If Grit author Angela Duckworth were to get a tattoo, these are the words it would say. Grit, Angela tells us, is a combination of an intense passion and intense persistence.
“Expect challenges” is Rule #1, according to philosopher Brian Johnson. When life knocks us down, our goal is to challenge ourselves to bounce back. Quickly. The most successful people are not those who never fail, but rather those who learn to recover fast. It turns out bouncing back is a skill we can practice, a skill we can get better at.
The big learning for today is around the concept of being antifragile. We have a choice, Brian tells us: We can go through life being (1) fragile, i.e. handle with care; (2) resilient, which is our ability to bounce back (a very good thing); or (3) 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 we can handle whatever life throws at us.
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
The example of the pearl is a living illustration of one of Brian’s mantras, OMMS:
Reflection: How might I re-frame a current challenge in my life as an opportunity to improve?
Action: Do it.