Maps and Guides


When you’re in a tough situation, it helps to have a map and a guide.

A map is a set of information — it provides a structured view of reality so that you can make sense of the sensory chaos, have a bird’s eye view of the landscape and x-ray vision into the underlying dynamics, have a sense of where things are headed, what the obstacles are likely to be, and how to overcome those obstacles.

Sydney-Birds-Eye-View-Oct

A guide, on the other hand, is a person — they walk with you on the ground, help you reflect on what you’re seeing, help you detach from the chaos and make less reactive choices. Guides are a conversational partner, someone who you can question and listen to. You can also check your own map against theirs — in fact, a really good guide usually has a few different maps you can borrow.

Sydney-the-Rocks

A pre-recorded guide is an annoying version of a map. I don’t recommend those for tough situations. Hop on, then hop off.

Sydney-Hop-On-Off-Bus

What’s an example of a map, a guide and a pre-recorded guide, in your life?

..and when you’re going about it in a self-guided manner, what combination of those three are you in fact using?

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About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on February 28, 2013, in Career, Cartography, Coaching, Learning, Life, Metaphors, photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great Pesach material here, Dan! But I’m seeing everything with those lenses right now…

  2. Great post and cool blog

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