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Life Metaphors: The powerful force overlooked by modern psychology

Sunday, June 05, 2011 by: Mike Bundrant
Tags: metaphors, psychology, health news

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(NaturalNews) Imagine that you have a bird's eye view of two people's lives, John and James. Both John and James experience the challenges and opportunities that come with family and relationships, work and community. They each have their share of success and failure. Neither John nor James is immune to the difficulties of life and each has a similar capacity for happiness.

There is, however, one critical difference between John and James and that is their life metaphor. We all have a metaphor for life and this deeply held, unconscious belief determines how we experience everything that happens within and around us. A life metaphor is a lens through which we view the world. It is perhaps the most powerful determinant of happiness and fulfillment or stress, depression and anxiety. Your identity and personality are organized around your life metaphor! This ranks as perhaps the most significant phenomenon that has been overlooked by modern psychology.

Let's look at John and James's life metaphors.

John's metaphor is that life is a battle and within this metaphor only the strong survive. As John strategizes how to gain more territory and seize more control in his life and career, he also teaches his children how to win their own battles in school and little league sports. For John, it's about winning, losing and conquering the opposing forces in life.

James, on the other hand, has a very different metaphor for life. For James, life is a classroom or learning opportunity. With this metaphor filtering his outlook, James seeks to find the value in every experience - good or bad - and apply it to his life. James approaches his career, family and community expecting to learn something new every day.

Can you imagine how differently John and James would handle themselves in common situations? How would each of them respond differently when their child scores low on a test or gets bullied at school? How would they approach a new career opportunity or the loss of a job? What would it be like to be married to John or James or be in a personal relationship with them?

And these are just two possible life metaphors. To some, life is a test. To others, it's an adventure. To some it's a game. And the list goes on. The most incredible thing about life metaphors is that most of us don't choose our own! We don't understand how deeply we are affected by these metaphors that define the very meaning of life. It's amazing.

What is life to you? A journey, a gift, a party, a burden, an obedience school, a dream or even a nightmare? Is life a puzzle or a mystery? Is it an empty void or a black hole of meaninglessness?

Here's the most important question of all. Are you happy with the results that your view of life is producing? Are you fulfilled and inwardly satisfied with life regardless of what is happening around you? If not, the most powerful change you can make is an inner change - change the lens through which you view the world and your entire life changes in one sweep.

Imagine what would happen in John's life if his metaphor changed from life is a battle to life is a symphony. Rather than planning to overcome his enemies, John would be striving for more harmonious arrangements! Think about it, a simple change in metaphor can reorganize your entire life and give it radical new meaning.

In our NLP life metaphor program, I invite you to identify, understand and evaluate your own life metaphor. Simply understanding it gives you uncommon insight and self-awareness. And, if you are in need of a change - if you find life to be too difficult, stressful or scary - then adopting a new metaphor will dramatically alter your experience. I know because I've done it myself and have helped thousands of people do the same.

The American Indian mystic and writer Black Elk said the following: It is in the darkness of their own eyes that men get lost.

For me, Black Elk is talking about our life metaphor, the most hidden and powerful perspective that we have. If your are lost, unfulfilled, stressed or confused in any area of your life, or if you want to become more motivated and productive, the very best course of action is to change the eyes with which you see.

Join me in this program which includes an audio guide and a life metaphor workbook and we will do just that. There is a new world waiting for you and it comes in the form of a metaphor.

About the author:
Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.

The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.

Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program.

Follow Mike on Facebook for daily personal development tips.

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