Ken Wilber is likely the greatest mapmaker of all time, having created a map of the entire universe including human psychological and cultural development. If that sounds like an exaggerated claim, I assure you it isn’t.
The last time I was with Ken Wilber, I asked him the secret of making maps.
The following is what Ken told me to do. He told me to write everything I could think of as it pertained to a map I was creating. Then he told me to spend time bundling these ideas into the logical categories that present themselves. Once those categories were bundled together, move up a level and see if there are other natural ways to bundle things together. You want as few pieces as necessary, and as many as you need. It sounds easier than it is, especially after you have gone through the process a few times.
And this is how I established my Three Words for 2016.
I made a list of goals and gaps. I looked at my successes from the past year and decided to increase my goals massively in 2016. And then I looked at the differences between my current performance and my future goals. I started to bundle together ideas.
- Growth: As I looked at my work, I recognized that there were areas where I needed to develop and increase my skills and my results. As I bundled those together, the word “growth” was a common theme. It was in every category of goals. It made sense to start there.
- Multiplier: Recognizing that time is our only non-renewable resource, I acknowledged that there’s nothing I can do to add more hours to my day. To me, this meant I needed a “multiplier.” I still only have one hour a day to workout at the gym. Limited time, in this and other areas, requires that I do things that multiply the outcome of my efforts.
- Focus: There were some goals and gaps that I recognized needed more of my time and attention. There are so many things I want to do, but there is not enough time to do all of them. As I looked at these, the common theme was “focus.” Focus is a narrowing. It’s concentration of attention and energy. It also means eliminating some things that are outside of what’s most important.
After I had finished developing these themes, I went back over my goals and outcomes for 2016 to work them through the Three Words framework. I applied these ideas to the revised vision of my 2016 plan. The iteration is important. It solidifies things.
You can use this methodology in any area of your life. If you haven’t used the Three Words methodology, I recommend it. And if you’ve already chosen your three words, run back through your goals and dreams and make sure they’re all aligned with your themes.