I think that developing the mental ability to handle the possibility of paradox is a crucial aspect of growing intelligent. ~ Sahil Bloom
It’s not as simple as we might think.
I consider myself to be a rational person; therefore, when confronted with some of these paradoxes, I am initially skeptical.
However, the reality is that life can be illogical, paradoxical, and plain weird.
There are plenty of things that make sense at first glance. However, once you penetrate their skins and examine them more closely, you realize there’s something there in the end.
Reality is not a binder for logic. There are limitations to logic, and that is where paradoxes become a problem.
Table of Contents
What is a Paradox?
It’s an assertion that’s almost contradictory or in opposition to conventional wisdom, yet possibly real.
If you’re still unable to come up with an idea of the subject matter we’re discussing, perhaps you’ll be able to recognize yourself in one of these statements that seem to contradict each other:
- You are a fan of change, and you prefer routine.
- You want to be elsewhere, but you want to stay inside.
- You’re full of faith, but you’re always in doubt.
- You want to connect and be unconnected.
- You love being alone and don’t like feeling alone.
Paradoxes You Can Use To Improve Your Life Today
It is the pursuit of happiness that makes you unhappy.
It is possible to pursue happiness just as an addict would pursue their next cocaine fix. You can do anything to see if you can be happy; regardless of your approach, it might not bring you happiness.
Actually, the reverse could happen and cause you to be miserable.
If you are seeking happiness just to be happy, there is no purpose in your pursuit. It’s just that you want to be satisfied, but you won’t be content simply by seeking it.
I think that the best way to describe happiness is in this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.
Happiness isn’t an objective or goal; it’s an outcome of a well-lived life.
The more something scares you, the more you should probably do it.
It is important not to miss the point. This has nothing to do with looking for danger. Small, everyday events in our lives can scare us. For instance, calling someone with whom you’ve just had a massive dispute or inviting that adorable girl or guy to take you out on a date. It’s not necessary to rush into things; however, putting your feet on the ground will not get you anywhere. Sometimes, you must face your fears to make progress.
You didn’t get here to get here.
If you’re having difficulty starting, take a look back at how you came to the start line. If you’re having difficulty getting to the finish line, consider how close you came to your final goal.
However far you’ve come, no matter how challenging the challenge is, there’s always more to conquer. It’s not a sad thing. It’s Life. It’s a reminder of all the wonderful things ahead of you, even if sometimes the best things happen through little steps.
Social media disconnects us from each other.
The term “social media” is false.
What’s the social aspect of sitting down at work, looking at your phone, looking through other profiles, or browsing your Instagram feed?
Social media can be a great method of keeping connected with your friends worldwide; however, for those who are closer to the country, it frequently divides us more than it helps us connect.
We are more in continuous communication with one another than we have ever been. However, this communication is digital rather than face-to-face.
Unsurprisingly, more people are feeling lonely and depressed.
It is important to learn how to connect on a personal level instead of via social media.
People who can’t trust can’t be trusted.
If you are experiencing severe concerns about trust, you should take the opportunity to reflect on your own. Many of the issues you feel towards the world around you originate mostly from within. If you find yourself having a difficult time believing in someone or an environment, it’s likely because you’re not as truthful with yourself. Think about it.
You have to slow down to speed up.
Although life is an endless process, and we must constantly strive to improve and move for greater success, stopping and examining the surroundings is beneficial. Life can be quite fast; if you don’t slow down and look around for the time, you may miss it.
Ferriss Bueller’s suggestion lets us breathe, appreciate the beauty of the landscape, and revel in our achievements. It also allows us to consider the road that led us to where we are today. We didn’t make all the turns carefully, and certainly, it’s only sometimes the case that all planned turns lead us to where we want to go. We’re here; this is the way to go.
The more you fail, the more likely you are to succeed.
Many successful individuals faced challenges along the way. Why did they succeed in their careers? If you can view your mistakes as lessons, that will help you achieve your goals. Remember that the most effective ideas are often born of disappointments. So if you’re dissatisfied with the person you love, how they behave, or about something, get on your feet and try again.
Solitude makes you more sociable.
This is a hilarious one at first. However, the more you consider it, the more it begins to make sense.
Although it may seem that solitude can cause us to be less social, it is during this time that you can learn to become comfortable with yourself, which is essential to being social.
If you’re comfortable being in your own space, which many of us aren’t right now, you’ll find it easier to be comfortable with others.
Reflecting and spending time alone is beneficial in developing oneself. After you’ve done enough of it, you’ll want to be social with others.
Change is the only constant.
If there’s one thing that’s always in the present, it’s this:
Things are likely to change.
Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not. The more we can embrace it, the quicker we can adapt as it comes.
The only certainty is uncertainty.
This is in line with the previous paradox. Since we can be sure that changes will occur in our daily lives, we can be confident that the future is uncertain.
Everything that happens after this point cannot be predicted. We can make assumptions and educated predictions, but we’ll never know the outcome for sure.
This means we can influence our future if we make the right choices now. Although the future is uncertain, we can try our best to ensure it is positive when we act.
If we take action, we’ll be soaring into the future with an idea of where we’re going.
The more choices you have, the less satisfied you are with each one.
If we are faced with a variety of choices, we are less content with the options we select and less able to make a choice.
Since there are many choices, there’s an increased risk of loss when choosing a specific item, which causes us to be less pleased with the choice we made.
Sometimes, less is more!
The more you know and learn, the more you realize how little you really know.
It’s a complex, constantly changing world with a myriad of flaws and contradictions that can be difficult to comprehend.
Whatever age we grow to and how much we are aware of, there will always be more to know.
This is just one of the many perks of living.
The more accessible an item is, the less likely we want it.
Humans are prone to a strong bias toward scarcity.
We believe that because something is rare, it is more valuable. However, this is not always the case.
One example is the club. They give the impression of being places of limited access that only a select few are allowed to join, but after we’ve completed our journey through the crowd and got to the bouncers’ area, we are inside.
It is not uncommon to leave feeling dejected. Queuing up for no reason when it’s comparable to other clubs we’ve visited.
It is because we believe that items that are abundant are not worth our time, whereas is only sometimes true.
We are wired to seek out items that are scarce; However, when we do get these things, we often are not impressed.
It is important to remember that even if something is not scarce, that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.
The more you try to keep someone close, the further you’ll push them away.
It’s all about the feeling of needing to be needed. Everyone hates doing things they feel they are obligated to do.
It’s natural to want to keep your loved one near constantly; however, it could cause the person you love to feel as if you’re being a burden and they are required to be around you.
When feelings or actions turn into obligations, they cease to have any meaning. People want to spend time with you because they like being with you, not because they believe it’s a requirement.
In any relationship, boundaries are essential, and that’s what can make them successful. Respecting others’ time and wishes and not pushing them to spend time with you is the best way to ensure your relationships are strong.
Talk less, but say more.
This is about speaking with meaning, power, and impact; this can only happen when you have been paying attention; that is how you say more. This is not just about talking else; the more we talk and speak, the more words can become meaningless.
List of Life’s Most Powerful Paradoxes:
The Persuasion Paradox
Are you aware that even the most argumentative individuals rarely convince anyone?
Most convincing people don’t argue; they pay attention, observe and ask questions.
Argue less, persuade more.
Persuasion is an art form that requires the use of a paintbrush, not a sledgehammer.
The Effort Paradox
It takes more effort to make things appear effortless.
Elegant, effortless performances are usually the result of a lot of hard-working, gritty training.
Small things can become huge; simple isn’t always easy.
The Wisdom Paradox
“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
~ Albert Einstein
The more you know, the more you’re exposed to the vast unknown.
This should be an opportunity to be empowered, not a source of fear.
Let yourself be ignorant. Accept the challenge of learning forever.
The Growth Paradox
The growth process takes longer than you imagine, and it then happens more quickly than you thought possible.
It grows slowly, then explodes.
When you recognize this, you begin to change your approach.
The Productivity Paradox
Work longer and get less done.
Parkinson’s Law stipulates that work will expand to make up for the time it takes to complete it when you have hours of work and are unable to find productive ways to fulfill them.
The Speed Paradox
You need to slow down in order to increase your speed.
The slowing down process gives you time to take your time with your actions.
You can be more focused, accumulate energy, and use your resources more effectively.
It allows you to concentrate on ROI and leverage, not effort.
Slowly move to get moving.
The Money Paradox
You must make a loss in order to earn money.
Every successful builder and investor has stories of the most valuable lessons they learned from a devastating loss in their profession.
Sometimes you must pay for the privilege of learning.
Bring your skin to the game; the money that’s scared won’t be profitable!
The Icarus Paradox
Icarus designed wings but was too close to the sun, and they began to melt, and Icarus lost his balance and died.
The factors that make you successful can result in your demise.
A successful incumbent can be successful with one thing, but their overconfidence can blind them to the possibility of disruption. Beware!
The Failure Paradox
It is necessary to fail more often to be successful.
Our most successful moments of growth usually result directly from our biggest mistakes.
Don’t be afraid of failing; learn to fail well and quickly.
Being punched in the face can strengthen your jaw.
The Hamlet Paradox
“I must be cruel only to be kind.”
In Hamlet, the main character must commit an act that appears cruel to stop the possibility of causing more damage.
Life is so complicated.
The righteous path for the long term may appear not to be the right path at all.
The “Tony Robbins” Paradox
In the realm of investing, the decision to acknowledge that you don’t have an advantage over your competition could be your greatest competitive advantage.
A strong sense of self-awareness leads to superior decision-making. A lack of self-confidence is of no value.
Self-awareness is key. Act accordingly.
The Shrinking Paradox
To grow, you may need to reduce.
Growth is not linear.
The removal of deadweight can feel like a step back, but it’s actually essential for growth over the long term.
Two steps back, one step forward, and two steps forward is the recipe for long-term, consistent results.
The Death Paradox
Be aware of your mortality to live your life to the fullest.
Memento Mori is a Stoic reminding us of the certainty and inevitability of death.
It’s not designed to be morbid; instead, it is intended to help clarify, lighten, and invigorate.
Death is inevitable. Make the most of your time.
The Say No Paradox
Reduce your workload, but accomplish more.
It’s not about accepting every challenge that comes your way.
It results from focus, a complete concentration on the things that matter.
Do what you can to make a difference. Say no to things that don’t.
Keep your precious time safe as a gift to be treasured.
The Talking Paradox
“We have two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ~ Epictetus
If you want your ideas and words to be heard, you can start by speaking less and paying attention more.
You’ll get more power from your words.
Only talk a little to get more heard.
The Connectedness Paradox
More connected, less connected.
We’re constantly connected and bombarded with notifications and dopamine smacks.
However, even though we feel more connected, we are less connected.
Take down the phone, look at someone, talk to them, and breathe.
The Looking Paradox
You may need to put aside your search to locate what you’re seeking.
Have you observed that when searching for something, you can’t come across it?
Stop looking, and what you’re seeking might be in your vicinity.
This applies to business, love, investing, and life in general…
Read More: Cognitive Dissonance And Ways To Resolve It
The Constant Change Paradox
“When you are finished changing, you are finished.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
The only thing that is constant in our lives is change.
Entropy is a fact.
It’s the only thing that you can always depend on and count on.
Accept it and be flexible.
The Control Paradox
More controlling, less control.
We’ve all felt this as children, parents, or partners.
The most controlling typically end up having less control.
Humans are wired to be independent. Any attempt to counter this will be confronted with resistance.
The Fear Paradox
The thing we are afraid of most is usually the thing we need to complete.
If they’re not dealt with, fears become a hindrance to our development and our lives.
Develop the habit of moving closer to what you fear.
Take the leap (metaphorically!), and you could find yourself growing on the opposite side.
It can appear that paradoxes are designed to make our lives more difficult, small puzzles that keep our heads bouncing against the wall, but they’re not. The paradoxes provide us with greater options to determine truth since there is always more than one interpretation.
The ability to draw from opposite sides of different spectrums allows us to tackle the most difficult situations with ease. It’s a shame we don’t realize this when explaining things.
Living life in a way that is inconsistent, to be a lover of life is to be in love with inconsistency.
Smile at the inconsistencies. Smile wide as you tackle their challenges. Be grateful for the beauty of life’s numerous little nuances.
It might take you a while to understand it; however, once you have, you may even conclude that it’s better when water flows in both directions.