German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, said the formula for human greatness is Amor Fati, which in Latin means “love of fate”. It is a mindset that he stated, “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.” In other words, loving your circumstances even if it’s not what you had hoped for.
Another way Nietzsche defines it, “I am in a mood of fatalistic ‘surrender to God’ ⎯ I call it amor fati, so much so, that I would be willing to rush into a lion’s jaws’.”
What an incredibly difficult task to love fate. To not wish things happened differently but accept and embrace exactly how things have unfolded. To not regret and lament on past errors. To Hope things would’ve happened differently is a huge waste of time and causes mental anguish.
With the adversity and problems all of us face in our lives, at times it is hard to accept. I believe Nietzsche challenges us to love fate in order for us to see the positives, the benefits not expected as a result of those challenges, and to not dwell on past mistakes. It’s not always clear, evident, or easy but if you can extract every possible benefit you can from any life event you will be as resilient as they come. You will discover peace despite difficult circumstances. To do this you need an attitude of amor fati.
Amor fati is a mindset to help you make the most out of any situation. It will help you direct your focus away from the loss, pain and suffering towards the areas that can have a real impact or purpose. As challenging as this attitude may seem, just think of the opposite attitude, a hate of fate. You are guaranteed a life of misery with that attitude.
I have seen amor fati play out in my life in many different ways. Instead of spending my time wishing things were different I created a foundation to try to make a difference. It has given me a purpose. Our annual fundraiser is February 12th so better buy your ticket quickly! Also, when most people focus on what I have lost as a result of my injury I choose to see my fantastic wheelchair perks!
- No standing in long lines. My legs will never get tired. 🤷♂️
- I always have a seat for every ballgame or picnic. 🦽
- I’m less likely to be kidnapped. Good luck getting me in a vehicle or basement. 🙅♂️
- Front row parking. There’s a lot of competition in Florida though. ♿️
- Can never lose a game of musical chairs. 🧑🦽
We can always find something to appreciate about our life as long as we have the will to see it. Hardships will happen and while the good may never outweigh the bad we can do our best to not simply embrace it but love it. Use amor fati to protect you from the many casualties of life.