The Only Affirmation You Truly Need

In this post, I’ll show you how to say yes to life, entirely. There is only one affirmation you truly need.

“To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy. Everything else…is child’s play; we must first of all answer the question.” — Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

The boldness of Camus. Not fucking around. Should I commit suicide? Or should I have a cup of tea?

Wake up on a Monday, especially after a long weekend, and the answer’s more inclined towards the negative. You’re unsure, you feel groggy and sad. Plus you have to deal with that annoying person at work throughout the entire day. Life does not feel like a celebration. It feels like a long, monotonous drag. 

Why say yes? How do you answer the ultimate question? 

Nietzche: 

“If we affirm one single moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all existence…if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event — and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.” — Nietzsche, The Will to Power

For him, one single moment sufficed. 

One single moment. It is true that most likely you are not just going to have one, but many. Especially if you work in decreasing the sad moments as much as possible. Maybe instead of drinking during the weekends, you could go for a run? 

Affirmations are weakly ‘wants’ of the ultimate affirmation

Let’s look at some of the affirmations I found on the internet: 

1.) I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.

2.) Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.

3.) My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.

Wow, feeling better already architect? 

Today, I’m brimming with energy, and overflowing with joy. Haha, come on, this is just funny. Do you want to know how you can feel full of energy and overflowing with joy? I’ll tell you. You change your diet, you exercise, you sleep well, you put your life in order. Do that, and you won’t need the affirmation, you’ll naturally be energetic and joyous in the morning. 

Where do I want to get with this? 

Let’s keep things simple. 

You can say all the affirmations you want, but as long as you do this, you’ll just be evading the only true question. Yes or no? 

That’s it. 

Why answer Yes? For Nietzche, all that was needed was one moment. ‘And in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.’

How many of these single life-affirming moments have you had? How much more do you think you’re going to have? Are they enough to counter arrest the suffering and the struggle?

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Struggle and affirmation

I know, life can be really hard sometimes. Our loved ones die. Epidemics crush entire economic systems and you suddenly find yourself without a job, not to mention the endless stream of apparently insurmountable problems that we face as a society.

The struggle is real, no one said it wasn’t.

It is also part, however, of what makes life great because, without it, there’d be no possibility for the greatness of soul and character to be practiced. 

You have to realize that you are a hero. In your own weird way, we all are. For a hero to be a hero, he needs to experience great joys, great defeats, and massive ups and downs. A hero is nothing without his story.

“What would have become of Hercules do you think if there had been no lion, hydra, stag or boar — and no savage criminals to rid the world of? What would he have done in the absence of such challenges?

Obviously he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep. So by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort he never would have developed into the mighty Hercules.

And even if he had, what good would it have done him? What would have been the use of those arms, that physique, and that noble soul, without crises or conditions to stir into him action?” — Epictetus, The Discourses

Do you imagine Hercules reciting in his mirror? 

  • I am a great warrior
  • I am confident I will push through my tests.

The only affirmation you truly need really is a confident Yes. Yes to the good, yes to the bad, yes to the boring, just a yes. 

Yes because your story could be great. Yes because you want to see it to the very end. Yes because you’re making it and creating it. Yes because you are Achilles, you’re Hercules, you’re the Cid Campeador, and you’re soul is too great, too grand, and you want to experience every second of it while it lasts. 

Yes, for the simple reason that this whole thing we’re experiencing is awe-inspiring. For me, awe is all I need, and I get to experience it everyday.

Yes because of the possibilities. 

Imagine. The things you’ll see, the eyes you’ll lock into for the first time and the last time. The photos you’re going to take. The people. The possibilities. 

Life gets easier when your head isn’t cumbered by indecision. Wondering whether you should act or not. 

The only affirmation you’ll ever need? 

YES. 

Thanks for reading, 

Ricardo 

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