The Power of Metaphors
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Q : I've been working on a massive project at work and having a hard time staying motivated although I really want to get it done. Have you got any tips? A : I'd like to share with you what I believe is the magic key to what will support you to get the motivation you are looking for. Daniel Pink wrote in his book A Whole New Mind - Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age: "If a picture is worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures. Human thought processes are largely metaphorical. Metaphor-making is critical. A large part of self-understanding is the search for appropriate personal metaphors that make sense of our lives." The word metaphor comes from a Greek root meaning "to carry beyond." In other words, metaphors are a powerful tool that can "carry you beyond" your current perception to something better and brighter ahead. To elicit a metaphor to use around your project, all you have to do is say: "This (business/situation/project) is just like 'this.'" You can look to the things you like to do like sailing, running, cooking or even movies for inspiration - i.e. "This project is just like when I'm running a marathon; I'm three-quarters done ..." Or answer: "To me, life at its best is like a (game, adventure, dance)." If you see life as a game, then how can you make this a game worth playing? If life's an adventure, how can this be a time of deep discovery for you? The key is to choose metaphors that inspire and hold deep meaning for you. You'll know you've got it right when you feel an inner shift when thinking of your project; one that changes and empowers the way you think and feel.