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The 19 paradoxes of life

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Written by: Andrei Isip

What is a paradox in the first place?

Paradox = Contradictory statement and at the same time demonstrable; opinion (absurd) contrary to the universally recognized truth.

1. The productivity paradox

you work more, you do less

Parkinson’s law says that the duration of work extends until the deadline you set. That is, if you have something simple to do that takes 20 minutes, and you have allocated 60 minutes for it, you will stretch to fill the remaining gap.

When you set fixed hours for work, you find unproductive ways to fill them.

What can you do instead? Work like a lion -> sprint, rest, repeat.

2. The advice paradox

taking more advice can leave you less prepared than you were before

Most of the advice is crap.

Even if they are well-intentioned in themselves, it is very dangerous to use another person’s “navigation map” to navigate your world.

Champions develop filters and selectively implement the advice they receive. They take the advice into consideration, analyze it to see if it fits their own condition, and get past the “noise”. You probably also saw that Americans are good at giving opinions. Well, not all opinions are valid and not all should be taken into account, even if the person who gave you the opinion is in a superior position to you.

For example, I don’t ask for business advice from people who don’t have a business.

3. The paradox of wisdom

the more you learn, the less you know

More knowledge creates with its acquisition greater exposure to the unknown.

This is piercing and not scary. You just have to work on your tolerance for uncertainty. If you have a business, for example, things are not always predictable and you have to get used to the idea that you don’t have total control.

4. The paradox of opportunity

take less, fill in more

Success doesn’t come from taking every opportunity that comes your way. It comes from concentration. Strong focus on the things/tasks that really matter to achieving your goals.

Say yes to what matters. Say no to what doesn’t matter. There will always be opportunities but you don’t have the time and energy for each of them.

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5. The Social Media Paradox

the more connected you are, the more disconnected you are

Social media has become more addictive than ever, giving us constant dopamine. The brain takes this dopamine like a drug. It’s what I call, “toxic dopamine.” It comes from: video games, endless scrolling on TikTok, the constant need for external validation (you crave for likes, attention, views, comments, etc.), constantly watching series and others.

There is also “healthy dopamine”. You can reprogram your brain to ask for dopamine in a different way. For example, after each blog article or book chapter read, give yourself a piece of chocolate or a small gift that gives you a pleasant feeling.

Although we are much more connected, we feel more disconnected from those around us. We ended up replacing actual outings with 2-3 chats.

Schedule time to disconnect.

6. The paradox of failure

You have to fail more to win more.

The most powerful moments in which we truly transform are moments of failure.

Don’t be a failure. Be afraid not to act! Learn by failing fast and smart. It doesn’t fail the same way twice.

Since I was little and I played football and handball for a few years as a sport (I even played handball for performance), I couldn’t stand to watch others play at all. Even if everyone in the family was watching important matches on TV, I preferred to do something else.

And now it’s the same. I’d rather be either a player or the person owning the game than an observer.

7. The paradox of speaking

you talk less, you say more

“We have 2 ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we can speak” – Epictetus

If you want your words and ideas to be heard, start by talking less and listening more. You will find more power in your words if you think before you speak.

8. The paradox of boredom

The most creative, captivating ideas come directly from intense periods of boredom

You are bored. Your mind starts working. The thoughts come. Creativity begins.

If you are always busy, you don’t have time to be bored and think.

9. The speed paradox

strong and durable brakes allow you to go strong

What helps Formula 1 drivers ‘fly’ on the track?

It’s not the engine, the suspension or the tires. It’s the brakes.

Build brakes in life that allow you to have moments of acceleration and move forward without fear.

10. The search paradox

stop looking to find what you’re looking for

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

If you stop looking, what you were looking for will find you.

Applies to: love, business, happiness, and life.

11. The paradox of control

more control = less control

We have all seen and experienced this: both children, and our partners, and parents.

More often than not, control leads to less control.

People want independence. Anything that prevents them from being independent brings opposition through resistance.

12. The paradox of persuasion

argue less often, persuade more often

Have you noticed that those who argue more often, rarely manage to win the argument?

People who know how to persuade do not enter into arguments. They observe, listen and ask questions.

13. The paradox of effort

you have to put more effort into something to make it require less effort

Top performances that seem to be performed effortlessly are the results of long training that require maximum effort.

Little things become big. If it seems super simple, it doesn’t mean it is.

Here we can think of many examples: Those who practice figure skating – at competitions we see the perfect executions and it seems to us that it is very easy and that they actually float on the ice. Behind that performance are thousands of falls, hits, and efforts.

14. The paradox of fear

the thing we fear most is the thing we must do

Fear, when avoided, becomes a limitation in our growth and progress.

Make a habit of getting closer to what you fear. Treat fear as a magnet for your energy.

Everything you really want is outside your comfort zone.

15. The paradox of money

you have to lose money to make more money

Every successful investor and creator has stories full of valuable lessons based on experiences with big losses.

Sometimes you have to pay to learn.

Put money into action. Invest to earn more.

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16. The news paradox

the more news/news you consume, the more misinformed you become

The more data you have, the noisier the radio signal becomes, and you end up knowing less about what’s really going on.

Do you want to know more about the world? Stop watching the news.

17. The paradox of intelligence

intelligence leads to stupidity

Smart people often tend to fall prey to stupidity, convincing themselves that they are smarter than the system.

They often create complexity instead of making the simple, boring, easy things that actually work.

18. The paradox of death

remember you die to truly live

The intention is not to see yourself dead, but to clarify it, enlighten you and draw inspiration from it to live a more abundant life.

By accepting that our life is limited and that it can end at any moment, we open up our ability to truly live it.

19. The growth paradox

growth usually takes longer than you imagine

Growth occurs gradually, then suddenly.

The composite effect does its job. Let it work for you too.

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