Nietzsche said: Happiness does not come from escaping troubles. It comes from cultivating them – turning them into your advantage. Is life a risky business? Sometimes when we are going thru hardship or suffering, can we use it as an opportunity to grow?
At the heart of N’s philosophy is a simple idea that difficulty is normal, we shouldn’t panic or give up when we experience it. We feel the pain because of the gap between who we are right now and the person who we could ideally be. To reach anything that’s worthwhile – to reach anything that is valuable – you have to go thru an extraordinary amount of effort.
N said we should look at life’s problems like a gardener – a magnificent plant or flower sometimes comes out of a bunch of ugly roots. Take situations that look initially very dark, very horrible and out of them grows something beautiful. The negative, ugly, dark feelings can be cultivated to produce something fruitful but its entirely up to us to make this happen. Envy for e.g. might just leads to bitterness. But could it, if properly trained, spur us onto compete with a rival and produce something wonderful? Anxiety might make us panic or it might blossom into an accurate analysis of what is wrong and so to peace of mind.
N said, that which does not kill me, makes me stronger. He advised us to use the energy that pain can give us to overcome problems and in so doing, to reach real happiness.
The chemist conundrum: When he wore a purple tie, a chemical reaction took 1 hr 20 mins, but when he wore a red tie it took 80 mins 🙂