“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb
My early mentor Raj once scolded me when I was complaining about the stress of a deal we were working on together. He said, “If you don’t want stress, go work at McDonald’s.”
No offense to a McDonald’s employee, but there isn’t much “pain”. The systems are so tight at McDonald’s they can be run by high school kids! The hard work of “thinking” has been done for them.
To embrace the pain of life is to be fully alive with it. It’s to embrace improvement. If you don’t take risks like starting a business, investing in assets you won’t get outsized returns.
Everything good comes from some kind of pain. Yet, most including me at times, try to avoid the pain and pursue something more pleasurable like Netflix or keeping money in the bank earning 0% interest.
If you try to constantly avoid pain you’ll be fragile. When the inevitable setbacks in life hit you’ll shrink.
The softer the chair, the harder it is to get up and move out of it.
So when you’re having a difficult time in business or in life be grateful. You’re getting stronger more anti-fragile and smarter. If you’re too comfortable now is the time to do something hard, take a calculated risk, and embrace some pain.
Raj told me if want to reduce my stress… Put myself into stressful situations so then nothing will seem stressful.
“Let me be more aggressive: we are largely better at doing than we are at thinking, thanks to antifragility. I’d rather be dumb and antifragile than extremely smart and fragile, any time.” –Nassim Nicholas Taleb