Metaphors are powerful things. They compare something we don’t understand to something that we do. In so doing, they help us to create a mental “bridge” that enables us to better understand a new idea or concept. For example, the automobile was originally called the “horseless carriage.”
In a recent TED presentation, author James Geary called metaphorical thinking “essential to how we understand ourselves, our thinking, how we communicate, learn, discover and invent.”
In his fascinating explanation of metaphors, Geary dissects what is perhaps the most famous and well-known saying in all of Western philosophy: “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I am.” He explains that the Greek word cogito is derived from the prefix “co,” which means together, and “agitere,” which means to shake. Therefore, Geary says, this philosophical statement of being can be more accurately translated as:
“I shake things up, therefore I am.”
I love this idea! Mind mapping, like metaphor, shakes things up:
- It forces you to think more deeply about your ideas.
- It enables you to “think about your thinking” in ways that just aren’t possible with other types of productivity software.
- It helps you to think about the “white space” between and outside of existing concepts, helping you to create new ideas.
- It helps you to create a value-added “aura” around your skills – because you’re using a sophisticated tool like mind mapping software, your clients and bosses naturally infer that you’re not just another “me-too” thinker. And that’s a beautiful thing!
The right tool to create tomorrow’s new opportunities
In a world that is still hunkering down, trying to survive continuing economic, political and business uncertainties, mind mapping is the right tool to help you to “shake things up” with fresh ideas and perspectives, and to help you stand out as a superior thinker and problem solver.
In this day and age, that’s worth its weight in gold!