If you’re unfamiliar with the Hydra, it was a multi-headed beast in ancient Greek mythology that grew two heads for every one cut off. By creating a system of modes or mindsets for yourself to always fall back on — like the heads of a hydra — you’ll never feel like you’re not making progress towards your goals.
Picture: Hans Sebald Beham/Screenpunk
This type of mental toughness is called antifragility, and it differs because it’s about more than just knowing how to take a hit. It’s about how to become stronger when you get hit. This isn’t a new concept, and is popularised in books like The Obstacle Is the Way, but this method makes your approach to difficulties a little more accessible. Writer Buster Benson explains at Medium that your antifragile system should consist of different modes you can set yourself to. It should also be built with redundancy and simplicity, so you always know what mode to go to when one mode is blocked. Each mode you have, like a head on a hydra, has a different goal and way to move you forward in some way, regardless of what “head” your obstacle has removed.
For example, maybe you have a good workout habit going, but you’ve become sick and can’t leave your bed. Your sickness may have cut off one of your heads, but two have grown in its place. Switch modes and read that book you’ve been meaning to, or spend some time writing down the things you want to tackle first once you feel better. Two heads are better than one anyway. All you have to do is choose which one. The whole thing is worth the read, so check it out at the link below.
Live Like a Hydra [Medium]