This is my response to “Discussion question” for my course: Aristotle’s Ethics. What do you think is the goal of life? How would you support your answer?
The goal of life is to be a good dancer.
Or whatever you choose to be, but to be good at it. Even more: to be the best you can be.
In any case, it is a matter of taste, and yes, we can argue about it, but you are what your taste makes you like. You can change your taste, changing yourself as a consequence. It is a slow process, requiring a great amount of patience, but if you happen to be unhappy with yourself, having a strong will to change for better, will do the job.
Of course, you may lack the will, the stamina, and since our civilization values comfort, user friendly interfaces, customer satisfaction and instant gratification, it will provide an extensive list of reasons why you should remain the way you are, even if you do not fully like yourself, letting you rest assured in this feeling, allowing you to talk and talk about how you would like things to be different, but keeping you in that chatty inaction.
A dancer, a true dancer (and, again, this is a matter of taste), is made of a continual reshaping of habits, endless strengthening, advancing “step by step” (metaphorically and literally) in his/her transformations, carefully demanding from himself/herself the maintenance of a conscious awareness of the totality of existence, where no aspect of life is neglected, neither duty nor joy.
The serious devotion of a dancer to his/her art, not devoid of gaiety and fun, provides him/her with such sense of plenitude, that it makes any other non-essential activity seem like a procrastination of the dance.
Does all of this look like egocentric solipsism? A good dancer is as humble as he/she is proud, extremely respectful and caring. You can see it in everything a dancer does. A dancer thrives only in community.