Review: Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

AntifragileI believe that reading and subsequently learning, is a vital step toward self-improvement. Reading challenges what we already think we know. It opens the world to you; new people, new places, new ways of doing things. Reading sparks that internal conversation that you have. My journey was precipitated by being gifted Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It challenged the way I had viewed my personal finances and the lack of self-control I exhibited in many other daily habits. That is why I have made reading such a big part of my life and set certain goals to achieve. I want to share with you what I am reading so that maybe one of the books I review can have that same effect on you.


Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Last year I discovered that I could go through books with a lot more ease by using Audible and went through a tear of reading. I batched groups by the interest of the topic. I started on the 2008 Financial Crisis with books like The Big Short, Too Big Too Fail, and eventually made my way to The Black Swan. The Black Swan wasn’t specifically about 2008, but it’s lessons could be applied prospective to future crises.

Taleb says that although they were published in opposite order, Antifragile should be viewed as a precursor to The Black Swan. The basic principle of Antifragile is that sh#t can happen that has a huge impact; whether on a business, country, or a person, and that most are fragile to it. Taleb’s point is that we should make ourselves and our institutions antifragile. Antifragile isn’t just so that we’d survive or make it through a calamity, but rather that we would prosper during it. profiled the book, which is where I first heard about it. The article and premise spoke to me. Many of the ideas it promulgated were ones that I was coming up with independently and trying to apply to myself. Taleb promotes certain things to help make yourself more antifragile. Reading the article it appeared that I do each one point by point, “A few ways to inject positive stress into your life: fast, take cold showers, do a challenging obstacle race, lift heavy weights, run instead of bike…Start that emergency fund, Employ the ‘barbell strategy‘...Never take advice from someone who doesn’t have ‘skin in the game’…focus first on subtracting habits…Increasing your skills.

I’ve fasted. I periodically take cold showers. I really enjoy obstacle races. I lift heavy weights 7 days a week. I run as part of my training. We have an emergency fund. My website itself is part of my barbell strategy as my side hustle. I’ve stopped taking most expert advice. I’ve subtracted bad habits that were hurting me physically and financially and I’ve made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions to get a new professional certificate and/or license.


I’m a fan of Nassim Taleb’s now that he is 2 for 2 with books of his that I have read. I like his style of writing and his message. I look at world events in a different perspective thanks to both The Black Swan and Antifragile and I highly recommend both.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb can be found on Twitter @nntaleb and Facebook.

I listened to this book using Audible. I try to use Overdrive (which links your local public library with your electronic devices for free) for most books. This is my go to method fo
r listening to audio books. If an audio book is not available of Overdrive, then I turn to Audible. Audible has a much larger selection, but does have a membership fee. Well worth it in my opinion.

Author: David Matthews

Welcome to my site!

I started this site as a way of discussing what I’ve learned about the relationship between personal finances and physical fitness. What I have learned allowed me to lose 50lbs and improve my creditscore 150 points in the same year.

Husband. Father. West Virginia University Grad. Licensed Insurance and Financial Professional. Sports fan (Phila, WVU, and Manchester City). Huge nerd (like Magic: The Gathering huge)

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