The Only Proof of Strength…

Nietzsche, philosophy, strength of will, perseverance, willpower

Check out my related article, Meditation & Balance

How do you know whether you are strong enough to accomplish something, whether you possess the requisite strength? How do you know what you are capable of?

People realize themselves, their powers, capabilities, and skills in the world. We only know we can do something once we do it. Having a goal, an idea, is only part of the battle…to achieve our goal, to realize our idea, we must also possess the will to persevere, to overcome the inevitable resistance we will encounter, to persist in the face of unexpected changes and obstacles.

“The only proof of strength is an excess of strength.”


Nietzsche tells us that the “only proof of strength is an excess of strength.” Our strength, our (will) power, is realized in the world, is known when it is tested. When we overcome obstacles and challenges, when we achieve our goals, when we discover what we are capable of, we feel a greater sense of strength, of vitality. A proof of strength entails demonstrating our fortitude, our ability to face the obstacles before us and persevere.

Nietzsche regularly makes important connections between our strength, will power, and our mental fortitude, our attitude, and our physical capabilities. In contrast, someone who is weak, who feels powerless, may try to do this or that, but will ultimately fail because they are not equipped to overcome the resistance they meet. Strength is only proven, then, when a person actually succeeds in realizing some goal or achieving some end. Doing so, they prove their strength by literally demonstrating it in the world. In other words, it is only through success, through achievements and activity, that we prove our strength.

Success is the only proof that someone has the will to succeed, the power and skills to accomplish something, to persevere even in the face of difficulties and obstacles. We often sense when our reserves are low, when stress, anxiety, and pressure threaten to derail our success and forward momentum. We also are aware when we have more than enough strength, more than enough mental fortitude and high spirits to overcome the obstacles before us.

Nietzsche, willpower, perseverance, strength, proof of strength, philosophy

“Nothing gets done without a dose of high spirits.”


Strength, for Nietzsche, is not simply physical prowess, but strength in the sense of mental strength, purpose, and drive. Strength and attitude are closely connected. As Nietzsche points out, “Nothing gets done without a dose of high spirits.” When we are positive, possess self-confidence, and have a clear goal, we approach our goals with energy and are willing to persist even in the face of difficulties.

Thanks for reading.

Please check out my related articles: Lessons Learned from Ancient Cultures, A Formula for Happiness, The Habit of Thinking, Creating Opportunities, Comparisons & Mistakes We Make, Note to Self, Perspective—In Pursuit of Truth, Developing a Positive Mindset, The Authentic Life – To be an outsider, and Living Underground.

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