65 Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes On Success In Life

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, mathematical statistician, and former options trader and risk analyst, whose work concerns problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty. His 2007 book The Black Swan has been described by The Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II. These Nassim Nicholas Taleb quotes will motivate you.

Best Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes

  1. “Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  2. “Don’t aim to be perfect! Aim to be antifragile” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  3. “Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  4. “Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  5. “They are born, put in a box; they go home to live in a box; they study by ticking boxes; they go to what is called “work” in a box, where they sit in their cubicle box; they drive to the grocery store in a box to buy food in a box; they talk about thinking “outside the box”; and when they die they are put in a box.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  6. “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  7. “When you ask people, ‘What’s the opposite of fragile?,’ they tend to say robust, resilient, adaptable, solid, strong. That’s not it. The opposite of fragile is something that gains from disorder.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  8. “You have a real-life if and only if you do not compete with anyone in any of your pursuits.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  9. “To bankrupt a fool, give him information.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  10. “Life is a tightrope between two errors: generalizing the wrong particular and particularizing the wrong general.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  11. “A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  12. “The world we live in is vastly different from the world we think we live in.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  13. “…maximize the serendipity around you.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  14. “You find peace by coming to terms with what you don’t know.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  15. “Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  16. “Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  17. “The person you are most afraid to contradict is yourself.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  18. “Prediction, not narration, is the real test of our understanding of the world.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  19. “Those who do not think that employment is systemic slavery are either blind or employed.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  20. “People are much less interested in what you are trying to show them than what you are trying to hide.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  21. “Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  22. “Muscles without strength, friendship without trust, opinion without risk, change without aesthetics, age without values, food without nourishment, power without fairness, facts without rigor, degrees without erudition, militarism without fortitude, progress without civilization, complication without depth, fluency without content; these are the sins to remember.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  23. “They will envy you for your success, your wealth, for your intelligence, for your looks, for your status – but rarely for your wisdom.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  24. “For the robust, an error is information.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  25. “If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  26. “People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels – people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  27. “Things always become obvious after the fact” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  28. Karl Marx, a visionary, figured out that you can control a slave much better by convincing him he is an employee.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  29. “The fastest way to become rich is to socialize with the poor; the fastest way to become poor is to socialize with the rich.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  30. “What I learned on my own I still remember” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  31. “It is a sign of weakness to avoid showing signs of weakness.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  32. “Don’t cross a river if it is four feet deep on average.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  33. “The central idea in The Black Swan is that: rare events cannot be estimated from empirical observation since they are rare.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  34. “Doctors most commonly get mixed up between absence of evidence and evidence of absence” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  35. “Someone who says “I am busy” is either declaring incompetence (and lack of control of his life) or trying to get rid of you.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Talen
  36. “Learn to fail with pride – and do so fast and cleanly. Maximize trial and error – by mastering the error part.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  37. “The curious mind embraces science; the gifted and sensitive, the arts; the practical, business; the leftover becomes an economist” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  38. “Love without sacrifice is like theft” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  39. “An idea starts to be interesting when you get scared of taking it to its logical conclusion.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  40. “Weak men act to satisfy their needs, stronger men their duties.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  41. “To succeed in life requires a total inability to do anything that makes you uncomfortable when you look at yourself in the mirror.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  42. “You will get the most attention from those who hate you. No friend, no admirer and no partner will flatter you with as much curiosity.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  43. “The traits I respect are erudition and the courage to stand up when half-men are afraid for their reputation. Any idiot can be intelligent.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  44. “You don’t become completely free by just avoiding being a slave; you also need to avoid becoming a master.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  45. “You will be civilized on the day you can spend a long period doing nothing, learning nothing, and improving nothing, without feeling the slightest amount of guilt.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  46. “If there is something in nature you don’t understand, odds are it makes sense in a deeper way that is beyond your understanding. So there is a logic to natural things that is much superior to our own. Just as there is a dichotomy in law: ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as opposed to ‘guilty until proven innocent, let me express my rule as follows: what Mother Nature does is rigorous until proven otherwise; what humans and science do is flawed until proven otherwise.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb quotes
  47. “Probability is not a mere computation of odds on the dice or more complicated variants; it is the acceptance of the lack of certainty in our knowledge and the development of methods for dealing with our ignorance.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  48. “We know from chaos theory that even if you had a perfect model of the world, you’d need infinite precision in order to predict future events. With sociopolitical or economic phenomena, we don’t have anything like that.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  49. “A man without a heroic bent starts dying at the age of thirty.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  50. “The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  51. “The problem of knowledge is that there are many more books on birds written by ornithologists than books on birds written by birds and books on ornithologists written by birds” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  52. “The imagination of the genius vastly surpasses his intellect; the intellect of the academic vastly surpasses his imagination” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  53. “They think that intelligence is about noticing things are relevant (detecting patterns); in a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns)” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  54. “The only valid political system is one that can handle an imbecile in power without suffering from it” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  55. “Only the autodidacts are free.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  56. “You need a story to displace a story.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  57. “An elephant is vastly more efficient, metabolically, than a mouse. It’s the same for a megacity as opposed to a village. But an elephant can break a leg very easily, whereas you can toss a mouse out of a window and it’ll be fine. Size makes you fragile.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  58. “The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  59. “When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  60. “Anything that provides you with very, very stable income, very stable conditions, maybe generally stable, that often, it masks real risks, risks of blow-ups.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  61. “In science, you need to understand the world; in business, you need others to misunderstand it.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  62. “The psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has a simple heuristic. Never ask the doctor what you should do. Ask him what he would do if he were in your place. You would be surprised at the difference” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  63. “The weak shows his strength and hides his weaknesses; the magnificent exhibits his weaknesses like ornaments.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  64. “An ad hominem attack against an individual, not against an idea, is highly flattering. It indicates that the person does not have anything intelligent to say about your message.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  65. “It does not matter how frequently something succeeds if failure is too costly to bear.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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