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.
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?
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.
“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.
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