Donald Trump won the presidential election with the meaningless slogan, make America great again. I say that it’s a meaningless slogan because America isn’t an actual thing, it only exists in our head. America cannot reason, think, or act. Only individuals can. But this is America and the people composing the public schooling systems have taught several generations that fiction is fact (and in fairness to the people composing the public schooling system, the United States public schooling system isn’t the first nor will it likely be the last to do this).
Instead of following meaningless slogans, I propose following a meaningful one, make yourself great again. How do you do this? First, focus on yourself. Self-interest is often seen as a bad characteristic. A lot of people like to claim that it’s greedy. Instead they say everybody should be focused on “the greater good.”
This is probably why so many people get sucked into the fiction of collectives. They forgo self-interest because they don’t want to be seen as greedy and instead focus on “the greater good.” Of course, “the greater good” is usually defined by other people. Let’s again consider the slogan, make American great again. What did making American great again involve? Voting for Donald Trump. However, that didn’t make American great since America is a fiction. That didn’t make you great either since you’re not one of the individuals who achieved victory. Donald Trump won the election. Those directly connected to him were gifted various things by him. You didn’t gain anything. Your life remains unchanged because your efforts went to somebody else instead of yourself. If you want to make yourself great, you need to focus on yourself.
Second, define great. My definition of greatness is complex and always changing, however, I include a constant drive to improve myself physically and mentally in my definition. I workout and study almost every day. My goal when I wake up is to be stronger and smarter by the time I go to bed. Only you can define what is great for you. I do suggest setting a few goals though since goals give you something concrete to strive for and thus provide you a mechanism of judging progress.
Third, pursue your definition of great. This is the part most people have difficulty with. Pursuing your definition of great will likely require discipline so your first goal may very well be to develop discipline.
Pursuing goals given to you by others won’t make you great because those goals were never meant to make you great, they were meant to improve the greatness of whoever gave you those goals. Pursuing your own goals at least has the chance of making you great (while it’s always possible to fail to achieve a goal, your chances of achieving it are far greater if you’re actually pursuing it). So consider tossing off the make believe shackles of collectivism. Forget about “the greater good.” Be selfish.