The bible has many verses revealing about our true identity in relation to God in the form of metaphors.
Here are some of them:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Did you notice the metaphors here?
We are God’s temple.
We are no longer a SLAVE, but a SON.
We are the BRANCHES. Be in him to BEAR FRUIT.
If you continue reading, the next steps can be life changing for you in a powerful way. You may realize some new things or affirm what you already know with more clarity after you do these exercise. Either way, you will realize how carefully choosing this “one word” – metaphors – to your life will create your destiny.
Give Yourself a Gift Today
Because without thinking much about it, we have an abstract symbol or metaphor about ourselves, now think and ask yourself this question:
“If you drew a symbol of yourself, what will you choose?”
Some people will draw a picture of the sun, an eagle, a house, a tree, a scenery, etc. It varies depending on the person and there is no right or wrong drawing for this. What is important is to draw the initial thoughts that come to your mind. If you do not know how to draw, it is okay because you can still express your symbol based on your own capability to draw. What is important is to do the exercise.
Give yourself a gift today and do the following exercise now:
1. Make a drawing that will symbolize who you are. Get some paper and pen for this.
2. Think of three words that describe who you are today.
Stop reading and quickly make your drawing and three words to describe yourself.
Because, if you stop reading and do this exercise now, you will gain the most for your self discovery and realize a major impact for your life. So, I hope you will stop reading, do the exercise and continue after you draw your symbol and make three words to describe yourself.
As you do the exercise, avoid overthinking and use whatever is your first thought.
Power of Metaphors
Metaphors are a simple way to add juice to your life. By using metaphors, we can empower ourselves more effectively and create more meaningful and compelling situations and circumstances. When you use metaphors that connect to our values, we find ways to turn ordinary situations into extraordinary situations.
I don’t drive a project; “I lead an epic adventure.”
“You are the salt of the earth.”
For your life, it’s your story and you are the director. You choose where to point your camera at and the meaning you will make.
Metaphors help us shape our story. No wonder Jesus used it in many of His teachings!
It’s about language and the pictures we hold in our minds. Creating a vision and holding it in our heads will tend to steer us towards the emotions and feelings that we associate with such picture. Whether or not the picture is an accurate representation of what we are relating it to, we tend to create that picture anyway –and the emotions that go along with it. Therefore, it has a tendency to become reality, at least on an emotional level. The bottom line is, metaphors shape our overall experience, filter what we perceive, and influence how we make meaning. We are the most important meaning maker (and perhaps not always the best, especially if it’s by default and not by design).
What does this imply for us?
We must choose our metaphors thoughtfully. Here’s why:
1. They shape our experience.
2. They empower us to change how we think and feel (and our thinking and feeling impact what we do).
3. They help us make meaning.
Whether a metaphor is positive or negative is entirely up to you. For example, most people would probably think of “an uphill battle” as negative. Then again, some people may like the challenge. It’s how you think that decides whether it’s a positive or negative metaphor.
Metaphors for You
You can use metaphors for who you are or what you do, as a simple way to shape your experience or to help others make sense of what you do. Here are some examples:
• I’m a survivor.
• I’m a lover.
• I’m a fighter.
• I’m a healer.
• I’m a lion.
• I’m an eagle.
• I’m a peaceful warrior.
• I’m a truth seeker.
• I’m a mentor.
Again, we must take care in deciding on our metaphor, because it has a major impact on our lives. For example: Are you an “old dog,” a “lifelong learner,” “forever young,” or “young at heart”? Do you “age like a fine wine and get better with age”? The choice is yours.
If life is a dance, maybe you find ways to see grace or beauty in yourself and others. If life is magic, then you find the wonder in the world and you enjoy seeking out mystery and possibility. In summary, this is what metaphors do for us:
1. Metaphors shape our experience.
2. Metaphors can be a simple way to empower us.
3. Choose the metaphors that work for you.
4. You can find a metaphor for yourself and for life.
Refine Your Symbol (Metaphor)
In first exercise above, I asked you to make a symbol of yourself. The symbol that you drew is actually a very powerful metaphor that is running sub-consciously. It dictates a lot of decisions and choices that you make because it becomes a filter and map of the world for you. For several years, I used the metaphor “an eagle” to describe myself. This allowed me to drive myself to push for excellence in my work and seek leadership positions. However, after awhile, I realized that this metaphor did not match my passion of inspiring people to achieve their maximum potential. It was here that I realized I needed to change my metaphor. Now, I use “builder and coach” as my metaphor.
Does your metaphor match your purpose or values? If not, you may want to review it because our metaphors affect our day-to-day decisions and actions. Spend some time on this and decide on what metaphor you would like to use. Determine if you metaphor is aligned to your mission statement or purpose.
Learn more from Jojo Apolo in our upcoming Performance Leadership Workshop on 27 Feb to 01 March and 8-10 October in Singapore or 01-03 July in KL, Malaysia. While, we are running Leapfrog Your Business & Yourself Seminar on March 7-9 and June 7-9 in Manila, Philippines or November 1-3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Both courses include NLP Basic Practitioners Certification Course.
About the Author
Jojo Apolo. Asia’s Revenue Breakthrough Leader. Author. Public Speaker. NLP Master Trainer. His passion is to help people and businesses get what they want by teaching Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). He managed major FMCG companies in Indonesia and start-ups in the brink to become profitable. He developed the New Breakthrough Selling Advantage for Sales Professionals using NLP that has resulted in doubling a business from USD 500 million to USD 1 billion in 3 years. He established a 500,000 direct outlet coverage via 300 distribution networks with real-time sales & stock systems. He pioneered the use of IPAD’s for salesmen, use creative “Quantum Sales” games and established same-day delivery service guarantees for pharma products. He has given numerous seminars on sales, personal & spiritual development in Southeast Asia. He is a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP from the National Federation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, USA and the American Union of NLP, USA, Certified NLP Practitioner Trainer of NLP Academy, UK under John Grinder co-creator of NLP. He spearheads the REFORM program for Drug Rehabilitation across the Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Health and numerous religious organizations. He is the author of the book “Be Free from Painful Memories and Traumas in 30 minutes, 7-Step New Breakthrough Selling Advantage, i-Thrive: 7 Keys to a Fruitful Life and co-author with Dr. Romy Paredes of Awaken the Doctor in You.