The Map Is Not the Territory

You’re not who you think you are. You’re not who they think you are, you’re not who the ones you love need you to be, you’re not even who you think you have to be for the ones you love.

Who you are is a bit of all that, but so much more.

Your not what you have, or what you do, you’re not what you worship. You’re not the words you use, or your actions, and you’re certainly not the consequences of those actions.

You are not your habits, your dreams, your goals, or the story you tell yourself about how you ended up where you’re at.

You’re not the mood you’re in right now, or the one you’ll be in two hours from now. You are not the tears you cry, or the laughs, or the moments of doubt.

You’re not your country, or your race, or your gender.

You’re neither where you’ve been, nor where you’re going. You are neither your successes, nor your excuses. You’re not the money you have in your bank account, you’re not even the money you have spent until now.

You are not the memories you cherish, nor the ones you hate to remember. You are not the aspects of you that you’ve hidden inside the drawers of your soul, nor the parts of you that you show even to a perfect strange you meet on a summer afternoon.

The map is not the territory.

When we try to decipher the ego, we are trying to draw a map, to draw imaginary borders around places we rarely travel to. That’s the ego. It’s a map. It’s not the territory.

And the thing about maps is that you can’t find the treasure by scratching on its surface with a pen.

You are not a sentence, but an entire novel.

You do not change your body to that of a god by going through a four-minute montage, Eye of The Tiger as background music.

You do not climb the corporate ladder by turning your company by deploying a set of strategies you’ve learned by binge-watching Game of Thrones.

You cannot rebuild yourself as long as you keep running from yourself.

You cannot remake yourself until you’re willing to learn that the map is not the territory.


In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice, but… ever tried attracting a million dollars into your life by thinking real hard about it as you sit on your couch?

Did a briefcase filled with money ever materialize on your coffee table?

Life is meant to be experienced. We are meant to let go of our desire for absolute control, for everything to make sense, and experience life.

That’s the territory. If you were to follow your map, you’d be let astray, because it never points you in the right direction, which is the no man’s land where all your fears are having a party.

Almost everything you do, as you go through the trenches of day to day life, is meant to reinforce the image you have of yourself, to satisfy your need to make sense of who you think you should be.

This is your ego, this is the map, but this is not the territory, this is not who you really are.


The ego is an image. It is a map. It is not what we’ve done, what we’ve said, or how we feel. It’s so much more than that.

You’re not who you think you are. You’re not who they think you are, you’re not who the ones you love need you to be, you’re not even who you think you have to be for the ones you love.

Who you are is a bit of all that, but so much more.

You are not a noun, but a verb. With every person you meet, with every talk you have, you are different. You chance.

You are not the sum total of your experiences, but your willingness to experience.

Your not what you have, or what you do, you’re not what you worship. You’re not the words you use, or your actions, and you’re certainly not the consequences of those actions.

You are not your resources, but your ability to be resourceful. You are not what you have, but what you give.

You are not your habits, your dreams, your goals, or the story you tell yourself about how you ended up where you’re at.

You are the habits you decide to confront, the goals you are willing to fight for, the stories other tell about how you ended up where you’re at.

You’re not the mood you’re in right now, or the one you’ll be in two hours from now. You are not the tears you cry, or the laughs, or the moments of doubt.

You’re not your failures, but rather you’re ability to fail, again and again, until you succeed.

You’re not your country, or your race, or your gender.

You’re the part of the universe trying to understand itself.

You’re neither where you’ve been, nor where you’re going. You are neither your successes, nor your excuses. You’re not the money you have in your bank account, you’re not even the money you have spent until now.

You are not the image you’ve painted, but your ability to use all the colors, all the paints, all the brushes, even though doing this will leave a big mess on the canvas of life.

You are not the memories you cherish, nor the ones you hate to remember. You are not the aspects of you that you’ve hidden inside the drawers of your soul, nor the parts of you that you show even to a perfect strange you meet on a summer afternoon.

You’re the desire to stand still, if only for a moment, in a quiet room. All by yourself. In order to find yourself. You are the hope of someday meeting yourself, in another quiet room, for even a few moments.

The map is not the territory.

You’re not the map. You’re the willingness to get rid of the map and explore the territory of life, with no regards for consequences, opposition, or failure.

6 thoughts on “The Map Is Not the Territory

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