Desire Mapping

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September is the new January.  -Gretchen Rubin

September is right around the corner and I have already begun to notice a change in season. We are at the pivotal moment when summer turns into autumn. It’s similar to the moment when our in-breath becomes our out-breath. Or the instant the tide decides to slip back out to sea.

September brings in new experiences and textures; New school. New teachers. New friends. New adventures.

We reintroduce structure and calendars. A busy, quasi-random summer schedule gives way to an organized, even busier schedule.

I’ve been reading Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and like thousands of others – I think she’s on to something. The notion that our feelings should guide our decisions is just great. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been faced with a decision where my head was telling me the logical – the planned – way of doing things and my heart was saying something totally different.

My logical side is pretty strong. That’s obvious when you look at my spreadsheets. I can create and organize spreadsheets ten layers thick and you will need a compass to figure out what the hell is going on. Or how to get out. [It’s rare but sometimes I confuse myself.] I’m pretty strategic in my organizing so at every turn, each question is easily answered.

I once took a job I had no experience in and the owner fessed up that he had no idea what the previous employee was suppose to be doing either. Awesome. I dug into the stacks of paper, made some calls, and got some answers. Before long, I had my duties and tasks so clearly outlined that anyone with a brain could sit at my desk, pull a folder, and have all the information handed to them. Which was nice when I received a phone call on my day off… “What do I do with X?” The answer was always easy….”Look in X folder. Instructions are on the inside cover and all the forms are there.”

When I accomplished that task, I felt awesome. Going through the day to day motions of the job wasn’t as awesome but the “figuring it out and setting it up” made me gitty. I experienced this feeling when I was younger. Barbies weren’t really my thing but horses were so I would spend hours constructing a stable out of VHS tapes and using the living room coffee table. Later on, I would discover the game, SIMS, and I couldn’t get away from all the designing, building, and decorating of my SIM person’s house. Never really “played” the game though.

I love organizing and setting things up for other people.

I believe this is a core feeling that Danielle talks about. I haven’t yet figured out how to fit it into a paying job but at least I’m aware of this desire.

Another example is websites and logos. I can’t even being to tell you how many I’ve designed… for myself. Years ago – when I had much more time [before kids] – I would daydream about owning different types of businesses. I would create a logo and sketch up what the website would look like. Members of my family would even call with ideas about different ventures they wanted to pursue. We would brainstorm about the daily functions, the long term direction and operations of their business idea. I would direct them to resources and find out all the answers they needed.

Brainstorming is one of my favorite things to do. I’m an ideas person.*

I haven’t made it all the way through the book but I believe these are at least two of my four core desires. [I haven’t given them a name yet. But I’m working on it.] Bouncing ideas around, digging up info, organizing, setting people up to pursue their dreams would be an awesome job indeed.

I have a feeling if I tap into my creative side for my other two desires… I may be on the right track. I need to balance my logical and creative side – otherwise I get way off balance. I can usually tell if I’m playing too much in my logical mind, when I start painting anything that will stand still with anything I can get my hands on.

I am looking forward to change.


*I am very thankful for such an understanding husband. He hasn’t run from me when I start a conversation with, “listen to this idea…” or “wouldn’t this make a great commercial?” Yet.

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Obstacle Course Racer. Business Owner. Parent and Ordinary Person. Learning to slow down & embrace the wild.

6 thoughts on “Desire Mapping

  1. Hi Amber, Just following from our amazing fb discussion. I feel like I could have written this post and it kind of makes me want to cry. I suddenly feel so understood:)) I am actually an Interior Designer and love the ability to create and then move on. I just started a new business that has nothing to do with design, just because. I haven’t even been in business for a year and I think about selling it and building a new one, just because. Really the just because is, I love to create. I always regarded that as my inability to commit and “stick with” something. Now I”m starting to see that just creating is good too. I’m so happy I could learn more about this from you!!

  2. Wow, Carol. I wanted to become an interior designer for a period of time. I’m so with you… I’ve got a business that’s a few years old and I’m thinking about building another. It’s so comforting knowing that I’m not the only one who struggles with this! Thank you for reading and your input. I think we are on to something.


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