I’m a mapmaker. In order to lead you to your yippee, I make you a map. I tend to start mapping your life and your possibilities as soon as I meet you.
The Jane Pauley Show just asked me to mapmake for their listeners and I promised them I could make a yippee map with anyone on the spot, no matter who they were or what they wanted in their lives.
I’ve made yippee maps for mayors and CEOs, for homeless people and famous radio talk show hosts, as a result their lives have changed, they’ve found themselves in a whole new, very yippee place.
In order for these maps to work, it’s absolutely essential for us to start with where you are now, so we can take you where you want to go. But what happens when you’ve lost your bearings and don’t really know where you are anymore?
For the last five days, I have been in my yippee, relaxing in Punta Mita, Mexico: a tropical paradise with palm trees, brilliant red bougainvillea and miles of paved cart paths leading to different sections of the resort. Along the routes are roadside maps that promise You Are Here and picture a big red star.
I noticed the maps the first day, but since I wasn’t driving I didn’t worry about it. The next day I was in another part of the resort, trying to get my bearings and consulted one of these maps. But the You Are Here dot was in exactly the same place as the day before. When I saw the third map with the dot in the same place, I knew the maps weren’t reliable.
There are lots of You Are Here’s in life–your bathroom scale, your bank statement, your job title, your marriage status. Friends, family, mentors, coaches and colleagues are the biggest part of the You Are Here system. We rely on them to get our bearings when we are learning new skills, handling tricky situations or feeling a little lost about our purpose on this planet. Depending on what these You Are Here markers say, we either congratulate ourselves or berate ourselves.
But, like in Punta Mita, Mexico, not all You Are Here’s are reliable.
How can you tell?
In order to find out if the You Are Here is reliable, you have to check in with how you feel. If you feel any of these ways, don’t trust the Red Star.
- You feel discouraged: The You Are Here’s in your life who diminish how far you’ve come, treat you as if you haven’t made progress, and give up on what you are trying to accomplish are not good indicators of where you are. They often give non-specific (but damning) feedback and make suggestions as if they were absolute dictums. Don’t trust that star!
- You feel like you don’t need to do anything else, you are just fine as you are: Equally dangerous are the people in your life who give you false praise. Maybe they don’t want you to feel bad or inadequate. Maybe they want you to be satisfied with where you are, so you won’t threaten them by growing past where they are. These people give absolutely no constructive feedback or ways to improve your game. They agree with you on everything, promising you that you are just fine and should be happy with where you are. As tempting as it might be, don’t trust that star either.
- You feel invisible and deflated. If you are talking to someone who appears bored and uninterested in where you are and where you are going, if the people you are turning toward to get your bearings offer no feedback and appear not to care about what you have to offer: really, really, definitely do NOT follow that star. That is someone who can’t jump on board with your vision because they are too self-absorbed or they are (sorry!) boring themselves. And you’ll be totally lost if you trust them.
So… how do you feel when you’ve hit a reliable You Are Here red star mark, a coach, mentor, friend or co-worker you can trust?
You feel like taking on the world.
You feel like celebrating your progress.
You feel relaxed in where you’ve been and ready to take the next step forward.
You feel confident you have the skills and talents you need to grow and can’t wait to challenge yourself to do more.
You feel really yippee about the whole beautiful journey.
That’s a star you can trust.
And tell me a story about your You Are Here’s (coaches, mentors, friends) who weren’t reliable. What happened? How did you feel? How did you get re-oriented again? Can’t wait to hear…
Until next Tuesday. Yippee!