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The Long Game - Issue #109

Why do we believe comfort will make us happy? We struggle far less than our ancestors. We have more l
Taylor Somerville
The Long Game - Issue #109
By Taylor Somerville • Issue #109 • View online
Why do we believe comfort will make us happy? We struggle far less than our ancestors. We have more leisure time. We are able to access all the world’s information in the palm of our hand. We don’t have to lift a finger if we don’t want to. Despite all of this, chronic health issues are rising at an astonishing rate. In today’s society, we are under chronic stress from work, the 24-hour news cycle, and poor nutrition habits, causing our bodies to break down. We have allowed ourselves to become fragile. 
In his book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder” Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses the concept of antifragility. “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.” The human body has a process for creating antifragility called hormesis. Hormesis occurs when we apply stress to our system in small doses where higher doses would kill us, allowing our body to adapt and grow. 
We don’t want to just be resilient, we want to be antifragile. To do this, we must test our bodies with the right amount of stress and then allow ourselves time to recover and adapt to that stress. Then, the next time we can go a little harder. This is why I stress myself and others in the ice, the pool, and difficult workouts. At the same time, we focus on how to use your breath to handle the stressors. My long term mission is to help you take what you learn and apply it to all stressful situations in life, allowing you to handle it on your terms and avoid your emotions controlling your response. Don’t allow the modern world to turn you into a fragile person. Change your relationship with stress and become antifragile.

I read Antifragile when it was first released. Like all of Taleb’s books, the concept was important for me to grasp for studying trading and markets. However, this concept is important for improving ourselves as human beings, in all aspects of our lives. This article goes into more detail about becoming antifragile. In addition to intentionally adding stress into our lives, the barbell strategy is also a great concept to adopt. Simplified, the barbell strategy is where we play it safe in certain areas of our life while taking big risks in others. Playing it safe allows you to reduce the downside of some areas, while still having the potential for massive gains in others.
Money is one of the biggest drivers of stress, and understandably so. Money can result in a scarcity mindset because we believe we don’t have enough and never will. Most of us have been there at some point in our lives and the thing is, we can easily go right back. One of the benefits of breath work is learning how to use it properly as a free tool to deal with stress. While it won’t bring you more money, it can improve how you deal with the stress and will remind you to step back, refocus and help you figure out a plan to move forward.
Movement is one of the keys to life. It is one a good stressor that our mind and body needs to stay healthy and happy. Without movement, we become stagnant like a foul pool of water. Once you begin a daily movement practice, you will quickly feel the effects. When you’re stressed about money, exercise is a way to combat that stress. The study shows: “In addition, the researchers found that physically active people feel just as good as those who don’t do sports but who earn about $25,000 more a year.”
I’ve been lifting weights since I was a kid. I can remember asking my father to write me workouts as early as 11 years old. Lifting weights teaches you a lot of life lessons. For starters, it teaches you how to handle failure and to be okay with failure. You will fail at plenty of lifts, but that is ok. Through weight lighting, you learn that making a plan and putting in the work will lead to results. Just like life, failure is a learning experience and allows you to learn and grow.
Before I go, here are a few more interesting articles to check out.
If you would like to support The Long Game, please visit my patreonpage. I hope you enjoyed another edition of The Long Game, feel free to pass it along. Have a great weekend!
In Health,
Did you enjoy this issue?
Taylor Somerville

The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. I will include articles, podcast, videos, and blogs on a variety of topics ranging from psychology, fitness, meditation, and nutrition. I am a certified XPT Coach, I hold the Art of Breath certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and hold the Aerobic Capacity certficate. Checkout my website to learn more about the services I offer.

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