Category Archives: Personal Development Book Reviews

Goal Achieving – The ‘4 Maps’ Right Brained System

Throughout this website there are various articles about strategic life planning and goal setting.  My last few posts were on personal strategic planning and a product called the ‘Personal Strategic Planning Programme’ where you sit down and logically work through a series of exercises to come up with your vision statement, mission statement, goals etc.  You set five year goals, three year goals and one year goals.   I worked with a Life Coach in 2015 and she had me do the same thing.  Draw up all these goals (1 year, 3 year and 5 year).

That is all fine in itself.

However the process in my opinion is quite tedious (Yawn) and probably doesn’t engage the imagination enough.  It all feels very business-like and cold. I had three sets of probably too many goals and it all looked a bit confusing and overwhelming.  It can also be demoralising when after 6-8 months you look at all the goals you have not achieved or are way behind on.  It can become a stick to beat yourself with.

Perhaps the biggest problem is the lack of review of plans made.  We all get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget to check back on our goals.  This happens to me.  I forget what I am supposed to be aiming for and get distracted from my goals.  Weeks and months can go by and I don’t read my strategic plan.   I also think it’s too left brained and logical.  We are human beings and not robots.  We just need to engage emotions more when planning.

I recently read a great little book called ‘The Four Maps of Happy Successful People‘ by Robert G. Allen.  The book contains some brilliant wisdom which sums up much of what I have learned about personal development over the years.

Allen makes the point that our minds are forgetting machines.  We may have all these great plans and strategies, goals, vision and mission statements etc.  However we then promptly forget them all and don’t look at them (well that happens to me anyway!).

Allen in his book advocates for the daily practice of drawing four maps.  By drawing these four maps you keep your goals and purpose in life in front of you each and every day.  You recommit to your goals every 24 hours.  In drawing the 4 maps you engage your right brain and your also use visualisation to imagine your desired future.  You engage your emotions which is the language of your subconscious mind.  Each day you plan three key tasks for that day and you clearly link them to longer term goals.  The process of drawing the maps is simple and clear.

To get something new in your life, Do Something New!
Think outside the box and then Do Something New!

I have been drawing the maps now as part of my morning routine for the past month.  I have a hardback notebook and pencil and I draw my four maps like a kid in primary school.  I love the simplicity of drawing with a pencil.

At first it was hard and I thought this would never work.  I thought that drawing the four maps would be too time consuming and just difficult to draw everyday.  However the more you draw them then the quicker you get.  Now I can draw the 4 maps in 10-15 minutes each morning.  The 4 maps is now part of my daily morning ritual and I like doing it.  Today is all that matters and I recommit to my goals each morning.

What are the benefits?

I feel way more focussed and committed to my goals.  I have three goals I am working on right now and I can actually remember them most of the time!

As I mentioned I totally agree with the author that the human mind is a forgetting machine.  We forget our goals and plans especially if we only look at them periodically.

Try out the 4 maps for yourself.  Make it a part of your daily routine for the next 30 days and see the results for yourself.

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger (1947)

Introduction

The book has some great endorsements from people such as Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie and contains some timeless wisdom on how to sell.  It doesn’t matter what you are selling the principles remain the same.  I am not a salesman by profession but in many ways we are all salesmen and saleswomen.  We are selling our skills at job interviews, selling ideas and trying to get people to buy into them.  Therefore this book about sales is for everyone.  I saw the book recommended somewhere and I bought it.  I am happy I did as it has given me a number of great ideas to experiment with in my life. Frank Bettger’s own life story is also very interesting and forms the backdrop to the book.

Ideas for Experiment

Chapter one opens with an intriguing title:  “How One Idea Multiplied my Income and Happiness”.  What was the idea?  To act enthusiastically.  In order to become enthusiastic you have to act  enthusiastic.  Frank gives examples on how this changed his life for the better.   Frank mentions a man called Stanley Gettis who repeated the following poem every morning for twenty years:

 

“You are the Man who used to boast
that you’d achieve the uttermost,
some day.

You merely wished to show,
to demonstrate how much you know
and prove the distance you can go..

Another year we’ve just passed through.
What new ideas came to you?
How many big things did you do?

Time left twelve fresh months in your care
how many of them did you share
with opportunity and dare
again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of makers good.
explain the fact!
Ah No, ‘Twas not the chance you lacked!
As usual – you failed to act!”

by Herbert Kauffman

The above poem helped generate enthusiasm for Stanley’s day ahead.  In order to become enthusiastic you have to act  enthusiastic – Bettger recommends putting this rule into action for 30 days and and says “be prepared to see astonishing result”.  Wow sounds like this is a ready made experiment for me (and you) to try out!

Another brilliant idea that Frank used to become a great salesman was to keep records on exactly what he was doing.  For example how many sales calls he actually made, how many people he was actually talking to, what were the results of his sales calls, how much time he was spending.  Frank noticed that when he did this his performance went up.  He was creating accountability for himself and was able to measure his performance and improve on it.  When he stopped keeping records his sales went down!  There is an important lesson here for all of us.  We can delude ourselves that we are really busy.  However are we really busy working on what matters?  One way to address this is to actually record what you are doing.  How much time in a week are you and I really working on important tasks? There are endless opportunities in today’s world for distraction – checking emails, surfing the web and chatting with co-workers etc.  We may be at work all day but how much time are we really working?

Another great idea for experiment – keep a diary for a week of what you actually do and then analyse it.  What insights have you learned about your work habits and productivity?

There is so much more to this book and I have just highlighted two great ideas above.  In fact there are so many great ideas in the book that it deserves a second reading!

I really liked Claude Whitacre’s review of the book on YouTube:

If you would like to buy this great book from Amazon please click on the link below:

 

Disclosure: The book link on this page is an affiliate link meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. I also honestly believe that it is a great book! Thanks for your support in this way!