Antifragile


That which gains from disorder. The opposite of fragile. It is beyond resilience or robustness; it gets better from shocks.
A system that gets stronger as it gets hurt. Don’t just be resilient (staying the same when you get hurt). Gain from it.

“Antifragility implies more to gain than to lose, equals more upside than downside, equals (favorable) asymmetry.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb works on his personal antifragility. For example, he walks 20 hours a week. Not miles or kilometers, but hours. Our ancestors walked constantly for millions of years, but now we drive to the gym and walk two miles on the treadmill.

What does antifragility look like? Is it becoming more skillful as a result of more time, because of a global pandemic—which otherwise could have made your situation worse? Cultivated by fostering curiosity?

It’s easier to point to certain concepts being antifragile, I.e. muscles that come back stronger from stress (hypertrophy). Do certain character traits make you antifragile?

I believe that learning and practice develops your antifragility. Learning itself, as a process, is a practice of antifragility: a situation where you gain from disorder.
Learning, to me, is developing antifragility because you repeatedly hurt yourself (learning requires discomfort, and cost resources like time, energy, etc.). However, you gain experience, skill, and knowledge from learning.

The Hydra of Greek Mythology is a perfect example of antifragility. Cut one head off, and two grows back in its place1.

Footnotes

  1. Example taken from ( Principles of Life.