What Does Not Kill You, Makes You Stronger: Meaning and My Take

scene of the dark knight movie joker clapping

These words from Friedrich Nietzsche have inspired many of us over the years – and like a perfectly-aged whiskey, they have only gotten better.

The times that we find ourselves in today amid the COVID-19 crisis, these words are more powerful than ever before : What does not kill you, makes you stronger.

Here, let me ask you a question: what did your life  look like just two weeks ago? And what does it look like right now?

Maybe a couple of weeks ago, you went for dinner at a fancy restaurant, attended a work party or were out there vacationing with no care in the world.

Today’s picture is not that, regardless of where you are in the world.

If you do not live under a rock, you probably are constantly hooked to news channels, looking at statistics, gleaning off every little piece of information about Coronavirus that you can find, pretty much like a trader hooked to a Bloomberg screen.

You want to know how the situation is going to evolve so you can make decisions. You want to be in the know. Knowledge is power. Isn’t it?

You want to be able to control, and there is nothing wrong in that. After all, it has been scientifically proven through numerous studies that humans that feel they are in control are happier than those that are not (I humbly invite you to read Stumbling upon Happiness).

And the loss of control on your life right now is unsettling. It is scary. It is okay to feel scared, angry or sad (and one of those bad days, all of those three things at once).

However, the key is to NOT dwell on those emotions.

After all, how much worse could it have been that it’s not already?

You might think that you have hit absolute rock bottom. But think again.

You are still breathing.

You still have people in your life that you love and can count on. You can still listen to your favorite music, read your favorite books and continue on with your Netflix marathons.

If anything, technology has ensured that you can still keep in touch with them. You have an entire planet with people experiencing almost the same scary emotions as you. This you can be absolutely sure of. There are millions of people out there feeling the same emotions.

You are not alone.

Yes, life could have been better. And it will be. But we have time from now until then and the quality of this time that we spend is directly proportional to our willingness to put a positive spin to our circumstances right now.

Yes, we are on house arrest, longer than we would want to be.

But, I want to draw your attention to the perks it brings – wearing pyjamas to work EVERYDAY, not having to take a bath everyday (how awesome is that!), watch two movies a day, go on a ‘Call of Duty’ mission on your computer, listen to music while working… the list can be as long as we want it to be.

We are the choices we make.

And lucky for us, Corona or not, we still call the shots.

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