mwotw labyrinth


What’s the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?

(Besides the fact that “maze” is MUCH easier to spell, and that “labyrinth” is worth more points in Scrabble?)

Most people use the words interchangeably, but there’s actually quite a difference.

A maze has multiple paths and dead ends.

A labyrinth has only one path that leads to the center and back out again.

You can get lost in a maze.

In a labyrinth, no matter how twisty and confusing the journey seems, you are always going the “right” direction. 

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Source: Design is Storytelling, by Ellen Lupton

Many of us see life as a maze: a confusing puzzle we need to figure out.

What if we trust that life is actually a labyrinth?

That there’s no such thing as a wrong turn?

What if we believe that we’re always on our path, going exactly where we need to go, and our only job is to put one foot in front of the other with a sense of patience and wonder?

I can’t prove that this point of view is “true,” of course. 

So I’m not trying to convince you.

But I do want you to know that it’s been a powerful and pleasurable mindset shift. 

Deciding that life is a labyrinth helps me relax when my path isn’t taking me where I think it should.

As a wise person once told me, The Way Knows the Way. 

Try it? Let me know how it goes?

Not lost even if it seems like it,


PS – Metaphors are ridiculously powerful. Use them with caution. If you need better metaphors for talking about your business (or leading your life), let’s chat.

This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

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