"...A battery-pack of one-page checklists to kickstart a life of more margin and ease" The winners of today are those who can survive in a complex world which we can't predict, or even really understand. And the greatest winners are those who can thrive in complexity and unpredictability. Today's winners know how to be 'antifragile'. Perhaps you know what a black swan is. You know the difference between fragile, robust, and antifragile. Now what? Open this unique book to learn how to apply these powerful principles of antifragility to living in a world we don't understand. This simple guide takes different areas of life and gives templates and checklists you can use to give you more margin, ease, and simplicity in them all. This is a book for deep thinkers who are also doers, who want to take antifragility as a principle and make it a defining feature of their health, investments, productivity...everything. The templates cover: Antifragile checklists for wealth and investment Antifragile checklists for health and performance Antifragile checklists for start ups and organisational leadership Antifragile checklists for getting things done ...And more!
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How to keep winning in uncertainty, complexity, and chaos.
"An antifragilista's minimalist manual
‘In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.’
Our hope is that this manual serves as a battery pack for anyone who has read Antifragile, and wants to take some significant steps to implement an antifragile dynamic into their lives.
Use the quick start guide
Read the principles and get fluent with them
Take the checklists and implement them
Write your own checklists
Share them with other antifragilistas in the community
The ‘2nd order’ lens
Here’s how to start: with your life as a whole. We’ll get into checklists for money, business, health, and so on. But the place to start is life as a whole. Technically, we’ll call each specific domain of your life (like, ‘health’ or ‘personal finance’) ‘1st order’. When you put a bunch of 1st order things together you get a ‘2nd order’ perspective.
The difference really matters for antifragility. Let’s recap the concepts in order to clarify why 1st or 2nd order perspectives matter at the outset:
‘Fragile’ - something which is harmed by uncertainty, change, risk, and chaos. How fragile something is is determined by the acceleration of harm. So, a china vase is ‘fragile’ since, if you knock it over (change; chaos) it will break. The more it gets knocked, the more certainly it will break (acceleration of harm).
‘Robust’ - something which is unharmed and unchanged by uncertainty, change, risk, and chaos. Example: a steel box.
‘Antifragile’ - something which is benefited by uncertainty, change, risk, and chaos. How antifragile something is is determined by the acceleration of harm. Example: weight training, within certain parameters; challenge your body’s strength and you’ll find you get stronger. The greater the challenge, the greater the strength response (within parameters; the principle at this point is simply to clarify that there is a dynamic adaptation which is positive, in response to pain).
So this resource is all about giving you the tools to win from uncertainty and challenge in all areas of life, and to be able to be so fluent with the principles of antifragility that you can write your own checklists as needed.
Now let’s return to 1st and 2nd order; you can be antifragile within a given domain, yet, fragile on the 2nd order. Let’s say that you are making great progress in your deadlift, or your 5k run time, but your financial life is so fragile that one day you’re forced to stop your gym membership because of financial hardship. Or, your finances are great and your investments are growing year on year, but then you drop dead from a heart attack. Or find you have no one close to you to enjoy your wealth with. The point is, at the end of the day, 2nd order antifragility is the only kind that counts.
And that’s why we start with the quick start guide for 2nd order antifragility – for your life as a whole:
The quick start guide involves learning just 4 principles, and then reflecting on them across your life and activities.
Margin. The fastest way to get more antifragile is to focus on margin, also called ‘redundancy’, or ‘spare capacity’. This is both defensive and aggressive. You may know the saying, ‘if you have one, you have none; if you have two, you have one.’ In the real world, life has a way of destroying plans and intentions. Instead, those with the best back ups – and the most back ups, - win on a long enough time frame. So, focus on margin as the quick start. It feels boring until all of a sudden it gives you a tremendous breakthrough. The more spare cash, spare time, spare energy, spare emotional energy, spare network, spare ideas, etc you have, the better you’ll absorb surprises and be able to pounce on opportunities.
Curiosity, playfulness, adventure, risk. Whatever word you choose to use, an attitude in life which is open to possibilities – through adventure, playfulness, and curiosity, is the simplest way to win in surprising ways as time goes on. The crucial thing to see is that when ruinous risk is taken care of (and we’ll cover strategies for this – but the simplest one is ‘build margin’), playing and being curious will lead to more and more as time goes on.
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