Many personal development experts share about the benefits of using mind maps. My post today takes it one step further with how I have used the concept of mind mapping for self analysis. I also share illustrations from my personal art journal that I created some time ago. I drew them as part of my pre-vision board exercises.

self analysis mind map

The (above) mind map picture that I did for self-analysis was my first. It may look simplistic but it has helped launched a myriad of creative ideas. Regarding self-analysis, awareness of who I am is important to help bring me into alignment with the vision of my future self.


What is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a diagram showing how various elements are associated or linked together around a central image or idea. It is usually presented in a radial arrangement, thus disrupting linear cues to multi-dimensional thinking.

There is much science behind creating one. To learn more, you need to pick the brains of Tony Buzan. Tony Buzan is the inventor of Mind Maps and one of the world’s leading authority on the brain and learning.

“It is in these shimmering and incessant embraces that the infinite patterns, the infinite Maps of your Mind, are created, nurtured and grown. Radiant Thinking reflects your internal structure and processes. The Mind Map is your external mirror of your own Radiant Thinking and allows you access into this vast thinking powerhouse. “

— Tony and Barry Buzan, The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential

For the user, a mind map can be used to stimulate creativity, brainstorming, organization, prioritizing, memory recall and problem solving. I am also currently teaching my visually-oriented girls how to draw mind maps to create study notes for their school work.

Mind Map For Self Analysis

The quote below was written by Sir Charles Sherrington after studying the brain cell. He was considered to the grandfather of neurophysiology.

“The human brain is an enchanted loom where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern, though never an abiding one, a shifting harmony of sub-patterns. It is as if the Milky Way entered upon some cosmic dance.”

The quote inspired me to create the following mind map art…

mind map tapestry

The quote was also part of the inspiration behind renaming my domain as Abundance Tapestry last year. Notice the associations of “Tapestry”, “Inter-weaving”, and “Alignment” that I have recently been writing in my posts? They arose from doing mind maps and other exercises to assist myself in gaining clarity and to express my intentions.

If you ask Tony Buzan, he will point out that the Radiant Thinking model takes on the natural architecture of a human brain. It invokes both the left and right brain. Well, using a model that closely resembles a natural architecture can enhance your mental performance dramatically.

Should you look at a mind map carefully, it follows the appearance of a tree. The mind map has main and sub-branches that leads to the flowering of ideas. Hey, haven’t I been sharing my Nature Tapestry Notes and posting pictures of trees? Refer to my last post on daily inspiration messages for instance.

All in all, we don’t have to look too far for inspiration. Nature – be it a tree or the human brain – can be sources of insight to help us achieve success. Achieving success is really not about struggle but leveraging on elements that have been naturally provided for our physical existence.

Draw A Creative Mind Map

Now, who says mind maps have to look boring? You can add pictures, icons or images to make them visually appealing. Even Cinderella did one as a pre-vision board exercise to help her get to the Ball.

Cinderella Vision Board Mind Map

Resources

Interested to find out more? Check out the following great resources:

1. Mind Map Book. Tony partnered with his brother, Barry Buzan, to write the best-selling book, The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential

2. Mind Map Art. Get inspired by Adam Sicinski and Paul Foreman to create mind map art!

Dedication to Readers

I would like to take the opportunity to dedicate this post to all my readers by sharing the following quote from Tony Buzan…

“Whoever, wherever, you are, you are using – to read these words – the most beautiful, intricate, complex, mysterious and powerful object in the known universe: your brain.”

Abundance always,

43 Comments

  1. Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com

    Woah that’s a really unique idea. I might try something like this. I’ve got the Tony Buzan Speed Reading book and it mentions something similar. I love finding new ways to express creativity too.

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Richard,

    I haven’t read Tony Buzan’s speed reading book but I love his Mind Map book! Let’s get more creative, shall we?

    Evelyn

  2. Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com

    Woah that’s a really unique idea. I might try something like this. I’ve got the Tony Buzan Speed Reading book and it mentions something similar. I love finding new ways to express creativity too.

  3. Andrew

    wow, there are stunning maps. For those of use who aren’t artists and don’t think you can draw. Check out the map books by Nancy Margulies

    Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping
    Visual Thinking: Tools for Mapping Your Ideas

    Great, copy, line by line drawings. Does wonders for your art!

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Andrew,

    Thank you so much for recommending me some books on visual mapping. I am going to check them now!!

    Have an awesome week,
    Evelyn

  4. Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice

    An awesome and unique use of the mind mapping tool. I used to use it for the memory thing but then I realised it was just as good and expansive for the creative thing too. I started creating my ideas using mind maps and now you’ve come up with yet another way I can use them. I’m sure the full potential of mind maps is still untapped. I learned this tool years ago and I still use it to this day! Thank you Evelyn!

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Amit,

    It is great that mind maps can be used in multiple ways and very creatively too! We certainly can do a lot with such a simple tool 🙂

    With love,
    Evelyn

  5. Greg Blencoe

    Hi Evelyn,

    Thanks for sharing this information about mind maps. I had actually never heard about them before. And as always, your artwork is fantastic. 🙂

    Furthermore, I LOVED the Tony Buzan quote that you included at the end of the post!

    By the way, I thought about you yesterday when I read a guest post from Celestine Chua on the Dragos Roua blog and found out that she also lives in Singapore. I’m guessing you two probably know each other.

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Greg,

    I am glad to know that you have learned about something useful through my post.

    Oh yes, I do know Celestine Chua. We have met for coffee. She is an energetic and vibrant coach. Singapore is so small that it is easy to connect with someone in a similar profession.

    Have a great week,
    Evelyn

  6. Sandra Lee

    I am entranced by your site and inter-weavings! I don’t see a search box though, did I miss it?

    I love the first mind map image in this post. I don’t see myself as artistic, but I see giving something like this a try might help to open that side of my brain a bit.

    Thanks and stay well!

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Sandra,

    My pictures are never going to make it as masterpieces too! Maybe that is why I am not in the art but the coaching profession…LOL!

    I use things that I do as illustrations on how we can apply the concepts and ideas. Rather than talk about creativity, I prefer to show my “creative” pieces. “Creative” doesn’t have to mean falling within the standards of Picasso. Also, being “creative” is about being aligned to our basic human desire to create stuff.

    All the best to stimulating right-brained activities!

    Evelyn

  7. Hilary

    Hi Evelyn .. that is amazing .. and so wonderful to see and read about – gets me excited .. but I’ll have to come back, more pressing things just now.

    I love the way you’ve shown us the way forward .. so clever .. and I absolutely agree the brain is an amazing organ – it’s much more than that .. I’ve learnt so much about its achievements with my mother’s terminal ultimately strokes .. but her brain is still all there! & from other frineds in the Acute Brain Injury Unit with us .. Mum 89 now, another lady 54 now, and a young American .. 23 now .. I keep in touch ..

    The brain has to be the most magical thing that has evolved in humans .. it is extraordinary .. and I’d love to know more .. but I suspect that will follow on .. once I am with the world, no longer on it ..

    The mind map is a brilliant post – thanks so much .. have a great week – Hilary

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Hilary,

    At a time like this, I am amazed that you can still be visiting my blog. Hope your mother feels better soon!

    With love and hugs,
    Evelyn

  8. Phil - Less Ordinary Living

    Evelyn –

    I love your creative and artistic side. Your mindmaps are a piece of art. I find it such a powerful way of ordering my thoughts and generating new ideas – I just can’t draw well, so I use coloured pens for mine! Thanks for sharing these ideas.

    Phil

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Phil,

    It’s great that you are using colored pens. I use them as well to make my pieces more interesting. Doing mind maps does not require us to be excellent artists. What is more important is how we can make use of them for our benefit.

    Have a fun time doing mind maps!
    Evelyn

  9. Chania Girl

    Evelyn, I really enjoyed this post and the ideas you shared. I have heard of mind maps before but not in any detail. Your post has piqued my curiosity: I want to know more! 🙂

    Thank you.

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hi Hi,

    You should check out Tony Buzan’s books. You can learn a lot from them. The thing is that we need to apply what we have learned – so start making a mind map and see where it takes you 🙂

    With love,
    Evelyn

  10. Megan Zuniga

    You’re a very good artist. This is such a unique suggestion. It actually looked complicated to me at first. And mentioning mind maps made me think this post is scientific and complicated. But it’s actually not. It’s very creative. I know this exercise is usually done by writing to overcome writer’s block. From one word, branch out all possible synonyms, related words and meanings, and conotations. I didn’t think it could be used for mind mapping.
    Anyway, it’s a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to do it for myself.
    PS…Sharing more tips http://budurl.com/kqk7 that could help you on your mind mapping! Good luck!

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Megan,

    I am glad to know that you have learned something new from my post. Mind maps can be used in a variety of ways and not just to overcome writer’s block. You can even do them just for art sake 🙂

    With love,
    Evelyn

  11. Joy H

    Evelyn,
    What an inspiring post! I’ve done hand drawings–tracing my hand and mapping my future on it–but never a mind map. I’m intrigued, and can see how it will be an awe some resource. I will definitely create one!
    I also love your response to Sandra’s comment–you don’t have to be Picasso! I hadn’t thought of myself as an”‘artist” but I realize when my heart is overflowing with peace and joy creativity in all forms is just a natural expression of that. I began with collages and mosaics, then worked my way to colors and paints. As with yoga, each new medium I try seems to open a door in my life. I try different spices when cooking, different genre books when reading, different hiking trails….When I combine creativity in a setting I love–such as sitting in the cokcpit of my boat basking in the sunshine with my sketch pad ready–the sky truly is the limit! My heart whispers are soaked up by the sunshine *and* splayed out on my page:)

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Joy,

    Are you an Enneagram Type Four? You certainly sound like one. Creativity and Inspiration breathes through your soul. Much like myself.

    Love ya and have an awesome week ahead!
    Evelyn

  12. Steven Aitchison

    Hi Evelyn

    I have used mindmaps ever since my university days when I first read the book by Tony Buzan. I also use bubbl.us for creating online mind maps.

    Great idea to use this for self analysis and I can tell it has helped you.

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Steven,

    I tried using a software years ago but found myself preferring to do mine in my own note pad. Thanks for posting the link! I am going to check if it is easy to use!

    All the best,
    Evelyn

  13. T scott

    Fascinating articule, very interesting twist on mind maps, and a good one.
    I use mind mapps all the time not just at work but also to try and analyzise my own thoughts etc.

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Scott,

    Err…can you please explain about the “twist”? It is nice to know that you have been using mind maps as a tool for self analysis!

    Abundance always,
    Evelyn

  14. Chuck Frey

    One of the reasons that mind mapping software is such a powerful tool for self-exploration is that it encourages a mindset of abundance, a topic which I recently covered in my blog: http://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/a-mindset-of-abundance/

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Chuck,

    I am going to check out your post in a minute!

    Abundance always,
    Evelyn

  15. Topi

    Wow, I’ve heard of mind maps before but it seemed like a complicated subject so I’ve never explored it. But, you maps looks so simple and yet powerful, now I can’t wait to learn more!
    Topi

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Topi,

    You can make your mind maps as simple or as complicated…whichever way you want it to be. Just start from the central image and see where the associations take you. Even if you come out with one branch or three, it really doesn’t matter. What matters most is getting started in stimulating creativity.

    Abundance always,
    Evelyn

  16. Lisa (mommymystic)

    Wow, I had never heard of mind-maps, I love it! It actually made me think of mandalas (which as you know I am a bit obsessesed with lately), but really the way some therapists use self-made mandalas is kind of like this…I love this idea and the quote. Hope you are well:-) – Lisa

    Evelyn Reply:

    Okay…I must admit that I really don’t know my readers well. I thought that most people already know about mind maps. Prior to publishing, my inner critic told me categorically that no one would be interested to read my post!

    Haha…and I haven’t even published my mandala pieces yet!! I would like to read more about how they have helped you, by the way 🙂

    With love,
    Evelyn

  17. Chris Edgar

    I knew a gratitude journal and the right affirmations had to be a critical step in Cinderella’s quest! But seriously, I enjoyed your art as always — I particularly liked the piece with the “Evelyn” icon in the middle (at least I think that’s what it is) — it looks like you let your right hemisphere have free reign for a bit!

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Chris,

    Cinderella was the childhood fairy tale I love best! Glad to know that you’ve enjoyed my version of the story!

    My mind is a garden, which constantly needs nurturing, weeding and loving care. Oh yes, my right brain has been allowed to run more freely of late! Glad that you’ve noticed.

    Abundance always,
    Evelyn

  18. Ketur

    hello,

    I had never heard of mind maps. It was nice informative for me.

    Thanks,
    Ketur

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Ketur,

    I am going to do some shameless self promotion here…haha…which is: do visit my blog for more interesting ideas!!! Alternatively, check out my archives for a ton of ideas.

    Abundance always,
    Evelyn

  19. Suzie Cheel

    This is awesome Evelyn,
    I have the original Hard Cover Copy of Radiant thinking and like you have been using mindmaps for many years
    I think your post has inspired me to get the watercolors out.
    Great links here in the comments Love Nancy Margulies site
    Thanks for your inspiration
    Love
    Suzie

    Evelyn Reply:

    Hello Suzie,

    I know you love art too! Yes, get your paint and brushes out!!

    With love,
    Evelyn

  20. J.D. Meier

    Brains are amazing. And so is your Mind Map.

    I’m a regular mind mapper — it helps me get the team up to speed quickly, share ideas, and pressure test our thinking.

    Evelyn Reply:

    Haha….you’ve got a superb brain! Thanks for continuing to inspire me to better myself in every way!

    With love,
    Evelyn

  21. Chris

    Leonardo DaVinci used Right and Left brain Mind Mapping.

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  24. chioma

    hey… v got a lot of things in my mind i need to clear off and direct but i didnt understand the mind map thing. plus do u coach personally? i really need a lil help

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