On Identity and Metaphor

The strongest force in the human personality is the need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.

Your sense of identity is the strongest psychological force in your entire life.

(Tony Robbins)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I love metaphor.

Not just a stylistic device, but as practical tool.”

“What do you mean?”

“One use of the metaphor-tool is creating mental representations.

The metaphor IDENTITY-AS-FORCE which Tony uses isn’t mere style, it forms a powerful mental representation.

Another use of the metaphor-tool is what I call metaphoric-transfer.

Metaphor, in essence, is an implicit comparison: you identify a property of one thing with a property of another.

Identification here creates identity, because our mind cannot tell the difference. To our mind, the property of the first thing IS the property of the other.

This is metaphoric-transfer.

Often, what we call ‘understanding’ is precisely this identification. I call this process metaphoric-understanding.”

“How can the mind make such a connection?”

“Think of dreams, where the mind connects different experiences and makes them blend together seamlessly. It’s the same Process. I call it Reality-creation.

I call using this Process creatively, Reality-painting.

We think in metaphors, without realizing it. I’d go so far as to say metaphors are the building blocks of thought.

This is a very deep topic. What I’m interested in now is its practical application for Identity.”

“I’m all ears.”

If you want to change your life, the best strategy is to start with your Identity.

Think who you want to be, and WHY.

In this way, you set the FORCE in motion.

I’ll use my own identity as an example.

I am an Optimizer/Actualizer.

I am a Creator.
I am a Life-artist.
I am a Writer.
I am a Designer.
I am an Innovator.

I am a Mover.
I am a Traceur (Parkour Athlete/Artist).

I am a Thinker.
I am a Philosopher. (Lover of Wisdom)
I am a Philomath. (Lover of Learning)

I am a Stoic.
I am a Essentialist/Minimalist.
I am a Digital Minimalist.

This is an identity I’ve CREATED, it’s part of my Life-art.

They all started as ideas, but now I’m LIVING them.

The process wasn’t instantaneous. It took time. It was an inner and outer exploration, a journey. I cultivated them one identity-tree at a time.”

“How long did the process take?”

“Over three years now, since I came to London.”

“What’s the next step in your evolution?”

“The next step is:

~ I am a Teacher.
~ I am a Parkour Coach.

I’m currently channeling all my efforts in this direction. As for the next stage in my evolution, it is:

~ I am a World-class Thinker.
~ I am a World-class Athlete/Mover.
~ I am a World-class Teacher/Coach.
~ I am a World-class Communicator.”

“Thinking big.”

“It was about time. Thinking small for FORTY YEARS was enough.

Back to Identity, another application is expressing your Values as Identity. You thus apply the IDENTITY-FORCE to your ‘Pantheon of Values’, as I like to call it.

I am Love.
I am Play.

I am Courage.
I am Confidence.

I am Discipline.

You can also apply the FORCE to how you want to FEEL.

I am Joy.
I am Enthusiasm. (‘Enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek ‘Entheos‘, GOD WITHIN)
I am Imperturbable Tranquility/Inner Peace.

And, finally, you can apply various metaphoric models to strengthen your Identity, and make it more vivid:

I am an Endlessly Evolving Process.
I am Relentless Forward Motion.

I am a Warrior of the Mind. [<link; short length]

I am Fire.
I am Water.

I am Movement.
I am Stillness.

I am a Perpetual Motion Machine. [<link; short]

I am the Cat. [<link; short]

What’s missing from this image is the INTERCONNECTIONS between all these Identity-blocks.

That’s also part of my Life-art.”



About Dani Trusca

Playfully seeking wisdom

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