Apophenia in D Minor.
Something they don’t tell you about running a business is the mild case of Apophenia you suffer - the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.
In our (often unwillingly) obsessed business brains, everything is a metaphor. If it can’t be connected to an important business lesson, you’re not trying hard enough.
There is not a topic I cannot draw some hapless metaphor from…
It’s an exhausting state of mind.
Ask my family about me and metaphors. Actually don’t, it’ll only rile them up again. Suffice to say, I’m very guilty of excessive metaphor use. There is not a fable, historical nugget or human endeavour that I cannot evoke to better argue my point.
Here’s a great example. I’ve been relearning to play the guitar throughout 2021 (and boring everyone rigid about it). Having started when I was 12, I stopped at around Grade 5 and barely picked it up again for 30-odd years. Other than a mindless noodle every few months, my rig (guitar chat for equipment) has been left to gather dust. But no more, now grateful to have survived the past 18 months, it was time to retune/reengage/relearn/reconnect/refresh…
Can you see all the metaphor potential already?
I decided to give myself something else to achieve outside of family and work by relearning and improving my playing. Spending a few hours every week, getting my sausage fingers moving and showing my kids that although I was never an Eddie Van Halen nor Julien Bream, all that talk about being able to play was not just a tall tale.
It’s been a fantastic salve to the stresses and strains of day-to-day life - although I am very fortunate to be in a situation where I really don’t have anything to complain about. That said, having a hobby again - something I forgot all about between raising a family and running a business - is fun. Yes, the f-word we all fear, FUN.
Like an old dog finding his loved yet long-forgotten ball under a sideboard, it has been a nostalgic and energising discovery. Remembering to spend quality time on something else that encourages you to learn, is out of your comfort zone or is just bloody fun is surely something we should all be reminded of in the current climate of work/life balance shifts.
And that last paragraph doesn’t count towards my overuse of metaphors because I used the word ‘like’ - which makes it a simile ;)