Metaphors create new worlds.

They focus our attention, open our imaginations and help us to see connections.

But no metaphor is perfect. If there weren’t any limits or exceptions to a metaphor, it wouldn’t be a metaphor. (this is an extension of the ideas “the map is not the territory")

So it’s no surprise that our choice of metaphor can be important.

An example: consider these two metaphors for a journey. two journeys: one up a mountain, one down a stream

Depending on the one you select, you will have a very different perception of the journey you will undertake.

  • One might help you prepare better, the other might help you enjoy it more.
  • One might focus you on the destination, the other might help you take in the scenery.

Rushing for the first and most obvious idea can trap us in typical ways of thinking.

So what are the implications

Three easy ideas to help explore more metaphors

  1. Think of a metaphor for ideas or strategies
  2. Consider the limits of the metaphor
  3. Generate more metaphors and reflect on their strengths, weaknesses and differences.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.