Article: Who would drive from Los Angeles to Chicago without a map?

By MONICA MAGNETTI

November 2007

Have you lost your original purpose in life or the original vision of your business? Are you on the verge of making big changes and feel unable to move forward? Do you doubt yourself, your talents, or your capacity to achieve your dreams? Are you yearning to make money doing something you love? If so, the book Being in the Present: How to Create the Blueprint of Your Life is for you.

I have written this book, which is also a journal and a workbook, to support people in creating their blueprint and consciously starting to recognize and pay attention to themselves as they are in the present moment.

Who would drive from Los Angeles to Chicago without a map?

Some people might just get in the car and go, though most people would simply buy a map or Google® some directions and figure out the best way to get there. If you have a map, you can step back and assess all the possible ways to get where you want to go and then make an informed decision after looking at the Big Picture. You might choose to take the scenic route, which is longer yet more beautiful, or the direct route—faster, though less picturesque. Without a map, you improvise, figuring it out as you go along. You follow the sun, you make wrong turns. You may get there eventually—or you may end up in St. Louis.

Making a blueprint of your life is just like mapping your life, from where you are starting right now to where you want to go, and making your decisions from an informed perspective rather than improvising. If you decide to Google directions, in fact, you would have to enter the starting point and the destination to be told the best way to get there.

Ironically, although most people are willing to take the time to MapQuest® directions when they drive to their best friend’s house, four miles away, it’s rare for people to actually be willing to stop and make the correct assessment of who they are in the present. Often people make very important decisions about their lives without knowing their starting point: They are basing their choices on old, outdated information about themselves.

What is the advantage of defining your blueprint?

An amazing difference emerges when people are willing to take the time to assess where they are and direct their conscious attention toward where they want to go. I have found in my work that people get lost without a blueprint. Having a blueprint actually allows for more spontaneity, because you know where you are starting from and you know where you want to go, so you know where to come back to when you find yourself deviating from your path—you don’t have to worry about getting lost!

When you know where you are going, you know what your values are, and you know what’s important to you, you hold yourself accountable for the results that you want in your life and for the person that you are while you get to the results. It is a thousand times better than when you don’t know what you want or where you are going, because when you really know your direction, not only do you get to live in the moment, you get to live with a quality of life and satisfaction that are tremendous.

What are the breakthrough concepts about the book Being in the Present: How to Create the Blueprint of your Life?

  • This book is also a journal that shows you how to become the leader of your own life by getting to know yourself in an honest and non-judgmental way.
  • Once the judgment is out of the way, you can make the correct assessment of yourself and let go of the drama.
  • The book doesn’t give advice, because no one listens to advice anyhow.
  • Instead, it provides a flexible, step-by-step method for writing your own “instruction manual” for your life.
  • It can be read many times, and each time you will always find out more about yourself, because every time you read it you will be at a different point in your life.

The key, most innovative element in all of my books is that they don’t give advice; they support people in finding their own answers to their questions. Therefore, you can create your own life supported by the values that are important to you. It’s your life, and you are the expert.

Being in the Present is based on 12 metaphorical concepts, presented in 12 chapters, and there is a workbook at the end of each chapter so you get to clarify for yourself what is important to you.

The book also contains beautiful photos and artwork to delight the senses and to inspire you to find out more about yourself through the beauty of nature. By the way, I have taken all the photos. This book is my dream come true, and it has been very rewarding to see people’s lives have new meaning after they have read it.

I would strongly suggest that you read the introduction first. Then you can read the chapters in any way you like: Read them in sequence as I list them, or just open the book at random and work on that chapter.

The questions in the workbook section are thought-provoking and are designed to support you as you go deeper into understanding yourself. The tools offered are very practical, and they can be implemented immediately.

I am going to move right into an example of a very valuable tool, which I call the perspective of the Observer, or the Lighthouse. You’ll find it in Chapter 4. This perspective will support you to look at life through the wide-angle lens—being able to assess the Big Picture—versus the laser pointer, which gives you only a narrow view of the results.

A lighthouse has a 360-degree view, and it stands strong and unyielding on solid ground. From that perspective you can see all around you: past, present, and future. Now take a deep breath, actually take a few deep breaths, and really sink into your belly. Think of a goal that is very important to you and then let it go.

The Dynamic of Setting Goals

This is what usually happens: We live in a society that focuses on doing, doing, doing—and the results—versus who you are while you are achieving your goals, as well as acknowledging the journey and the experience of getting there.

My book, Being in the Present, suggests that you put the emphasis where it belongs, which is

on you.

Reaching goals is important, and I can guarantee that you will reach your goals faster if you are happy and fulfilled while you are in the process of reaching them. You will benefit so much when you switch your perspective from focusing only on your goal to focusing on yourself as well!

While in the process of achieving your goals, keep asking yourself:

  • Who am I while I am reaching my goals?
  • Who do I want to be?

You can actually set an intention and really pay attention to yourself, notice who you are while you’re striving toward your goals. This is one of the steps in designing your blueprint and living a life brimming with intention.

Let me give you an example to show you what can happen when your focus is set only on the results. I had a client who hired me because she felt she was ready to find a life partner and she set that as her goal.

She told me she wanted a life partner. This goal is wide open and presents a Big Picture. Then she told me he had to be 6 feet tall, then that he had to be dark and handsome, and have this and that, until she ended with such a detailed description that many possibilities were now restricted to a laser-pointer view. I can assure you, it is very difficult to find anything or anyone with this point of view, since it’s narrow and very limited.

So we worked on her blueprint. First, we defined the bottom line coming from possibilities, not narrow definitions. He had to be either single or divorced, and it was important to my client that he have his financial situation addressed and under control. Then we put the emphasis on her and who she wanted to be in her journey, and we focused on the lessons she could learn in the journey as well, so that again we opened up to the Big Picture.

The reason why I mention this example is that, by shifting the focus from the results to herself and the journey, with its inherent opportunities for learning, my client learned about herself, and she actually started having fun. She was relieved of a lot of pressure, she let go of a lot of expectations about the people she met, and they didn’t feel pressure coming from her. It was success all around.

She did find the ideal partner for her and ended up getting married, although this is not the point of my story. The most important point of the story is this: When you shift the focus onto yourself and who you are in the process of reaching your goals, you will stop looking for confirmation outside of yourself.

The Value of Getting to Know Yourself

Investing in getting to know yourself for who you are now, defining your blueprint and your emotional DNA will give you great value:

  • You will stop looking for outside approval.
  • You will be guided by your own integrity.
  • You will stop second-guessing yourself.
  • You will trust yourself and your choices.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you trusted yourself and didn’t need outside approval?

Let’s go back to your goal. Think about it again.

Now, I want you to embrace the Observer perspective, also called the Lighthouse, the wide-angle lens view. Imagine being a lighthouse with your feet solidly planted on the ground. Imagine going up on top of the lighthouse and having a 360-degree view of your life: past, present, and future.

Now, again from this place, think of your goal and ask yourself: Who do I want to be while I get there?

When I ask this question for the first time, people are really lost, so I will suggest some possible answers. Please check within yourself to see what is appropriate for you. Would you like to be playful while reaching your goal? Would you like to be honest? Would you like to experience trust in yourself? Would you like to be in integrity with yourself? How about all of the above? There is no limit; you can string all that you want to be with a series of “ands.”

While in the process of reaching my goal, I want to be PLAYFUL and HONEST and TRUST MYSELF and LIVE IN INTEGRITY WITH MY CORE BELIEFS. This is about knowing what is.

Who do you want to be while reaching your goals?

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State the intention to live your life with consciousness and according to your values. Every time you think about your goal, also think about the intention you have set about who want to be while you’re achieving that goal.