I was recently given the opportunity to review My Life Map for Blogher. Unlike most of the books I've reviewed, this was more of a journal, designed to help you map out your life for the next ten years.
The book begins by walking you through a series of questions about your past and your present designed to help you flesh out what was important to you during various stages of your life. You are then encouraged to fill in these time periods on the "whole life map" provided at the end of the book, visually representing your life up until this point. The map is divided into sections where you can write whatever you felt to be important during each "chapter" of your life in the areas of family, friends, work, learning, service, and playing.
After mapping out your past and present, you are then encouraged to begin to plan the next 10 years of your life. There is a chapter on each of the subjects containing more insightful questions about what you want and value, and a map at the end of each chapter where you can plan out that aspect of your life before adding it to the whole life map.
I found these exercises very interesting. I'm not much of a long term planner, but to begin to think about my hopes and dreams for the next several years (and even moreso maybe for the past 31) was a very useful task. The maps themselves were less helpful to me because I've never been a very visual person, but the questions posed in each chapter really helped to flesh out what is important to me and what I'm hoping to accomplish. I really liked the way it was organized too, and sometimes the very subjects made me think. Having to map out a plan for myself over the next 10 years in terms of service, playing, and learning reminded me how much I have sometimes neglected those aspects of my life lately even though they were very important to me in the past.
Overall, I enjoyed this book (even though I was a little skeptical at first), and really was glad to sit down and feed my reflective side a little bit. The specific questions helped keep even my cluttered and distracted brain focused. That's quite the task these days.
Disclosure: This is a paid review for Blogher. All opinions are my own.