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3 Paradoxes of a Well-lived Life

| December 13, 2011

by Jim Bruce

Today’s reading is “3 Paradoxes of a Well-lived Life” and comes from the blog of Box of Crayons, a Toronto, Canada, consulting company that helps organizations, teams, and people do less “good work” and more “great work.”  I learned about this piece from Kika Barr, an IT Leaders Program alum from the University of Wisconsin.

In  this blog, Michael Stanier, senior partner of Box of Crayons, notes that too often we look for simple solutions – 5 steps or 3 ways to … – whatever.  To reinforce this Stanier quotes H.C. Mencken:  “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

Stanier points out that as we work problems we often encounter paradoxes.  For example, as Box of Crayons continues planning for 2012, it is wrestling paradoxes associated with the tension between intimacy and impact.  They want both.  But intimacy implies a small group and deep relationships while impact implies a larger group and less deep relationships.  How are these opposing forces “balanced”?  As Box of Crayons looked at the issue, they saw three paradoxes in this tension that have application to each of our lives:

•  Fast – Slow

•  Big Picture – Details

•  Me – We

and gives each of us an opportunity to examine each paradox at work in our individual lives.

Take a few moments (or, actually more) and follow Stanier’s lead and see yourself in each of these three paradoxes.  I think you might learn some new things about yourself and just, perhaps, change some of your behaviors.