Consider you own a map (shown below) of a territory that you are not familiar with.

Assume you are initially at the starting point and the map shows there are two routes to reach that black house.

You take route A and after some distance you encounter a fallen tree which is blocking your way.

Your Original Map

So you look at the map and see that you have to go all the way back and follow route B. So you go back and take route B.

The Territory

After reaching the black house through route B, you realize there is a tiny path (shown in orange) connecting the black house and fallen tree in route A. But your map didn’t show that route. The map did not reflect the territory accurately. You are frustrated now.

You believed the map would accurately reflect the territory. However, it didn’t. This had cost you a lot of time and energy.

What am I trying to say with this?

Consider this analogy.

Map ====> Beliefs and Convictions (mental models) about how the real world works.

Territory ====> The real world we face everyday.

Too much reliance on the accuracy of the map (Beliefs and Convictions) will always cost you.

Real world works very differently sometimes when we expect it to work according to our beliefs. This is because our mental models are not always 100% accurate. All our mental models are built based on the experience we had so far. Our limited experience doesn’t really account for all the real world events.

This doesn’t mean we can throw away all our inaccurate maps. Whenever we encounter a real world event which contradicts our existing beliefs, then we have to update our beliefs so that it more closely resembles reality.

Like Elon Musk must said

This is my interpretation of the following article “The Map Is Not the Territory” . Check out the article for more details on this idea.