A wise man once said, "You can gain knowledge from others, but you can never be wise from others' wisdom". While exploring this thought, I often find myself wondering why I always find myself scrolling more on LinkedIn than on Instagram these days. There's so much experience on this platform that I enjoy reading, people are amazing. I used to always think that in the real-life context, I can only enjoy reading posts of people I can relate to, but as I have grown in my professional mindset, my likes and dislikes have evolved as well.
What do you mean by a paradox?
Sometimes my life is a push and pull of contradictory demands, it's like the theory of relativity....an object could be both at rest and moving depending on the position of the observer. I can think about having a fit and fine body, but at the same time think about having a cup of ice cream. Pretty sure I am not the only one who feels this way, but is it related to a paradox I never think about? I decided to dig into this phenomenon, and I wasn't surprised. There are so many situations you face in your daily life you cannot explain well enough, but they happen regardless.
Why Do I Think Of Life To Be A Paradox?
Before I talk about why I think life is a paradox, it's important for me to define what "paradox" really means to me.
Paradox is an occurance of a contridictory event. An event that makes you feel two or more things at once.
Some of the paradoxes I have found myself in over my lifetime, do you relate to them?
I love change...but, find comfort in routines
Pre-covid times, I had a routine, life was smooth. Before the office, I went for a quick jog, cooked my lunch, and doodled during my metro journey to the office. Then, COVID-19 happened and suddenly, life was different. Life was confined to my room, no more jogs, cooking only when I was hungry, and no more metro journeys unless necessary. The change felt so good because it was needed. So, what was it: Did I like my routine? Or, working from home?
You love being around people, but enjoy your time alone
I love meeting new people and traveling. People and their stories fascinate me, inspire me, and are often the catalyst of any lifestyle changes I make in my life. But, I also love my life when I am all alone. I paint, listen to music, read books, sometimes even watch birds and the sky for no reason. This alone time is typically relaxing and provides me time to assimilate new things I experience after meeting new people. The term people use is an ambivert, a combination of extrovert and introvert, but I believe I am neither of the two. This is clearly the most prevalent paradox of my life.
If something challenges me, the more I want it
One thing my failures have taught me over the years is that they are an integral part of your learning curve. This statement could very well be a perspective or a personal characteristic, but every time I face a situation that challenges me to change my approach or my lifestyle, I embrace it. But, if something challenges me, why I am inclined to work harder towards it? I enjoy this particular contradiction. Sometimes the challenge is to push yourself out of your comfort zone, the next contradiction is hilarious to me for that reason.
I love to travel and live in different places, but there's nothing like home!
Home here isn't the place where you have lived your life entirely, it is a place where you find comfort. Over the years I have traveled to different countries and been in places I have absolutely enjoyed. But, the best sleep is always in the bed where I stay. I feel this happens with most travelers, but as they say, "There's no place like home!".
The Paradox Mindset
Paradox mindset is when a person decides to embrace two contradictory thoughts rather than reject it.
No one likes contradictions in life, the concept of a paradox mindset can often confuse people because it makes them feel unsure. However, I personally believe instead of running away from it, we should embrace and cultivate it.
Science is based on this concept, you cannot prove a theory without forming opinions to disprove it. Einstein is a great example of this, the theory of relativity is based on this mindset.
I have learned from experience that every time my mind has conflicting or contradicting ideas, it manages to reach a point of balance. I would not disagree with you when you tell me that having a paradox mindset is a counterintuitive habit, and it's easier to reduce the tension and stress by not having two stretches on two ends.
Infuse some creativity in your life
Paradox mindset is an alternative perspective, instead of choosing to dwell on one strategy, you focus on trying life with it and balance it. For instance, work and life balance are among the hardest challenges in life, however, balancing the demands of life is an important task, we use our cognitive resources every day to resolve this issue.
Personally, for me, these were the steps that helped me cultivate a paradox mindset: 1. Recognition: Recognize there are events in your life that are contradictory.
2. Acceptance: Accepting that these events will continue to exist, even if you try avoiding them. Don't avoid any existing issue, try deciphering it and solving it as it comes to you.
3. Search for new possible solutions: Problems in life will continue to exist, balance your lifestyle with multiple things. Break down your problems into smaller issues, be creative in making a new pathway. Furthermore, I believe not every idea or activity requires a paradox mindset, but in order to have the best solution to anything that's presented in front of you, you must agree and disagree with all the ideas you have before you reach a conclusion.
So, what do you think about the Paradox mindset? Do you think companies must have a paradox mindset while designing company strategies?