It would be a shame if we went through all this and everything stayed the same

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A good way to test something is to add stress and see what happens. Which is currently happening on a global scale. Ready or not, our governments, our leaders, our healthcare systems, and our individual ways of life have all been exposed to the fire.

STRESS TEST noun

/ˈstres ˌtest/

: (sometimes called torture testing) a stress test is a form of deliberately intense or thorough testing used to determine the stability of a given system, critical infrastructure, or entity. It involves testing beyond normal operational capacity, often to a breaking point, in order to observe the results.

Only a crazy person would have chosen this. Almost everybody is hurting in some way. These are challenging times, to say the least.

That doesn’t mean we can’t use them.

In his book ‘Antifragile’ Nassim Taleb posits 3 kinds of system:

  • The first is Fragile which, when tested will break.
  • The second is Robust which, when tested, will hold up for a while, before breaking.
  • But the third type of system is Antifragile. This kind of system actually grows stronger when confronted by stressors in the form of chaotic inputs.

(A good example of an Antifragile system would be your own body which, when given a small dose of poison (through the process of hormesis) becomes more resistant to that poison in the future.)

Think about that for a second.

First, if this pandemic is the mother of all stress tests, how are your systems holding up? And second, how can you move them along the spectrum from Fragile to Antifragile?

In other words: how can you use your current circumstances to better and more bulletproof your future?

Now, this is only a small thing. A little idea. But ideas can be powerful. The concept of antifragility may not be the light at the end of the tunnel for you. But it may be a light you can use to get yourself through the tunnel (and better prepare yourself for the next one).

In the prologue of his book, Taleb remarks that:

Wind extinguishes a candle and energises fire… You want to be the fire, and wish for the wind.

This.


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46 thoughts on “ Stress : Test ”

  1. Wow … Thanks! Love this.
    Thinkers think deep and deeper thinkers are rare. You and Taleb seem to fall in the latter.
    I love both the stress test posits and the fire analogy. As a lover of Christ, we often hear that, to get to the next level (of promotion), one has to be tested through “fire.” Another is that God shakes everything that He can shake so that only those things (of course, people too) that cannot be shaken will remain; aka separating the chaff from the wheat! Of course, this is not in the written Word (logos) but may have been postulated from experiences or could have been a rhema. Your post confirms both.
    My prayer is that we all arise stronger after this (antifragile).

    Thanks for liking my post, Woohoo and Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really did not feel the impact of this pandemic until my friends and people I look up to started crying out for help. At first, I thought it was a joke, but looking at it critcally it has really done much harm. I only hope it does not get worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you James for yet again an insightful post.
    Hope you are well.
    Definitely food for thought & am ‘bearing up’ so far James, better than ‘bearing down’ as an ex midwifery colleague used to say when I was a Health Visitor.

    Liked by 1 person

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