The importance of the ubermensch philosophy for life’s fulfillment from a 20-year-old’s perspective

Frederick Nietzsche

The ubermensch is one of the most prominent concepts described by German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche. It entails the idea that within society where most people follow the same mediocrity in terms of thoughts, lifestyles, rules and beliefs, there are only a handful of people known as the ubermensch (or supermen/overmen in English) who are able to look past current standards and challenge/change them for themselves or for everyone within society. It goes into better detail here, but this should give you a general idea.

While I’m not a philosophy student, nor a classical literature expert (I guess I’ve read a handful now), I do challenge current beliefs in our society and try to come up with a custom philosophy that works within my life that will let me live to my fullest potential. While I’ve followed a lot of stoicism, come from a catholic background, always looked into self-help such as 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Nietzsche’s idea of the ubermensch is the closest thing I’ve found to a philosophy I can believe in. The idea that there is no right or wrong, that society at the end of the day was created by humans and therefore is not perfect, that the hedonistic treadmill of materialistic possessions and self-improvement make you a slave to misery, and the only real way to be free is to accept that you can’t always control everything and that you are everything you need to be right now.

With this understanding, I’ve been able to unlock more confidence in my life, from my entrepreneurial activities to personal confidence in choosing larger goals. While I believe Nietzsche’s ubermensch idea was to throw away and challenge all aspects of society, I believe that by following ubermensch characteristics and playing to current societal rules you can in fact change society for the better. While Fight Club’s exploration of ubermensch meant bringing down the current structure of society by hitting controlling establishments such as banks etc. (more info here), I believe that we can follow the ubermensch ideology to steer society gently in the right direction, similar to adjusting the rudder on a sailing boat.

While I’m in no position of power at the moment to have any sort of impact on society, when I reach such a point of power and influence, I hope to make changes to society by adding life schooling. By teaching the next generations of the importance of love for one another, breaking down the idea of nations and promoting the idea of a united world under which no one is ruled by the natural scarcity mindset and our animal instincts (the reason society is so greedy), but by the mindset of internal fulfillment, societal progress, and understanding, the next generations will slowly change the world for the better. This transformation of natural urges and animal instincts that humans display into a higher activity is mentioned in the Stanford essay (link here) that dissects Nietzche’s perspective on the ubermensch, “He disagrees on inhibiting and thwarting human own nature. Rather, an overman must accept his own nature and divert the energy of primitive impulses into a culturally, higher or socially more acceptable, activity”.

It would be unrealistic for me to think that we could unite nations in our generation or the one that follows us, but a few generations down that are taught by life schools may be mature enough to make that leap in humanity. As humans, we have always thrived upon collaboration, from science and space exploration to survival back in the primitive days. We need to continue to promote and scale collaboration internationally, with the current limits being the individual interests of countries, which often halt collaboration in favor of advantages over one another. Competitiveness will continue to exist even upon unity, but in a form that the most impactful people of the past generations have perceived it, which is that competitiveness is a positive factor that encourages progress, rather than a risk or problem to be afraid of.

Then again, I’m just a 20-year-old philosophizing how to live my life to the fullest and how to have the biggest positive impact on society, learning from the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve spoken to, perhaps my mind will change in the future. Once I find that one main answer/philosophy to living a fulfilling life, I’ll write a book and let you know.

Jakub Lenski 2021

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Documenting my learnings that prioritize life fulfillment and societal progress.

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Jakub Lenski

Jakub Lenski

Documenting my learnings that prioritize life fulfillment and societal progress.

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