How does one achieve greatness? Is it something within? Something achieved? Does it have anything to do with writing the word “one” in the third person, like I did in the first sentence? Did I use the term “third person” correctly? I’m not sure if that first sentence was a great sentence. But it was definitely a greater sounding sentence than had I simply written, “How do you achieve greatness?” Because, you? You who? But one? Yes. One. Everyone. Two?
I’m getting distracted. I’m distracting myself from matters of greatness. Perhaps I don’t always achieve greatness. Perhaps I’ve never achieved it. But I always strive for it. Every time I do anything, I’m always thinking, OK Rob, you’ve done it, but was it great? Could it have been done in a greater way?
Like this blog post. I already talked about how I used the word one in that fancy sounding way. Did you notice how I started two sentences with the word perhaps? Perhaps you did. That definitely sounded a lot greater than just writing “maybe,” which is what I would have done had I just spoken it to you. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word perhaps out loud. But maybe I should. Maybe that’s why … I’m sorry, I mean excuse me. Perhaps that’s why nobody’s ever commented on … OK, let me start over. Perhaps that’s why one does not comment on my speaking as being great.
Shall I continue? It’s not as simple as just writing out these great sounding words. Great sounding words do not great writing make. That was a great sentence. I think. Now that I’m reading it back it just kind of sounds like something Yoda might say. But Yoda was a pretty great character. I’m lost.
And just because one strives for greatness, let’s say one tries, but fails. Is there any virtue in trying to achieve what is great? Yes? Well then is virtue great? Yes? OK, so what I’ve basically concluded is that all you have to do, if you want to even just give off the impression of greatness, is to try. And so all I have to do to come across as great, or greatish, is just to make a face of determination, of struggling. Or at least to attempt to make one.
One does not simply act great. Well, I guess you could just act great. Like if you were a really great actor. And then you’re acting like somebody great, in a really great way. Great acting about somebody great. Like Lincoln. Man, do you know that Daniel Day Lewis actually grew out a real Lincoln beard for the Lincoln movie? OK, that was a great beard. That was a great movie. I’m just thinking about that movie, great director, great lead actor, great President, and I’m reevaluating most of everything that I’ve already said about greatness. You know what, just forget it, everything. You want to know about greatness? Go see Lincoln. Go grow out your own great Lincoln beard. Talk in a high voice. If you already talk in a high voice, talk in a higher voice, or, talk in a much lower voice, and when people ask you why you’re talking like that, explain to them that, a hundred and fifty years from now, nobody’s going to remember how you really sounded, and so …
Wait, but there’s all of this recording hardware everywhere, cell phones, Facebook. Everybody’s going to know exactly how you talked. OK, so it’s probably too late for you, but for your kids, raise them, train them so that every time they’re being recorded, on a phone, on TV, have them talk in some ridiculously deep voice, something so far outside how they normally talk. If they grow up to be President, even better. And then a hundred and fifty years after they die, somebody will come around and make a movie about them, and they’ll hire Daniel Day Lewis’s great-grandson to star as the lead, and he’ll talk in their real voice, like outside the recordings, how they really were in real life. And everybody will ask him, “How did you know? What made you think that’s how he really talked?”
And he’ll just be like, “I’m a great actor. If you’re a great actor you just know greatness. Besides, he’s clearly just talking in a really fake deep voice. I just imagined what he would sound like if he were talking regularly.”