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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?  

 

 

Much Love,

Ryan

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Control vs. Structure. 

 

Can we live a life without control and still be successful? 


On Friday I was confronted by my philosophy around control, I was prompted to share my thoughts in Matthew J Watts group the freedom tribe about his idea of needing to control in our lives to experience freedom.

 

In my opinion, control is an illusion, and we experience real freedom when we are free from fear. Including the fear that makes us believe we must control our lives.  

 

But after a weekend off I decided yesterday to get a bit more structure in my life, so I design a calendar for myself that looked like the kind of thing an employer would have given me, Including dinner breaks! (I’ll share a picture later) 

 

But isn’t this control?

 

Weirdly I was living in this paradox also! The deeper part of me wanting to express my philosophy of freedom, and the pragmatist wanting to get some work done.

 

After some reflection, I believe I have found an answer. 

 

when we first start creating our lives on purpose, we are initially shocked to realize just how much control we have relinquished, so we go full steam ahead into corrective measures: Daily rituals of affirmations, positive thinking, visualizations.

 

At some point, we build up steam, and we see a massive difference! ( which feels good) the brain likes this, so we continue. 

 

But at some point we start to experience the pushback, at this stage we usually give up, or if you’re like me and other over-achievers, you’ll push back harder.

 

Then comes the 16hr days, the non-stop obsession with the goal and the incessant mind chatter. Before you know it you’ve got so much more to do, and life has turned into a Ferris wheel of non-stop “stuff” that we believe we need to “control” in the same way we controlled our initial jump into living purposefully. Including trying to control our mind.

 

Trying to control everything including our “positive thoughts” is where things go down the drain regarding life experience because we get caught up in the illusion that we need to do more to get where we want to be.

 

This belief creates so much seriousness and stress as we focus on the outcome, it becomes almost impossible to maintain, leading to the real problem in all our lives, a lack of consistency. 

 

On the other hand, establishing your daily actions based on the style of work that brings out the best in you, then tailoring your day so that you do more of that, all of a sudden you’re happy doing your work, this produces excellence, and from here the results are inevitable.

 

If we choose to settle our ideas of control down for a moment, we will see that the only reason that we buy into this idea in the first place.

 

The foolish notion that at some point we will be able to have it all (ie; life) under control, and then finally be able to relax and enjoy it.

 

Instead, we can simply surrender this idea of control completely, and just enjoy doing our best work now, with the reassurance that a consistent application of this will always lead to success.

 

Therefore the structure we build for ourselves to do our best work isn’t control, but a safe environment for us to play and express our best work and reach excellence. 

 

So much more fun than trying to control everything don’t you agree?

 

Want to create your own version of this for your goals?

 

Contact me to find out about how I can help.

 

Much Love,

Ryan

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