Do You Have a Treasure Map?
One of the things I've done for years to intentionally create a life I love is to create a visual map of my desires—a Treasure Map. I’d like to help you craft one of your own.
A treasure map is a visual representation of those things you most want at this time in your life—people, opportunities, money, material objects or experiences that are fun or that challenge you to grow. The images on your map can represent a particular value that's important to you, such as beauty or health, and it can also reflect a quality you intend to develop, such as courage or patience.
I've been creating treasure maps for almost 20 years and as I look back, I'm amazed at how many of the images on my maps have actually shown up in my life. Creating a treasure map may sound like a fun "artsy" sort of project, but it's much, much more than that. Taking the time to create this map will challenge you to think seriously about what you want in your life. It will give your soul an opportunity to speak to you through images, without your head getting in the way. It will keep you firmly connected to what matters most throughout the year. And, most of all, it will become a vivid demonstration of magnetic energy—the ability to truly draw toward you your dreams, goals, and desires from the power of your imagination.
If this sounds a bit far-fetched, humor me and do it anyway. You'll be amazed at the results. Here’s what to do:
1. Discover your desires. Start by looking through books, magazines or catalogs for pictures, phrases, titles, headlines, or single words that tug at your heart. Although many of us have a conscious idea of what we'd like to have in our lives, there are usually hidden desires—soulful desires—that live just below the surface of our conscious thought. The soul speaks to us in images that often reflect those things that you really, really, really want deep down inside—dreams that seem unrealistic, goals that feel out of reach, or hidden longings that may be too embarrassing to admit. Let yourself dream big, loud, and wide. Whether the images you feel drawn to make sense or not, cut them out anyway.
2. Create your treasure map. Once you've gathered your words and pictures, it's time to design your map. To do this, use some kind of canvas—a piece of poster board, a notebook, or even a wall in your home. Go through your clippings, cut them into desired shapes and sizes, and position them on your canvas. Take your time and play around with the layout. Once you have an idea of how you want it to look, you're ready to paste the images on your canvas. Make this map your own personal work of art. When you're done, you want your treasure map to invoke a feeling of I love this!
3. Review and display your treasure map. Once you've completed your map, it can be fun to consider the following questions: Do I notice any themes? Have I chosen items that surprise me? Is the placement of my images significant? Then, when you're ready, put your map someplace where you'll see it every day.
Creating a treasure map that feels good takes time. If you're busy, don't try to complete it in one sitting. Allow yourself several weeks if need be to create the kind of map that feels right for you. My Treasure Map has taken a good month to complete.
Once you're done, be sure to look at your Treasure Map every day. By seeing it on a regular basis, you'll find that your mind naturally begins to orient itself around your desires. For example, you'll probably start to see signs of your goals and dreams everywhere. And, that's when the magic begins!
As one of my favorite authors, Robert Collier says: "The quality of your thought is the measure of your power." Your treasure map will keep your most important priorities embedded firmly in mind. Soon, your desires will take root and come to life before your very eyes... just watch what happens!
Take Action Challenge
Get started on your map this month. Here's a breakdown of action steps so you can take it one small step at a time.
1. Gather together at least 6 or 8 favorite books, magazines or catalogs.
2. Cut out words and images that speak to you.
3. Choose a canvas (poster board, notebook, a wall in your home or office, etc.).
4. Schedule time to create your map.
5. Put the images on the canvas and move them around until they look right.
6. Glue/tape the images and words to the canvas.
7. Find a perfect spot to display your artwork.
8. Be sure to look at it every day with enthusiasm and excitement for what's to come.
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Daily, small changes to help improve the quality of your life.