Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mapping the world of ideas

During my high school and college years I loved to bicycle around the scenic hills and gorges of my home town, Ithaca, in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I studied topographical maps to plan my day's route. This helped me judge in advance how strenuous a given section would be and what the alternatives were, and during the ride, allowed me to anticipate what intersections or turns were coming up, and whether my next turn was near or far. I could plan a long ride or a short one, strenuous or relaxing. Familiarity with the map allowed me to make choices according to my goals, and let me make adjustments in real time if conditions changed, such as weather or my energy level.

Mapping the landscape of our ideas provides similar benefits. Representing the current and desired situations visually allows us to imagine possibilities, comprehend options and trade-offs, make plans, and adjust them as we go.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Picture it solved!

It's obvious once you think of it.

If you can clearly envision the end result, you're likely to achieve it. And conversely, without a clear goal, it's hard to recognize success.

Architects, engineers, and designers have applied this principle for years. Everyone can benefit from applying it in their lives and work. And now, with relatively inexpensive, high quality, graphical computers, software, and associated technologies, many people have access to amazing tools for visual communication, for envisioning and achieving important and meaningful results.

Learning aspects of the language of visual communication over the past 6-7 years has enabled me to: learn more and retain it better; see situations more clearly; understand problems, their causes and solutions; express myself better; and redirect the course of my life; improving my performance at work, and my life overall.

This blog and my website are my first steps in sharing what I have learned, to enable others to also "picture it solved!"