One must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow.
— Søren Kierkegaard, from Philosophical Fragments
At one point in my life I was formally studying philosophy. Not coincidentally, I was also struggling deeply with various aspects of Christianity and religion. Kierkegaard became a hero. He was a troubled soul who was as prolific at journaling as I was, and who shared many of the same intellectual struggles I was contemplating.
I have always relished the paradox. In business, and in life, I welcome conflicting and often contradictory notions. Wrestling with ideas that don’t seem to fit allows me to see all sides of a problem. Trying to resolve the apparent contradictions stretches my mind and forces me into a sort of “due diligence” on a problem to ensure that I have tried all angles for a solution.
Lest you think that contemplating the paradox is impossible, I leave you with the wise and poetic words of Lewis Carol from Through the Looking Glass:
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”