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  • Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher, poet and cultural critic of the 19th century.

  • He is considered to be one of the most daring and greatest thinkers of all time.

  • His work is revolutionary, aiming for a “re-evaluation of all values”.

  • He was one of the biggest precursors of existentialism, which emphasizes the existence of the individual

  • person as a free and responsible agent, determining their own development through acts of will.

  • By his famous wordsGod is dead!”, Nietzsche moved the focus of philosophy from metaphysics

  • to the material world and to the individual as a responsible person for his own life.

  • Nietzsche wrote several books, and his teachings have shaped the lives of many people; from

  • psychologists to poets, dancers to social revolutionaries.

  • So with that in mind, here ARE 10 IMPORTANT LESSONS THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE:

  • 1) Be a harmonious totality Nietzsche saysOne must still have chaos

  • in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star”.

  • According to Nietzsche, each of us have two main sides to our personality: a rational

  • one, the consciousness, the responsible, the Apollonian side and an instinctual one, the

  • subconscious, emotional, Dionysian side.

  • In Nietzsche's view, the way to achieve greatness, the way to achieve a harmonious

  • totality is to balance the two parts of yourself: the Apollonian side, Apollo being the Greek

  • god of Sun, of knowledge, and the Dionysian side, Dionysus being the complete opposite,

  • the god of wine, fertility, and madness.

  • There is a strong analogy between the duality Dionysus & Apollo and the duality of Yin & Yang,

  • Dionysus being similar toYinand Apollo being similar toYang”.

  • To have a balanced life, you have to be organized, responsible, logical, but at the same time,

  • leave room for the more artistic part of yourself, your creative side, your emotional side.

  • To really shine like a dancing star like Apollo, the god of Sun, you have to embrace your inner

  • chaos, learn to explore it, listen to your feelings and intuition, and listen to your

  • Dionysian side.

  • Sometimes, we use one side of our personality to excess, at the expense of the other.

  • For example, perhaps sometimes we can be too organized, we don't leave enough room for

  • any creative moments, or moments of inspiration.

  • Other times we might be too chaotic, lacking structure.

  • While both are essential, we need to know when best to use them.

  • Life requires us to be organized, for example, to make sure our house is tidy, our children

  • are fed, and our finances are in order and so on.

  • Other times, we might want to shake up our routine, go on wild adventures or to get in

  • touch with our artistic or more sensitive nature.

  • Even in our jobs, we need both sides too.

  • For example, an engineer must use the Apollonian side to execute the work, but he also needs

  • the Dionysian side to discover great insights and invent innovative solutions.

  • We have to take care of all sides of our nature, to nurture them.

  • Do not fight against your duality - instead learn to use it to your benefit.

  • 2) Avoid having a reactive life Nietzsche saidMost humans distract their

  • thoughts; to cease to be aware of life.”

  • According to Nietzsche, we are too passive, too reactive.

  • We don't act as ourselves, we are not honest enough, and we are not 'noble' enough.

  • For Nietzsche, to be passive is not the same as inactive, but rather it means to have a

  • reactive life.

  • You can be active, indulge yourself in entertainment activities or in a meaningless job, but, in

  • essence, you are empty inside, you have no goals, you move without purpose.

  • Nietzsche invites you to be more honest with yourself, more reflective about your goals

  • in life, to be brave enough to face reality and fight the obstacles which are blocking

  • your path from getting what you want from life.

  • Nowadays, with so much technology and amazing ways to indulge ourselves in aimless entertainment,

  • we can easily lose ourselves but according to Nietzsche, the worst thing you can do is

  • to wait for life to happen to you as you distract yourself with these meaningless activities

  • which don't benefit you in the long run.

  • We are all afraid of reaching the heights we are capable of, and to justify that, we

  • keep lying to ourselves by saying things like “I have never wanted to make a lot of money”,

  • “I wasn't really interested in that personor “I didn't really want to visit that

  • place”.

  • Nietzsche advises us to stop being a passive spectator and take our lives in our own hands.

  • You can start by avoiding too much TV time, internet time, spending time with toxic people

  • or staying in a job which isn't beneficial for you in the long run but instead ask yourself

  • the hard questions and focus on what you want to get out of life.

  • 3) Avoid holding resentment towards others Nietzsche tells usTo be incapable of taking

  • one's enemies, one's accidents, even one's misdeeds seriously for very longthat is

  • the sign of strong, full natures in whom there is an excess of the power to form, to mold,

  • to recuperate and to forget.

  • Such a man shakes off with a single shrug many vermin that eat deep into others”.

  • Resentment is poison and it can consume us deeply.

  • According to Nietzsche, resentment is a trademark of a slave mentality and a sign of weakness

  • and it harms no one more than the weak person himself.

  • In contrast to a weak person, a noble person has an excess of life in himself, he is strong

  • enough to forget and recuperate, however his revenge can be strong and fast though, and

  • he doesn't hold on to the memory of a painful episode for too long.

  • If you are weak, it might be too difficult to avoid resentment.

  • The secret is to replenish your soul with positive things, to live your life to the

  • fullest and to not mind the small people having a negative impact on us from time to time.

  • This does not mean you will not keep the others accountable for their mistakes and you will

  • not act against them if justified, it just means that you won't let this affect your

  • inner nature.

  • If somebody close to you hurts you badly, you should see the reality as it is first,

  • accept the person as they are, take the immediate and necessary steps against that person and,

  • afterwards, move on, forget and don't hold on to any resentment.

  • Also, on a more mundane level, do not complain about the bad things you encounter every day,

  • do not complain about the idiots, the government, crooks, bankers, malicious people.

  • Instead, build yourself up, face them from your superior ground, be the better person,

  • be the noble person.

  • Avoid arguing for your limitations and keep going towards your goals.

  • 4) Don't blindly follow the Masters In the words of NietzscheDon't just

  • swallow the wisdom of the past masters of philosophy.

  • Rather, strive to build your own path.

  • Appreciate the masters from the past, but don't just follow them blindly.”

  • Nietzsche was an avid reader of past philosophies, starting from the ancient Greeks to more modern

  • philosophers, like Arthur Schopenhauer.

  • However, at one point in his life, he denounced the past philosophies or reformulated the

  • past philosophies into his own philosophy of life.

  • He believed that finding his own path, his own philosophy, his own style of writing was

  • crucially important.

  • Sometimes, in life, we have to make major decisions, like denouncing some old ways of

  • thinking or working, even at the cost of losing our status in society.

  • To follow our own path often requires sacrifices, putting us in conflict with the authorities

  • of present or of the past - themasters”, but, according to Nietzsche, in order to live

  • an authentic life, we have to give up the comfort of following the safe path, blindly

  • - break away from theMasters”, and work on our own philosophical principles of life

  • and work.

  • Of course, we still have to gain knowledge from the old philosophies, appreciate the

  • wisdom of past philosophers, but, in the end, we have to build our own philosophy for our

  • own lives, our own wisdom.

  • We should use the wisdom of theMastersonly as a source of inspiration for our own

  • philosophy.

  • Sometimes, in life, you find yourself at a crossroads and you have to choose between

  • three paths: The first is a safe path with a guide telling you everything you need to

  • do.

  • The second is a dangerous path that you have to walk alone, going from potential failure

  • to potential failure, and the third is the most effective path, the one where you think

  • for yourself, analyze whatthe mastersorthe expertsare really telling you,

  • you take into account their credibility and you take from them only what is important

  • and useful to your life.

  • Nietzsche urges you to take the last path, because it is the path that will lead to the

  • greatest rewards in the future.

  • 5) Find your WHY Nietzsche saysHe who has a 'WHY?'

  • in life can tolerate almost any HOW?”

  • For Nietzsche, the measure of success and freedom in life is to be able to look in a

  • mirror and be proud of yourself, not ashamed.

  • The only authority you should really fear is your own consciousness which screams at

  • you to be always true to yourself and to always follow your North Star, yourwhy”.

  • When you follow yourWhy”, theHowis not that relevant.

  • No matter the amount of pain which comes withHow”, you will be able to endure it,

  • because you would be living an authentic life - a life in line with your core values, your

  • inner self.

  • Nietzsche demands you to leave conventionality aside, ignore the other people who keep you

  • down, because there is a path only you can go.

  • Your life purpose cannot be found unless you find yourself first and, and after you find

  • the reason to live, you can tolerate any hardship life throws at you.

  • To find your why, your path, start by looking at yourself in the mirror and see if you are

  • ashamed or proud of yourself.

  • Did you betray the one on the other side of that mirror or did you honour it?

  • Have you always been true to yourself?

  • Did you really cultivate the talents life gifted you with?

  • What things must you do in order for you to be proud of yourself and make you feel more

  • powerful?

  • What do you have to accomplish, what milestones and what would be the most exciting goal you

  • can think of for yourself?

  • This most likely would be your North Star for you to follow.

  • You might not reach it during your lifetime, but at least you will know at the end of your

  • life that you did everything in your power to come closer to it and you won't mind

  • the hardship you've been through.

  • 6) Suffering can make you stronger Nietzsche saysWhat does not destroy me,

  • makes me stronger.”

  • Nietzsche advises us to be like the Phoenix, always ready to rise up from our ashes.

  • To evolve, we sometimes must destroy ourselves in some way, to rise anew and stronger.

  • Suffering makes us stronger, it transcends us if we really know what to learn from it.

  • Life is a journey and each stage is a level we must pass.

  • In Nietzsche's view, a real thinker sees life as a knowledge quest, each event being

  • an opportunity to learn something new.

  • The outcomes, no matter how painful, are lessons to learn from and the process of learning

  • is transformative.

  • Nietzsche believes that we must keep ourselves apart from the outcomes, it is not relevant

  • if it's a success or a failure, what really matters is what we learned from it, how we

  • evolved from it.

  • The biggest lessons we can get are from our biggest tragedies because they present us

  • with our biggest vulnerabilities, our biggest fears and our biggest desires.

  • We have to dive into suffering and let ourselves rise again from the abyss just like the Phoenix.

  • As an exercise, try to think of the most painful episodes you've lived, make a list of them,

  • think of what vulnerabilities these episodes revealed in you.

  • Why have you suffered?

  • What illusions about life or about people have you lost?

  • Accept the loss, no matter how painful, and try to see the episodes as an observer.

  • What knowledge about life or about people have you gained?

  • In case you lost illusions, what knowledge have you gained which can replace these illusions

  • now?

  • How can you make this knowledge useful?

  • How can this knowledge prepare you for similar events?

  • Those tragic events have not killed you and, as long as you remain alive and capable of

  • learning, you will grow stronger after each painful episode.

  • 7) Avoid being justbusyTo quote NietzscheMen fall into two groups:

  • slaves and free men.

  • Whomever doesn't have 2/3rds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be:

  • a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.”

  • According to Nietzsche, people are either slaves or free.

  • The free people or theMastersare strong, creative, they can do whatever they want,

  • at least 2/3rds of their days.

  • The slaves cannot do whatever they want, they work for others more than 2/3rds of the day,

  • they follow other people and society's rules blindly, having little control of their lives.

  • One should earn his bread and to work 8 hours per day is oftentimes inevitable, but this

  • should be the limit somebody should accept to work for others.

  • Anymore than this and you are at the mercy of other people or you are the slave of your

  • own money, you cease to own your own life.

  • The anxious feelings people might feel when they think they don't work enough, or they

  • don't push hard enough or work more than 8 hours is more a consequence of the slave

  • mentality.

  • You have to make the distinction between working for others and working for yourself and you

  • shouldn't work more than 8 hours of the day for others.

  • If you do, no matter who you are, a president, a businessman, a scholar, an official, you

  • are still a slave.

  • Even if you are a businessman and you claim that you work for yourself, you have to ask

  • yourself: am I working for making more money or am I really working for myself?

  • If you work for your money, you are still a slave.

  • If you really work for yourself, this means that the work you do nurtures you, makes you

  • happy and gives you energy.

  • Society is designed to make you envious, to make you want more, to consume more and chase

  • things you don't really need, to keep you a slave.

  • Nietzsche advises us to break this chain and learn to live for ourselves for at least 2/3rd

  • of our days.

  • 8) Live dangerously!

  • Nietzsche saysThe secret of harvesting the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment

  • is to LIVE DANGEROUSLY!”.

  • We should all try to make from each day the best day we can.

  • Danger is the test bench of ourselves and it makes us feel alive.

  • We should test our limits in order to overcome ourselves and we should learn to enjoy living

  • out of our comfort zone.

  • Nietzsche urges us to stop being prudent and regular in life.

  • Rather we should be overjoyed heroes, living dangerously, expressing our individuality

  • freely, masters of our own lives and we should not listen to ordinary people, who are often

  • feeling threatened by such a life lived dangerously.

  • There is a huge number of people happy to live in the comfort of their cocoon, not willing

  • to take any risks in life, avoiding any danger.

  • They always try to copy others, rather than express themselves as they really are.

  • Don't be someone like that, because in this way you would waste your life and you would

  • miss a great opportunity to enjoy this life to the fullest.

  • In order to start really living your life, try this test, ask yourself: 'Would I be

  • willing to relive this day a million times forever?'

  • Would I be happy or sad if I lived the same life over and over again?

  • The answer to this question would help you to assess your current life.

  • Make the appropriate changes until you will be able to declare that you are willing to

  • relive every minute of your new joyous and adventurous life.

  • 9) Become a Superhuman Nietzsche says: “Man is a rope stretched

  • between the animal and the Superhuman--a rope over an abyss.

  • A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling

  • and halting.