I have compiled a list of similes and metaphors that could generally fall into one of these topics:
O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head,
As is a wingèd messenger of heaven. (Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.29–31)
In these lines, Romeo is gushing over Juliet's perfection, comparing her to a messenger straight from heaven.
I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up. (The Fault in Our Stars)
Augustus refuses to be anything less than hopeful about his cancer diagnosis.
I'm like a man born blind who has been given a chance to see light. (Flowers for Algernon)
After Charlie's surgery that gives him previously unknown intelligence, he realizes the gift of understanding the world around him.
The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. . . (The Last Lecture)
Randy Pausch uses brick walls as a metaphor to describe the challenges in life and how determination can conquer them.
So my next piece of advice is, you just have to decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore. I think I'm clear where I stand on the great Tigger/Eeyore debate. Never lose the childlike wonder. It's just too important. (The Last Lecture)
Pausch also uses the metaphors of two childhood characters, Eeyore and Tigger, to describe two different outlooks on life. He highly favors being a Tigger.
We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. (The Last Lecture)
Dying of cancer, Pausch refuses to be mentally defeated. He gives a lecture and writes a book in his months between diagnosis and death that inspires other people to live their lives to the fullest.