Nassim Taleb is one of my favourite authors, and his book Antifragile is one of the best books I have read.
One of the book’s chapters that interests me particularly is titled ‘Via Negativa.’ Here, Taleb argues that the solution to many problems in life is by removing things, not adding things. Like, avoiding the doctor for minor illnesses or removing certain food from one’s diet to improve health. Taleb writes –
I would add that, in my own experience, a considerable jump in my personal health has been achieved by removing offensive irritants: the morning newspapers, the boss, the daily commute, air-conditioning, television, emails from documentary filmmakers, economic forecasts, news about the stock market, gym “strength training” machines, and many more.
He then adds –
If true wealth consists in worriless sleeping, clear conscience, reciprocal gratitude, absence of envy, good appetite, muscle strength, physical energy, frequent laughs, no meals alone, no gym class, some physical labor (or hobby), good bowel movements, no meeting rooms, and periodic surprises, then it is largely subtractive.