This week, I discuss why you should be an individualist, despite the inherent difficulties.
Table of Contents
- What Is Individualism?
- Why should you become an Individualist?
- Become An Individualist
What Is Individualism?
“The word “We” is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.” – Ayn Rand
Individualism is a moral philosophy. It argues that individuals own themselves and are responsible for their actions and lives. If you wish to be an individualist, you must be virtuous, reliable, and capable.
Why Is Individualism Difficult?
Individualism is punishing because your actions and inactions fall on your shoulders. It judges you as an individual. You are not a member of a collective. You cannot absolve your crimes by hiding behind your tribe. You cannot avoid the consequences of your actions by blaming others. If you are an individualist, no one else can carry your responsibilities for you, and only you are blamed when you fail.
Why should you become an Individualist?
If individualism is brutal, then why should you become an individualist? Firstly, individualism is a personal philosophy designed to help you achieve your best self. For example, the 13 virtues give you a clear understanding of how you should act in any given situation. For example, are you facing a challenge? The virtuous course would be to persist through the challenge and be courageous when afraid.
Additionally, individualism supports individual happiness, which means personal sustainability. We are not happy with our whims. We are happiest when we are in better shape, have accomplished long-term goals, and built a sustainable life capable of weathering life’s many storms.
But most importantly, individualism shifts your mind. Instead of obsessing over the external world, you shift your mindset towards your internal purposes and actions. Instead of your skin color, gender, or national origin defining your value, you build your value through the healthy relationships you nurture with others, the long-term plans you accomplish, and the control you have over your emotions.
You choose which way your story goes, and this choice gives you unlimited power over yourself.
1) Individualism makes you valuable to virtuous people
Individualism makes you useful to honorable people. When you are hard-working, focused, and capable, reasonable people can depend on you to help them when life is hard.
And that’s a rewarding feeling. We all know that virtuous individuals provide stability and meaning in the world. If we support those ethical individuals, then they can continue to make the world a better place.
Additionally, when we help virtuous individuals, they will help us when life becomes a struggle. Having a community of good people at your back is always a positive.
2) You will have the strength of character to live your life fully
Life is meant to be lived. Most people do not accomplish their goals or overcome their vices. They live in comfort and die in irrelevance.
Individualism will help you value personal satisfaction. Instead of being a fool and sacrificing your happiness to the whims of others, you can focus on helping yourself.
And why should you help yourself? Or be selfish, as the collectivists like to say? Because you cannot hide your failures or mediocrity within the collective. You cannot blame others for your lack of achievement or happiness. It is you who is responsible for achieving greatness. Individualism will help you keep this in mind by ensuring your focus is always on your most virtuous self.
3) You will have rational pride
“All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.” – Ludwig von Mises
Rational pride is a belief in oneself founded on evidence and logic. Pride is not evil. It is earned and never manufactured.
Rational pride protects you from those who wish to attack or manipulate you. Collectivists take advantage of the average person’s failures and mediocrity. For example, if you are financially responsible, then the shrills from socialists will not affect you. You know that wealth is generated from hard work, and you are willing to defend what is rightfully yours instead of joining the mob in attacking others. However, if you are lazy, untalented, and greedy, you will have nothing to be proud of and are easily swayed by others.
You know you are great. Why? Because your actions and accomplishments reflect this reality. You don’t need validation: your life is validating enough—the goals you have accomplished show how determined and capable you are. You don’t need to be propped up by lies and arbitrary identities.
4) You will be equipped for the breakdown of society
Fools think the government will care for them. However, individualists are already prepared for the worst, and when the worst comes, they can easily weather the storm.
Our society might not collapse, but it isn’t getting any better. The national debt, spineless leaders, pointless wars, deteriorating race relations, increased crime, and more show how broken the world is. Society may be necessary, but it is corrupt and dangerous.
Individualism stresses personal responsibility. When you are personally responsible for yourself, you’re focused on bettering yourself. When you better yourself, you build a life that can withstand the irrational storms of a broken society. For example, when the government decides to shut everything down and drive people to economic suicide, you can weather the storm because you have other employment opportunities, a backup supply of food, money in the bank, and the emotional strength to deal with the stress.
Your society is not healthy. The more responsible you are, the healthier you will be.
Become An Individualist
Individualism is about responsibility and sustainability. It is about virtue.
However, individuality is vicious. Orienting your mind towards what is virtuous is difficult work, especially when you’ve been raised in a collectivist society.
However, you can succeed. Push back against the mayhem, lies, and abuses. You are capable of meeting the challenge and excelling. There is still time to be the best version of yourself.
“And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: ‘I’.” – Ayn Rand
- Do you find being an individualist difficult? What is difficult about it?
- How often do you focus on achieving your most virtuous self?
- Do you feel prepared for a rainy day? A job loss? Cancellation? What can you do to prepare yourself for life’s tragedies?
- Are you living your life fully? What do you wish you could do? What parts do you wish you could improve?
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.