S:0734 Principle: Power of Paradox

(Principles are basic truths that, when applied, cause success to come to you easier and quicker.)


Do you enjoy being right? Most people do. Smart, clever, feel like a winner, special — all are benefits of being right. But when you hold a paradox, you can’t be right. A paradox is about something else.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” A paradox is two seemingly contradictory views, each of which are right. When you hold the paradox, truth emerges.

Facing a paradox causes tension because paradoxes are not problems to be solved. A paradox is simply to be lived with until the truth it has to teach you becomes clear.

Examples: – Learning increases ignorance. – Saying no is saying yes. – Playing it safe is dangerous. – As less is more, nothing is everything. – Only beginners can be masters.

Each of these have a truth embedded. A paradox will test your willingness and ability to be open to change and growth.


Coaching Point: Do you have the reserve to be able to live with the lack of (initial) clarity that a paradox causes?


Copyright 2009 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.