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Sahil Bloom
+ Your AuthorsArchive @SahilBloom I explore my curiosity and share what I learn along the way. Gave up a grand slam on ESPN in 2012 and still waiting for it to land. Jun. 20, 2021 4 min read

From a young age, we are taught to view the world as black and white.

But many of life’s most important truths appear contradictory on the surface.

THREAD: 15 powerful paradoxes (on growth, business, careers, and life):

Sprezzatura (“Studied Carelessness”)

You have to put in more effort to make something appear effortless.

Effortless, elegant performances are often the result of a large volume of effortful, gritty practice.

Simple is not simple.

Slow Down to Speed Up

Want to speed up? Try slowing down.

Slowing down gives you the time to be deliberate with your actions.

You can focus, gather energy, and deploy your resources more efficiently.

It allows you to focus on leverage and ROI.

Move slow to move fast.

Learn More to Know Less

The wisdom paradox - the more you learn, the more you are exposed to the immense unknown.

This should be empowering, not frightening.

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.” - Albert Einstein

Embrace lifelong learning.

Shrink to Grow

Growth is never linear.

In order to grow, sometimes you need to shrink.

Shedding deadweight may feel like a step back, but it is a necessity for long-term growth.

This principle applies to your career, startup, or life.

One step back for two steps forward.

Fail More to Succeed More

We fear failure, so most of us play it safe to avoid it.

But our greatest moments of growth often stem directly from our greatest failures.

Don’t fear failure, just learn to fail smart and fast.

Fail more - you’ll learn, adapt, and grow.

Take On Less, Accomplish More

Success doesn’t come from taking on everything that comes your way.

It comes from focus - deep, disciplined focus on the tasks that really matter.

Say yes to what matters, say no to what doesn’t.

Protect your time. It is a gift to be cherished.

Memento Mori

A favorite of Stoic philosophy, it is a reminder of the certainty and inescapability of death.

It is not intended to be morbid or dark; rather, to clarify, illuminate, and inspire.

You must know your death in order to truly live your life.

Talk Less to Be Heard More

Friday Night Lights has a famous scene where a notoriously quiet player gives a riveting speech that turns around a game.

He rarely spoke up, so when he did, it hit. Hard.

If you want to be heard, talk less.

You’ll find more power in your words.

The Only Constant is Change

Entropy is reality.

The world is in a continuous state of change. It’s the one thing you can always count on - the only constant.

Embrace it - be dynamic, be adaptable.

“When you are finished changing, you are finished.” - Benjamin Franklin

Stop Looking to Find More

Have you ever noticed that when you are looking for something, you rarely find it?

Stop looking.

What you’re looking for may just find you.

More Choices, Less Satisfaction

We assume a positive linear relationship between choice and satisfaction.

But is this wrong?

“Choice paralysis” is a very real phenomenon.

The relationship between choice and satisfaction is much more nuanced than you’ve been led to believe.

Argue Less to Persuade More

Have you ever noticed that the most argumentative people rarely persuade anyone of anything?

The most persuasive people don’t argue more - they observe, listen, and ask questions.

Persuasion is an art that requires a paintbrush, not a sledgehammer.

Face Your Fears

If something scares you, you should probably go do it.

Fears, when avoided, become limiters on our growth and life.

Make a habit of getting closer to your fears.

Then take the leap (metaphorically!) - you may just find growth on the other side.

Get Vulnerable to Become Strong

The stigma of vulnerability has been broken. It’s ok to admit we aren’t ok.

Strength comes from opening up to our vulnerabilities - embracing them, owning them, and growing through them.

Want to get strong? Get vulnerable first.

Nothing is Certain

“The only certainty is that nothing is certain.” - Pliny the Elder

Uncertainty and randomness are features, not bugs.

Embrace them.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” - Mark Twain

Those are 15 powerful paradoxes on growth and life.

If you’ve been following me, you know that I write a lot about growth.

I want to help you grow in your career. Check out my job board, where I curate amazing roles in finance and tech every week! 

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