FREDRICK NIETZSCHE ON CHALLENGING ONESELF

​Critics of Nietzsche accuse him of being an elitist who was obsessed with greatness and with the creation of the Übermensch (or superman). He believed great individuals go beyond good and evil to accomplish their ends as such, this fuelled a lot of Nazi ideas of fascism.

The Übermensch is largely misunderstood but, is more of an individual and spiritual goal. Nietzsche calls himself the Übermensch (which means superperson or overman, the person who is beyond the form of current humanity)  has yet to exist on earth.

Nietzsche says, Live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! He instead challenges us live passionately, to challenge ourselves and to always push the envelope.

Nietzsche doesnt actually mean that you should literally sell your home and rebuild on the slopes of an active volcano but, life is no fun without risk and challenge through self-mastery. Nietzsche thinks of self-mastery as a kind of art. 

He says, Only one thing is needful; to give style to ones character  a great and rare art! In a sense, when you strive to be an individual, you are at the same time the artist and the mound of clay. You fashion yourself into a sculpture. You look at the desires that compose you and decide what goal or aim you want to see for your life. 

This self-formation requires choice. You have to decide that the clay should take on some particular shape as opposed to some other. Self imposes upon desires a sense of style by making them conform to that self-chosen shape. Nietzsche doesnt mean the imposition of some contemporary style but, a notion of style as expressive of ones individual creative and aesthetic nature.

This ability to give style to your own person requires a lot of inner strength. Treating yourself as a work of art isnt easy. Organizing your life in accordance with a purpose or meaning that reflects your own unique individuality. Only in this way can you be said to truly control your own self. Nietzsche thinks of this person as a noble”.

Being a self requires unifying those warring desires under a central purpose or meaning. So being a self requires mastering yourself by giving your desires a common direction. Challenging self requires the activity of mastering your desires and ordering them around a choice that expresses the meaning youve given your life.

True power seeks to develop internal beauty as a result we must embrace challenge. Truly honouring your purpose in life is living it passionately  pushing it to go faster and faster, each time pushing it, and yourself, to the limit.

Embracing change means exposing yourself to new and different perspectives. This is challenging oneself at best.

Greg Gale put it, Read a book on a subject that completely disagrees with the way that youve chosen to live your life. Learn about your history. See whether youre the victim of self-deception.

Seek to unsettle yourself; shake up what you think and believe. When youre in public, seek out the kinds of people who disagree with you passionately, and talk to them. Cultivate friendships with these kinds of people. Surround yourself with the seeds of your own destruction.

 Nietzsche once claimed, I am not a man, I am dynamite! Well, if youre dynamite, surround yourself with matches. Love the ashes that through it you build your empires.

Life will always be an uphill battle, whether you realise now or not and in true fashion, Nietzsche to put it bluntly in a modern sense says Fight the Power. He views a good and excellent life as one thats always put at risk. Thats the only way to truly value and honour life.
Are you ready to be a warrior for your self-created identity and goal? Can you subject your identity to that kind of battle? Do you love yourself enough? Are you willing to be who you are?

“”Who am I?” remains the ultimate question of human existence, and it is a question we are continually challenged to answer anew, as we go on evolving. 

Nathaniel Brande

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