We get into the college of our dreams and then realise we don’t like the course. We are placed at the company that we’ve always wanted to be at, but we are already looking at alternatives.

In the words of Epictetus, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”

In my last read ‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’, The Stoics, people who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining, practiced ‘Negative Visualization’. They imagined the worst thing that could happen to them if their pleasures were taken away from them. This way they could be prepared for the worst.

However, I do not agree with this.

On my further reading of the book, I read about the concept of Antifragility. Have you ever wondered how the word Fragile is defined as, “easily broken or damaged” and the word Resilience as, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” but there exists no word that is a mixture of both?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb proposes the word Antifragile.

“Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

It refers to those things which get stronger when harmed. Recalling an example from the book, when Hercules faced the Hydra he realised he would never be able to kill a beast who got stronger with ever wound; everytime one of Hydra’s heads was cut off, two more would grow back in its place.

I, too, believe in the concept of Antifragility. How can we ever get stronger if we never fail? How can we get back up if we don’t fall?

What about you?

I would like to thank Crack-ED for introducing me to the concept of Ikigai. I always wanted to get back into reading but I never had enough motivation. This was my first read after nearly 3 years (yes, I did not read The Invisible man for CBSE boards).