What are metaphors you might ask. As explained in the book If X is like Y, and we understand X, suddenly we understand Y. If for example someone tries to explain electricity to you by throwing around the terms “ohms”, “amperes,” “wattage,” and “resistors,” chances are it will totally confuse us. But what if he explained it by drawing a pipe, and there is water flowing thru it. There is a little flap that could slow water going thru the pipe, That little flap is what a resistor does in an electrical unit. Instantly we will know what a resistor is. So this is consider a metaphor. A metaphor can empower us by expanding and enriching our life however it can also place limiting belief if we are not careful.
Remembering the raging CEO we were talking about yesterday? He had a global metaphor that they were in a box and someone is having a gun on his head. Do you think he will react intensely if you believe you are trapped in a situation like this? So what tony does to break this CEO metaphor is by asking questions. He asked what color is the squirt gun? In order to answer this question he has to focus on the squirt gun and this switch in focus will break his internal focus. If i kept repeating don’t think of the color blue, what color are you going to think of? The answer, obviously, is blue. And whatever you think about, you feel.
Often people might say i am feeling the world is on my shoulder, you can also break their metaphor by saying set the world down and move on. Or if people say i am hitting a wall, you can tell them to jump over the wall or dig a hole thru. Some people will say I am feeling stuck. You can say you are never stuck, you may be feeling a little frustrated, you may not have a clear answer, but you are not stuck.
Some people of metaphor that life is a war, what will that bring to that persons life? That person might be thinking “its going to be me against everybody else.” “Its a dog eat dog world” If life is a battle then i am going to get hurt. What if Life is a game, you might think that there will always be a winner and a loser there will never be win win situation. Or you might think that life might be fun. Mother teresa’s metaphor for life is that its sacred. What if you believe life is a gift? Changing one of our global believe can immediately change the way we feel about life.
In a seminar, there is a woman who keeps complaining about everything things that happen. Its too cold, its too hot, she is upset of the person infront of her because he was too tall. So tony asked her what is her believe about life. She said “I guess I just believe that small leaks sink the ship.” If you thought you are going to drown all the time wouldn’t you go crazy about finding every little leaks.
A metaphor about yourself can make a big difference as well. Like if you believe that you are a teacher, a speaker, a therapist, a national best seller author or a Coach. Tony tested these out and every single word brings a very different meaning on how he sees things. So what kind of metaphors are you putting on yourself? Are you just a employee, business owner or a student?
You can put a metaphor on your love one as well. By calling certain names on your husband as “that jerk” that asshole” “old hag” “prince of darkness” or you can also call them “love of my life” “soul mate” ” team mates” what do you think it will change in your relationship?
When face with problem do you people often think of the metaphor that this problem is going to go on forever. However you can also look at it the other way. Life has its seasons. And now with the problem its just winter. Winter will go by and Spring will follow then the sun will be out. The sun comes out and we won’t freeze to death!
The metaphor about life is also a really cool one. One day Tony’s son came home and feeling really sad because his friend die. So Tony told him a metaphor of the caterpillar before turning into a butterfly will have to wraps itself up into a cocoon and everyone would have thought that the caterpillar is dead. If you cut open the cocoon it will be just some mashy white stuff. But after a few days what will the cocoon be? The son replied, butterfly will come out! So now is the caterpillar more free or less free? The son replied more free! Tony said “I think your friend has wings now!”
Hope these short example can let you know more about how a simple metaphor is actually affecting our life. May these small changes bring you a happier and more fulfilling life.