There are many structures you can use to aid in yourself on your self leadership development plan or path. A favourite can be to use metaphor as inspiration.
One of my favourite is to use ‘nature’ in a metaphor as a structure for inspiration that you can often review.
Especially useful if you find yourself in an exhaustion cycle; a nature metaphor can reconnect you with something bigger when you are not feeling that way yourself.
- As an example, here is my own personal nature-based metaphor:
“I am global wind, a soft gentle breeze, billowing awareness through creative communication so you can first inspire, then exhale – peace.”
In my personal metaphor, the soft gentle breeze describes my gentle nature and delivery. The fact the wind is global reminds me to extend my reach and to remember we are all part of the global ONE – and that awareness is my solution to the illusions of separateness that I see as the pain in this world.
“Creating my personal nature-based metaphor was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself”
My own metaphor is both representative of my life purpose and a reminder of what is most essential in my life. It has evolved over the past 10 years – yet it began with just a few simple steps.
The idea is a simple one. It is to creatively combine – elements of who you are, who you wish to be and what you experience, as needed in the world into an inspirational statement that moves you to focused committed action.
If you have the thought ” I want to get this perfect”, just know – it is a practice that evolves over time – and you don’t need to get things “perfect” right out of the gate. It’s a beginning – and a beginning that can be extremely useful – and – that can evolve over time.
Your statement can be as literal or as deep as you create it – and it can be anything from a simple touch stone or if you are like me, it can be become such an integral part of your life; you can use it as criteria for decision making for your investment of time, money and resources.
My own metaphor still moves me as I repeat it. It moves me, because within it – is the solution to the pain I witness in the world, and also within it – is the essence of me.
Are you ready to craft a metaphor statement that could be a touch stone for yourself?
Here is how to create your personal leadership metaphor:
- Identify a solution or outcome that is desperately needed either in the world or your community. Understanding what has been missing, or the pain you have witnessed is often a good starting point for identifying a solution. It’s more than common that folks can make awareness of pain – a purpose. Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly, has described this awareness of what is missing in the world like a “vacuum” where a real void has been created.
Often we are each our own best knower of where the vacuum has been – because we have experienced it. And this void often is a wonderful space to in which to place your solution.
- Identify an element in nature that inspires you. An element that has the energies of who you wish yourself to be. Whether it is a rock, fire, water, tree, mountain or any other element in nature. Trust your intuition to choose it.
- Identify the qualities within that element that inspires you. This is the fun part. Once you have chosen your nature element. Play with the qualities a little – describe them, write them out. For example a mountain may have expansive perspective, a solid grounding, a passion within waiting to burst… you get the idea.
- Identify who it is that will benefit from your solution. Is it all of mankind? Is it children? Is it our leaders? Who in your community would benefit?
- Identify what they will then be able to do as a result of consuming or learning of your solution. This is what makes it very meaningful.
Then put it all together… the formula goes like this:
‘I am a _____2_____, Who _______3_________, Who helps _____4_______ to _____1______ so that they may _____5_______.”
Don’t worry about getting it perfect; it will evolve over time.
The idea is to make a connection with the pattern of who you are and what you want to offer the world – and to connect THAT to something bigger in nature and then to bring all that together in service of others.
Creating a personal metaphor statement that reminds you of your own greatness and how you can serve the world can be a way to self-inspire. It doesn’t need to be a nature one …. the real key is it is something that inspires you.
I hope you enjoy creating your own personal metaphor and that you find it as resourceful as I do and as others do.