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The Sign of True Genius

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."  - F Scott Fitzgerald  

The quote above is great because this phenomenon pops up so often.

Just a few examples:

Save money, but spend money to make money.

Be humble, but confident.

Be open to changing your mind, but have conviction.

Block out the noise, but pay attention.

Trust people, but don’t get take advantage of.

Be decisive, but deliberate in your decision-making.

As we said in our last post, there are two sides to everything. But, the truth lies in the tension between two opposites. Aristotle called it the Golden Mean, the perfect balance between diametrically opposed viewpoints.

Because after all, the world is not black and white. There’s gray, there’s color, there’s mess.

Watch out for binary statements. People love binary-ness (if that’s a word) because it takes the complexity out of things.

It’s easier to say something like, “Everyone should go to college” rather than think through the complexity on an individual situation.

As humans, we’re wired to do that. Remember, it’s all about saving energy.

But the truth tends to lie in the tension of two opposites. 

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