Confronting The Madness

Ep. 20 Luke Jahjefendic Confronts His Five Tours of Afghanistan

September 22, 2021

Antifragile is a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to suggest that “things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty...Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.

My guest today, Luke Jahjefendic embodies Antifragility.

Born in Bosnia, Luke immigrated to Canada during the midst of the Bosnian War.  Landing in Toronto at age thirteen, Luke joined the Canadian Armed Forces in his early twenties as way to payback the country who he says, “saved his life.”

In total, Luke did five tours of duty and spent over 1200 days serving in Afghanistan -- one of the most of anyone in the Canadian Armed Forces.  During our conversation, we unpacked each tour one by one.

The notion of suffering is woven throughout our conversation. Suffering often carries a negative connotation, but like Taleb, who believes that “complex systems are weakened, even killed, when deprived of stressors”, Luke’s perspective on suffering is worth absorbing.

In many ways, our society is being weakened due to a lack of significant stressors placed on our systems.  I’m referring specifically to those of us who are living “comfortable” lives. 

We often equate comfort with happiness, but, ironically, most people find the opposite is the case. Confronting, and then transcending, suffering is where meaning, purpose, and happiness live. 

During this conversation Luke provides us all a reminder of that.





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