Cho Hyun Din

How Contradictions Breed Success

“One is fruitful only at the cost of being rich in contradictions.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

In yoga this morning, my amazing teacher Hwalan, a Seoul born yogini who combines yoga and martial arts into a spiritual/physical 75-minute intense Vinyasa challenge, led practice rooting the concept of ”contradiction” as the central theme.

The dialogue as she puts it is “between seemingly opposing forces: traditional and contemporary, East and West, hard and soft, earthly and heavenly; ultimately leads to greater harmony on all levels.”

This is at the heart of Hwalan’s work. She is intensely gifted, ardently precise, and bestows the most generous of spirit.

Today, as the true “Olympian” that she is to me, Hwalan directed us through her continual flow of challenging poses, each that defy one’s natural balance or deeply twist the body in exact opposing directions.

Contradictory positions squeeze the toxins from the body while at the same time activate each and every cell that makes a person human.

After many years working to feel good moving through space, I have yet to experience any other form of fitness that generates this particular result.

Beyond this, I found myself applying Hwalan’s theme of “contradiction” not only to my physical and spiritual body on the mat, but to my life and to my work.

My conclusion being that:

[+] Life is indeed a series of beneficial, fruitful contradictions that must be effectively considered.

[+] A person’s truth, depending on the individual and their desires, often live somewhere in between.

The problem that I see too often in my work helping people successfully navigate career transitions, is that many are fearful of exploring an opposing, contradictory view … as if it’s:

[+]  unpopular …

[+]  unaccepted …

[+]  too scary …

[+]  don’t know where to begin …

[+] “I can’t, what will ‘THEY’ think?!” …

When in fact as in yoga, the twist of the body followed by the opposing counter-twist lends each to the far end of the other, wholly activating the human condition in the process, resulting in a renewed and informed perspective.

====> Possibilities, very exciting ones, live in that experience.

====> They are waiting for you.

====> Be courageous.

====> Honor yourself by exploring these places of opposition.

====> You owe it to yourself, don’t you?

When you edit away the possibility of a big dream, or remain glued to an unhealthy relationship, or sell out to a soul-roasting job or career—you are missing tremendous value and richness and freedom by not considering the contrary, and are forgoing the great potential of the joys that reside there.

====> Imagine the life you could be living.

If for you, the truth lives somewhere in between, that’s a better place then sitting on the bench, on the sidelines, in the same old dusty spot: uninspired, unfulfilled, selling-out to living a Menza Menza life.

So:

Warm up and twist life’s possibilities all the way to the opposite—as far as you possibly can and then counter-twist and see how that feels, and challenge your natural balance by reaching deep into your core and focusing your gaze intently—and notice what happens . . .

As I experienced this morning, stretching beyond my invisible, perceived limitations to achieve my greatest potential on the mat, lends a fresh and inspiring perspective to the body and to the spirit, of course, but also to life. Thank you, Hwalan.

You’ll be surprised by what you learn and further, what you’re able to create in your life and in your career—and also on the mat—in the “somewhere in between”.

“What we agree with leaves us inactive, but contradiction makes us productive.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Published in LinkedIn – July 10, 2017