Written by Azat MardanJuly 23, 2016

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of paradoxes when it comes to attitudes and life which you can’t easily solve:

  • Focus on doing vs. learning and expanding your horizons: You need to keep up with the latest stuff, meet new people and generate new ideas by exploring new things but you need to focus on the tasks at hand to see them through.
  • Patience vs. obsession (hard work): You need to give enough time for something great to materialize (10,000 hours, over night success which takes 10 years, etc.), but at the same time when you work hard and obsess, that’s when you see more short-term results and build momentum. Marathon or a sprint?
  • Confidence vs. humility (being open to being wrong and feedback): You must be confident to overcome obstacles, yet at the same time it’s important to be receptive to feedback and improve on/learn from on your mistakes.
  • Saying “no” to opportunities vs. saying “yes to them
  • Changing vs. adapting: Sometimes it’s good to change your provider, environment, equipment, etc., while other times, you just have to suck it up and not worry about mundane things which might annoy you otherwise.
  • Work on weekends and have no vacations vs. taking time off
  • Stay in one place vs. living a digital nomad life: Staying in one place are more comfortable and allows to establish connections and network (it’s who you know, not what you know most of the times even in tech); while traveling allows to expand horizon, and explore new opportunities.
  • Being analytics vs. artistic
  • Being good with tech&numbers vs. being good with people

The best thing is to be doing both of these extremes, but they are extremes for a reason. How to be humble yet confident? Or how to stay and build connections and reputation in one area but bring new ideas from other spheres of life?

The million dollar question is how do you tell the difference when to pick what option? Maybe you need to take it to extremes to know your limit and that will eventually allow you to find balances easier? To put it differently, wisdom to remove paradoxes or act on both of their extremes harmoniously comes with practice and time. Or is there a magic formula with criteria to follow?