21 Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes That’ll Change The Way You Think

Friedrich Nietzsche was an influential German philosopher, widely known for his unconventional ideas about morality and religion.

Although his ideas were controversial among the traditional thinkers, he showed people the true nature of life and how individuals can shape their future with independent thought. No matter how young, rich, or happy you are, Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy will have a lasting impact on your mind.

Here are the 21 greatest Friedrich Nietzsche quotes to change your life for the better:

Friedrich Nietzsche quotes

1.  That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

If you think life is hard, keep going. Don’t seek an easy life, seek strength. Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy often stresses the fact that one must be fearless, take risks, and face adversities to get the fruits of life. Because there’s no greatness without pain and sacrifice.

2. He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

To fight terrorism, soldiers have to become ruthless themselves. Similarly, if you face adversity in life, make sure it doesn’t make you heartless and cold, unable to show kindness toward the weak.

Friedrich Nietzsche quotes

3. He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

If you have an incredibly meaningful purpose, you won’t give up no matter how tough it gets. Purpose gives us meaning and stirs our emotions. And when our emotions are stirred, we have endless energy. Among all Friedrich Nietzsche quotes, this one stands apart.

4. In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.

Individuals often know how life works and what the truth really is. But tragedy happens when a large number of people believe the lies. For example, a large number of people buy products sold by corporations that have no regard for the health of their customers.

5. How little it takes to make us happy! The sound of a bagpipe. Without music, life would be a mistake. The German even imagines God as singing songs.

People often chase money and things, when all it takes to be happy is music and a good company. It’s not bad to be materialistic, but it’s bad to use it as the only way to happiness.

6. One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

Everyone has fears, doubts, and anxieties. But it is out of the same darkness that they create something new and extraordinary. So don’t hate your darkness, accept it, and work with it.

7. You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

There is no golden way to success. Something may work for your friend, but not for you. You need to learn from your mistakes and trust your gut, to create your own path. This is one of the greatest Friedrich Nietzsche quotes as it shows that there is no secret ingredient to success.

8. There are no facts, only interpretations.

You don’t need to know the big truths of life, but you need to know the truths that apply to you. It is important to learn about life from our own perspective and know that there’s nothing as the absolute truth.

9. The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

If you cannot expand your mind and listen to people who think differently from you, you’ll never grow. It’s important to listen to new opinions and take new experiences so that we can become better.

10. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

People often become unrealistic in love, conjuring dreamy scenarios of romance in their minds. But at the same time, everyone loves the same madness no matter how silly it seems. This is one of the best Friedrich Nietzsche quotes, because it shows how important craziness is if you want to feel the beauty of love.

11. Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truths than lies. 

Keeping firm opinion about something means that you aren’t willing to change and expand. But change is the nature of life, so always question things and expect them to change over time.

12. And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.

In life, some people will love your work and your creativity, and others will hate it. Just because some can’t see your light doesn’t mean you should stop shining.

13. The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.

Safety is the biggest illusion sold by people who never lived it in the first place. You need to take risks and get out of your shell to live an extraordinary life. Meet new people, travel to new places, try new and bizarre ideas in your work, relationships, and physique – because it’s an absolute pleasure to create something entirely new.

14. Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings-always darker, emptier and simpler.

A thought is like the tip of the iceberg. If you want to see the truth, dig deeper. Your emotions reveal much more than thoughts, they form your life experiences and give meaning to them.

15. No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.

Everybody wants to find the magic pill for success. The truth is that it doesn’t exist. You need to build your own path by making mistakes and relying on your intuition.

16. He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.

Learn how to control your mind and discipline yourself, or the world will do it for you. There are plenty of people who have great talents but turn out average because they don’t have the determination to create something great.

17. A sedentary life is the real sin against the Holy Spirit. Only those thoughts that come by walking have any value.

Humans were never made to sit all day and use technology. Scientific research has revealed that walking improves human creativity by 60 percent [1]. Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy reveals the true nature of how our mind works, so walk more and you’ll have a great mind.

18. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. 

Don’t sell your soul by doing the work you hate for someone else. Own yourself and do what you have always wanted to do, because you live only once. Among all Friedrich Nietzsche quotes, this one really stands out as it shows nothing is worth selling your own dreams.

19. Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed. 

You can only help a person who wants to be helped. People often avoid truths because they don’t want to leave their comfort zone. But if you never face the truth, how will you ever overcome adversity and win over your fears?

20. I was in darkness, but I took three steps and found myself in paradise. The first step was a good thought, the second, a good word; and the third, a good deed.

Don’t be scared if life has been knocking you down. You just need to think right, speak right, and do right. Research done by Robert Cialdini, a psychology professor, shows that if you change your behavior, you also change how you feel. So, to feel unafraid, do what a brave person would do. The core idea is: “act and you will become”.

21. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame. How could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?

You must be willing to look at your problems, your fears, your darkness; to rise above them and become stronger. If you just keep staring at problems and keep feeling bad, you will reach nowhere. This is one of the greatest Friedrich Nietzsche quotes as it shows us that problems are not inherently bad, it is your attitude that makes them bad.

16 Responses

  1. Priyanka Gupta

    Nietzsche was indeed a great philosopher. Thank you for this great collection of his quotes and their explanations. Understanding Nietzsche is always difficult but your article made his philosophy a little simpler.

    As per his philosophy, the purpose of life is not to be happy all the time but it is to become who you are.

  2. Manuel

    Amazing how life works is much simpler that what we make it look or how is perceived by others.

  3. Robert Rockwell

    Every single interpretation of each quote is literally the most superficial reading of the material possible.
    We know, without doubt, that these do not accurately represent Nietzsche’s ideas, since the man himself warned us quite emphatically against taking his word at face value, without critical analysis.

    tl/dr: total fall

  4. Parris Waycock

    Nietzsche _ insane provoker whose provocations set the principles for fascism and worldwide death and destruction. His “herd” is alive and well and his insanities still provoke the modern world. Political, philosophical and spiritual ignorance is still the conviction driving global disruption and the demise of American democratic ideology. So much for a “Superman”. F*** Nietzsche and his quotes!

    • Thom Joyce

      Watered down useless drivel, heard out of time, in another language, by a man whose introspective Germanic babblings never helped one person including himself. Women can intuit when a man is sick. This great thinker could not find one woman that would marry him.

      • mohan

        What has marriage got to do with the person ? Are you judging a person by the amount of money, family children as the yardstick for success ?

      • susan

        haha as per usual, you loser gamma males with your predictably whiny, transparent sophomoric bombast reveal your gamma-ness so ostentatiously that everyone else is humiliated for you. You unknowingly reveal that you assume the dating game is about women’s choice, when any successful dater understands that relationships (not dates/sex) is just as much about men’s choices as it is about women’s choices. Everyone has pull according to their own value and you assume that because you are low value and surround yourself with others like you, that all other men are as well. LOL You don’t see that alpha men only choose high value alpha women in turn and reject most choices for a lifetime partner.

        Being a man who is alone doesnt necessarily mean he lost; if he is high-value, it means he could have chose to be alone.

    • Larry

      “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

      ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    • debsid

      Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.

  5. E. W. Greer

    Fascism came about on its own, and his sister cherry picked and made the will to power align more with NS propaganda for potential gain. While it’s true Nietzsches writing can easily be conveyed by any reader as intensely driving, you can’t plant blame of preconceived hatred by a charismatic mad dictator on the mans writing.
    Being the teacher of Greek philosophy at uni Nietzsche was obviously well versed and informed on democracy, so therefore the supposed demise of our democracy also isn’t on his shoulders.

    He could mean so much more than these oversimplified notions of fascism being accredited to him. The Superman isn’t an aryan goose-stepping nazi, it’s meant to be an aspiration for humanity even if never achievable, much like when he talks about Yahweh as the gathered strength of the Jewish people, their totem of power (antichrist) and leading to Jesus as making Yahweh into a weaker god, a god of the sick, a god of every wretched person, that doesn’t inspire to greatness but of pity…god is dead and we killed him. The Superman actually matches up well with the comic book hero, a man without any of the weaknesses of humanity, and is always the incorruptible beacon of what the best we could ever hope for. That’s as American as apple pie sir.

    As for claiming Nietzsche is watered down (IMO laughably inaccurate view), when you look at his contemporaries compared to his razor Sharp lack of drivel, have you never read twilight? Perhaps it never helped him but perhaps it did, how could you know? You only know it hasn’t helped you, and one day maybe it will. Would you have him appeal to you? That isn’t even philosophy’s purpose.

  6. Frank Stone

    To prove that what doesn’t’ kill you only makes you stronger, just sip a little bit of paint thinner every day.


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