top of page

What does greatness mean, and how do we get there?

“Every great man is an actor of his own ideal.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

Nietzche is known to be that radical philosopher who infamously said "God is dead," a commonly misquoted statement of his.

He wasn't saying that God Almighty himself is dead, but rather, that we act as if He is dead because how immoral and unethical humanity has become.

I know, it's quite a negative statement, but it's striking.

Is there a way to change society to function in a way which shows that God isn't figuratively dead, but rather, alive and well?

While religion can greatly play an overwhelming part in this, I will only touch on it in this article.

I will mainly focus on how an individual can make the change.

Here's how:

I'll begin with some scripture (it'll make sense later).

God Almighty says in the Quran, Islam's Holy text, "God Almighty will not change the condition of a people till they change (the condition) within themselves." (13:11)

This is a famous verse in the Quran, often quoted by Muslim speakers to motivate people to better themselves individually, and that's exactly what I'm alluding to: self-development

Nietzche was alluding to a time where God was figuratively alive through how people conducted themselves (He knows God is alive and well, regardless of people's level of morality) in ways which would benefit themselves and others.

A time where people were simply good people because they did what was right, or at least, what they thought was the best possible way to live.

Thus, their condition was collectively a good one. Life was good. People were well, and relative positivity was in the air.

But how was this a collective success? Well, Nietzche answers this question when he said in his book Beyond Good and Evil "Every great man is an actor of his own ideal."

Pause for a second and ponder on those powerful words.

To be a great person (assuming your ideal great person is a morally upright person), is to live up to your ideals forthrightly and with steadfastness.

Many people like to complain about all the different ways the world could be better.

Have they ever thought that maybe they're doing something so stupid that if they just change that one thing, the world would be a better place because they have become a better person?

It all goes down to doing your part.

Before we complain about how the world isn't to our positive ideals, have we ever pondered about what is inside us that isn't living up to our ideal self?

Essentially, in order to make the world a better place, become great. Here at The Dreamer’s Alchemy, we stress this in almost every article we publish.

On greatness, Nietszche said in Beyond Good and Evil it is to "be noble, wanting to be by oneself, being able to be different, standing alone and having to live independently."

Be great.

And how do you be great? You live up to your ideals. If you live up to them, you will have made the world a better place, because there is now one more person becoming better, and one less person becoming worse.

Pursue Alchemy


bottom of page