Parks and Recreation Wiki

Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.

Ron Swanson developed the Pyramid of Greatness over the course of many years. It's a perfectly calibrated recipe for maximum personal achievement. Likely inspired by the Wooden Pyramid of Success. Ron shows the pyramid while coaching a boys basketball team (Go Big or Go Home).

(Categories listed top to bottom by importance)

Category 1

  • HONOR: If you need it defined, you don't have it.

Category 2

  • America: The only country that matters. If you want to experience other "cultures", use an atlas or a ham radio.
  • Buffets: Whenever available. Choose quantity over quality.

Category 3

  • Weapons
  • Wood working
  • Welfare avoidance

Category 4

  • Teamwork: Work together as if your life depends on it... IT DOES!
  • Selfishness: Take what's yours.
  • Haircuts: 3 acceptable styles: High and Tight, Crew Cut & Buzz Cut. 
  • Greatness itself: The best revenge.

Category 5

  • Discipline: The ability to repeat a boring thing over and over again.
  • Attire: Shorts over 6" are capri pants. Shorts under 6" are European.
  • Self-reliance: Trust yourself.
  • Suspicion: Do not trust anyone else.
  • Skim milk: That's right. It's on here twice. Avoid it.

Category 6

  • Cow protein
  • Pig protein
  • Chicken Protein
  • Romantic love
  • Deer protein
  • Fish (Sport only)

Category 7

  • Intensity: Give 100%. 110% is impossible. Only idiots recommend that.
  • Torso: Should be thick and impenetrable.
  • Old wooden sailing ships: They're beautiful
  • B.O: Cultivating a manly musk puts your opponents on notice.
  • Stillness: Don't waste energy moving unless necessary.
  • Skim milk: Avoid it.
  • Cursing: There's only one bad word: taxes. If any other word is good enough for sailors, it's good enough for you.

Category 8

  • Friends: One to three is sufficient.
  • Property rights: They exist. Do not let them be taken away from you.
  • Masonry:  Building walls makes you strong. Defending them makes you even stronger.
  • Cabins: Places to rest that are made of logs.
  • Perspiration: Only sweat during physical activity or love making. No emotional sweating.
  • You: You are your biggest ally and your worst enemy, at the same time.
  • Crying: Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.
  • Physical Fitness

Category 9

  • Frankness: Cut the B.S.
  • Capitalism: God's way of determining who is smart, and who is poor. 
  • Facial hair: Full, thick and square. Nothing sculpted. If you have to sculpt it, that probably means you can't grow it. 
  • Living in the woods: Live off the land.
  • Rage: One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn't deserve it.
  • Security: Secure the land.
  • Poise: Sting like a bee. Do not float like a butterfly. That's ridiculous.
  • Handshakes: Firm, Dry, Solid. 3 seconds. 
  • Body grooming:  Only women shave beneath the neck.