Metaphors, Analogies, & Similes

Foundation of Creative Thinking

The use of metaphors, analogies, and similes are excellent ways to spark innovative thinking. Building a habit of thinking in terms of metaphors, similes, and analogies allows one to develop a new perspective. Seeing connections in a new light can result in creative solutions to problems. In addition, all three of these makes the brain work harder as it looks at the familiar in a new (often strange) light, or the strange in a familiar light.



A metaphor is typically defined as a word or phrase that is applied to an object or action which it is not literally applicable ( That is a lot of verbiage for something pretty simple. The following are a few examples of a metaphor:

  • Frozen wages

  • Liquid assets

  • Barks an order

  • Late breaking news



An analogy is typically a comparison of dissimilar things ( The following are examples of an analogy:

  • A digger is like a praying mantis.

  • A heart is like a pump

  • I am going to be toast when I get home.

  • She is as flaxy as a snowstorm



A simile is a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared ( The following are several examples of similes.

  • Sweet as a summer shower

  • Cute as a kitten

  • Busy as a bee



The use of these for creative thinking allows one to make connections with unfamiliar things. This allows the mind to act as a beginner, allowing for the opening of new ideas. As Albert Einstein once said, β€œan expert is a person who has few new ideas; a beginner is a person with many.” The more ways one can look at the world differently will allow new thought patterns for new ideas.