By Jing Lejano


The other week, I attended a mind mapping workshop with my friends from AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center. I’ve always been fascinated with this thinking tool, which challenges the user to think in a more free form manner.

I’m a writer and when I think, I do so in a linear fashion: one line after the next. In my planner, you’d see all sorts of lists, written neatly one bullet after another. Whenever I’d get one task done, I’d just put a little check beside the bullet and feel all good.

Whenever I’d see these mind maps that go every which way, I get a little intimidated. I ask myself, could I possibly think every which way like that as well?

But as Teacher Y explained mind mapping more clearly, I calmed down. Draw pictures. Use colors. Make the map that makes sense to you, she told us. It’s your map, she says, and you’re free wherever you want to go.

After the lecture, she asked each of us to make a mind map of who we are. At first, I didn’t know what to do but once I started drawing and doodling, there was no stopping me. It was like a whole new world opened up in that blank piece of paper. And it was liberating.

My map, which showed all the different roles that I play in my everyday life, looked a little cluttered and crazy, but it also seemed like a lot of fun. But more importantly, I realized that it was I who drew the map of my own life, and I am happy to be living it.