Have you heard of mindfulness? It is the system for focusing your attention and awareness that many people are testing, using and falling in love with. One of the things practitioners of mindfulness say is that they are much more in control over their thoughts and mind and are no longer running their lives.
I believe we, as mind mappers, should be more aware of mindmapfulness. It will help us in getting more from our own mind maps. I’m sure that is what you want and like, right?
Mindmapfulness, The Start
A mind map is just a tool, nothing more nothing less. The moment you realize this, you will become less of a slave to mind mapping. I’ve seen this happen many times. People creating mind maps like they read in a book. Just following the technique because that is what is “the best way of making maps” or so they say.
And they are creating maps for just about anything. Why? Because mind mapping is something you can use for anything (is their answer then).
I’ve been doing training courses with many people. I’ve seen my share of mind mapping applications from note taking to presentations to personal development to goal setting. Some things are better done in mind maps (like some situations where you need to take notes), sometimes it is better to not use mind maps at all (for example when you are creating a weekly planning based on the days of the week).
Remember this: mind mapping is just a simple and smart tool. It is not the tool that solves all your problems!
Mindmapfulness, Moving Forward
Once you realize that mind mapping is a tool, and not the solution, you can move forward.
There is no real need to create mind maps the way you see in most of the books. Sure, in the beginning it is a nice method you can use step by step to create a result that is reliable and easy to re-create in different situations.
Still, this only works if you can’t think freely.
When you’ve been creating a couple of dozen mind maps, you will see that some parts of mind mapping are really easy using the traditional mind mapping method. Other things (like drawing or using different colours in your map) are not that easy. They will hold you back, give you the feeling you are wasting time, and are just feeling plain stupid. No worries, this happens to all the people who want to grow and learn more.
Remember: don’t be rigid. Adjust and Amaze. Not just yourself but also the people around you. You’ll become relaxed and you will deliver more in less time.
Mindmapfulness Removing Restrictions
This one is powerful not just for you, but for everybody who ever had problems with their information. Of course you can create mind maps to create more overview and insight in a situation, problem or idea. Would you create mind maps only? I think you should be aware of the dangers of doing that.
A mind map is a tool which links ideas, concepts or thoughts to each other. The mind map creates real life fixed links between them. This could be great to summarize the entire outcome of a brain storm session. But… why would you limit yourself during the brain storm?
Make sure you remove any lines between concepts, thoughts, ideas, or solutions. Let the content float freely. Let it interact with whatever it wants to interact with. It might be difficult in the beginning if you have been a big mind map user for a long time. After all, information needs to be connected to each other to make sense, right?
Don’t you worry. Information isn’t fixed or always connected to the same thing in your mind as well. Information is allowed to float freely in your mind. It will do this until you make it stop and become a fixed idea, habit, restriction in your life.
When you do brain storm sessions in groups, or you make mind maps with other people together, you might want to keep an open mind and focus on what is really important (which is more than often not the connections between information but the proximity of thoughts and concepts). Clouds or groups of information make sense, trust me (or better yet, test it out yourself and see what happens with your information).
Remember: information is not fixed, situations change, let information flow where it needs to go and have the highest value for you.
Is Mindmapfulness Something For You?
I believe if you read the information above and you still want to create mind maps like you have been doing before, you are not doing yourself a favour. In fact, you are limiting yourself. Like Bruce Lee said, be like water. Flow where you can flow; be soft and strong when needed.
Make sure your mind is not limited by the idea of creating a mind map a certain way. Test, adjust, amaze, grow, enjoy!
Yes, this may be a little direct or harsh or impolite of me to say it like this. Still, you know I am telling the truth. Creating mind maps for the sake of creating overviews is not smart.
The very moment you understand what a mind map can do for you and what it is, you should investigate and figure out how you can have mindmapfulness.
Good luck growing, building, amazing!