Entrepreneurship and Nietzsche: Embracing the “How” by Discovering the “Why”

The following was written by Cliff Pittman, an ultra running coach and a friend of mine. I am sharing it with you with his permission. It was written about ultra running but it applies equally to the world of entrepreneurship and I think it eloquently states what I have felt many times and I thought you might be able to relate.

As I struggle through a tough season in life, I’m reminded of the profound words of Friedrich Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

This resonates deeply with the essence of ultrarunning too. Our extreme sport is more than just a physical challenge; it’s a mental expedition, a journey of discovering your ‘why’. It’s this ‘why’ that fuels us through miles of rugged trails, pushes us up hills and mountains, and keeps our legs moving when our bodies scream for us to stop. Often, the answers we find in these difficult moments can give us insight into how to endure our challenging seasons in life as well. In every long run, every race, every step, we’re not just running on trails; we’re running through the contours of our inner landscapes. We’re exploring what makes us keep going, what gives us strength, and what we’re truly capable of. To not observe and evaluate these parallel experiences is a critical missed opportunity for growth as runners and human beings. Something I continue to explore.

Cliff Pittman, UESCA Certified Ultrarunning Coach

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