Alternate Title: Pick your poison and make it sweet
[I’ve realized that I’ve yet to make a post about my major overarching analogies for life. So, allow me to remedy that.]
There’s many ways to think about life.
You got your glass analogy and whether it’s half full or half empty.
There’s the iconic Forest Gump quote:
My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.– Forest Gump
Or perhaps you’ve read my post comparing it to a mountain climb.
Well, I’m going to recap 3 more for you today. But first…
Disclaimer: My descriptions are based on my own experiences. As well as common remarks I’ve seen and heard. Feel free to disagree.
Action in 3, 2, 1…
Ever thought life was like a movie? Or a TV show about you?
Sure, maybe you’re not starring in an action blockbuster. Or making people wish they could live like you do. [I would have hated school way less if I had the Zoey 101 experience.] But, aren’t you aware of how the camera gravitates towards you? You’re at the center of its focus.
And there’s no surprise there. This is your life and so it’s your movie. Everything that happens, whether you’re a vital part of it or not, will be interpreted from your own unique Point of View (PoV). Basically, the importance of any event is often guided by how much it affects you.
Perhaps this is why when it comes to viewing life as like a personal movie, many embrace a “larger-than-life” mindset. Of course, this has some noticeable ups and downs.
- Your movie, your life. This analogy constantly reminds you to make your life something worth watching. [Although this can also lead to comparing yourself to others and FOMO.]
- I’m convinced this analogy brought on all the “playlist for” videos on YouTube. There are ones for if you feel like a side character, the villain, and many more.
- Many movies pay little attention to the side cast, let alone background characters. You may be inclined to overlook or mistreat those around you.
- Many people live this analogy desperately seeking to be a Hollywood blockbuster. They make it about what looks good and seems interesting, rather than what brings intrinsic value. [After all, even a bad movie can still leave you impressed by the production.] However, current scientific studies suggest that intrinsic value is what really brings us happiness.
From what I’ve seen, the most helpful analogy for life is gaming. Whether it’s tackling habits like they’re quests or picking your friends with the precision of prepping for the Pokémon League, it seems effective for many people.
I think it’s because games have rules. And there are also common ways to win or at least strategies. Because of this, it’s easier for most people to see life as something you can win. Rather than something you have little to no control over.
For instance, if life is like a game, then the more you practice or level up useful skills, the greater your potential. The more potential you have, the more you likely can accomplish. And the more you can accomplish, the better chance you have of obtaining what you want.
- The focus tends to be on objective and observable results.
- Quests (goals) are helpful to many for progressing.
- The popular “leveling up to who you want to be” concept makes life seem more manageable.
- Preparation is key to doing well.
- Everyone’s playing a bit of a different game. So while it can be easy to find valuable walkthroughs, they should be tailored to individuals. However, people tend to aim for automated results.
- For those that are more chaotic, this analogy may bring too much straightforwardness for you to actually follow through. [In which case, try focusing on systems rather than quests/goals.]
Turn the page
This is my central analogy for life- seeing it as a book.
[And I do not recommend it. For most people, I think the best choice is the gaming route.]
There are hardly any rules for a book. Sure, a story requires words or some form of communication. And yes, there’s a ton of clichés that can help you guess the ending or who’s going to date who. But, you never know exactly how a story will go. And this analogy tends to hyper-focus on that.
- Abstract thinkers might find this to be their winning analogy since they’re encouraged to look at a wide range of possibilities.
- This analogy is an” as-you-go” type of thinking. You’re encouraged to adapt.
- There’s a constant focus on what’s shifting in the storyline, which can easily make you feel like control is out of reach. Or that things aren’t “good enough,” depending on present circumstances.
- It can be easy to get lost in the plot and struggle to push the story forward.
And there you go, my 3 main analogies for life. However, here’s a bonus section to help you out too.
- Diversify your analogies. This may sound strange, but the fact of the matter is that humans are natural hypocrites. So, there’s a pretty good chance that a singular analogy will hold you back or misguide you. [It’s like stocks. A diversified portfolio is highly recommended.]
- Remember that you don’t control the full story. I get it. Some people embrace that “Life Plan” scene in the Little Prince. You want everything to be organized and then you just have to follow along. You crave that. However, life doesn’t work that way. The only thing you can control is yourself. [And even then, we do things on autopilot all the time.] Just because an analogy may work wonderfully for you, doesn’t mean life will suddenly be perfect. It’s still full of randomness like it was yesterday. Learn to roll with some of the punches.
- Consider who you are. Different people will see these analogies differently. So make sure to consider your own motivations and personality, as well as how they may affect your perspective with an analogy.