Analogies exist everywhere.
They do more than just compare one thing to another. They reveal parallels, the interconnectivity of life. The same laws, natural laws, apply across the entire spectrum of this experience we call life. What applies to one thing always applies to another, even if we can’t see it with the naked eye or comprehend it with our limited consciousness.
Take cause and effect for instance, just one example of a natural law. Most people have heard of cause and effect in some form or another. In theology it’s found in the Proverb “as you sow, so shall you reap”, in science Newton’s Third Law describes it as “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
You’d have thought we’d have grasped the concept by now but no, here we are, thousands of years later and an enormous percentage of the human race still believe their lives are in some way shaped and determined by a mystical invisible force they either call “luck” or “God”. That’s a symptom of a specific psychological condition called ignorance and it’s the architect of unconscious living.
As Emerson observed: “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect”.
Ignorance has its place in the bigger scheme of things. In fact, as much as it creates untold amounts of suffering and insane behaviour in the world, ignorance plays a critical role in this “game” called life. It wouldn’t exist if it didn’t. For a start, relativity (another natural law) wouldn’t exist without it. To experience what you are you have to first experience what you’re not. If you were born in Africa, on or near the Equator, in a pre-internet world, you’d have no understanding that you lived in a hot climate. To you, a hundred degrees centigrade in the middle of the day is how it is and how it’s always been. You’d have no concept of what it meant to be “cold”. You’d be ignorant to it.
Analogies offer us a window by which the interconnected “matrix” of life is revealed. Sometimes we’re aware of the window but we don’t clean the glass to get a clear view of what’s within. Often we don’t see a window at all. It’s easy to grasp the meaning of an analogy at a surface level, but it’s not so easy to see the bigger, not-so-obvious truth it can reveal.
Isn’t that an analogy about an analogy?
Anyway, I digress.
Now being of “weird” disposition, as I am, I’m thinking into analogies all the time, particularly from an entrepreneurial perspective, because, funnily enough, I am one and I serve many, so life through an entrepreneurial lens is constantly at the top of my consciousness.
Take one occasion when I felt rough, for example. My energy levels were significantly depleted. Usually, days of sub-standard energy or illness are extremely rare for me. I invest a lot of time and money in my health and my body returns in kind. This particular experience was, of course, the effects of a specific cause. My body didn’t find itself in discomfort and depleted of energy “by chance”, just like a body doesn’t find itself in disease by “chance”.
To start with, I wasn’t eating as I usually did. We’d stayed in a Michelin-star hotel and the night before I’d had a reasonable amount of seafood in the Asian Fusion restaurant. I’m used to fish given I’m a pescatarian and I’d not exactly been ill to the degree you’d expect if I’d had food poisoning, however, my normally resilient stomach wasn’t quite right, so something’s was clearly amiss.
But I knew for a fact it wasn’t just the food. No, there was a lack of quality in another vitally important source of energy, air. You see, my room at the hotel was disgustingly warm. And, because we had a suite, the bed wasn’t near to an open window. I felt the stifling artificial dryness of the air from the first night and insisted, much to my other half’s dismay, that the windows in the room be open and the radiators turned down to a middle to low setting, even though the temperature outside was just above freezing. Personally, I don’t care how cold it is, the body needs fresh air to oxygenate the cells, so when at home I sleep with an open window a short distance away from where I rest my head every night.
Before we left for dinner, I opened the window at the bottom of the room so I’d get plenty of airflow. The curtains were drawn so I left a suitable gap. I didn’t feel the need to check it when I returned later. The next morning, feeling like death warmed up in my lethargy, I opened the curtains to discover the room maid had shut the window the night before.
That made this grumpy bastard twice as grumpy.
As I drove back home later that day, I reflected on the cause and effect analogy of how my body’s output – its ability to perform the most mundane of tasks which are normally undertaken with ease, was significantly impaired by poor quality input. It wasn’t alone. The mind was equally off-form. Thinking was hard work. Should that be a surprise? Hardly. We all know, at least logically, that the mind and body are one and what impairs one certainly impairs the other.
That’s how natural laws assert themselves.
And business is no different. The body is a physical entity by which we navigate life in the physical world. A business is a physical entity by which we navigate the commercial world to generate personal income and wealth. If the business is given sub-quality input, it can only produce sub-quality output. Poor quality of thinker in the owner, poor quality of result from the business. Average quality of thinker in the owner, average quality of result from the business. Good quality of thinking in the owner….you catch the drift.
Which is why it’s nothing short of ironic, if not farcical, that the last thing struggling and underachieving business owners are likely to recognise, let alone accept, is the cause and effect relationship between the sub-standard thinking they bring to their business interests (and life in general) and the sub-standard results it generates.
Just like the physical body, and life itself, a business speaks by results. And what it speaks of is no reflection of the business itself, it’s always a reflection of the owner.
There are no exceptions. It’s a lawful process. An irrefutable truth. And it’s been around since time immemorial.
“By their fruits you shall know them”.
On that occasion my body informed me, through results, that it can’t operate at the levels I’ve become accustomed to if the input I give it is below standard. It’s performance can’t outgrow the quality of input it receives. The same law applies to you and your business. It can’t outgrow the quality of thinking you bring to it. Bear that in mind the next time you successfully talk your way out of investing in the very opportunities you need for growth.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here