The Limiting Feature Of You And Your Mindmap Revealed

Before your weekend starts, I want to give you something to think about.

This is something that helps the more professional mindmap creator probably more than the beginners in mind mapping.

In fact… this is one of the human traits that limits the effect of mindmaps… a lot!

We humans are creatures who create habits. These make our lives easier and enable us to think less. Most of the time this is great. Yes, most of the time. But not when you are about to map out your information, thoughts and ideas in order to move forward.

It was Albert Einstein who said that we can not solve problems with the same mind that created it.

Imagine this:
You are facing a problem. You know about mind mapping. So, the obvious thing to do could be to create a mindmap of your problem to find solutions.

Combine this with Einstein’s Rule Of The Limiting Mind (yes, this newly invented rule makes it more colorful and easier to remember) :

You take information from your own mind. You organize it in your mindmap and use the overview.

For most of the people this may help because they have a more clear overview.

However… you used YOUR MIND to create a mindmap. Einstein just told you that you can not solve your problems that well if you use your own mind… Basically, by using the mindmap, you made a (better organized) copy of what’s in your mind. That solution is not an optimal one I would say.

An Example

Just look at this example to see the similarity.

If you feel you are running into the same problems over and over again and you can’t seem to find a way out… what do you do then? Do you explore your own options then? If you do, chances are you run into the same problem again.

What you do is you consult another person, a friend, co-worker, a counselor, anybody!!! It is this new person who can give you more insight in your own actions and habits. They help you change your direction and future.

What Does This Have To Do With Your Mindmaps?

Nearly everybody who creates mindmaps probably does this. They start in the center, add information clockwise and use (some) images and many words. You might even use different colors.

Most people use their own style or computer settings when mind mapping. That’s OK, normally. When you are looking for something new or different, it will not work that well. After all, all your mindmaps look alike this way…

What I want you to do is break your habits or patterns. From NLP you may have heard of this as a pattern interrupt. What you do, is you snap someone out of their habit. Make them think in stead of response. (I am no NLP expert).

When you are faced with a problem, you should do this as well in your mindmaps (if you don’t have a ‘sparring partner’ to discuss the problem with you). Here are some pointers:

  • Don’t start in the middle, create a map starting with the finer details and connect information to that
    Work counter clockwise
  • Map on both the front as well as the back of your sheet creating one mindmap (problem on the front, solutions on the back – they won’t interact with each other this way)
  • Create a map with a different background color (e.g. a blue sheet of paper or a black computer worksheet)
  • Write words from right to left or upside down
  • Add empty nodes to the map between clearly and already connected nodes. What do you need to add to make this new connection work?
  • Add many (10 to 20) empty nodes to the problems to find solutions. I would go for at least 20 empty solutions nodes to be filled, not just 10 (that’s easy)

In general: Think outside the box. You need new thoughts and a fresh perspective. Don’t use the same old style and hope to find fresh solutions.


Remember, you don’t have to do all these things in one map. This is not something you probably use when you are ‘just’ creating a project overview. The above pattern interruptions are only needed when you are looking for a new perspective.

I didn’t include a template or something else because that would create a pattern as well. Just do this on your own. I am sure you will benefit from this.

Enjoy your weekend!