by Barbara Fagan
For years, people have challenged me to write a book. From my early days of coaching young business professionals, to coaching coaches and to facilitating leaders, there is one piece of consistent feedback that I have always received: “Where did you come up with that metaphor?”
It all goes back to when I was a kid, and before educators understood the impact of dyslexia in learning. When I was in the first grade I would actually break into a sweat (imagine a first grader sweating). I would worry all day about the moment I would be sitting in my reading circle with others taking turns reading aloud. Does this sound familiar to you? Soon, my teachers began to identify that I had a “problem.” My parents, like most parents, wanted to understand why their brilliant daughter was having such a hard time learning to read. So off I went to the eye doctor, the hearing doctor and the child counselors. No one could explain the “problem.” I began to think, “I am stupid.”
Eventually, I discovered a very effective strategy. If I could use a picture or an example that I could relate to and remember, then through association I could retain information. These skills grew and grew over the years. As a professional, I was drawn to marketing and strategic thinking, which is where I could make it all up. As I developed my skills as a coach and worked in many different business environments with professionals in different roles, and levels of professional development, I found that using a metaphor for one, served them all.
For everyone who has heard me lecture, and come to know what you call “Faganisms,” I am declaring I will publish a book this year filled with all of those metaphors. My challenge is this: join our community and share one metaphor that you remember me using, and what you learned. Like George Burns use to say, “I got a million of them!”
Here is one you may remember: “We all should live life being willing to be bug splat.” Now that is an interesting concept. “Bug Splat” defined means that we are willing to go for it 100% in life…not 50% or 95%, but 100%.
So how do you know if you are going for “Bug Splat?” Well, just imagine yourself as a bug flying around on a beautiful spring day — just a buzz of excitement. As a bug, you have, no fear, see endless possibilities and explore each flower and weed along the way. Until, — out of the blue — a car comes by and, you are bug splat. Living this way does not allow us to go flying around in our life with fear, anticipating what will happen next or worrying, judging or criticizing ourselves or others. We are fully present in the moment until we hit the windshield of life.
My upcoming book, “Life Is A Metaphor — You Get to Make It Up,” will be filled with these metaphors and how useful they can be in living your life as the source of all you create. My invitation to you is to visit the “Life is a Metaphor…” forum in My Source Point Community and share what you remember from being in one of your learning experiences with me or even your own metaphor for life.