The Swan Metaphor

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The swan that gracefully moves on a lake is a picture of elegance in motion but what is hidden from the eye is the activity going on beneath the water’s surface. We don’t see the hard work conducted by the swan’s webbed feet which propels the graceful motion we see and admire.

The swan’s movement is an ideal metaphor for expertise and excellence. We admire the very best in their fields because they are able to make the sublime look easy. They are like white swans. They do all the hard work in the shadows and display excellence and elegance in the open. It is common consensus that genius makes the hard look ridiculously easy, thus giving the impression that it is effortless. Albert Einstein once said that “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”


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