“How can you think yourself a great man when the first accident that comes along can wipe you out completely.” – Euripides
Author Naseem Taleb defines antifragility this way – Some things benefit from shocks, they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder and stressors and love adventure, risk and uncertainty. He describes this phenomenon as becoming antifragile. In his book ‘Antifragile’, Taleb describes an antifragile system as a system that improves from resisting small stressors.
Antifragility has been an underlying phenomenon behind pretty much everything that has evolved with time: from economic advancements, political science, culture, human evolution, bacterial resistance, rise of cities to even our own existence as a species on planet earth. The evolution of our bodily functions and immune systems are a perfect example of antifragility. Our bodies tend to develop stronger immune systems after they’ve been exposed to viruses and bacteria.
An anti-fragile life is all about finding a way to gain from the inevitable disorders of life. It requires you to not only bounce back when things don’t go as planned, but to get stronger and do better despite running into unexpected life events.
Antifragility can work as the ultimate weapon to overcome uncertainty and overwhelm in life and goes beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; but the antifragile gets better.
How can we equip ourselves to gain from this disorder… to not only recover from episodic stressors but to also get stronger?
Here are some ways to design an antifragile life:
- Experience living away from home
Whether you plan to study abroad, work in a different city or simply stay away from home on a workation while you navigate remote working, experiencing a life away from home will empower you to detach from the dependency of your surroundings and let you experience building a life from anywhere you choose to be.
- Diversify your skills
Diversifying your skills will help you expand your knowledge from what you already know or are good at, to what you need to know and will help you stay relevant.
- Focus on your social network
The people you surround yourself with can greatly influence your mindset and approach towards your life’s situations and circumstances. Surrounding yourself with inspiring people can help you mitigate life’s stressors with better mental and emotional agility.
- Make risk taking a part of your DNA
If you are afraid of taking risks and constantly choose to play within your safe space, try to push yourself by taking smaller risks more regularly. This will help you make risk taking a part of your DNA and spot opportunities more easily.
By consciously choosing to design an antifragile life, you can:
- Look at stressors as opportunities to grow and evolve
- Wire yourself to gain from disorder
- Reorient your mindset from victim to warrior
That said, the antifragile life is different for everyone. What could be antifragility for someone could be fragility for another. To consciously build an antifragile life, start by making smaller shifts and changes in your everyday life. Share this with your friends and loved ones to help them initiate an antifragile way of living.