I really enjoy quotes. Some are misinterpreted, others can give us a nice motivational boost (which will fade as soon as we need it) and few can be a good starting point for further research about the person who said something awesome. I have experienced all three stages, but in this article, I wish to focus on the last one. Our guide will be the book “Man Alone with Himself” of Fredrix Nietzsche.
Shared joy, not compassion, makes a friend ~ Fredrix Nietzsche.
When I was younger, I used to believe that a “real friend”(whatever that means), has to support you in challenging situations. At some point, I figured that this value wasn’t my own, but rather a borrowed one from my social circle.
Many of us project this belief into our friends. We anticipate the right amount of concern and attention at the right moment. We may even imagine the way we want them to comfort us about our misfortunes. After all, they are our friends; they must be on our side regardless of the situation. Usually, such manipulative behaviors backfire leaving no space for joy.
Instead of searching for the “supporting” type of friend, Nietzsche invites us to change our perspective and look for the people who are willing to share our joy. Of course, the transformation of this simple but core belief starts with the with looking inside.
How do we treat the people we call friends?
Are we delighted when they announce to us what they have achieved?
Do we quickly change our behavior to show that we are happy about them?
Answer truthfully or take your “antidote” (see the last quote).
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. ~ Fredrix Nietzsche.
We have the natural tendency to correlate firmly held beliefs with who we are. As a result, we dread to challenge the convictions because if we do and find that they are not so well based as we thought, a part of us will die. We tend to read books that match most of our core beliefs. When we are in a conversation with a colleague or a friend we want to get validation for our own views about the world.
By forming a wall around us that will repel different opinions and ways of thinking, we stop the slightest form of challenge. As the intensity of our core beliefs rises, we march deeper into the “conviction bias.”
A lie is rather harmless next to a conviction because the lier secretly acknowledges the deception. On the other hand, people with convictions might sometimes feel unstable deep down, because they are not 100% sure, but still they are going to defend their beliefs to the last breath.
It is the privilege of greatness to grant supreme pleasure through trifling gifts. ~ Fredrix Nietzsche.
Human beings are constantly looking for a way forward. Any significant achievement becomes small once we conquer it. Our time for celebrating successes comes to a Friday night when we buy our friends the next round of shots, or we take out our family for dinner. The next day we fix our minds into the next goal and life goes on. Of course, this strategy consists of numerous advantages. This “thirst for more” is a fundamental factor in our personal as well as global progress, but getting such great momentum sometimes diminishes the small daily tasks we carry out.
Every action becomes a means to an end. Small gifts that “stand in our way” of achieving the desired outcome.
We don’t walk, but we “go to the supermarket/bank, etc. to get something done.”
We don’t drive, but we “race our way to work.”
We don’t relax on the sofa, but we “entertain our selves with TV and Netflix.”
Taking a step back and enjoy the small actions we take is easier said(or write an article about it) than done.
Often, other people’s vicious talk about us is not actually aimed at us but expresses their annoyance or ill humor arising from quite different reasons. ~ Fredrix Nietzsche
In the book “The four agreements” the author Don Miguel Ruiz explains that each person projects it’s own world into others; thus we don’t need to take things personally.
Robert Green in his book “The Laws of Human Nature,” invites us to realize how self-absorbed we are most of the times. We might not express it verbally, but we move and speak as the whole world move around us. As a result, we are prone to taking things more personally than they really are.
Note: If you read this quote for the first time, you might consider that you have to be nice to everyone who “had a bad day” or other worries. Save your time and don’t trespass your own self in order to please others.
No one dies of fatal truths nowadays: there are too many antidotes. ~ Fredrix Nietzsche
Providing ourselves with excuses is one of the best antidotes. Explanations about why we failed at a relationship, a job or a goal we placed, is the perfect pat on the back we need the time of failure. The problem is that the truth will come to the surface with twice the (emotional) force we tried to bury it.
The majority of the times we are about to face the truth we think that we can’t handle the emotional baggage that comes with it. Essentially because our brain is very good at noticing the immediate threat and amateur at seeing future problems that may come up. As a result, we prefer to quickly hide the truth with a plausible lie and deal with the “bad” emotions later.
These emotions are not “bad,” but the exact opposite. They take the role of a ringing bell that tries to warn us, and for better or for worse we possess several “antidotes” to silence it.
- Man Alone with Himself
- The Four Agreements
- The Laws of Human Nature