problem when we feel the effects of it and mostly the actual problem is

beyond our control.

With this in mind please bear with me when I say the start, new

beginnings, is at the end so we shall start at the end.

Loss, Emptiness, Broken Dreams &

New Beginnings

Emptiness describes this place, nothing but a multi platform staircase

for as far as the eye can see .

Pain and despair may have brought you here but now there is just


Life is precious, though the thought of starting again will be daunting

there is a way out.

Take the stairs.

Those stairs symbolise the concept of taking one small step at a time,

the platforms symbolise small goals you need to set yourself.

These goals will be different depending on your situation, the goals a

peasant women, after an earthquake, sitting on the rubble of what

used to be her home, mourning the death of her children will be very

different from the film star whose loved husband has just left her for

another woman. But either way both have to move on, slowly, step by


For the peasant woman her first small step could be to make a shelter

so that she can get some sleep and enough strength to go and (take her

next step) find some clean water to keep her going until the next day

when she will need to take her next step and go find food.

The film star, though her loss is incomparable to that of the peasant

woman can feel just as empty. You cannot feel emptier than empty, and

though her steps will be very different they still have to be identified

and taken.

These two examples may seem a little extreme, maybe you just feel you

are here because life for you is just ‘OK’, you go through the motions

but its all routine, you don’t feel empty because of any loss, you just

feel empty because in your life maybe there is no feeling of purpose,

or satisfaction or creativity. Possibly downloading this Map was your

first step, taking the trouble to make a a nice poster of the Map to

remind you day to day about your life path could be the next step.

As with any place on the map there are many scenarios, only you know

how you got here and what your small steps could be, the important

thing is to identify those steps and, little by little, climb the stairs to the

next level.

Lessons will have been given but not necessarily learned here, new

beginnings are created but not necessarily carried through to the end

here, it is too early, the past is too raw .

Earlier I mentioned the map is all about you, it is now that you have to

provide for you, you are both the inner child and the outer parent,

here there is no one else to provide for you, others may be able to help

but you are the one that must get that help.

It may be cold and lifeless here like a lifeless ploughed field in the

winter but plant the seeds now and in a few months you will be in a

very different place.

Key concepts for this place,



step by step

small achievable goals

provide for yourself

understand there is a lesson to be learnt

new beginnings

Decisions, Freedom, Influence, The Future.

At the bottom right of this place is the last platform at which you will

have arrived at by taking those small steps upward, back into the


This is probably the most important place on the map, it is here you

decide the structure of your future.

At this place you are free to decide for yourself, real freedom is a

strange thing, as soon as you use your freedom to decide a path

complete freedom is lost, when you commit to a future there are bills

to pay, work to be done, consequences to work through, responsibilities

to take on, all of which chip away at your freedom.

It is really worth spending a little time here bathing in your freedom

before you decide what to do next.

So what are your options?

We can take the path to the bridge and begin what looks like a very

long uncertain walk to what cannot be seen, or we can take the easier

route by going down to the jetty and getting in the boat to drift with

the current to where ever it takes us.

The Boat.

If you take another look at this place you will see the current, the

darker water, takes us through an opening to the next place we will be


This darker water, the current, is the force of influence.

We are all affected by some form of influence, what we wear, the way

we speak, what our expectations are, our drinking habits , our beliefs.

Some influences are good for us some are most definitely bad for us.

The difference between the good and the bad influence is a good

influence shows us the path that will benefit us, the bad influence

shows us the path that will benefit the influencer.

The role of the influencer will be discussed in the next two places we

will visit and need to be read before one can fully understand this

place because the first four places to be discussed form a cycle you

may be in without realising it, this needs to be understood before you

can go forward.

There is the concept of going with the flow and there is the concept of

fighting against the flow and there is a ‘Map’ concept of taking the

bridge to walk over the flow altogether.

The bridge

The bridge, over a vast expanse of water, is your path to the future

that you have decided to construct for yourself.

This is a path into the complete unknown, or to put it another way, this

is the path away from everything you have known.

OK it is easy for me to sit here conceptualising , but what does it all

mean in the real world, ‘constructing the future’, ‘into the unknown’.

It gets worse!!

You have to believe in yourself and follow your heart, do only what

feels wholesome and maybe follow some influences that have been

good in your life.

You may be sitting at a real crossroad, a real bus station, a real

airport thinking you have just read these words but the concepts do

not exist in the real world .

I don’t blame you, I have also heard and read wishy washy concepts

that at the time blur rather than clear up the problem and yet what I

have just told you to do is 99% of parenting.

Millions of parents, every day go about constructing a future for their

children, and the only guidelines they have is what the love in their

hearts tells them and what feels wholesome and right.

To believe in yourself, to follow your heart and to only do what feels

wholesome are real concepts and with the help of the Map, the only

tools you need to get where you want to be.

You again have to be your own parent, both the inner child and the

outer parent.

Keeping with the parent child theme an example in real life of this

place would be the difference between good parenting and bad


A good parent would lead their child to the bridge, away from bad

influences, a good parent, without knowing what the future holds for

their child has faith that they are equipping their child with all that he

or she will need to cross the bridge safely to the future.

Bad parenting would allow their child to drift in the boat from one

bad influence to another, possibly because neither parent or child

realise that a bridge to the future exists.

Earlier I spoke of the first four pictures or places where we can find

ourselves, form a cycle or a circle, though we haven’t yet described the

other two places I would like now to touch on what that circle is, the

reason being that it is this place where the circle can be broken.

As we will see further on, the two top pictures represent places where

you have value, that is, places where you value yourself and others

value you.

If you take the bridge you are valuing yourself, this may mean taking a

course, learning a trade, trying your luck in a new place, whatever it is

that you do it is something that feels wholesome for you, you are

developing your creativity for you despite what others may say, I add

despite what others may say because there always seems to be someone

who given the chance would exert their influence over you for their


Not valuing yourself is very common, though you wouldn’t get to this

place and consciously say to yourself “I have no value” the fact that the

real creative you has never had a chance to emerge is likely to make

you feel you are not capable of crossing that long bridge so you decide

to take the boat and drift along straight back into the cycle or circle

taking you to the next place we shall discuss.

Key concepts for this place.

Decisions made by what feels wholesome

Construct your future

Freedom to be you

Influence and influencer

Valuing yourself

Not valuing yourself

Listening to what your heart tells you

Believe in yourself

Lies, Powerless, Drifting.

Here is the source of the current of influence, the rock to the left, to

the bottom right is a break in the border, the entrance through which

the current will bring you if you took the decision to get in the boat.

The current takes you off into a misty swamp, a marshland where the

mist hides the truth and the many winding channels hide the real

direction you are going .

To the middle of the picture there is another break in the border, this

is the entrance to the last picture in this cycle or circle.

If you live on a desert island, completely self sufficient, only then you

will not find yourself here.

This is the place people in power, represented by the rock, manipulate

the rest of us to live to a constraint that will keep them in power.

I am not just describing dictators, terrorists, bullies and wife beaters

they are obvious power hungry influencers.

The sayings, “kept in the dark” or “taken for a ride” describe this


To be taken for a ride requires an influencer and an ‘influenced’

In real life this can be something mildly annoying like trying to get

your money back for faulty goods or services from a faceless

impenetrable bureaucracy, ranging through to life destroying incidents

like debtors hounded to the point of suicide.

In this place it not just that an act or situation is being imposed on you

it is you allowing it to be imposed by sitting in the boat going with the

flow that is controlled by your influencer, you know something is

wrong but you cant quite put your finger on what that is, this is

because with all the twists and turns of the channels in the swamp you

end up with no idea where you are, or where you stand, and if you

look for the truth all you find is a thick mist that hides it.

In the previous place I spoke of following your heart and only doing

what feels wholesome, how many times have you thought “I knew

there was something not right about that” but didn’t take any action?

Well that is what believing in yourself is all about, believing in those


The usefulness of this picture, of seeing this place , is that instead of

going down the downward spiral in the next place, the last place of this

cycle, after the second or third unanswered call, the second or third

excuse, the first couple of attempts at manipulating you, the reaction

that makes you think your not valued or just the feeling that

something is wrong, then look at the this place and ask yourself are

you drifting through a misty marshland of lies, do they have all the

power in this situation?

If they do then it is time to get out of that boat, step into the sticky

mud and sum up all your strength to walk, step by step, back to the

bridge, away from the influencer.

In real life it will mean you saying to yourself “ I have had enough of

the truth being hidden, of not being valued, of not treading my own

path, of going with your flow, your direction, for your benefit”

As in real life, it is not that simple, do you know the difference between

wishful thinking and your heart’s intuition and are you just being

paranoid and fearful that the ‘they’ have all the power?

With an understanding of this place in some situations its so obvious

that you are in the marshlands, in other situations it is all far more

subtle .

The truth is that we have all been in this misty marshland of lies as the

victim, the influenced, and also we have all at some time been the


The way to tell if you are being paranoid or just wishfully thinking

somehow everything will turn out for the best is to honestly ask

yourself are you , or do you aim to be, the influencer?

In the previous place I spoke of constructing your future, is the

influencer not constructing their future, of course they are, so what is

the difference?

The difference lies in the intention. To return to the parent child

analogy, every parent is capable of being an influencer, the parent

holds the power in a parent child relationship.

As an example a child comes home from school exhausted, the parent

notices the child’s tiredness and sends them to bed early, this is a

parent on the bridge leading their child to the future, the parent’s

intention is wholesome. On the other hand a parent sending their

child to bed early because the parent wants to have some grown up

time is being the influencer. (child “but why?” parent “because I say

so!”) the intention is one of benefiting the influencer.

Another example can be found in politics, many go into politics to be

influencers with the intent to use the marshland of lies to gain wealth

and exert power, but on the bridge a few honest souls in politics have

the intent to make sure that bridge to the future is well maintained for


In life we all have to get stuck in, earn a living , bring up children and

every day we interact and relate with others, make choices about who

to trust and invest in that trust. A good term of reference when we are

deciding who to trust is to step back and ask ourselves are they

showing us our way on the bridge to our future for our benefit or are

they pulling us along through the marshland for their benefit?

Is your doctor a healer or a businessman/woman? Is your boss a

provider/facilitator or an influencer, does a significant other care or

do they manipulate, the difference will always be their intention.

It is hard sometimes not to be the influencer, was my website designed

to influence you into buying this PDF? Do you now feel like I am

pulling you through the marshland of lies?

Well I will tell you that what you have paid for is a lifetime of my life

experience and over ten years thought and my intention is that we can

all have a better life in this exchange.

The website and this PDF were both designed with the intention to not

be an influencer and yet promote, sell and deliver a concept.

Or am I lying??

Sorry I don’t want to confuse you, taking you one direction and then

another but I wanted to make the point that truth is what you feel it to

be not just what others tell you, what feels wholesome is your guide, it

is your guide to the truth and your guide to your path. And, if you can

believe me, this whole project feels wholesome for me.

So are you being over sensitive or paranoid? Well first I can tell you

the difference between wishful thinking and intuition, intuition more

often than not tells you what the bad things are, where as wishful

thinking only tells you what you want to hear, also intuition is felt in

the body, wishful thinking is just made up thoughts in the head, fun

but meaningless.

Now have you just read all this and think you are being paranoid

about people having power over you? Well forget what you think, take

more notice of what you feel and if you feel you are in this place then

you probably are, whether you are paranoid or not you will be right,

you will always be right, whether you are right or wrong you will

always be right, because if you were wrong it was right for you to be

wrong because you had a lesson to learn.

You are not alone, we all have lessons to learn.

Key concepts for this place.

being influenced

having no direction

not being valued

being conned


giving up your power

a test for your intuition


Downward Spiral, Pain, The End.

This is the place where wishful thinking has been smashed.

Where the awful truth that the lies were hiding has been uncovered.

Or the realisation of loss.

From any part of the map we can find ourselves at the bottom of the

spiral staircase in a second, it could be a phone call, an act of nature,

an accident or an act of malice. One moment everything is or appears

to be (depending on where you are on the map) fine, the next moment,

that piece of truth, that earthquake, that landslide, that road accident

and you are here.

So there are two ways to this place, the instant calamity or the slow

progress through the marshland to the edge and then metaphorically

pushed down the steps by your influencer.

As there is not a lot we can do about the instant calamity let us take a

look at the area we can do something about and that is the influencer.

Here there is the base of the rock , the power, the influencer, and next

to it is a slimy dripping spiral staircase, in fact it is a one way staircase

going down!

The influencer is very powerful, very solid and immovable but it has

one vulnerability, the moment you touch it the influencer’s power

dissolves so it will fight to the end to prevent you touching it.

The closer you get to the influencer the closer you will get to being

thrown away down the stairs.

There are some rare exceptions, some tenacious souls have found a

way through the marshlands above and instead of arriving here have

managed to touch and destroy the influencer.

The 1970s era Pulitzer prize journalists Woodward and Bernstein are

a good example of the exception. Their fight to discover the truth led

to the forced resignation of the then USA President Nixon. For more

information ‘google’ Watergate or/and Woodward and Bernstein

But for most of us we neither have the strength or the resources to

‘touch’ our influencers. It would have been better to have turned your

back on the influencer in the marshland but for what ever reason you

believed your influencer, blindly ran towards the influencer with open

arms but just before you were able to embrace your influencer you

found yourself at the bottom of the spiral staircase.

An example of arriving here would be the first an unsuspecting spouse

finds out there is something wrong with their marriage is that

moment of horror and disbelief when out of the blue they receive the

divorce papers!

Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Castles Made of Sand’ tells of a girl about to commit


‘There was a young girl, who’s heart was a frown

Cause she was crippled for life,

And she couldn’t speak a sound

And she wished and prayed she could stop living,

So she decided to die

She drew her wheelchair to the edge of the shore

And to her legs she smiled you wont hurt me no more

But then a sight she’d never seen made her jump and say

Look a golden winged ship is passing my way

And it really didn’t have to stop, it just kept on going…

And so castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually’

We don’t know if the ‘golden winged ship’ cured her or if it was

symbolic of her being taken to heaven.

For a discussion on the meaning of these lyrics see ­

I believe that the castle she had built out of sand was the plan to

commit suicide, I believe Hendrix meant when he said

‘But then a sight she’d never seen made her jump and say

Look a golden winged ship is passing my way’

was that in her moment of despair she saw something beautiful.

I don’t believe she was cured physically, golden winged ships don’t

exist, I do believe Hendrix meant emotionally, in a moment, the

cripple girl saw the beauty of life, saw, despite her disabilities that

there was value in her being and symbolically the sight she saw

washed the despair away from her heart.

The golden winged ship didn’t stop and neither did her disability, all

that changed was a shift in her outlook on life.

I mention the cripple girl to try to to paint a picture of the despair that

one can feel here, this is the place that people consider suicide as an

option to escape this place, people who have committed suicide have

felt this is the only option here but they were wrong.

A couple of times I have spoken of both being the parent and the child

and parenting the child within you, conversely here it is possible to be

both the influenced and your influencer. If you are telling yourself

suicide is the way out of this place then you are trying to influence

yourself, pulling yourself through a marshland of lies, hiding the real

truth in a mist of emotional despair.

Here is the end of the four picture cycle, NOT the end of your life.

Below is the url for listings of helplines and centres throughout the

world helping those considering suicide or suffering with depression

From here as the initial shock turns to numbness you arrive at the

bottom of the metal stairs where we started, the place of loss and

emptiness, the place of broken dreams but most importantly the place

of New Beginnings .

And so we complete the lower cycle or circle that you may be in for the

first time or may be back in again and again.

Life in this cycle is hard and sometimes painful but there are two other

places to be in on this map away from this vicious circle of pain, loss,

having no direction or value, lets return to the bridge to the future

and decide to never get in that boat again, and walk our own path on

the bridge to the future, to the next place on the Map.

Key concepts for this place.

Shock realisation of loss and finality

getting too close to the influencer

thoughts of suicide

the end of something for you

the end of the cycle

Letting Go, Forgiveness, Closure

After a hard long walk, along the bridge to the future you will arrive

at this place.

As I said before in real life you may have been trying your luck in a

different area, doing a course, learning a skill or trade or maybe you

remained living in the same place, staying at the same job, keeping the

same social circle but importantly made small wholesome changes to

your life, your changes for you.

There is a misconception about ‘living life to the full’, when I hear that

phrase it is usually describing someone with lots of money who is

spending it unsustainably on short term pleasure.

To really live life to the full you have to create. You have to invest in

your creativity to live life to the full sustainably. Developing our

creativity is how we develop our personal growth and how we can

value ourselves and how others can value us.

It doesn’t matter what you do all that matters is that you do

something, something that feels wholesome. Wholesome doesn’t mean

it has to be safe and boring, it just means that it metaphorically tastes

good and is nourishing, or to use another phrase, it doesn’t leave a bad

taste in your mouth! You don’t even have to be good at what you do

you just have to do it and enjoy it.

To have reached this point you will have been developing your

creativity and will value yourself but to carry on your path to the

future in sight you will benefit by a short stop at this place.

You have come a long way, now you can see the end of the bridge, just

past the bridge is a path that goes through a valley between the fertile

hills ahead, a path to walk to turn a good future into a good present.

But before the end of the bridge we can see an island with a faint path

going down to the water,’s edge, you need to walk that path before

getting to your future.

If you used the Map to get here, most probably you will still be

carrying some of the darker past with you, short of being given a

lobotomy there is no way to delete the past from your memory, even if

we could we would also delete those hard learned lessons which we

certainly do not want to do.

From here on your life, or your input into your life, should be balanced

and informed, we have to discard any influence from the past that will

confuse or put you off balance.

So what exactly are we going to do?

To help define something vague it helps to look at what its opposite is,

the opposite to this place is getting revenge! A past incident has so

taken over your thoughts and emotions that you want someone to pay

and you will do anything to make them pay, your mission in life is to

make them pay, there was an incident, you were the influenced they

were the influencer and now you want revenge by turning the tables, if

not in reality, certainly in your mind, day in day out you scheme. But

take a look at the map, do you really want to become the influencer?

Forever stuck solidly in the ground in a place of pain and suffering,

looking out over a swamp?

We don’t want to remove the memories, we don’t want to remove the

lessons learnt but we do want to remove the angst that the memories


Closure, letting go, and forgiveness are all about closing the book of

the past releasing the angst, lightening the load so life can move on, but

how is it done?

When doing research for the Map the image for letting go most used

on the internet was a pretty girl with her arms outstretched and a dove

or butterfly flying away, for forgiveness there was mostly religious

themes and for closure there didn’t seem to be anything helpful.

Everything here in the map is from my experience of travelling with

the map, I have experienced religious forgiveness which worked great

but didn’t last because I lost faith in the religion, having said that if

you are of a religion that embraces forgiveness I thoroughly

recommend you discuss it with them.

I am not sure there is a difference between closure and letting go, but

for me the image for closure and letting go would be dancing at a


I didn’t add a ‘raving’ image because it was too specific to me but

that is how I achieved letting go and closure. I danced out my angst.

I would let the thoughts come and go, let the feelings flow over me, let

the rhythm move my body.

As I danced through the night, in my mind, my past was replayed,

sadness, happiness, regrets, pain, guilt, lost love, hate evaporating in

the heat and sweat and sound.

Dancing through the night, dancing out of my own darkness into the

light of a new dawn.

I give this example to show that the concepts of forgiveness, closure

and letting go are very real things and are not just intangible mumbo


I mentioned earlier I didn’t think there was a difference between

letting go and closure but I do believe there is a difference between

forgiveness and the other two, for example the parents of a child gone

missing, for them closure and letting go may mean the abandonment

of the child, something they could never think of doing, but forgiveness

is something they could consider to help them move on with their lives

while at the same time not abandoning hope for the return their

missing child.

At times the map has surprised me with its truth, when I was writing

the description of the previous place I realised that this place is the

place of a controversial practise, legal in some countries, and a

practise I have no views on worth writing but this place is also the

place of assisted suicide.

The dying patient of sound mind and balanced emotion who wants to

take control of their inevitable death, to save themselves maybe a

month or two of intense pain, tie up any loose ends and say goodbye to

their families, and importantly to facilitate forgiveness, letting go and

closure for their informed family.

As in all places within the map, your particular circumstances will

dictate your particular actions that need to be taken, you will have to

find your own way down the path to the water’s edge to forgive , to let

go and get closure.

Key concepts for this place.

Keeping the memory, removing the angst

Letting go



Seeing the beauty in Life

This is the place to be, if you have arrived here then you have arrived

at your future . Its not an exotic holiday destination, no money in the

world can buy this place, neither is it an unattainable dream world,

this place is in your back yard, in a smile in a kind word.

This is not really a place as the others are its more a level of personal

development .

To get here takes hard work, I cannot tell you what your future holds

for you but its all there behind those green hills, at the end of the

bridge along that path through the valley, this place is the other side of

the green hills, think of it as weekend away from day to day living that

takes place behind those hills, there you are sat under the tree

watching the sunrise.

This place in reality may be the exact same place you were living when

you were in the misty marsh or climbing your way step by step out of

your emptiness, the difference is now you can see beauty in the life

around you.

If you can feel the beauty , and I don’t mean to intellectually see

something could be seen as beautiful, I mean actually feel it, to be

actually touched by its beauty, then you have learned how not to be


And if you have learned how to not be unhappy, you live in the potential

to be happy at every opportunity life can give you.

Key concept for this place.

To have the ability to see and feel the beauty in life.

How to Use the Map as a Map.

As an example as to how to use the map I thought it would be

interesting to type into my search engine ‘the most asked question

ever’ and use whatever came up here, the first question that seemed

mildly usable was ‘what is the meaning of life?’

Hmmm I thought, if the map can tell us that then maybe I should up

the price a few euros!!

So I put some music on and sat looking at the map asking it to tell me

what the meaning of life is.

The map is about all the places in life we can find ourselves, the dark

places as well as the light places with all the shades of grey between, as

I looked at the map it became obvious that the meaning of life is that

you and me actually have one, a life that is.

In fact its the wrong question, the real question is does life have

meaning? For me looking at the map now, in some places on the map

one could really be forgiven for thinking ‘my life has no meaning’ but

those places are transitional, even if in real life you can see no way out

from those places the map shows there is a path away that finally leads

to the top left hand place, sitting under the tree marvelling at the

beauty of the sunrise. I guess another way to put it is that the meaning

of life is living life through the ups and the downs until you get to the

point where you can see the beauty in life, at which point the meaning

of life is irrelevant, just a silly question you have no need of asking.

This isn’t the best example of how the map was designed to be used but

it is what life gave me to work with as opposed to me picking a subject

that I may be biased towards. So how did the map tell me the answer I

have given? Very simply, within the question ‘what is the meaning of

life?’ my mind immediately jumped to the thought that it would only

be the influencer, possibly a harsh dictator who would act as if life had

no meaning (everyone else’s life that is). As we know the influencer is

only out to get what it can from us to sustain it and never tells the

truth, therefore the real truth must be in ‘normal life’, life itself has

value and meaning.

Coming to the conclusion life does have meaning how did the map

define that meaning?

The whole map is about carrying on living through life’s adversities to

achieve the potential of happiness from which I deduced the meaning

of life is simply just to live.

Then I pictured myself seeing and feeling the beauty of life and it just

seemed that having achieved that joy the question itself would be

completely irrelevant.

As I said the above is not the best of examples so, though of course

biased towards the workings of the map, here is another example

which shows the strengths and the weakness of the Map.

Whether you are single, a parent, an adult or a child the next example

will be easy to understand.

Your child comes home from school, clothes torn, in tears and runs

straight to his or her room and locks the bedroom door. You stand

outside calling them until eventually they let you in, you eventually

find out they have been suffering for weeks at school being bullied

which has ended up with them being roughed up.

Probably your first reaction is one of anger, so if we take a look at the

place for anger on the map what do we see? Ooops there is no place for

anger on the map!!

Metaphorically and in reality there is no place for anger on the Map.

That is not to say you will not be angry in any of the places on the

map, what has to be understood is that to use the map one needs some

degree of rationality, and anger is not the best place to make the

rational decisions you need to make.

So a couple of hours later the shock has gone and you realise

something has to be done so you look at the map to see where your

child could be on the map to help them deal with this problem. Ooops

cant be done, the first rule of this type of map reading is it is only for


This highlights a problem in the way we live and a weakness in the

Map. I do not believe children would have any problem understanding

and using the Map, their problem is that they are more or less

completely powerless to change anything.

It would empower a child if the parent or significant other sat down

with the child and the map and really listened to the child when they

pointed out where they felt they were on the map and why . In this case

the parent or significant other would act as a facilitator to empower

the child’s decision making.

For any children or young adults reading this who feel in need for

some outside help at the bottom of this link is in alphabetical order

worldwide child lines, for example just click ‘U’ to take you to a

selection of UK child line help centres.

So to return to our example, to sum up, you know the map is only

about you, you know the situation is effecting you and your family and

you know you have to do something to sort out the situation.

You look at the Map and it dose not take long to realise the pain you

feel is being inflicted by the bully, the influencer. You may feel you are

in the marshland or you may feel you are about to be pushed down the

downward spiral stairs or maybe you feel you are at the bottom of the

stairs either way it becomes obvious that it is the influencer who has

taken control.

Now in reality what we have here is a mass of complicated inter

relationships going on, there is the bully, why do they bully? Why did

they pick on your child? Will action make it worse? Will the

authorities help? Will the authorities themselves try to take you

through the marshlands? Does the bully need a stronger force to

control them as in punishing, if so what would that be?

If you think like this then your brain will probably explode and you

will be no use to anyone!!!!

Look at the map, for this example’s sake we will say you feel you are

just about to be pushed down the downward spiral.

When you hand your child to the school they have the responsibility to

take reasonable care of your child, you have to trust this is the case.

I’m afraid if the authorities knew how to deal with bullying there

wouldn’t be any bullying, as we know this is not the case.

So you look at the map, the influencer has all the power and you are

about to be pushed down the downward spiral, what do you do?

You have two choices, touch the influencer to destroy them, remember

the influencer is stuck in the worse place on the map looking out over a

swamp, maybe it would be possible to touch them (the opposite to

punishing), to touch their heart to destroy the influencer inside of the

them. The second choice is to get out of the boat and into the sticky

mud and with great effort step by step carry your child back to the


The boat represents the trust you put in the school authorities who

have let you down. Carrying your child back to the bridge would be

representative of putting your child in a better run school.

I am not suggesting you need the map to have made the decision to

change schools. I am not suggesting you invite the bully round for tea,

I am not suggesting changing schools would be easy or in fact even be

the answer.

The real answer could only be found if it was a real situation you were

really in, only you would know the full facts and how you felt, and of

how it effected you.

What I am trying to show is that the map would have an answer to

your problem.

Your problem solved would solve your child’s problem.

This example raises a question, am I suggesting running away is

always the answer? You may be asking are there not times one has to

just stay, stand up for ourselves, show a bit of back bone, show a bit of

strength, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and just get on with it?

Of course I am not saying running away is always the answer, but I am

saying its better to run towards a better future than it is to be stuck in

an unfulfilled past.

Admittedly standing up to the influencer from the beginning may have

solved a future problem but the Map is for all those times in your life

you just don’t have the necessary resources to do that.

Reading the map is simple, intuitive, bring your question to the map

honestly, locate your present place in whatever the problem you have,

once you know where you are then you can plan your way forward,

knowing where you are is the second rule of this type of map reading

(the first being it is only for you, it is not possible to read the map for

someone else)

Honestly locating where you are is the key to success with the map,

and is the most difficult part of reading the map, if the truth is you

have got where you are through something you are not proud of it will

not help you to hide this from yourself, for example possibly you tried

but failed to exert your control over others which has left you feeling

no one likes you when in fact it is just that the others really don’t want

to be controlled.

Sometimes your problem will be because you were the influencer,

sometimes it will be guilt telling you that you were the influencer when

the real truth is you had no choice.

If you are honest with yourself (which is why you cannot read the map

for some one else) the map will help you make the next move.

After reading this you will have a ‘flavour’ of each place just relax and

look at the map, sometimes an answer will be automatic, other times

you may want a week or so to think about your situation on the map,

let your mind and heart ‘jam’ (as in jazz) with the map and see where

it takes you, you can’t really go wrong.

Good Luck

I wish you a wonderfully wholesome future.

Steve Dove

Creative Commons License
The Map by Steve Dove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.



10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life


10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life

1.Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.

2.Let go of worrying. It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen. When you’re hair-trigger primed to notice the first sign of trouble, you’ll surely find something close enough to convince yourself it’s come.

3.Ease up on the internal life commentary. If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable. People are always telling themselves how they feel, what they’re thinking, what others feel about them, what this or that event really means. Most of it’s imagination. The rest is equal parts lies and misunderstandings. You have only the most limited understanding of what others feel about you. Usually they’re no better informed on the subject; and they care about it far less than you do. You have no way of knowing what this or that event really means. Whatever you tell yourself will be make-believe.

4.Take no notice of your inner critic. Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted. Whatever you achieve, someone else will always do better. However bad you are, others are worse. Since you can tell neither what’s best nor what’s worst, how can you place yourself correctly between them? Judging others is foolish since you cannot know all the facts, cannot create a reliable or objective scale, have no means of knowing whether your criteria match anyone else’s, and cannot have more than a limited and extremely partial view of the other person. Who cares about your opinion anyway?

5.Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.

6.Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.

7.Stop keeping score. Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. Because something is expressed as a number, a ratio or any other numerical pattern doesn’t mean it’s true. Plenty of lovingly calculated business indicators are irrelevant, gibberish, nonsensical, or just plain wrong. If you don’t understand it, or it’s telling you something bizarre, ignore it. There’s nothing scientific about relying on false data. Nor anything useful about charting your life by numbers that were silly in the first place.

8.Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned. The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly. However carefully you analyzed the situation when you made the plan, if it’s more than a few days old, things will already be different. After a month, they’ll be very different. After a year, virtually nothing will be the same as it was when you started. Planning is only useful as a discipline to force people to think carefully about what they know and what they don’t. Once you start, throw the plan away and keep your eyes on reality.

9.Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. The job of a supervisor is to help and supervise. Only control-freaks and some others with a less serious mental disability fail to understand this.

10.Don’t worry about about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part—usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.