Gaining From Challenge and Disorder: Being Antifragile Within Stoic Philosophy

“A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

There is a lot in common between Stoicism and the term “Antifragility” from the controversial author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. More accurately antifragility could be seen as an adjective that can be acquired through the practice of Stoic philosophy. 

A thing, a person, or anything is antifragile, if it gains (mass, wisdom, skill) contrary to lose, from stressors and the things that affect it. Picture your muscles as an example of antifragility, the more stress you apply to them (in moderate measure of course), the bigger they get, and the more the ladies will look at you on the street!

Antifragility is found in many things in the universe, and it is found in Stoic philosophy as well. 

“Seneca’s version of that Stoicism is antifragility from fate. No downside from Lady Fortuna, plenty of upside.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A practicing Stoic wins (virtue, capacity to be courageous, capacity of being virtuous) from the stressors, and challenges of life. Stoicism is practiced not only when everything is going great, but especially when things are going anything but great. 

Challenges, imbed you with the capacity to better face them each time they happen (given that you’re actively practicing your stoic resourcefulness). This will in turn make you a better, more resourceful, courageous, and virtuous stoic, each time it happens and you set yourself to practice. 

So, in a twisted way, just like you crave a good match of basketball or football, against a good matching team, so that you can get better yourself while at the same time having fun, you too will crave the stressors that life will throw at you so that you can become better, and practice your creativity while doing so. To be a Stoic is to be Antifragile. 

I don’t know what I ate about a month ago, but it is still wrecking my body and making me feel weak. It’s no fun at all, it’s actually pretty annoying. Usually, I get up very early to do exercise, read-write and do other things. But with this new sickness on board, it’s proven hard to do so. 

Until this post, I had forgotten, to be honest, a bit my stoic practice. I was just plainly annoyed by it. But, back on stoic board, I’m actually kind of excited to crush this disease! I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat meat, at all, and keep my diet as healthy as possible, it ceases. But I guess I’ll have to do it for at least two months, it’s hard to go for that much time without a cheat meal! 

This is a dumb example (not for me though), but I just wanted to provide you with an example of how you can gain from challenge. 

The moral of this post is to switch the way you look at adversity. Become antifragile and you’ll be able to become more powerful from the things that happen, more resourceful, better prepared. 

Right now, and always, that’s an ability you want under your belt

Thanks for reading, 

Ricardo

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4 thoughts on “Gaining From Challenge and Disorder: Being Antifragile Within Stoic Philosophy

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