The upside of becoming yourself:
Increased joy, self confidence, and motivation to live!
I wanna be me!
Truth be told, everyone is trying to change you into becoming something else. This is because of religion, politics, and certain national values. Every collective group doesn’t want you to become an individual. Every collective group wants you to become an obedient sheep.
Why become you?
Part of it is to respect yourself, admire yourself, and also show gratitude towards those who helped form you, and those who helped you get to where you are now.
By trying to change your personality — you are essentially weakening yourself. It is like trying to re-route a river — tons of force wasted. Instead, better to continue to AUGMENT yourself and your own personality. To take the “bad” parts of your character and to continue to augment them to the zenith and max.
America as the least bad place to breed and cultivate individualism
Out of all the countries I’ve been to, it seems America is the best (or the least bad) place to cultivate individuals.
For example, in the UK there is the “tall poppy syndrome”— when an individual soars higher than others, others try to cut you down.
In Western Europe, there seems to be a general malaise of stagnation and pessimism.
In Scandinavian countries, everyone is generally doing pretty well and is “happy”, but the structure of society is optimized to make lots of average happy people, not a few great individuals.
Asia is interesting — because there is a push towards cultivating great individuals. But the problem is that they want to breed individuals for the sake of the family and collective. But at least the good thing about Asian Confucian society is that there is a belief that if an individual works hard enough, an individual can become truly great.
Being a Korean-American, I feel I’m in a unique spot. Korean culture doesn’t believe in predestination — which means, your fate isn’t decided before you were born. Korean culture believes in 100% free will: all of your successes (and failures) are dependent upon you — your effort, industry, hard work, and cleverness.
In praise of American culture
With American culture, we also believe in the American dream, and meritocracy (the harder you work, and the more merit, you will be rewarded). And for the most part, the American system is actually quite good. Assuming you study hard in high school and get into a good college, and assuming you study law, become a doctor, or study computer science, upward mobility is real. Now the question is:
How much upward mobility is possible within a single generation?
The American Dream is real and achievable, but the question is more:
To what degree is the American Dream possible for an individual?
Possible vs likely vs probability
I am a prime example of the American Dream. I have proven to myself that the American Dream is possible. Now what I’m more interested is this:
How can we create more interesting, unique, and great individuals?
I want to think beyond money (the most basic goal). I want to think beyond “creature comforts”. I’m interested in helping train individuals to maximize their human potential — to create great individuals to produce much thoughts, ideas, and artworks. To empower themselves, and to “domino effect” their inspiration and motivation to others.
You can push the human race forward!
The great optimistic thought:
You as a single individual can move the earth.
You got the power of the internet and modern technologies. You can augment your voice and abilities 1000x. Your ideas and artwork is infinitely scaleable, and there are no laws of physics holding you back.
I believe all individuals in the world have a unique contribution they can give to humanity.
You’re great. Share your greatness with others.