Mind Mapping And Motivation

As you know, mind mapping is a wonderful tool to create notes faster, present information to yourself and to others better, outline thoughts clearer and so much more.

While most people probably use mind mapping for notes or presenting information, it is really easy to use it for motivation as well. Let’s have a look at that together right now. As always, don’t just read what I tell you. Use the information you learn. Apply it in your own life. Adjust if needed. Benefit from it and grow! And if you like let me know about your successes and tell others about them as well.


The Problem With Determination (and the fix)

I talk with many people about how they can benefit from techniques, systems and ideas they learn. Many people love to learn new things. Most of them however won’t use the information in their own lives. Why? Because it is difficult to maintain the change, especially near the end of the day.

You see, motivation is really powerful. It is much more powerful than something called “determination”. Each morning, right after you really get up and running, you also receive your daily dose of determination.

The reason I say you receive it AFTER you get up, is something you can probably understand and may even witness in yourself every morning. I’m sure you would agree with me when I say that it is often times hard to get up (especially in the morning). When you’re in your warm bed while it’s still dark and perhaps cold outside, then you have to get up…that would be a major bummer. It’s during these times when you really need enough determination to make yourself get out of bed.

Things like getting fired, crying kids, a penalty for getting late at school…these are pretty good motivators. The pain you get from these are much bigger than the pain you get from getting out of bed.

So when you are finally up, you understand you have determination you can use.

The funny thing with determination is this. You usually run out of it during the day and almost always it’s quite difficult to be determined again once you lost it. That is… until the next day. Tomorrow you start with a fresh ‘batch’ of determination again.

It is easy to see that determination runs out. In the morning you can have lots of determination not to eat candy or junk food. But between 5 and 7 in the evening… things change. You probably need some snack or chocolate or candy, right? It is much harder to resist then. I think people in supermarkets and gas stations understand this and they really tempt you in buying comfort food…

Fortunately there is a solution and it is called motivation!


Why Motivation Is So Important

Motivation is much more powerful than determination. For instance… motivation can increase during the day. It only depends on your focus and your willingness to succeed and reach your goal.

Motivation can help you get up in the morning 30 minutes earlier. No determination needed for that!

Motivation, when you really find it, is an endless well of inspiration and strength. It is there when you need it and it helps you move forward.

As I wrote, it depends on your focus and willingness.

Do you know why you are doing what you are doing? Are you living a life with purpose? Why are you working? Why are you studying? Why do you have a family? Why are you working out?

The moment you have an absolutely strong reason (or answer), you are set!

When you are studying because you just want to earn a degree, that would be fine. It is not wrong, but it is not powerful either. When you do this because you are doing it to feed your children, get a better paid job, make yourself and your family proud, have the degree and show others that you are able to actually accomplish it, then those are really good and powerful reasons to keep you going.

Make your answers as compelling as possible. Of course it may take you a couple of minutes, hours or perhaps weeks to find the most powerful answer. I am sure you can find your reasons. Don’t worry about the time it takes you. This is the foundation that you are working on! When this is done right, you have an unlimited amount of energy you can use (especially when things get rough).

If you don’t find that compelling reason, think about it again. Is this something you want to spend or perhaps waste your time on? Isn’t there something else that is even more important to you that you can do?

Or… perhaps you need to look a bit further to find that real reason which makes you and the people around you happy.

If you don’t like it at school, when you hate the people in your classes, or you don’t like the classes at all…you could also think a few steps further and look at your situation on a more positive note. Start by thinking that by finishing school you could move to the next ┬álevel (that is when your grades are good enough). It is your stepping stone to eventually get into a really high paying job that will allow you to buy what you want, go where you like to go, help people who you like to help, etc.

Don’t limit yourself and only think about the next few months. Look further. Dare to dream.

That’s why motivation is important. Now you know, start looking at your life and answer the simple questions in the following format:

Why am I doing {fill in the activity}?

Find the answer and understand your source of motivation. Find your drive.

Understanding and knowing this… it is time to move forward with this and combine it with mind mapping.


Mind Mapping And Motivation, Let’s Do It!

You found your source of motivation. You only need to add focus to the ‘secret’ recipe and you are good to go.

There are many ways to help you stay focused. One thing you can do is start visualizing your future self having the thing you are working on so hard right now.

This is great and I highly recommend it to you!

Another thing you can do is start visualizing your source of motivation on paper. For this a mind map is a good place to start.

Just outline your thoughts and ideas on paper using a mind map with as many branches as you like.

What you can do is follow the following formats:




Here’s what I mean with these:

  • REASON: what is your reason for doing this?
  • RESULT: what is the outcome of what you do?
  • FEELING: how do this make you feel?
  • TIME FRAME: when do you (plan to) achieve this?
  • TO DO: what will you do to get this?

Each one can be many different ones of course. You can have 5 reasons, expect 4 results, have 6 things to do, you will have the following things, etc.

Mix these around if you like. You can change the order, add other sub topics, change the map in a free floating topics map, etc.

What also works really well is asking even more questions to yourself, so do something like this:


Go to the real reasons, not the superficial ones. Dive deep into your actions, feelings and motivations. Don’t assume that this can be done in minutes. In that case I can say you didn’t examine yourself thoroughly. Really dive deep and get the real information on the table (or in the mind map).

There is a simple check you can do to know if you found the real reason. Just look at what you found. Does this excite you? Will it help you create a really good feeling, a sense of direction, meaning in your life?

If so, you probably found your source of motivation. If not, you are either not getting excited about what you do or you didn’t find the real source yet.

The mind map is just the starting point of your motivation map or overview. You can start with a mind map and convert it into other formats like concept maps, summaps, a time line, flowchart, etc.

My point is, you do this and create a powerful sheet with reasons and feelings. Yep, that’s right, just one sheet that shows you it all.

You could even underline or highlight the 1 or 2 most important ideas from the map to keep you focused even more.

Then, you start using the overview. You start living your life, but now with passion, inspiration and motivation. From now on you can get up earlier, work longer, eat good foods, go to the gym, study more, etc.


Now Just Use It!

For many people, the specific reasons are probably different. Still, the underlying sources are probably the same. People want to see that they move forward, help others, or feel good about what they do.

When you find this source of motivation inside yourself, you are a very lucky (wo-)man!

Now you might think… this all sounds great on paper/screen, but does it really work in real life?

I have a small assignment for you.

Go back to a moment in time when you really felt amazing. You were on top of the world. You were a huge success, you felt loved by the right person or by many people. You held your baby in your arms for the first time. Or you heard that you got that special job. Or you gave a presentation and everybody stood up and cheered.

Think about that one big moment in your life.

I am sure you felt nothing could stop you, right? You probably felt… no let me correct that, you were certain that you were the biggest person in the world. Nothing could stop you. You felt bigger than life itself. You knew you could do anything you want.

Do you have that moment? Do you see it vividly in your mind’s eye?

This exact feeling is what you get every time when you know your reasons for doing what you do. This is what is your source of energy. That one moment in time you just tapped into it and were able to feel it.

Now you know how you can access it any time you want.

So my question is simple…

Do you want to feel that way again?

If you did not find the reason(s) we discussed before, start with the amazing feeling you had before. What made you feel so strong, powerful, amazing? Investigate, learn, make conscious and use!

I am sure when you feel bad, sad, weak or see no way of moving forward and you simply have to fall back into old destructive habits (over-eating, smoking, cheating, etc.) you think back about this moment. You think back and know you are bigger than what you were planning to do.

Truth is, it could simply be eating an apple in stead of a burger, going away from where you are and not taking the easy route, or anything you want.

Real life situations can be difficult. The only thing you need to remember is that you are stronger than you normally feel you are. Remember and grow. Motivation is something you have inside of you and it never runs out!

Enjoy and if you like to, send me your map so we can have a look at it together. I love to assist you in asking some questions.