Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes About Life and Success

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American economist, philosopher, mathematician, statistician, financial analyst, author, and essayist who published The Black Swan in 2007. In this blog, we have complied the most famous Nassim Nicholas Taleb quotes.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes

In his 2007 book, The Black Swan. Taleb explains the reasons some events are random and unwitnessed, while others are events that come as a shock, harnessing probability and statistics to illuminate truths about our. 

100 Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes

  1. “The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free”

2. “Difficulty is what wakes up the genius”

2. “A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”

3. “Wit seduces by signaling intelligence without nerdiness.”

4. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything,”

5. “A good book gets better on the second reading. A great book on the third. Any book not worth rereading isn’t worth reading.”

6. “Success brings an asymmetry: you now have a lot more to lose than to gain. You are hence fragile.”

7. “Believe me, it is tough to deal with the social consequences of the appearance of continuous failure. We are social animals; hell is other people.”

8. “A good book gets better at the second reading. A great book at the third. Any book not worth rereading isn’t worth reading.”

9. “They will envy you for your success, your wealth, for your intelligence, for your looks, for your status – but rarely for your wisdom.”

10. “Probability and expectation are not the same. Its probability and probability times the pay off.”

Inspirational Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes

11. “What I learned on my own I still remember”

12. “People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels – people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up”

13. “Only the autodidacts are free.”

14. “Too much success is the enemy, too much failure is demoralizing.”

15. “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”

16. “Love without sacrifice is like theft”

17. “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty.”

18. “Those who do not think that employment is systemic slavery are either blind or employed.”

19. “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

20. “Half of the people lie with their lips; the other half with their tears”

inspirational nassim taleb quotes

Famous Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes

21. “How much you truly “believe” in something can be manifested only through what you are willing to risk for it.”

22. “Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing”

23. “You know you have influence when people start noticing your absence more than the presence of others.”

24. “Social science means inventing a certain brand of human we can understand.”

25. “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.”

26. “Trial and error is freedom.”

27. “Things always become obvious after the fact”

28. “Courage is the only virtue you cannot fake.”

24. “History is opaque. You see what comes out, not the script that produces events, the generator of history.”

25. “Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.”

26. “Mild success can be explainable by skills and labor. Wild success is attributable to variance.”

27. “My biggest problem with modernity may lie in the growing separation of the ethical and the legal”

28. “Read books are far less valuable than unread ones.”

29. “The appearance of busyness reinforces the perception of causality, of the link between results, and one’s role in them.”

30. “You need a story to displace a story.”

best Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes

31. “Start by being nice to every person you meet. But if someone tries to exercise power over you, exercise power over him.”

32. “If you do not take risks for your opinion, you’re nothing.”

33. “It is my great hope someday, to see science and decision makers rediscover what the ancients have always known. Namely that our highest currency is respect.”

34. “If you ever do have to heed a forecast, keep in mind that its accuracy degrades rapidly as you extend it through time.”

35. “Prediction, not narration, is the real test of our understanding of the world.”

36. “When things go our way we reject the lack of certainty.”

37. “Suckers try to win arguments, nonsuckers try to win.”

38. “Wisdom in the young is as unattractive as frivolity in the elderly.”

39. “The imagination of the genius vastly surpasses his intellect; the intellect of the academic vastly surpasses his imagination”

40. “Abundance is harder for us to handle than scarcity.”

41. “Ideas come and go, stories stay.”

42. “You do not want to win an argument. You want to win.”

43. “Entrepreneurs are heroes in our society. They fail for the rest of us.”

44. “A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of the information until that point”

45. “A prophet is not someone with special visions, just someone blind to most of what others see”

46. “What I learned on my own I still remember.”

47. “The classical man’s worst fear was inglorious death; the modern man’s worst fear is just death”

48. “Some people are only funny when they try to be serious.”

49. “I want to live happily in a world I don’t understand.”

50. “Religion isn’t so much about telling man that there is one God as about preventing man from thinking that he is God.”

51. “it is only when you don’t care about your reputation that you tend to have a good one.”

52. “A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in light of the information available until that point”

53. “We have managed to transfer religious belief into gullibility for whatever can masquerade as science.”

54. “Those who talk should do and only those who do should talk.”

55. “The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding, or better at explaining than doing.”

56. “People feel deep anxiety finding out that someone they thought was stupid is actually more intelligent than they are.”

57. “Doctors most commonly get mixed up between absence of evidence and evidence of abense”

58. “It is much more immoral to claim virtue without fully living with its direct consequences.”

59. “This is the tragedy of modernity: as with neurotically overprotective parents, those trying to help are often hurting us the most.”

60. “If you do not take risks for your opinion, you are nothing.”

61. “Mental effort moves us into higher gear, activating more vigorous and more analytical brain machinery.”

62. “You will never fully convince someone that he is wrong; only reality can.”

63. “It is far easier to figure out if something is fragile than to predict the occurrence of an event that may harm it.”

64. “The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history”

65. “To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers.”

66. “If your private actions do not generalize, then you cannot have general ideas.”

67. “A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of the information until that point.”

68. “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.”

69. “The simpler, the better. Complications lead to multiplicative chains of unanticipated effects.”

70. “Writers are remembered for their best work, politicians for their worst mistakes, and businessmen are almost never remembered.”

71. “What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.”

72. “Freedom is always associated with risk taking, whether it leads to it or comes from it.”

73. “When you beat up someone physically, you get excercise and stress relief; when you assault him verbally on the Internet, you just harm yourself.”

74. “You can define a free person precisely as someone whose fate is not centrally or directly dependent on peer assessment.”

75. “What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.”

76. “Someone who has been employed for a while is giving you strong evidence of submission.”

77. “it is impossible for our brain to see anything in raw form without some interpretation. We may not even always be conscious of it.”

78. “Life would be unbearably bland if we had no enemies on whom to waste efforts and energy.”

79. “True success is exiting some rat race to modulate one’s activities for peace of mind”

80. “You don’t become completely free just by avoiding to be a slave; you also need to avoid becoming a master.”

81. “Realism is punishing. Probabilistic skepticism is worse.”

82.“The fastest way to become rich is to socialize with the poor; the fastest way to become poor is to socialize with the rich.”

83. “You never win an argument until they attack your person.”

84. “You are rich if and only if money you refuse tastes better than money you accept.”

85. “The problem with experts is that they do not know what they do not know.”

86. “Pure generosity is when you help the ingrate. Every other form is self-serving.”

87. “What organized dating sites fail to understand is that the people are far more interesting in what they don’t say about themselves.”

88. “To become a successful philosopher king, it is much better to start as a king than as a philosopher,”

89. “If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life.”

90. “Mine was the only job you could do if you thought of yourself as risk-hating, risk-aware, and highly ignorant.”

91. “Breaking a fast feels like the exact opposite of a hangover.”

92. “Learning is rooted in repetition and convexity, meaning that the reading of a single text twice is more profitable than reading two different things once.”

93. “Complications lead to multiplicative chains of unanticipated effects.”

94. “If it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.”

95. “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”

96. “Not everything that happens happens for a reason, but everything that survives survives for a reason.”

97. “In practice, randomness is fundamentally incomplete information.”

98.“The model was right, it worked well, but the game turned out to be a different one than anticipated.”

99. “True success is exiting some rat race to modulate one’s activities for peace of mind”

100. “Meditation is a way to be narcissistic without hurting anyone”

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