When I was younger I used to speed constantly. It honestly never entered my mind that I should NOT drive 10 - 20 miles over the speed limit. Here is one of the reasons why: I had concocted a metaphor about the freeway. (Technically a simile, but no one knows what I’m talking about when I use that word.) The drivers are like wildebeests stampeding across the savanna, and the police are like the lions who randomly pick them off one by one. Because of this metaphor and its premise (that I never consciously spelled out), I was a hapless victim every time I got a speeding ticket. I could not take responsibility for my actions any more than a wildebeest could take responsibility for being a delicious galloping steak dinner for lions.
One day, after yet another ticket, my wife suggested that I stop speeding. Mind blowing, I know. Well it actually WAS mind blowing to me at the time. I think it’s been 7 or 8 years since then and I’ve not gotten a speeding ticket in that time.
It makes me wonder what other controlling metaphors I have concocted that are stunting my maturity.