20 Paradoxical Life Truths That Are Almost Impossible to Accept

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Life’s fun sometimes. Apparently there’s a 1 in 400 trillion chance of you being born.

It makes sense that there are a lot of paradoxical truths in life that seem to be impossible. But if we take the time to think about them, to dive a bit deeper, they make a lot of sense.

Below are 20 truths about life that I have to always keep in mind if I want to make sense of the world around me.

  1. The more you give, the more you have. It seems paradoxical at first, but one of the most important rules of success is doing whatever you can to help other people get what they want.
  2. The traits you despise in others are the traits you are secretly afraid to have. Both Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud believed in this. What we notice in others is what we refuse to see in ourselves. For example, my father’s kind of short in statures, yet he always calls anyone who is shorter than him midgets.
  3. People who don’t trust you can’t be trusted. A fisherman always knows another fisherman from afar. Or so they say. The less trustworthy people are always afraid that someone else might abuse their trust, the same way a thief is always afraid of getting robbed.
  4. The more you try to be perceived in a certain way, the less you are perceived like that. Nobody likes a try-hard. If you try to be interesting, no one’s going to be interested in you.
  5. The more you fail, the more likely you are to succeed. The road to success is paved with countless failures.
  6. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. Also, the better you become at something, the less you will feel confident about it. Also known as the Dunning–Kruger effect.
  7. How you treat others is how you treat yourself. The irony of it all is that we treat others the same way we treat ourselves. Our actions are often a reflection of the inner critic that often haunts our day to day lives. The harsher the inner critic, the harsher becomes our treatment of those around us.
  8. You don’t know what you don’t know. At first glance, it makes a lot of sense and no sense at all. But there are so many side-effects of this truth; if we do not pursue knowledge, we may never find out what is missing. Ignorance is everything but bliss.
  9. You can only ever be brave when you are afraid. We often think that being brave means being fearless in the face of adversity or danger, but that’s not true. Being brave means being scared out of your senses and still doing it. Being brave means conquering your inner demons long enough to stay and fight, even though every brain cell is telling you to run.
  10. The more afraid of failure you are, the more likely you are to fail. See: self-fulfilling prophecy, limiting self-beliefs, and a pathological inability to assume responsibility for one’s life.
  11. What we chase will always run away from us. This one’s kind of tricky. The more we want something, the more we fear we might not have it, the more our subconscious mind sabotages us. There seems to be a law of the universe that everything worth our time and energy must not be pursued, but rather attracted.
  12. Unless you accept yourself just as you are, you won’t be able to change. This one pisses me off so much because I’ve spent an awful lot of time reading a lot of positive affirmations. We can only change ourselves once we’ve accepted our faults, fears, and insecurities. Otherwise, we risk destroying ourselves in a futile attempt to build a new self out out of nothing.
  13. The more you desire comfort, the more uncomfortable your life will become. A comfort zone is a dangerous place to be in. Always doing what is easy ensures that our life will become more and more difficult. We can never develop inner fortitude unless we do what is hard.
  14. The more honest you are about your faults, the more people will like you. The amazing thing about vulnerability is that once you become comfortable with the fact of you not being perfect, those around you will also feel comfortable enough to be their imperfect selves around you. And they will love you for it.
  15. The more time you spend living in the past, the more limited your future becomes. Melancholia, saudade, the longing for what once was and could never be. The past should never become a place of residence, only one of reference. Learn what you have to from the past and move on.
  16. The more you try to hold on to something or someone, the more likely it is to lose it/them. I once read this rule that you can never hold on for long onto something you’re not willing to get over in 30 seconds if you lose it. Whether we’re talking about money, relationships, or a career, unless we’re willing to walk away and never look back, we’ll have a hard time holding on to them.
  17. Whenever you feel you’re absolutely right, you are probably wrong. This reminds me of that joke with the guy driving on the wrong side of the road and being absolutely certain that everyone else was actually driving on the wrong side of the road. There’s no absolute truth, and the fact that having a certain belief or thought challenged provokes such a strong emotional reaction should be a strong indicator that something’s not right.
  18. Jack of all trades, master of none. But it’s still better than being the master of one. We often think that we must dedicate 100% of our efforts to a certain goal or project, but the people who are wildly successful are usually multi-hyphenated, not the uni-dimensional character of a robot. The more skills you acquire, the more competent and confident you become.
  19. Only boring people get bored. At first, it doesn’t seem to make much sense. After all, all my friends who get easily bored tend to live pretty exciting lives. They travel, they try a bit of everything, they change careers every six months, learn a bunch of different languages. But if you look underneath this incessant desire to do everything at the same time, there’s not much to them.
  20. The only constant is change. It sounds so silly, but it’s going to break your heart regardless. We have a hard time accepting this because our brains work 24/7 at creating order out of chaos, and change is chaos.

These truths can set you free, but unless you accept them as true, they are going to seriously piss you off.

Because of their paradoxical nature, these truths are the most difficult to accept.


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11 Comments

  1. “Whenever you feel you’re absolutely right, you are probably wrong.” This is one life truth easy for me to accept. I can somehow sense it in my heart when I’m in wrong, I may continue doing so even after realizing for various reasons, but I often know when I’m wrong.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I especially like #9, though would change “afraid” to fear — personal semantics that afraid indicates anxiety kidnapped fear and distorted it, whereas fear is awareness and generates environmental radar.
    And, for #9, I share Brene Brown’s “Vulnerability is the birthplace of courage.” Mine of same is, strong enough to be gentle. Look at a Rhodesian Ridgeback, bred to hunt lions. Not much being afraid there, and fully vulnerable going in, except not without packin’… packin’ experience and strategy so that vulnerability is not naive, though is not also laced with the strats to bait for manipulation.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There is no absolute truth so I am not absolutely certain what I say is true. That is great perspective to quiet my hotheadedness and overconfidence. But simultaneously I can suspect something to be true according to my experience of it. And your post of paradoxical truths matches my experience well. Very accurate.

    Liked by 3 people

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