The Paradoxes of Modern Life →  

David Perell wrote an excellent note listing down a few paradoxes of modern life as per him. I was nodding along with each thought; contemplating the profoundness behind each of these naked truths of our lives.

Here is, for example, a thought on reading - “the books you read will profoundly change you even though you’ll forget the vast majority of what you read.” How true is that? I went through the list of the books that I have highly rated on Goodreads. I do not remember every detail from any of those books. But just a look at the title evokes a specific emotion within me, reminds me of how it affected me when I last read it.

I especially paused at the paradox of writing - “great writing looks effortless. But because the ideas are so clear, casual readers don’t appreciate how much time it took to refine them.” I can’t agree more. Every post that I enjoy, including this one from Perell, makes me think of course that’s so obvious. Why did I not think about that? It is not the thought on paper, but the effort behind achieving that refinement through selection of the words that matters. But none of that is visible to the reader, the consumer.

And that leads to the thought on creativity which is just an extension to the one about writing, “your work (…) looks so simple that the consumer thinks they could’ve done it.” See, exactly how I felt about the perception of “effortless” writing.

On decision-making, the paradox goes, “it’s better to choose, commit, and get started instead of waiting for the best possible option”. Boy, I have written so much on making decisions and analysis paralysis it possibly can trigger. Here’s what I had posted about the process of making decisions and how it can get tiring, but absolutely necessary at the same time.

[I]t is up to you to not let this fear of judgement drive how you lead your life. It is easier to overcome the wrong decisions you make than to lead a life being too indecisive.

At times, the process can even feel like walking through a foggy street; it’s natural to be afraid of the unknowns that lie ahead.

And the list of such paradoxes continues; each one of them reminded me of my struggles around those specific aspects and all the posts over the years that I have written on that very topic. Here are a few more fascinating thoughts that resonated with me.

The Paradox of News: By telling us to care about everything, the news leads to apathy instead of action.

The Productivity Paradox: We keep inventing things that save us time, but it feels like we have less time than ever before.

A brilliant read, bookmark worthy. I will often keep coming back to this for reference.


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