Suyin Aerts
May 15, 2020

The state of mind of a black swan

What are my thoughts on an anti-fragile state of mind and how can we create it?  Thanks Kim Indeherberg for the challenge to work with the topic touched upon earlier today by my dear friends Rik Vera and Peter Hinssen during an amazing inspiring Friday webinar. The idea of turning from “fragile” or “robust” into “anti-fragile” makes a lot of sense to me. You must give yourself the challenge to be a bit of a pirate in your own life and organisation. Think in scenario’s, what if…and evaluate whether you will grow stronger in case this happens. You need to think not only can we survive, but when we survive how can this situation help me to even get stronger and more anti-fragile. The idea comes off course from the book written by Nassim Nicolas Taleb. Who states that some systems are that much optimised that they work incredibly well in normal situations but as soon as an event of a certain impact manifests itself the system collapses as a house of cards.

I do think that we have to think about risk in every situation and decision we take (it was after all the question in my exam as a Project Manager, asked by Didier Brackx that gave me a hard time, but the answer gave me the first place of all students) But we may never think that we can foresee everything. As it is when the unforeseen happens that we will see your actual state of resilience and flexibility.

Also I would like to add when you take a decision to go on the path you took be confident on the fact that this decision was the best one as you thought of all the pro’s and contra’s.

But remember never ever a decision is a decision that you take for live, there is always a way back or better, a way out, a stronger call for another path maybe.

The only decision I made that was truly with no way back, is making children and of course the man I chose to make them with. But all the rest in live,…if you honestly think: can you not sell the house you bought, resign from the job you do, come back if you live abroad, leave your boyfriend, change your hobby, buy another car, take up a whole new study…?

We can overcome a lot if we dive into any situation or problem with an open mind and a positivity, that is not naïve off course.

Do not stay in that box thinking! Who told you anyway that thinking has to be done in boxes, it might be in circles or triangles, a very good remark that my mentee Daria Nashat made earlier this week when we were talking.

I think that an anti-fragile state of mind is a kind of a loop between heart and mind that turns, like the sign of infinity and that will help you to adapt in any given situation.  A black swan will not only escape the escape room but bring a white swan with her out there.

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