Today, I discuss how to prevent yourself from becoming a weak individual.
Table of Contents
- Who Are Weak Individuals?
- How to Avoid Becoming a Weak Individual
- You Are Capable of More Strength Than You Realize
Who Are Weak Individuals?
“The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered…it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.” – G.K. Chesterton
Weak individuals value vice over virtue. They are addicted to satisfying their fleeting wants at the cost of personal and societal stability.
Weak individuals rarely enjoy anything meaningful, purposeful, or challenging. Of course, such overindulgence makes people impotent, soft, and incapable of shouldering life’s burdens. Such people cannot protect the innocent, handle difficult conversations about nuanced issues, or value their cultural gifts. The result is social instability and eventual suicide.
Why Shouldn’t You Join In Societal Suicide?
Most people are not critical thinkers, they do not challenge the status quo, and they live lives oriented around whatever is immediate. Why shouldn’t you join in such meaninglessness? Why shouldn’t you engage in a culture of nothingness? Surely a meaningless, comfortable life is preferable to a challenging yet meaningful one. And consider this: most individuals are weak. If you choose strength, then weak individuals will outnumber you. Why should you go up against the mob?
Firstly, being tough makes you an outlier. If you can resist vice and refuse to justify your pursuit of pleasure, then you’ll become a healthier individual. Such a person is unique in our culture, and such uniqueness should feed your rational pride.
Secondly, you will never accomplish your life goals if you’re addicted to your perversions and always justifying your addiction. Your time, energy, and money will feed your vices instead of your virtues. Break away now, and you’ll get so much of your life back.
Lastly, if you care about other people, you should focus on strengthening yourself. The world needs heroes. If you’re up for it, you can become the robust individual other people need you to be.
How to Avoid Becoming a Weak Individual
At the heart of avoiding becoming a weak individual is more than just resisting vice. You are human and will always seek things that make you comfortable and happy. I am not a believer in the monk lifestyle. If you can responsibly pursue life’s pleasures, then do so.
However, you must avoid addiction to these vices and, more importantly, justifying these vices. By following the three steps below, I believe you can resist your addiction to perversion and your slippage to defending your dependency.
1. Remember there is nothing noble about your vices or flaws
“The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
As I’ve argued before, there is nothing wrong with enjoying life’s pleasures. The goal is not to see your indulgences as honorable. Additionally, all indulgences must be earned and participated in with a clear conscience and mind.
Enjoy your junk food after you’ve eaten a balanced meal. Do not pretend that eating junk food is proof of your goodness as a person. You are enjoying yourself, and the pleasure is yours. You should not seek admiration.
Remember, your indulgences are fleeting. They should be treated as temporary and ultimately irrelevant. Do not elevate them to anything higher.
2. Accept You Are Human
As human beings, we want to be comfortable. All human progress leads us to where we are now: plentiful food, air conditioning, modern medicine, and so on. We should not be ashamed to enjoy these riches.
Thus, you must be patient with yourself. You want to be comfortable, and this desire for comfort can lead to an addiction to vice. Do not despise yourself when you slip and occasionally fall. You do not have to live the life of a monk.
However, you should be humble and grateful. Many people suffered to get you to this point. Thus, remember their memory and reflect on their pains. You are the steward of what they have provided you. Do not consume without improving and passing your material comforts forward.
Lastly, practice voluntary suffering. Take cold showers, fast, and so on. Additionally, make yourself intimate with suffering: volunteer at food banks, give blood and read the horrors stories of the past. The more suffering you experience, the better your mindset will be towards the comforts of life.
3. Ignore those who want to make you weak
“No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.” – Bertrand Russell
There are people within entertainment, media, education, and so on who want to leave you depressed, lost, and broken. When you are flushed with negative emotions and feel helpless, you are more likely to reach for your addiction of choice.
For example, the media’s sole purpose is to create anxiety. When I become anxious, what do I do? Indulge in my vices. Thus, I avoid the media like the plague.
Similarly, I do not associate with weak individuals. Individuals addicted to their vices will only drag you down with them. They will criticize you when you seek a better life. They will mock you when you argue against their vices. They will only attack you. Thus, it is best to limit your time with them as much as you reasonably can.
You Are Capable of More Strength Than You Realize
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” – Ayn Rand
An addiction to vice makes you impotent, unreliable, and incapable. You will be useless to yourself and others. This uselessness will create immense shame and guilt.
To escape your guilt, you will seek to justify your weakness. You will replace virtue with vice. With virtue removed, you will eagerly worship your iniquities and defend them. This justification leads to internal and external corruption.
Avoid this corruption altogether. There is nothing noble about your vices. From here, accept your fallibility and desire for comfort. Never be ashamed of your want to relax. Be ashamed if you do not earn what you enjoy. Lastly, remove yourself from everyone who seeks to make you weak. People who justify your vices will lead you down a dark path.
Lastly, please remember you are capable of great things. Define your life by the virtues you possess and seek to strengthen those virtues. Do not believe the lie you are beyond saving.
You can win this battle—one day at a time.
- What are your top vices? How do they make you feel? Why do you engage in them?
- If you could rid yourself of a vice, which would you choose? How could you work towards being free?
- Who are some weak individuals you know in your life? What are they like? Do you want to be more or less like them?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.