Wishes for an "anti-fragile" new year
Muse #344 - the more edge the merrier...
I bid farewell yesterday in my ode to 2021. And I have been raking my brain on what to wish ourselves for the new year. Fly, thrive, and prosper came to mind, but they are outcomes. Sometimes fleeting. Always wanted.
But then I thought perhaps we should wish ourselves the underlying constructs that would perhaps create us those results.
We live in a fragile world, where Mr. Murphy is always around. If we had the strength to accept whatever came by, the good and the bad, one could live with a fragile world. But we are humans - we are not often built that way.
I could have wished ourselves robustness. Robustness comes from strength. But as everything has a half-life, strength is not everlasting. So it's just not enough to be strong.
I could have wished ourselves resilience. But Resilience is adapting, being nimble and flexible to adjust ourselves as much as possible to reality. As quickly as possible. But adapting is after the fact. After being impacted. Not before. However fast one might be in adapting, it is still reactive, not proactive.
So, I landed on anti-fragility. The term as coined by Nicholas Nassim Taleb. The opposite of being fragile and gaining from all sorts of situations including when in states of chaos and disorder. A great place to be. We have a finite life and being anti-fragile would let us make the most of this finite life.
Let’s wish ourselves a big bout of anti-fragility, this year and beyond.
Just leaving you with these wishes is not enough, unless there can be some small principles (borrowed from Better Humans) to work to be in a state of anti-fragility. So here goes:
Stick to simple rules: derive the smallest set of rules that run you and are valuable to you. if you can’t explain it to your 5-year old, you are thinking too hard or too complex or both.
Build-in redundancy and layers (no single point of failure): except for being human
Resist the urge to suppress randomness: let things go awry. learn to thrive in acceptance of what comes by. in those things that you don’t like are the answers you need.
Make sure that you have your soul in the game: everything is for you to win, give it a 1000%, but don’t get attached too much to anything,
Experiment and tinker — take lots of small risks: options, options, and more options. the more the options the better your chances.
Avoid risks that, if lost, would wipe you out completely: never the eggs in one basket.
Don’t get consumed by data: data tells you part of the story, the rest is emotional, feelings, and intution. Listen to your heart. And your gut feel. Think like an anthropologist. Keep asking why? Always stay curious.
Keep your options open: don’t close doors, even the bad ones.
Focus more on avoiding things that don’t work than trying to find out what does work: pattern the negatives and play with them
Respect the old — look for habits and rules that have been around for a long time: the answers are in your past. And in our past. Look backward a few thousand years. More if you can. Learn to see those patterns. They will repeat again in new forms.
More reading resources:
Live Like a Hydra - Thoughts on how to get stronger when things are chaotic — https://betterhumans.pub/live-like-a-hydra-c02337782a89
10 Principles to Live an Antifragile Life — https://fs.blog/an-antifragile-way-of-life/