There’s something about life’s paradoxes that make me feel stupid. Answering a question with it’s opposite has a weird condescending tone to it. You feel like “young grasshopper” in those kung-fu films and life uses these paradoxes to teach you, which is kind of like smacking you in the head with a bamboo stick.
But life really is the grand master. What you realize through these paradoxes, is that life doesn’t give you what you ask for. It gives you the people, places and situations that allow you to develop what you ask for. And if you don’t get it right the first time life will give it to you again. It is very generous that way. Clever.
So, feelings aside, if you dig under it’s surface, often through your own experience. You’ll find a helpful and truthful source of wisdom.
Below are a few of life’s paradoxes that have been helpful and ring true for me:
1. What you hate about something in someone, is a reflection of something you are avoiding within yourself.
People are usually douches because there is something about themselves that their insecure about. According to psychologists this is known as ‘projection’. That what you hate in someone is a truth you’re avoiding in yourself.
For example, make-up shaming is something I used to do once. This belief that woman who wear make-up all the time are insecure with their looks and trying to cover up those insecurities. But deep down, I wanted to be like them, and was jealous for their inhibitions to creatively express themselves. Once I confronted my own vanity insecurity, I realized that make-up was a part of me and my form of expression. That hiding it was me not wanting to be judged that same way for it.
So rethink why you feel the way you do with someone, it may be something you’re insecure about.
2. People that can’t trust, can’t be trusted.
This is #mindblown. There is a difference with gaining trust in someone, and can’t trust someone. Once you fall out of trust with someone, its hard to trust that person again. But someone that can’t or doesn’t have that capacity to trust will protect themselves from getting hurt, by hurting someone first.
3. The best to way to meet someone else is to not need to be with someone else.
Relationship guru, Tracy McMillan shares her insights on the Person You Really Need To Marry, in this viral video. A 3-time divorcee who ultimately learns from the paradox that it wasn’t until she was willing to commit to herself fully and learn to be happy without the need for a relationship, could the man that she was searching for come into her life, which he did.
4. The more something scares you, the more you should do it.
Besides things that you know are harmful. Your body’s fight and flight response also reacts when your moving towards your authentic truth. Chasing your dreams, speaking to your crush, giving a presentation, going to an interview, saying something that is vulnerable and controversial to others but you know is true, are all things that are scary, but the fact is that they should be done.
5. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
When you can’t figure out what you need to do next and are overwhelmed, you’re too much within yourself. Brendan Burchard says to ask ‘how can you better serve others today?’ for it is when we step outside ourselves and take action, do the answers come to us. It is said that Philo Farnsworth, inventor of the tv, was plowing potato fields when the idea came to him.
There is also research that proves that to serve others unlocks the pleasure sensors in our brains. The best path to a meaningful life is to take your skills, your truth, and your passion, and use it to serve others.
As a famous chinese saying goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
6. The Pursuit of Happiness is how to be unhappy
This is such an interesting paradox. That the more you try and search for happiness, the more elusive it is. It is found when you aren’t actively searching, just being right here right now. Truth is that Happiness is a state of mind. Through the practice of presence we can experience more of it.
7. The more disciplined you are, the more free you are
Ever notice that the times that you discipline yourself to do your errands first or finish your homework, the more you have time to relax? This has been such a true factor for me since I started doing all my must-do’s instead of putting off time to do them. Psychologically after you do what you must, you feel as if you have more time to do what you want to.
8. The only certainty is that nothing is ever certain.
This is so mind-boggling but very true. Anything can change for us, so make the best of each moment.
Do you have any that you normally use? Or one that you connected with the most? Let me know in the comments below!