“Antifragility: How to use suffering to get stronger | Jonathan Haidt & more”

Originally posted in our December 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

Glass is fragile, and plastic is resilient, but some systems and functions require stress testing to get stronger. From our muscles and bones to our immune systems, many human systems fit into the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” paradigm. Nassim Taleb coined the term “antifragility” to define this tendency in humans. It goes beyond persistence or even resiliency and, in many ways, interconnects with the concept of learned hopefulness. 

In this video from Big Think, we hear from six big thinkers about their views on hope, resiliency, and antifragility. What each touches on is not only the importance of being able to get back up after hardship but strategies to move forward. This video is not a conversation telling us to embrace unrealistic optimism or chase happiness. It is instead about accepting our situation and working through what we can control. 

The final vignette focuses on how influential leaders learn to take small steps towards leaning into fear, learning from it, and becoming more antifragile in the process. So, what is something you can do today to become more antifragile?

Will you bend, or will you break?