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Day #13: Limit Your Downside
“Downside limits your options in life.”
In his book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb argues that the best way for a person to become antifragile (something that gains from setbacks and chaos rather than just survives) is to first decrease their downside. Downside consists of those things, people, actions, habits, or systems that make you vulnerable to volatility and risk.
For example, debt isn’t much of a problem when you have enough money coming in to make your payments, but as soon as you lose your job, that debt becomes a really big problem, really fast. By focusing your efforts on eliminating that debt, you eliminate the risk of falling behind on payments and you free up money to be spent on increasing your upside in life.
It’s addition through subtraction. As it goes with money so it goes with everything else.
1 Thing today: and it is your Homework
1. Say NO to the volatile people, actions, habits and systems in your life
It is, once again, Addition By Subtraction: Yes by saying NO. You have to be fairly ruthless and objective when doing this exercise, so I would encourage you to do it with a third party that you trust very deeply; a partner, a best friend or a close family member. Just don’t use an LLM, whatever you do.
In preparation for this exercise, I would highly recommend refreshing yourself on the lessons you learned in Day 4. There will be some people for whom you have been putting off this ‘assessment’… today’s the day.
Telling your boss NO is quite simple, but not easy.
Enduring your peer pressure is quite simple, but not easy.
Protecting your irreplaceable time is quite simple, but not easy.
Staying on your course when everyone tells you to change it is simple, but not easy.
Baby steps. NO takes practice. Start small, and work your way up.