being deprived of poison makes us fragile and that the road to robustification starts with a modicum of harm.
Hormesis, a word coined by pharmacologists, is when a small dose of a harmful substance is actually beneficial for the organism, acting as medicine.
hormesis is the norm, and its absence is what hurts us.
Intellectuals tend to focus on negative responses from randomness (fragility) rather than the positive ones (antifragility). This is not just in psychology: it prevails across the board.
The excess energy released from overreaction to setbacks is what innovates!
Many, like the great Roman statesman Cato the Censor, looked at comfort, almost any form of comfort, as a road to waste.
It is said that the best horses lose when they compete with slower ones, and win against better rivals.
Also, it is a well-known trick that if you need something urgently done, give the task to the busiest (or second busiest) person in the office.
The same or a similar mechanism of overcompensation makes us concentrate better in the presence of a modicum of background random noise, as if the act of countering such noise helps us hone our mental focus.