How To Achieve Massive Success Without Taking Massive Risks
The following is an excerpt of my book — Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement
“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius” — Nassim NicholasTaleb
“Risky” is a loaded word. First, people don’t understand it fully. Second, risk isn’t always the same when you want a certain outcome — context matters. Last, people often get it backward. They find safety in what’s truly risky and see risk in what’s truly safe.
I learned many of these concepts from the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb (you can see his influence on me, as I’ve quoted him 47 times in this book). His Incerto series is all about understanding risk. My favorite book in his series Antifragile: The Things That Gain From Disorder teaches you how to live a low-risk life and benefit from luck at the same time.
You need to learn how to become antifragile. It’s the key to experiencing the rewards life has to offer without many of the risks that can set people back permanently. Remember that earlier in the book I told you that luck and chance play a large role in your life. If you become antifragile, you set yourself up for serendipity.
Per the book Antifragile, there are three types of states:
- Fragile — doesn’t like volatility
- Robust — indifferent to volatility
- Antifragile — can benefit from volatility
An example of something fragile is a glass vase. A rock is robust. But what is something that benefits from volatility? The universe itself was birthed from volatility. Ecosystems are volatile. Many of the systems we don’t truly understand, like nature, emerge over time from seemingly random events. Evolution doesn’t happen in a quiet, orderly, pain-free way. So while parts of the system get phased out, the system itself survives and improves. Take something like the restaurant industry. Many random restaurants open, some close, but the best survive. Individual pockets of the system don’t always win, but the system itself does.
If you want to be antifragile, expose yourself to the upsides of randomness while at the same time protecting yourself from the risks. Make many small bets with high upside. Some…