"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile.”
- Nassim Taleb, Antifragile
What gets better as it is attacked? Or gains as it's destroyed?
There’s no common word to describe these characteristics which is why Nassim Taleb coined the term Antifragile in is his novel; The Black Swan (He followed this up with a non-fiction book of the same name: Antifragile).
There are several things that need to be attacked in order to improve. Arguments, the immune system, security and safety systems would all classify.
It can also be a determinant of success in organizations, teams, and relationships. How do they fair when a negative event occurs? Are they Fragile (breakdown at a bump in the road) or Anti-Fragile? A great leader/coach forms a culture that builds onto its failures. A culture that adapts during struggle and rises above it.
And of course, YOU!
You require exposure to stress to develop and we all require a little suffering to appreciate what's good. Not just in physical ways but psychological too. As children this is most important but as adults, it still holds true (rhyme intended).
You’ve heard many stories of people who endure suffering in some way and look back on it as a constructive event in their lives. The challenge is, when offered a choice, it’s difficult for us to choose the path of greater difficulty. And further to that, today, there is more effort than ever to avoid hardships at all costs.
However, when you consider a term like anti-fragile – intentional doses of hardship become integral characteristics of a fulfilling & meaningful life.
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