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In Tomorrowmind, Dr. Rosen Kellerman & Dr. Martin Seligman tell us:

“At the negative end of the resilience bell curve, people with low levels of resilience will struggle with challenge – even developing mental health disorders. At the opposite end of the curve are those people who grow stronger through challenge. Looking around in nature we find numerous instances of stress causing adaptation and improvement. Many types of learning follow the same curve: The struggle is what pushes us forward. The term for this process, coined by essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is antifragility.”

On the Heroic App, Brian Johnson tells us:

“In his great book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb walks us through the fact that there’s a big difference between being fragile, being resilient, and being ANTIfragile. In short: If you’re fragile and life hits you hard, you break. If you’re resilient and life hits you hard, you withstand more and… eventually… you break. But… If you’re ANTIFRAGILE, when life hits you hard you actually get stronger. Think about that. The more you get kicked around and challenged by life, the S T R O N G E R you get. Wouldn’t that be awesome? As Nassim tells us and we would be wise to remember: ‘A wind extinguishes a candle but fuels a fire.’

Call it post-traumatic growth. Call it resilience. Call it Antifragility. The concept that “what does not kill you makes you stronger” has some merit, but may not be a universal truth.

I like to think about stress like a rubber band. You want to be in your stretch zone but not your snap zone. In general, struggle is not a necessity, it’s a biological requirement for most growth be it your muscles or your neural circuits.

You wouldn’t see a weight lifter go to the gym to lift Styrofoam weights. Yet somehow most of us feel like we should be coasting through life with Styrofoam challenges.

Let’s use all challenges as opportunities to get stronger. Practice, practice, practice, on the little challenges, so that when the big challenges arrive you are ready.

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Episode 15