The Mind Map Is Not The Territory

The title of this article is an updated one from Alfred Korzybski, a Polish-American scientist and philosopher. His original quote was first used in 1931. It tells us that the image we create of something or someone is not the object itself. It is only a derivative.

For instance: When someone is rude to you, your image of that person is that he or she is a rude person. This is not the case. It is only your perspective. The person is not rude. The behavior comes across as rude.

It is sad to see that people tell themselves for instance I AM FAT, or I AM STUPID. This is not true. You are much more than this single issue. Don’t label yourself or someone/something because of one feature or trait.

The same applies to mind mapping. Your Mindmap is merely showing you a point of view. This is why mindmaps usually are very personal. They show you how you perceive the object. When you ask people to create a mindmap on a certain topic, chances are you receive many different maps.

I believe that the mindmap itself is only a snapshot of your views.

The structure of your brain may resemble the mindmap structure. Your mind however is much more flexible. Information is viewed dynamically. The information changes itself. A mindmap doesn’t do that.

In mind mapping we can use the quote of Mr. Korzybski and say:

The Mindmap Is Not The Mind Map

This means that you need to be careful when using a mindmap. The map you created is only a snapshot of your perspective on that topic.

This is important

You will probably understand why it is so important that you update your mindmaps regularly (I am of course not talking about all your mindmaps). A mindmap created with information today and left alone for a year is nice to have in your archive or to show you how you’ve grown that year. The content of the map may have become obsolete.

Let your mindmaps grow together with you. When your thoughts, perspectives and insights change, you update your map.

Here are a couple of maps you should update regularly. I also added the suggested frequency for updating them:

  • Your project maps – daily
  • Your master mindmap – weekly
  • Your goals map – monthly

When you start to use your maps this way, you can be sure that your maps start to work for you. If you think your maps can be updated more or less frequently please do so. You are in control over your information.

Enjoy your mindmaps and use them wisely!

Source by Arjen Ter Hoeve

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