81 Eye-Opening Metaphors About Life [To Inspire Your Day]

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Metaphors are a great way to explain complicated and difficult topics. Life is a very complicated thing. The metaphors about life included in this post try to break down some of life’s complicated ideas into simple and relatable metaphors.

People often use metaphors in everyday life without even realizing that they are using metaphors. It is just that some common metaphors have become almost a shorthand for common ideas and popular thinking.

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What is a Metaphor?

Before we get started on sharing these awesome metaphors about life, lets quickly touch on what exactly what constitutes a metaphor.

According to dictionary.com a metaphor is:

A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”


Metaphors can help us make sense of our lives. They can help us describe an experience and relate the experience to others in a way they can understand viscerally.

So enough chit-chat. Let’s dig into some of these fun metaphors.

30 Common Metaphors About Life:

Here are 20 of the most common metaphors used in everyday life:

  1. He is an old flame I used to date.
  2. Time is money.
  3. Life is a race you keep on running
  4. His lawyer is a shark.
  5. She has a heart of gold.
  6. She got cold feet and left.
  7. I was quickly left in the dust.
  8. Life is a battle, you have fight and struggle to win.
  9. He is the light of my life.
  10. My daughter is the apple of my eye.
  11. My room has become my prison.
  12. Life is a journey, sometimes the roads are straight and sometimes they are winding.
  13. You have aged like a fine wine!
  14. Life is a rose, you get the thorns with the flower.
  15. Laughter is the best medicine.
  16. My heart’s a stereo and it beats for you!
  17. Go for a walk before you become a couch potato.
  18. My life is a roller-coaster, with all its ups and downs
  19. I am happy as a clam.
  20. This is a stepping stone for success.
  21. She has a heart of stone.
  22. After being arrested he turned into a rat.
  23. My computer is a dinosaur.
  24. The class turned into a zoo when the substitute showed up.
  25. She was fit as a fiddle!
  26. This job is the winning lottery ticket.
  27. Life is a puzzle; you can only see the picture when you put all the pieces together.
  28. Stop beating a dead horse.
  29. He was a diamond in the rough.
  30. The world is your oyster

10 Powerful Metaphors About Life: Great Topics for Metaphors

In the above section we feature many of the common metaphors about life that you have probably already heard. Most of these metaphors are very well known and quite common to be used by people who may not even think they are using metaphors, just a good way to describe things.

Anything can be used as a metaphor, but if you use unclear metaphors people will not get the link and be more confused than clarified about the things you are reference. In this section of our metaphors about life, we showcase some common topics people use as metaphors, along with some sample metaphor examples.

1. Maze – Metaphors about Life:

We all feel trapped in a maze sometimes. You spend your whole life stuck in the past, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day – but you never do it. In this way, we talk about the past to escape the present and future.

inspiring life metaphors

2. Ocean – Metaphors about Life:

Life is an ocean. Sometimes its calm seas and everything is smooth sailing. Other times you have to face strong waves or swim against a current.

3. Storms as Metaphors about Life:

My life is a storm. Winds may bring dark clouds, thunder, and lightning, but they’re also a time for rebirth and growth.

4. River – Metaphors about Life:

Rivers wind and bend. You follow life like you follow a river. Sometimes there are rapids and it moves quickly. Other times the current fades away and you are caught in doldrums. If you’re trying to reach on a great destination then you have to ignore small hurdles.

5. Hallway – Metaphors about Life:

In life’s hallway, every hallway has an open door. However, not every door takes you to the right place that follows up on your dream. As you age, these doors start to close. Take advantage of each opportunity when you have the chance.

6. Whisper:

Sometimes, life is like a whisper. It’s not always loud and in-your-face. It’s happened when you slow down and listen that you hear what’s most important.

7. Bucket:

The term bucket list comes from the lifetime wish list – in which we plan to fill our desires before death. Buckets also symbolize life in their way. 

8. Novel:

You’re the author of your own story. You get to wake up each day and decide how your story is written. With every new page comes a new phase of life that might be happy or sad.

metaphors about life-you are the author of your own story
metaphors about life

9. Seed:

It’s possible to grow gently, but we need our gardens to handle care to function it properly. You’ll never grow until you’re planted. From there, it just takes some sunshine.

10. Roller coaster:

Life is a roller coaster, a perfect blend of ups and downs. You don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to see the similarities between roller coasters and your own life—anyone who’s experienced a hardship that every high has a matching low. Without the lows, you’ll never learn to appreciate the highs.

21 Motivational Metaphors about Life

Nobody’s life is perfect. All the changes have happened in our life, which might be sometimes out of our control, but we can all grow from this process of life. Metaphors are a great way to motivate us to achieve greater things.

This section features some wonderful motivational metaphors about life that inspire us to do more, achieve more and succeed. These metaphors are a great way to give you a bit of motivation for success.

  1. “Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote.” – Travis Kalanick
  2. “Inhale confidence, exhale doubt”
  3. “Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.” – Mahalia Jackson
  4. “Grab the bull by the horns”
  5. “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
  6. “Talent is a dull knife that will cut nothing unless it is wielded with great force.” – Stephen King
  7. “Success is a meal worth waiting for”
  8. “Success is a vehicle, which moves on a wheel named hard work, but the journey is impossible without the fuel named self confidence!”   -Michelle Villaflor Amante
  9. I‘m a survivor, I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to stop. I’m going to work harder.” -Destiny’s Child
  10. “We are prisoners of our own metaphors, metaphorically speaking.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  11. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Shaw
  12. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings” – Salvador Dali
  13. “Happiness is the china shop; love is the bull.” ~ H. L. Mencken
  14. “Every block of stone has a statue in it. The sculptors job is to discover it”-Michaelangelo
  15. “Your ship has come in”
  16. “Success is a poison chalice”
  17. “Reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”
  18. “Being an entrepreneur is like being a pirate. Go for the booty and discover new, uncharted lands.” -Steve Jobs
  19. “The ladder to success is a long and difficult climb”
  20. “Success is swimming; failure is drowning”
  21. “It’s the eye of the tiger. It’s the thrill of the fight. Rising up to the challenge of our rival.” -Survivor

10 Funny Metaphors about Life

Some of the metaphors make us roar with laughter, and it’s this cleverness that unified us together through the human experience.

1. Fart – Metaphors about Life:

Life resembles a fart – Nobody likes it except if it’s their own.

2. Banana – Metaphors about Life:

Life is a banana. It begins green and firm, yet it gets soft with age.

3. Onions:

Life is an onion. When you peel back the layers, what do you find? You find something new each time, and you may cry a tear instantly. Try not to live in one layer.

4. Tractor

It would take a massive tractor to plow the fields of his warped mind.

5. Cooking:

Life is cooking without a recipe. Cooking it can be fun. Sometimes the recipes turn out badly, but other times you can create a marvel.

6. Being Lazy:

She was a couch potato in the gravy boat of life, flopping dejectedly on the sofa.

7. Puzzle:

Life is assembling a puzzle bought from a second hand store. You don’t generally have all the pieces. It is easy to get frustrated with the similar shades of the pieces. But in the end, everything finally fits together.

8. Getting Old:

Getting old like your last last days on a vacation. You finally understand the layout of the place you are at. You know your way around, you know where to get coffee and good places to eat. But just as you know all these things the time approaches for you to go.

9. Elevator:

My life is an elevator. It has its ups and downs. People come and go, some stopping by regularly. Others rarely. And every now and them some little punk shows up and hits all my buttons.

10. Strong Mind

My mind is a steel trap. Unfortunately, it has been left out in the rain and rusted shut.

Final Words:

Metaphors are a great way to get across a complex idea in a few short pithy words. They put you into an odd analogy comparing something to a completely different thing and often make the comparison work in some odd way. Strangely enough these odd comparisons will explain in a few words what might take many paragraphs to explain otherwise.

I hoped you enjoyed the life metaphors we shared on this page. The funny metaphors. The common metaphors and the motivational metaphors. Now that you have been reminded of these metaphors I challenge to go out and make your own metaphors.

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