NIETZSCHE • Friction

German Philosopher | 1844-1900  | Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’s major ideas included Übermensch and Will to Power. His cultural critique significantly influenced modern thought.

Think outside the box. We default to conventional ideas because it is easy; there’s no exerting extra mental energy. But practicing innovative thinking will open new doors in life.

Being creative requires a healthy friction between conventional and unconventional; being rational and irrational; a mix of opposites.

A main theme in Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy is the fusion of Dionysian and Apollonian Kunsttrieben (“artistic impulses”). Apollo represents clarity and logic, whereas Dionysus represents disorder, intoxication, and emotion. Both forces were fundamental for birthing new ideas. He writes:

“. . . that the continuous development of art is bound up with the duplexity of the Apollonian and the Dionysian: just as procreation depends upon the duality of male and female; a perpetual conflict with periodically intervening reconciliations.”

To think outside the box, let your mind play with the clash of polar ideas. Play devil’s advocate with yourself. Make connections between new knowledge and what you already know. Put yourself in your competitor’s shoes; imagine yourself in a different industry.