PLEASE HURT ME, BREAK ME: WHY YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK (AINTFRAGILE CONCEPT)
Imagine this : you’d like to send something fragile, like a glass bottle, via mail. You take a big cardboard box and wrap the object with bubble wrap and some other fillers.
To protect your package and to warn the postal service, there’s some stickers you can put on them:
‘FRAGILE: HANDLE WITH CARE’
‘THIS SIDE UP’
Makes a lot of sense, right? Now we can send the package and be confident it is delivered safely.
An object is fragile when, if subject to stressors, it gets weaker or breaks.
Think of an egg – you’ve got to keep that egg protected in a box to prevent it from breaking. Any unexpected bumps or drops, would mean a floor omelette.
There’s an opposite to this…
ANTIFRAGILE: Things that gain from disorder
The concept of ‘Antifragility‘ is a term that’s been brought into life by the brilliant statistician and author Nassim Taleb.
Just as human bones and muscles get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, he describes many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil.
In between fragility and antifragility, there’s robustness: the object can withstand wear-and-tear, but over time will weaken and degrade.
What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.” Nassim Taleb
What if we don’t always have to be completely safe and protected all the time? A little beating and chaos can make us better human beings, according to this theory.
How to not send a fragile package
Going back to the package: I got creative in this concept of antifragility and sent a BEmindfool client of mine a little package.
I wanted to use the concept of antifragility and got a box where I put a ‘message in a bottle’ inside of it.
In the bottle, that needed to be broken, there’s a little letter reminding my client of our own challenging time: a 63 km non-stop walk through night and day for 13 hours long.
We took off in a summer evening and were shuffling through the night.
After 10 hours, our legs were full of lactic acid and every step was insanely painful. When we hit the 63 kilometer mark, we were completely done.
Not the 100 km we had in mind, but we f*cking did that.
Note to self
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves/be reminded of all the things that were really hard, but we overcame and got stronger because of it.
If you’re going through something challenging and difficult right now, know this:
You are powerful and will get through this. At the end… You’ll even come out stronger and more resilient because of it.