10 Paradoxes That Are True by Mark Manson

1. The more you hate a trait in someone else, the more likely you are avoiding it in yourself.

The woman who’s insecure about her weight will call everyone else fat. The man who’s insecure about his money will criticize others for theirs.

2. People who can’t trust, can’t be trusted.

Call it the Good Will Hunting syndrome, but one way people protect themselves from getting hurt is by hurting others first.

3. The more you try to impress people, the less impressed they’ll be.

Nobody likes a try-hard.

4. The more you fail, the more likely you are to succeed.

Edison tried over 10,000 prototypes before getting the lightbulb right. Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team. Success comes from improvement and improvement comes from failure. There’s no shortcut around it.

5. The more something scares you, the more you should probably do it.

Our fight-or-flight response kicks in when we’re confronted with past traumas or actualizing the self we dream of being. For instance: speaking to an attractive person, cold-calling someone to get a new job, starting a business, being painfully honest with somebody, etc., etc.

(This is all, of course, with the exception of genuinely life-threatening or physically harmful activities. Like, don’t confront bears.)

6. The more afraid you are of death, the less you’ll be able to enjoy life.

Or as one of my favorite quotes puts it, “Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

7. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

The old Socrates adage. Every time you gain a greater understanding, it creates even more questions than it answers.

8. The less you care about others, the less you care about yourself.

I know this may go against every perception you’ve ever had of a self-serving asshole, but people treat people the way they treat themselves. It may not be apparent on the outside, but people who are cruel to the people around them are cruel to themselves.

9. The more connected we get, the more isolated we feel.

Despite being in more constant communication than ever, research finds an increase in loneliness and depression in the developed world over the past few decades.

10. The more you’re afraid to fail, the more likely you are to fail.

See: self-fulfilling prophecy.