What is duality?  More people are googling this question. It seems duality is a part of the polarization problem that’s so rampant right now. I mean declarations like these: ‘I’m liberal and definitely not a conservative!’ Or, ‘That person is an idiot. Who would believe that stupidity?’ Or, ‘I’m not a racist! Racists are terrible people.’

These are not just harmless opinions. They are setting up one experience against its polar opposite. Without awareness of what you’re doing, this is a simple example of unconscious polarization in action.

So What Is This Thing With Opposites?

You probably do have some insight into what duality is. People usually say something like this:

‘Oh, you mean like the Yin/Yang symbol. Sure.’
‘Absolutely. The Law of Polarity.  It’s a universal fact.’
‘Sure. The fact that opposites are attracted to each other.’

These are all true. But they don’t address the essential point. You want to grasp why being conscious of duality isa black and white yin yang symbol to demonstrate the idea of duality with lots of opposite words shown on each side relevant to daily living and today’s leadership.

So here’s a simplified definition:

Duality is a situation in which two opposite ideas or feelings exist at the same time, commonly appearing as a dilemma, conundrum, or paradox.

Even if you’re pretty sure you already have a complete understanding of duality’s relevance to a happy life, a little check-in is always good. And this is a good place to start. You don’t want to fall into the grips of the Awareness Paradox. That’s when awareness of something changes into a signal to your brain that you also now understand it. That means you can thus file the awareness away and move on.  It’s an annoying phenomenon, but painfully true for most of us.

So here’s the thing. Since you change over time, your understanding of things has also changed. Expanded. Opened. Become more pliable to nuances you might have missed before.  Perhaps you don’t know exactly where you are these days regarding duality due to your persona/professional evolution. So let’s explore a bit.

The Law Of Polarity

Tony Robbins defines duality like this:

The law of polarity is the principle that everything has two “poles”: good and evil, love and hate, attraction and disconnection. Think of the North and South Poles on a globe or a battery with its negative and positive terminals. Everything in the universe has an opposite. Everything is dual.

an image of a gavel and the scales of justice which represents weighing one thing against its opposite such as legal vs. criminalOk. Good to know and understand. But you also need to know the role it’s playing in your daily life – both professionally and personally. And I’m not talking about manifestation here (one of Tony’s teaching gifts). I’m talking about something different. A way to allow this knowledge of duality to impact your daily life in the here and now.

Do you know how to make duality work for you, instead of against you? You may find the following very helpful in making a little more sense of what’s going on. And how to respond to it, instead of reacting.

The Role Opposites Are Destined To Play

The reality of polar pairs in seeming conflict with each other shows up in your body as a felt sense of an inner tug of war. You might describe it like this:  “One the one hand I believe it’s true. But on the other hand, I believe it’s false.” Or ‘I’m of two minds about that’.

Polar pairs are the root cause of your everyday dilemmas, predicaments, quandaries, and paradoxes.  These are situations where you have to make a choice between two – and only two – completely opposing options.

For example, your child wants to come and visit you. But you’re still social distancing, wearing a mask, and keeping everyone possible out of your home. So you want your child to come and visit because you love them and want to see them and visit. On the other hand, you want to stay as safe as possible because you’re 80 and not in good health and it would be risky. You can’t do both, but you want the benefits of both options. It’s a dilemma. And it’s stressful.

Decision Making Is Duality’s Playground

Polar opposites are at the root of almost all of your everyday stress. That includes anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and even that vacillating sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.  Duality plays a very fundamental role in all of this. It creates the most important challenge you have to meet in everyday decision-making.

By definition, a dilemma arises when you have only two options. And, you’re having a hard time choosing one over the other. It’s hard because each option has something you want. And when you are forced to choose one option over the other, it leaves you with a sense of dissatisfaction. You want what you want from both of the options.

Now you might be able to work it out so that you can get what you want from each of them over time. But … in the moment … when the decision has to be made which one you’re going to go with right now, the unsatisfactoriness of the situation looms large and loud. And it can stir up a storm of irritation, annoyance, anger, sadness, disappointment, despair, and more.

How To Make Duality Work For You

It’s not hard to honor the pervasive nature of duality. Then you recognize how it increases the stress of your daily life.  At that point, you’re ready to learn how to make polar opposites fall in line with your desire for greater calm, presence, and peace of mind.  Once you truly grasp that you cannot get rid of opposites or dilemmas, you’re ready to step into an entirely different relationship with them.

Here are the fundamental steps that come with your new understanding:A green road sign reading the word Understanding with an arrow pointing upward to indicate straight ahead - this represent the direction to go with duality - understand how to navigate it and you'll be ok

  1. Become aware of polar opposites. They run rampant in 6 areas of daily life: relationship, success, happiness, power, purpose, and faith.
  2. Become aware of the daily stress that results from having to deal with dilemmas. That includes their demand for you to make a decision, whether it feels satisfactory or not
  3. Verify for yourself that polar opposites are not going to go away. If they did, the tension between the positive and negative charges in your cells would also disappear. And your body would no longer be able to hold itself together.
  4. Understand that life is by design the tension between polar opposites. And free that understanding to seep deep into every area of your life experience.
  5. Discover the difference between the creative dynamic tension that flows between polar opposites and how we interpret that tension as antagonistic and something to get rid of.
  6. You’re then ready to get the knack for surfing the naturally occurring ups and downs of everyday emotional life. And you get to do it with presence, grace, calm, and clarity.

Mastering The Challenges Of Duality

At first, it may seem too elementary to you. But gaining mastery over duality is anything but elementary.  This mastery begins with recognizing polarities asa black and white drawing of a little girl and a little boy engaged in a tug of war over a toy that they both want to represent the inner tug of war dilemmas create in the body the basic building blocks of our reality – physical, emotional, mental, and energetic.

I’ve put together an E-Book for you called The Inner Tug Of War. Consider it a beginning primer on polar opposites and where they show up in your life.  It has a few exercises to help you identify how this all relates to you personally. To pick up your copy, just CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, I appreciate your desire to keep learning about this powerful aspect of daily living. I guarantee it will bring a great deal of freedom and equanimity. Why let the journey from one moment to the next become a  daunting and often frightening confusion? Making duality work for you will pave all the roads ahead with a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

Much love,



Images courtesy of www.Pixabay.com