Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness - Nietzsche on Hardship

Interpretations of Nietzsche's philosophy are almost as abundant as the number of people who read Nietzsche, so the most common idea coming out of Nietzschean readers and scholars is that Nietzsche is one of the most misunderstood philosophers of all time, and they are all right in their own wrong ways :)

However, there are some threads of his thoughts that are consistent enough to warrant some sort of consensus about his position on a number of philosophical issues, including his admiration for strength, nobility, daring, iconoclasm and the courage to face up to the harshness of reality instead of creating comforting illusions designed to hide or mask the possible pain associated with them. Conversely, and consistent with these attitudes, Nietzsche had no sympathy for weakness, intoxication, democracy, Christianity, moralistic self-flagellation, domestication and the taming of the instincts.

One thing is needful, he thought: to give style to one's character, to become the expression of our greatest vision. Greatness is not some gift bestowed upon some lucky and unaware recipient; rather, it is the expression of a unified will seeking to become a work of art and a self-propelled wheel through the torturous process of becoming and overcoming. Suffering and hardship, in this sense, are not to be avoided, for they are necessary conditions for the possibility of becoming the beings we aspire to be.

Click here to check out all the documentaries in this great series, which include philosophers like Socrates on self-confidence, Epicurus on happiness, Seneca on anger, Montaigne on self-esteem, Schopenhauer on love and sex, and even a surprise appearance by Diogenes the cynic and Dave Chapelle on consumerism and materialism.

Or watch the documentary series All Too Human, featuring episodes on Nietzsche, Sartre and Heidegger.
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