We know the power that words have in impacting our behaviour. Building on this knowledge, one of the simplest, fastest and most affective ways we can instantly transform how we think and feel is by harnessing the power of metaphors.
What Is A Metaphor?
A metaphor is a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison between two things. While the two concepts may bear little resemblance to each other, it is our familiarity with one concept that allows us to gain an understanding and make connections with the other.
We use metaphors to represent our experiences and the way we represent these experiences determines the filter through which we see and interact with the world around us. When we transform our metaphors, we transform the filter through which we view life.
Analysis into language reveals that we use roughly one metaphor for every ten seconds of speech or written word.
“The goal of a metaphor is to capture the maximum amount of truth in the minimum amount of words.”
Metaphors & Emotion
Words have meaning and the meaning we give something determines how we feel. Therefore, for better or for worse, metaphors significantly impact our emotional state.
Metaphors can either empower us or disempower us. For example, someone who represents life as a “battle” or a “struggle” will create an entirely different emotional experience compared to someone who represents life as an “adventure” or a “journey.” Similarly, someone who refers to their peers as “family” is going to create an entirely different emotional experience compared to someone who refers to them as “associates.”
However, metaphors don’t just influence what emotional state we are in, but they influence the intensity of it. For example, in a relationship, someone who refers to their partner as their “beloved” or “soul mate” is going to create an entirely different emotional intensity compared to someone who refers to them simply as their “other half” or their “team-mate.”
“It’s not life, but the way that you represent life that determines how you feel.”
How Metaphors Determine Your Destiny
If metaphors determine how we feel, and how we feel determines what we do, and what we do ultimately determines our destiny, then by extension, metaphors quite literally create our realities.
The key to successfully using metaphors is by using them in a way that maximises our emotional state and intensity, motivating us to respond and overcome the inevitable challenges that come our way, and using those that connect us to our goals and the quality of life we desire.
“The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.” ― Aristotle
A metaphor is a comparison between two seemingly unrelated ideas, that when brought together, lead to a higher level of understanding and expression of a truth.
Metaphors have the power to create and the power to destroy. If used consciously and affectively, we can harness the power of metaphors to transform the way we think, the way we feel and the way we act, and ultimately, to achieve the results we want.
By mastering our metaphors, we can, quite literally, become the masters of our destiny.