A paradox occurs when something seems as if it is impossible or contradictory, but proves itself time and time again to be true. The following paradoxes are things that we come across in everyday life, and therefore can help you to understand life a little bit better. With each paradox learned, a bit of wisdom is gained. Read on to find the truth in contradiction.
1. The more failures you endure, the more likely you are to succeed
You’ve probably already heard several famous people quote this in one way or another. One of Thomas Edison’s teachers called him mentally “addled” and urged his mother to take him out of school. Luckily, Thomas Edison continued to make intellectual strides and brought us several important inventions (after multiple failures.) But it is true, without failure there is no room for improvement. The moment you stop trying is the moment you truly fail. If you never give up, you will always find at least some glimmer of success.
2. If you chase happiness, it will continue to elude you
The key to happiness lies in enjoying where you are now. If you are constantly telling yourself “once I have this I’ll be happy,” you will never be happy because there is always something out there to strive towards. Once you make a million dollars you’ll tell yourself now I need to find a mate and I’ll be happy, then once you find a mate, it becomes once I have children I will have fulfillment, etc… Find joy in your life right now.
3. What you dislike in others, is what you dislike in yourself
This can be a hard paradox to swallow but if you find yourself sneering at someone who embodies a trait that you dislike, think about what that trait may be manifesting as inside of you. If you judge others for their weight, whether you think they may be “too skinny” or “too fat,” perhaps you should take some time to examine your body image issues.
4. Those who have a hard time trusting often cannot be trusted themselves
People who have trust issues often hurt others to avoid getting hurt themselves. If this sounds like you, work on becoming more secure in yourself and your relationships.
5. The harder you try, the fewer people will be impressed
That’s not to say you shouldn’t strive to be the best student or the best worker, but when you are in company, it is better to be humble. Instead of trying to impress everyone with your resume, physical skills, or sense of humor, try adding a touch of modesty.
6. If you fear death, you won’t be able to enjoy life
Don’t spend your entire life avoiding risks. Taking risks is part of life, and if you shut yourself away from the world you may end up living a long time, but you won’t be having a good time.
7. Fears are meant to be faced
Fight or flight mode is ingrained into the center of our being, but if your fear can’t kill you, then you should try to face it. Instead of taking a shortcut down a dark alley alone, walk up to that cute girl you’ve been eyeing from afar and say hello. A great place to start is by being honest with your bosses, networking without fear, or taking an improv class. Stop letting fear hold you back from success.
8. The more knowledge you gain, the more you realize there is much left to learn
As we slowly become increasingly more aware of the world outside of our bubbles, the more we understand that we truly know very little. Would you be able to find your way around China without knowing the language? Could you argue an opinion on climate change? Do you know the proper procedure for recycling? The more we dive into knowledge, the broader our world becomes.
9. When a product is highly available, the less we appreciate it
Humans tend to believe that if something is in short supply, it is more valuable. Think of it like this, would you rather have toilet paper or a diamond? Just because something is more available does not mean it isn’t very important.
10. Having more choices brings less contentment
The more options available to you, the higher chance you have to be dissatisfied. This may be because there are pros and cons to each decision and you may feel that you’ve lost out because you’re constantly wondering if your choice was the best one.