My Life Map: BlogHer Book Club

November 15, 2012By

The latest entry in the BlogHer Book Club is My Life Map by Kate and David Marshall, an interactive workbook, or as the subtitle says: “A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future.”

The book is filled with exercises and questions to map out your past, present and future in the areas of Family, Friends, Learning, Work, Service and Playing. I appreciate that the focus isn’t on just one of these areas. I like the idea of balance between them, rather than focusing on just one. In particular, I like the focus on learning as a separate subject. I love to learn, but wouldn’t have thought of specific learning goals or plans as they relate to, say, playing or career.

As you work your way through the book, you develop not only an entire whole-life map (complete with a title and chapters) but the book guides you through setting goals to help you flesh out these plans. The authors even have tips for remapping, since life doesn’t always follow plans.

Now, I have to be frank. Most of the pages are filled with blank spaces for you to fill in, making this slim volume (about 100 pages) feel even less substantial. The exercises and questions the authors ask are valuable, yes, but didn’t strike me as anything particularly original (for instance, the vision board exercise felt a little tired to me). That said, the format of illustrating your map in graph form was new to me. And because I hate writing in books (particularly $16 hardcover books) I did appreciate that the authors gave you a link to download some of the book’s maps (set up like large charts), so you can print them out and use them as rough drafts, scratch out and make changes so you can copy your final version into the book (color-coded, with footnotes, if you’re like me, ahem).

So this is something of a wishy-washy review. I liked some of the ideas, I liked the whole-life map format, but really, this isn’t something I’d go out of my way to find.

But that’s just my opinion. If you want to read more about My Life Map, check out the BlogHer Book Club site for more discussions about this book and others.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. As the co-author of My Life Map, I appreciate that you took ownership of the process by picking and choosing which exercises were useful to you. That’s exactly what we hoped for. People who have already done a lot of self-inquiry may move more quickly through this book. I find the right-brained activities (self-inquiry, vision board) comfortable and the more left-brained mapping challenging, but also useful. My husband is more left-brained, but finds that the reflective activities bring him deeper/different insights.