The video, “Nietzsche on Hardship - Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness” introduces the viewers to the philosophical theory espoused by Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche advocates the belief that individuals benefit from hardship and failure. What matters is how the failure is met and how it is used to one’s advantage. One believes that the Nietzsche’s theory can be learned and practiced in one’s life. Like Nietzsche, one should look positively on sufferings because it makes a person stronger. Often, a person’s capacities and skills are put to the test when faced with challenges. After going through these experiences, one realizes that those sufferings were necessary to make him a better person. One agrees that true happiness can be attained only after going through hardships. Success is sweeter when one had to undergo trying moments to achieve one’s dreams.
In saying that happiness does not come from escaping one’s troubles but from cultivating them and turning them to one’s advantage , Nietzsche means that one should look at the silver lining in every cloud that one experiences. An example of this is when a client is lost to a competitor. It should not be viewed as a dead end. The owner of the business should accept the fact that the client shifted to another company. What one must do is to try to market his products or services to prospective customers. The business goes on even if one loses a client. It can be turned into an advantage because one can then explore other markets for his product. Furthermore, one can also look at it as the perfect time to think of ways of improving his product and making some innovations.
Frances Lefkowitz is a person who exemplifies what Nietzsche describes as someone who escaped her troubles by cultivating them and turning them to her advantage. Lefkowitz comes from a poor family, but she realizes that in order for her to be successful, she must overcome this “inadequacy”. She did not allow herself to be bullied and looked down upon by her classmates because of her poverty. Instead, she tried her best to belong to the “gifted class” and make her mark there. Unlike Nietzsche’s theory though, Lefkowitz did not accept his “inadequacies”, but rather, she hid the truth from her schoolmates. She pretended to be someone whom she is not. Luckily for her, she is indeed gifted with the intellectual prowess that could compete with others in her school. Her realization that she too is smart like the other kids in the gifted class, made her strive harder to achieve her dreams.
Ultimately, one thinks that Lefkowitz succeeds because academically she was triumphant having been accepted in an Ivy League school despite being poor. In her own unique ways, she was able to belong to this breed of elite students. One considers though, that the major factor which made her succeed in life is when she learned to accept who she really is and not be ashamed to let her peers know about her poverty. The ability to accept the truth of who one is really and acknowledging one’s strengths and weaknesses, is a step towards success. And this is what Lefkowitz had achieved, being true to oneself. As Nietzsche advocates, what makes some lives fulfilled is the manner how failure has been met. Looking at Lefkowitz, one can say that he is the perfect example of Nietzsche’s theory stating that, that which does not kill one, makes one stronger. Lefkowitz poverty did not kill him, it made him stronger and eventually fulfilled.
Botton, Alain de. "Nietzsche on hardship - Philosophy: A guide to happiness." n.d. youtube.com. Web. 26 May 2014 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=280Ev9h_C3c>.