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When I was little, I was obsessed with my Dad’s study room. How come he could pick up some colourful and heavy things on the shelf and lock himself in the room for the whole day? I imitated his behaviour but hardly understood a word from his accounting, economy and management books.
One day, I browsed my Dad’s treasures and found one book rather fascinating. The Life of Friedrich Nietzsche by Daniel Halévy (The Chinese translation version of that book called Friedrich Nietzsche: I’m the Sun《尼采传：我是太阳》) triggered me because that’s the only few words I could recognise at the young age. I felt highly excited like Archimedes leapt out of the bath and rushed home naked crying, “Eureka! Eureka!” I thought I found the universal truth that the Sun is this beard and weird-looking guy!
My family made fun of me about how I secretly told everyone, “do you know the Sun has a name called Ni Cai (Nietzsche’s pronunciation in Chinese)?” and how I regarded myself as a detective scientist who decodes the identity of the Sun. Silly, right? That childhood mystery followed me for ages until I learnt at school what metaphor is and who the real Nietzsche is, and apparently, there is a conventional rule to name things in our society, including the Sun.
My’ old friend’ Nietzsche didn’t fade away with my stupidity but lingered around my life and led me to dig more about him and his fellow philosophers. As Nietzsche’s saying goes, he who has a why to live can bear almost any how. I started my journey to discover my WHY, aka My Philosophy, at a very young age because I always question why I am here. Whenever I argued with my parents in my teenage years, my ‘winning’ strategy told them, “I didn’t choose to be born,” and made them have nothing to argue back.
I wrote numerous suicide notes in my diaries but never made it into action. I suffered from a constant existential crisis but never fell into mental health issues. I don’t know if I am a coward or a survivor in this life game. Now I want to share my journey with you and write down my learning. They are my guiding principle for my short life on earth. I hope you will find yours and live life on your own terms.