Mind mapping has been around for quite some time and is very useful for organizing thoughts and ideas. The best analogy commonly is referred to as the flow sheet. Most physicians think in a very linear fashion which served us well going through formal education and medical school. You start with a problem like, how do I pass this test or understand a concept. Logically we follow the scientific method until going from point A to Z until the conclusion is reached; very left brain work. Over time this practice gets repeated over and over and like a very well conditioned lab rat we will respond with all posed questions in our professions and life like a mouse trying to navigate a maze to get the cheese. However, once you get the cheese then what? A 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years of service award? Or maybe you publish incessantly trying to capture the satisfaction of constant accomplishment except maybe it doesn’t feel the same as the first time and slowly looses internal fulfillment?
Step in the Mind Map and let the right brain get a work out for a change. You used to work it out all the time in college. Remember philosophy, art, poetry, creative writing or theater? I think I have more vivid memories of those days than the grind of med school sometimes. Anyway, slowly start to work out that brain power to solve some subconscious problem plaguing you for the past few days, months or even years. With respect to Burnout, start with why we started this career in the first place and ask the question what happened? When did I get this way? Or, we can start with the problem like burnout and break it down to its smallest components. I randomly used www.mindtools.com as resource and found the site to be very informative and useful. Their map really illustrates the point of using more than just works to demonstrate ideas. Heck I encourage to go all out, the more creative or destructive the better. It will tap into insights of your subconscious you never even you knew you had! Once I start I often find it hard to stop mapping and then ideas and insight pop out of thin air. Step back once it is done and admire your work, I bet it feels good or maybe disturbing but at least the ideas start to take shape and begin to take on a life of their own. Once you are done, sleep on it and ask a question just before you go to sleep about the map and the answer will come to you in the morning like magic. Interpretation will be covered at a later time and will defiantly help unearth the pesky problem which with help of the left brain and some advanced exorcisms will lead to a much happier and less fried life, hopefully!