Like the words we use, the metaphors that we use are highly representative of the experience we are undergoing. Metaphors are often more precise than an objective, scientific description of the experience.

Each person would have his own individual metaphor for a shared experience.

Our unconscious tends to process reality in terms of symbols. Which is why we dream when we fall asleep. Our deeper nature is composed of symbols derived from our experience.

Life Metaphors

It is common to see how people describe Life as a game or a test. "Life is a test of character" I have heard some saying. It shows what their metaphor for Life is.

The point is to have a metaphor that empowers you. Describing Life as a game may or may not work for you, depending on what your beliefs about a game are. You may think of game as competition or you may think it is fun. In the latter case, it can be more empowering, than to think of Life as competition.

It is said that All truth is the detection of an appropriate analogy. If you can discover the right metaphor to describe your experiences, it makes all the difference.

If you are facing a wall, break through the wall.
Drill a hole and get to the other side.

If Life is not a bed of roses, but a bed of thorns, then wear shoes.

If your heart is broken, then glue it together or buy a new heart.

If a light goes on in your head, fine, just find where the button to the light is, so that you can switch it on whenever you want to.

Destructive Life Metaphors

Some metaphors for Life, can hamper your progress and it is necessary that you dissociate from them and avoid using those metaphors.

  1. The Leak Metaphor. It is like seeing Life as a boat where one small leak can sink the boat. This can put you in a constant state of anxiety and bring about the same leak more predictably.
  2. The Zero Percentage Metaphor. The person with this metaphor derives satisfaction from his work only if the work is 100% complete. If he makes a progress of 1% or 2% it is still very significant, but this person may perceive his progress as worthless. It is this zero percentage metaphor that makes him perceive the work as 0% even though he is doing it 1% or 2%, that brings upon the very lack of progress.
  3. The Everything Metaphor. A product isn't the best unless you put in everything into it, so that it caters to "all needs". This metaphor gives rise to perfectionism. The person keeps on adding features to his work, in order to make it perfect and never releases it to the world. While the person in zero percentage metaphor makes no progress, the person in Everything metaphor makes a lot of unnecessary and useless progress.