Analogies are great. We certainly love them here at 919 Marketing and use them all the time. They’re an excellent way to bridge the communication gap with clients.   They’re great motivating speaking tools for colleagues seeking advice/help. They can make a big difference…period.

But they can also be a huge hindrance when they’re shot out left and right without application. You know what I’m talking about – it’s those days where you take an issue to all the people you care about (your Mom, your boss, heck, your priest) and they all give you different yet similar cryptic analogous responses. Now that will give you an analogy aneurism!

My rule is to pick your top five and roll with it. This will allow you to cut out the ones with similar meanings and ignore the ones that you can’t use effectively.

Try it – it’ll surprise you just how many situations your top 5 will handle. Here are my top 5 and the situations where they’ve helped me.

1) “Approach your day as if you’re standing in the batting box waiting to hit” – clearly this is used to prepare for my day, big meetings, proposals, etc.   Basically, it helps me calm down, collect my thoughts and focus on the important details like I used to when waiting to hit in baseball games.

2) “Yard by Yard, Life is Hard.   Inch by Inch, it’s a cinch” – as cliché as it is, this is a big deal and it can be applied everyday. You have to take projects and problems one at a time to clear them off your plate. If you look at it all at once, you’ll be paralyzed by how much you have to do and won’t do any of it.

3) “You are what you think you are – life is a self-fulfilling prophecy” – this is just a reminder to stay confident and upbeat. You are more productive and better things happen when you expect good things to happen.

4) “Oil and Water Don’t Mix…Ever” – This is a big one for me working in the family business. Business and personal are different, and should be kept that way. Don’t take work home with you and don’t bring personal problems to the office. Your work and personal lives are supremely important but are not one and the same – separate them and it will pay huge dividends.

5) “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It’ll waste your time and annoy the pig” – this is our office motto for a reason. You can’t force people to change, so why waste your time trying?  Get up, show up and do your job – that’s all you can control. Let colleague/client problems roll off your back and be the best you can be every. single. day. and things will work out in your favor.

 Those are my five – they aren’t THE five but they certainly help me handle the daily problems/issues I face much, much better.

Find you five and use it – I assure you, they’ll pay dividends.