My Take on Knee-Cha

Friedrich Nietzsche (knee-cha) was a German philosopher. His work provided the framework for many later theories in psychology and philosophy (ie. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory). More importantly, he created philosophies that he believes will guide you to living a better life. Having spent some time learning about Nietzsche’s ideas, here’s the two cents.

Be nice to yourself

“If you are weak, you need to replenish your soul with positive things”

Your mind and body are governed by chemical reactions that take place and these reactions are influenced by your choices and surroundings (ie. what you eat, what you read, the people you are surrounded by). Only when you have given your body and mind the things it needs can you function optimally.

In modern culture, people are always going from one thing to the next. They feel as though there isn’t enough time in a day. As a result, we’re not nice to ourselves–we don’t give ourselves what we need. We deprive ourselves of sleep, drink unfathomable amounts of caffeine and don’t exercise.

Every time I wouldn’t meet a certain goal, I used to push myself harder than before until I got to the point of burn out. I didn’t realize that the problem was not my work ethic but the strategy.

There are so many articles and videos out there that explain the benefits of getting a good night sleep, meditating for a few minutes a day, taking time out of the day to think, exercising, talking to someone, etc. and this ties back to Nietzsche’s philosophy.

“When you are weak, fill your soul with positive things”. In other words, when you are feeling frail or depressed, give your body what it needs so it can create chemical reactions that help you.

Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist who’s research focuses on exercise and the brain. Her talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHY0FxzoKZE&t=496s&ab_channel=TED

Appreciate your master’s path but follow your own

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who genuinely care about me. They want to give me guidance and advice to help me. My parents, teachers, mentors and friends want to see me succeed. Even though their words carry wisdom at the end of the day you are living for yourself–you need to make your own decisions and actively choose what you do.

Asking for someone else’s perspective is a superpower because it allows you take what someone else has already figured out. However, one should also be thoughtful when taking advice because it is often contextual. For example, someone who didn’t study for their calculus test may tell you to study for your calculus test. What if you already put in 10+ hours of studying, should you follow their advice?

When at crossroads, path 1: safe path. path 2: walk alone from potential failure to potential failure. path 3: most effective, analyze what masters are telling you and only take what is useful

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

(Yes, the Kelly Clarkson song may have been inspired by a German philosopher with a bushy moustache.)

Nietzsche’s philosophy explains that every obstacle that comes in your way is an opportunity to grow, no matter how difficult. In fact, I believe that the more difficult the obstacle, the more you will grow. When you have overcome a difficult challenge in your life, you have most probably learned or grown from it. In this way, you have become stronger.

|pain| = |happiness|

The above equation says the magnitude of pain for a certain situation equals the magnitude of happiness you feel once you have overcome that difficult situation. In other words, the greater the pain, the happier you will feel.

TL:DR

  • Give your body with positive things so you are able to function optimally
  • Ask for advice but choose which piece of advice you will implement
  • Seek pain, as overcoming pain is how you will grow

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Rosa Li

Passionate about solving problems. Currently diving into space tech