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Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

80. Educating the Donkey

The wiser the Mullah grew, the less food there was on his table. The more he taught the less he got.

Something had to be done to make both ends meet. Nasreddin thought that he could at least teach his donkey to eat less. So, he will spare some money.

Day after day, little by little, he would give the animal less and less barley.

The donkey did not seem to mind, on the contrary its temper improved, he became tame and slower, careful to keep on the road.

Seeing such good progress, Nasreddin went on with the diet until the donkey only had a handful of fodder and some water for the day. The villagers were impressed.

One morning the Hodja looked into the stable and run to see his neighbour, lamenting:

""Misfortune! Everything was going so well and now, just when I taught him not to eat at all, the donkey died.

Main Uses: : Strategies, Beliefs, Working hard to achieve a goal
Also Useful For:
Submitted By: Brian Cullen
Source: Unknown
Notes: This metaphor can be used to remind people of the necessity of taking care of themselves in any particular way. For example, I have used it with students who do all of their homework at the beginning of the semester, but then skimp more and more as the semester goes on. By the time they are at the end of the semester, they are like the donkey - and just as likely to get a good grade!

Index of Metaphors

1 thought on “Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

  1. Sarah

    Hello Dr. Cullen,

    What a great list of metaphors! Thank you for creating this great resource for people to use freely. I was wondering if there would be any way to have each metaphor page set up with a link that says "printable version", or something similar, allowing for easy printing of a particular metaphor?

    Thanks again for setting this up. It is a really useful resource not only for me, but for my students as well.

    All the best to you,

    SJ Marubay

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