8 Metaphors That Will Change Your Outlook Towards Life

metaphors about life that will inspire people

Our lives are all very different. We are all unique in our challenges, experiences, and responses. Because of this multiplicity, our lives do not have a singular definition that applies to everyone. Despite the lack of a clear meaning of life, we often share similar experiences, which sometimes help us feel less isolated.

With some of these iconic quotes and metaphors about life, you can inspire yourself and describe your life in a less mundane way.

Box Of Chocolates

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” even if you haven’t watched Forrest Gump, you have at least heard someone or the other quote this iconic line. We often say life is like a box of chocolate when we are ready to embrace all the aspects of our lives. Life doesn’t always go as you planned. We have some good days and some bad days. We never truly know what we are going to “get”. Just like how a box of chocolate looks the same from the outside, but we do not know its flavour until we bite into it. Life is like that. Life can be unexpected, sometimes a little bitter, sometimes sweet.

Theatre or Stage

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Jacques speaks this famous phrase in Act-II, Scene-VII of Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”. This phrase draws readers’ attention toward the drama everyone lives in throughout their lives.

Every day of our lives, we play different roles in different places. If someone is playing the role of a hard-working employee, they may also play the role of a dedicated son or a loving sibling and more. Our daily lives and the roles we play have made us similar to a thespian and the world identical to the theatre stage. 


“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”  

These lines from John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” show us how we often can feel trapped in our own lives. There are times we often get lost, like how people get lost in a maze or labyrinth. Although when we are stuck too long, instead of escaping, we may daydream about how it may feel when we finally escape. The true labyrinth is the inaction in which we often get trapped. Green’s word almost sounds like a reminder to stop dreaming and imagining about escaping. Instead of trying to forget about the troubles of the present, we should meet it head first and try to solve it if we ever intend to leave this maze. The more we procrastinate, the longer we are trapped.

The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”.

These lines from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” or even the phrase “The Road Not Taken” has been used to encourage people to choose what they feel is right for them. We as a society can fall victim to herd mentality, following what the people in front of us are doing. There are times we may feel intimidated to take the unconventional path. In Frost’s poem, a young man hiking through a forest confronts a fork in the path. He must choose which path he takes. No matter which route he takes, he will always keep on wondering what life would have been if he had taken the other road. But despite all of that, the young man decides to take the road less travelled. This metaphor shows us that often taking risks and taking the less travelled road can be rewarding in the end, even if it may seem intimidating at first.

Author/ Novel

How many times have you heard this phrase “You’re the author of your own story”. This is one of the most quoted metaphors about life. Although it is true, we truly are the authors of our own lives. If we consider the novel our entire lives, we are the authors who can change how the plot proceeds. We, as the “authors” of our own story, can bring character development, growth and change as we write the next page of our own story. 

Roller Coaster

Comparing our lives to a roller coaster is nothing new, but somehow it is one of the most accurate metaphors that describe life. Life is not always smooth sailing, we have ups and downs. Like a roller-coaster ride, sometimes we laugh and sometimes we scream and cry, but in the end, we look back and say it was a good ride. Imagine a roller coaster ride without just going in a straight line. Would that be fun? No. Just like a roller coaster, life needs highs and lows as well to create meaning and memories. 


Onions? Yes, it may sound absurd, but onions are a great metaphor for describing life. Just like onions, when you peel back a layer, you discover something. Life tends to work similarly to that. A person may have multiple layers, just like an onion. The only way to peel back these layers is when you get to know them and spend quality time with them.

Stained Glass window

Have you ever seen a stained glass window up close? A thing that is to be noted is that when we see it up close, it may not seem like much, but when we step back and look at the light and the glass working its magic, we finally understand the beauty of stained glass. We often compare life to a stained glass window. If we hyper-focus on something, we may think we haven’t accomplished anything or have done a good job, but once we step back and look at the bigger picture, it makes complete sense.  

Figuring out the meaning of our lives can be very difficult, and articulating it into words is even more so. This is why we take help from these metaphors that help us navigate through the words to articulate ourselves better.