“Be proactive” is habit number one of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Brian Johnson takes it one step further.

According to Brian, it’s not enough to be proactive.

Our goal is to be anti-fragile.

This year I’m enrolled in Brian’s year-long Optimize Mastery online course and I am loving it.

Brian tells us we can go through life being fragile (handle with care), resilient (our ability to bounce back), or anti-fragile, which means the more life kicks us around, the stronger we get.

A strong wind will blow out a candle, but makes a fire burn hotter.

When we become anti-fragile everything becomes fuel for our growth. In time we develop confidence, a deep trust that can handle whatever life throws at us.

Brian’s rule #1 is: Expect challenges. Rather than be surprised when obstacles present themselves (because they always do!), he encourages us to embrace the challenges we face as opportunities to hone our skills.

I love Brian’s mnemonic: OMMS:

O: obstacles
M: make
M: me
S: stronger

Instead of win-or-lose thinking, we can adopt an attitude of win or… learn.

Many times, the seeds of tomorrow’s success are in today’s failures. Instead of running from setbacks, we can choose to see them as failed experiments and go to work learning how we can get better next time.

The question is not: Will life knock us off course?

Of course it will.

The better question is: How fast can we recover?

We can practice and take pride in our ability to bounce back quickly.


Reflection: Think back on a time when obstacles brought out the very best in me.

Action: Choose to see today’s obstacles as opportunities to learn, grow and get better.

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome advice. I am thinking of Teddy Roosevelt’s often quoted speech in defense of the NCAA, as well as Emily Dickinson’s “Success.” My obstacles of a anemic Spring and Summer at my business forced me to refine and expand my marketing, and now my law firm is stronger than ever. I really like the idea of moving from resilient to anti-fragile, the idea that I can and am growing as I am being beaten down.

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