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Constrained By Pancake Rules


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Most have heard the truism, "The map is not the territory."

This sounds pretty simple, and pretty self evidence.

You have a bunch of mountains in front of you.

And you've got a map of the same mountains.

The map is a 3'x 5' piece of paper.

The mountains are miles and miles of dirt and trees and water and infinitely complex life forms.

Obviously, the map is not the territory.

Or if you're standing in a fast food place, trying to decide what to order.

There are the descriptions, and there is the food.

The descriptions, the map, is not the same as the food.

Plenty of restaurants have food you can order that doesn't exist on the menu, or the map.

Suppose you walked into a pancake restaurant.

One that was happy to make custom orders.

And you ordered, on spur of the moment, a triple-decker pancake stack with peanut butter and olive oil between the first two.

And hot mustard and wasabi sauce between the second two.

And on top, you wanted raisins covered in strawberry ice cream.

And suppose you were absolutely making up that order as you said the words.

Imagine the waitress giggled a bit while she wrote it down.

And the pancake chef was a bit confused, as he created your crazy stack of pancakes just as you ordered.

The "map" was created out of what?

Your organically evolving creativity?

The territory, the actual pancakes, were created FROM your goofy map.

Of course, this is strange example.

But it points that the very, very complex difference between map and territory.

Sometimes the territory comes first, like mountains.

They can exist for millions of billions of years before somebody comes along and makes a map.

Sometimes the map can come first, like in a goofy custom pancake order.

Consider that how you see the relationship between maps and territories is very close to how you might see the world.

Some people would NEVER go anywhere without a map.

Some people would never DARE order anything that's not on the menu.

Then there are people like "Doc" from the Back To The Future movies.

Who famously said, "Where we're going, we don't need roads!"

The words we use can describe the world we see around us.

They describe the thoughts in our brain.

The stories we tell ourselves about our limitations.

Or we can change our stories, and change our inner maps.

Your words can be used to form questions to find out what's inside their brains.

And change their stories, and change their maps, and change their world.

Most people are content to be passive watchers.

To wait around for others to create maps.

Most people don't even have control over the maps that exist in their minds.

Most people have ideas and strategies about the world they got from other people.

That's easy, but it's not required.

Master your maps, master your words, and you will master everything.

Learn How:


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