“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.” -Friedrich Nietzsche. One of the most provocative philosophers in history, and labelled as a narcissistic genius, Friedrich Nietzsche was born October 15th, 1844 in Germany. He was raised by women, and became a philosopher, anti-philosopher, anti-religion, prose poet, critic, composer, and philologist, with a really bad temper and an amazing moustache to boot.
His life was not an easy one; he suffered from syphilis, and headaches, and because of an accident on a horse, he had a paralyzed leg, and family problems and died August 25th, 1900 with a troubled mind. However, because of this, his writings and lessons are extraordinarily poignant about facing life’s suffering and becoming who you truly are. So, without further ado, let’s get into Friedrich Nietzsche: 3 Top Lessons You Can Learn from Him!
1. Find Balance
“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.”
Nietzsche said that we have two sides to ourselves, the Apollonian side and the Dionysian side. The first refers to the Greek God Apollo, who represents calm, structure, reason and the second references Dionysus, another Roman God, representing emotions, and creativity. With this idea, he aims to say that life is a constant balance where we need to take care of every single aspect in order to live happily.
Think of a time when you were too strict on yourself and in the end, you ended up being overwhelmed. Or the opposite, think of a time when you were going out too much, you lacked control and then you felt guilty and horrible. In a way, that is what he is trying to explain, we need both sides; to be able to create, be productive, and competitive yet also how to rest and reflect.
2. Being Brave the Nietzsche Way
“Become who you are.”
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell me how you feel. Do you feel proud and happy or do you feel embarrassed and sad? Being brave means being able to face reality and its pain and keep moving forward. Look at your strengths but also your weaknesses, learn more about yourself and be better than yesterday.
Another idea related to this one, is that you must find your why. We all have a purpose, we all have a mission in life, and we must aim at the stars. If we do not make it, do not worry, the process and everything that you learn along the way is what matters most. You will be able to sleep well at night knowing that you gave everything that you had and that my friend, is more than enough.
3. Building Your Path with Friedrich Nietzsche
“Truth tends to reveal its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity.”
This is one of my favourite lessons because it’s something I see quite often, we try to copy others, we think that reading and repeating is what makes us educated and powerful. Well, that only makes you a parrot.
We must read to learn and gain knowledge but then we must reflect on the content and generate our own ideas. We must analyse what we read and ponder it to fully understand it. We cannot keep repeating what others say unless you want to live someone else’s life.
Favourite Quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche
- “Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you.”
- “The true man wants two things: danger and play.”
- “Silence is worse; all truths that are kept silent become poisonous.”
- “When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”
- “Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.”
- “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
Friedrich Nietzsche is one in a million, he has left us some inspiring, as well as intriguing books and writings. I do encourage everybody to learn more about him, both the good and the bad. He is full of interesting ideas, so interesting that even the Nazis took his idea of “Superman” and who can forget his quote “God is dead.” But if I had to choose one thing that you should pay attention to, it would be to his tenacity; his will, and his power to keep going, even when in doubt and pain.
What are your thoughts on the works of Friedrich Nietzsche? Let us know in the comments below!