sorry Nietzsche, I’m with Dwight

What%20does%20not%20kill%20you_2C%20makes%20you%20stronger (2)

We’ve all heard the quote, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, coined by Fredrich Nietzche sometime in the late 1800’s. Many of us have uttered these words during challenging times in our lives. Some find the sentiment so profound they even tattoo it on their skin as a constant reminder.

What does it mean though?

Do we have to face hardships, pain, strife, or struggles of the physical, emotional or financial sort in order to tap into some magical inner source of fortitude and strength? Must we hit the depths in order to find out ‘what we’re made of’?

Or does Dwight have it right?


If that strength is in us to begin with, why must something nearly kill us in order for us to find it? Why can’t we simply uncover and tap into this strength through doing, thinking, and being positive, healthy, happy?

I recently saw another quote that said:

“Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.”

Okay, so now we may be onto something.

It’s perhaps less about something nearly killing us to show us how much strength (and good?) we have inside us; and maybe more about looking at who we are and how we are both in good times and in bad.

While I may not have everything, I know I have more than most. And for that I am immensely grateful.

I have my health, an amazing family, beautiful friends who enrich my life, and more stuff than I know what to do with. Above all this though, I know I am loved.

So, while I may not have everything, I have so very much. And I hope that my attitude reflects how fortunate I feel, even during the difficult moments that make me feel more Nietzsche-esque.

At the end of the day, I think the best any of us can do is to try to live a life we will be able to look back on, years from now, and feel proud of. And I hope that the strength we acquire along the way doesn’t leave too many battle scars.

Get moving.

xoxo nancy

6 thoughts on “sorry Nietzsche, I’m with Dwight

  1. Nancy,

    I really like your thoughts on this subject of becoming stronger. Something I learned in a leadership class is that when you find a problem, or find yourself in a problem, just don’t point it out or complain about it hoping someone else will fix it, but find a possible solution and present it at the same time the problem is discussed (many refer to this as proactive instead of reactive). Then offer to help resolve the issue and during the process you become stronger and learn more about yourself.

    Have a great day!

  2. I’m doing some back tracking on your blog. Mostly because I love what you have to say and I’m fairly certain I’ll find that we have more in common.

    “It’s perhaps less about something nearly killing us to show us how much strength (and good?) we have inside us; and maybe more about looking at who we are and how we are both in good times and in bad.”

    I’m deep in this quote today. I’m actually facing some pretty big challenges in my near future. Not “bad” times. Just not easy. But I’m strangely so excited because I think I’m going to get pushed around a little by life. I’ll get bruises probably. Maybe even break something.

    But holy shit, I’m in it. I’m alive. I’m better than alive. I’m healthy and “young” and full of fire for all things beautiful. I don’t doubt that life can knock it out of me but not without a fight. And by “fight” I mean being intentional about not letting it get me down. No bitterness. Just the strength we find in love – for ourselves and the people who love us (oh hell, and even people who don’t love us…).

    I almost welcome the “bad” times because I want to see who I am when there’s not much to fall back on. It will make the “good” times so much sweeter.

    Uh…guess I just went off there, didn’t I?

    Thank you for writing what is on your heart. I think you have a real gift for writing and motivation in a no bullshit kind of way. You don’t pull punches. You are funny. And loving. A sweet sound amid the noise of the internet. Super inspirational.

    When I had a pinterest account, this one was one of my favorites (made me think of you):


    • First off, thank you for that Pin — I love it!! And re: your upcoming challenges, what a fantastic attitude, and very much in line with your conscious decision not to ‘take the easy way out’. For me, taking the easy way out was in the form of blaming others for my shit. Yeah, sometimes bad shit happens to good people. Sometimes life is unfair. It is what it is. What defines us is our attitude in those bad times, and maybe even more in the way we behave in the good times. It’s late, and after another 14 hour drive day, so I’m rambling and may not be making sense. Your comment was very personal and deserved a prompt response – even though I’m barely coherent at the moment. 🙂 I may come back to this one once I’m settled (and caught up on sleep) in Vegas. Good luck in the next few days, if the drama/challenges hit soon. Thinking of you.

    • I just re-read your comment (with the benefit of sleep), and I want to thank you again for sharing. Thank you, too, for the supremely kind words about my writing. It means more than you know to get that positive affirmation.

      You are alive, healthy, young and full of fire, Ginny. And I have zero doubt that you’ll take on whatever shit life throws your way, with a smile, with grace and with dignity.

      Cheers to you – Goddess of truth and simplicity.

      • No worries on a sleep-deprived response. I felt the love. Happy to know you made it to your destination safe and sound.

        Glad you liked the pin. 🙂 I think about it while running sometimes, actually. Somehow the word “motherfucker” makes me feel like a bad ass.

        Thank you for your vote of confidence.

        “whatever shit life throws your way, with a smile, with grace and with dignity’ I’m going to own this; carry it with me and when/if the shit really hits the fan, I’ll do just that. In this way, it’s all good. Really. I’m at peace. It helps to know that you are out there, rooting for me.

        From one goddess to another…cheers! 🙂

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