Why You Should Want To Be The Greater Fool
Start writing a post

Why You Should Want To Be The Greater Fool

The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This country was built on greater fools.

Why You Should Want To Be The Greater Fool
“The ‘Greater Fool’ is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy. For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their lives trying not to be the greater fool. We toss him the hot potato. We dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed.This whole country was made by greater fools.” -Sloan Sabbith, on "The Newsroom"

This quote in Aaron Sorkin’s "The Newsroom" inspired me to evaluate paramount importance of self-delusion in our society as well as our individual lives. As the quote analyzes, the greater fool is an individual with a mixture of self-delusion of ego, someone who is “deluded enough” to imagine that he can succeed where others have failed. Conventional wisdom views self-delusion as a flaw. But is it really a negative characteristic?

Let me establish that I am a skeptic. No, not a cynic, a skeptic. Skeptic René Descartes said that one thing was certain: Cogito ergo sum— I think therefore I am. Descartes’ quote highlights the importance of critical thinking in life. Contrary to popular perception that skeptics are stubborn disbelievers and cynics, skeptics are critical thinkers and strongly believe in the evidence-based approach to determine validity. However, let alone an optimist or realist, even a skeptic should try to analyze how self-delusion and ego could be lucrative. You need a lot of the "blend of self-delusion and ego" to think that you can change the world. To think that you can overcome the challenges, that individuals across decades have struggled to cope with. Most decision-making processes come down to a payoff. In this case, would you rather be a cynic and doubt your abilities or have the blend of self-delusion and ego with a shot at leaving an indelible imprint on the world?

How can delusion be advantageous for an individual if it makes you inaccurately judge your intelligence, conscientiousness, or even how attractive you look? Therefore, self-delusion is potentially beneficial in minimal amounts. Just enough, to make you keep going. Just enough, to make you persevere. Just enough, to make you think the risk is worth the reward. Most stories that inspire as well as intrigue us are stories that talk about individuals who acted against all odds. Individuals who persevered when all hope was lost and when defeat seemed inevitable. "Star Wars," "The Lord of the Rings," "The Wolf of Wall Street," and myriad others are all stories of people who believed in themselves and persevered even when all hope was lost.

Self-delusion assists you into thinking that you are tough enough to go through your Herculean task. It helps you to think that you are bright enough to take on this piece of technology that appears challenging to comprehend to you. It helps you to think that all your hard work will result in success. And sometimes, the perseverance, that results from self-delusion, leads to success. So, do you want to be the Greater Fool?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixaba

Unfortunately, the time is here. It is officially the spring semester, and you know what that means: lots and lots of studying. If you are in the same situation I am, then you are probably doing your 3rd semester of online/hybrid school. Not being at school or not attending classes in person definitely makes learning and studying a lot harder. Because I know this struggle all too well, I put together a list of study tips to hopefully help us all succeed a little more this semester.

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.


You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.


I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.


I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments