How To Become Anti-Fragile
Using Lifes Challenges To Increase Your Personal Power
“You grieve, you learn,
You choke, you learn,
You laugh, you learn,
You choose, you learn,
You pray, you learn,
You ask, you learn,
You live, you learn.”
~ Alanis Morissette
What I love about the lyric of Alanis is that it describes so well the third category of experience identified by Nassim Nicholas Taleb as anti-fragile.
The first two categories are 1) fragile and 2) resilient. When a box is marked “FRAGILE” that means it breaks easily and is vulnerable to shocks.
The second category, resilient (sometimes called robust), means that it can withstand a shock. If you ship champagne glasses mark the box fragile. If you ship a bowling ball you don’t have to mark the box because it is resilient.
Most people live their lives in the first two categories. And by most, I mean 99% because they do not even know of a third possibility. That’s why there is no word for it.
That’s why Taleb had to invent the word antifragile.
For the package bearing something, antifragile would be marked “BENEFITS FROM SHOCK.”
A candle is fragile to a strong wind. The wind blows the candle out. But a forest fire benefits from a strong wind. It is not resilient to the wind, it grows from it.
Most people are either fragile or resilient to rejection…to hearing a NO. They either get upset and depressed (fragile) or they learn to be okay with it…to withstand it without being upset (resilient).
But there is that 1% who have learned to benefit from a NO.
They learn from it.
They grow from it.
They even welcome it. They are anti-fragile now, and they are powerful as a forest fire. But what if there were a third category? And what if we could learn to go there?