Yesterday, we talked about Rule #1 from Brian Johnson’s Optimize Program: Expect challenges. Brian tells us that when life knocks us down, our goal should be to challenge ourselves to bounce back. Quickly. Turns out this skill is something we can practice, something we can get better at. The most successful people are not those who never fail, but rather those who learn to recover fast.

In her book Grit, Angela Duckworth shares that if she were to get a tattoo, it would say: “Fall 7. Rise 8.” Grit, Angela tells us, is a combination of an intense passion and intense persistence.

The big learning for today is around the concept of being antifragile. According to Brian, we can go through life being fragile, i.e. handle with care, resilient, which is our ability to bounce back (a very good thing) or antifragile, which means the more life kicks us around, the stronger we get. When we become antifragile everything becomes fuel for our growth. In time we develop confidence, a deep trust that can handle whatever life throws at us.

Brian then shares my new favorite mnemonic: OMMS:

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

There’s a great metaphor from nature around how a pearl gets made.

Step one: an irritant, usually a parasite works its way into an oyster shell.

Step two: as a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. In time, layer upon layer of this coating, called ‘nacre’, forms around the irritant.

Step three: an incandescent pearl is formed.

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