Stretch Your Thinking

Have you ever studied paradoxes or oxymorons?

A paradox is defined as a logic statement that contradicts itself. An example would be the phrase “Look before you leap” when combined with the phrase “He who hesitates is lost.”

An oxymoron is a combination of two contradictory or incongruous words such as “cold fire.”

I collect examples of these because I find them useful in expanding and sharpening my thinking. These can be especially useful when trying to encourage someone to rethink a belief that may not be serving them or anyone else.

Below is a list of contradictory proverbs followed by a list of oxymorons. See if they cause you to pause and think, and also see if you can come up with more. I find them useful in creatively stretching the mind to new ways of thinking with a bit of humor.

 Paradoxical Proverbs

Look before you leap.

He who hesitates is lost.

 

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Don’t beat your head against a stone wall.

 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Out of sight, out of mind.

 

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.

 

Two heads are better than one.

Paddle your own canoe.

 

Haste makes waste.

Time waits for no man.

 

You’re never too old to learn.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

 

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Talk is cheap.

 

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

 

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Nice guys finish last.

 

Hitch your wagon to a star.

Don’t bite off more that you can chew.

 

Many hands make light work.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Clothes make the man.

 

The squeaking wheel gets the grease.

Silence is golden.

 

* * * * *

 

Oxymorons

  1. Jumbo Shrimp
  2. Benevolent Dictator
  3. Smashing Success
  4. Almost Exactly
  5. Army Intelligence
  6. Genuine Imitation
  7. Idle Curiosity
  8. Government Organization
  9. American Culture
  10. All Alone
  11. Political Science
  12. Real Phony
  13. Pretty Ugly
  14. Tight Slacks
  15. Growing Smaller
  16. Great Depression
  17. Peace of Mind
  18. Deafening Silence
  19. Definitive Maybe
  20. Cruel Kindness
  21. Working Vacation
  22. Instant Classic