Today, I want to discuss how becoming an individual secures power over one’s fate.
Power is a Reality
Power is the ability to exercises one’s will over reality. Authority exists, and in today’s society, it’s essential to secure as much power as one can because different parties are fighting to have control over innocent people.
Politics is ultimately a dead end but there is value in defensive voting. However, real strength comes from controlling oneself and having confidence you’re capable of dealing with anything life throws at you. Therefore, we must never pursue techniques and ideas which make us seek command over others. We must turn inward and find ways to control ourselves if we wish to have real power over our fate.
Individualism and Power
Individualism is simply power over one’s fate. Our lives are not dictated by society, by other individuals, by the government, by institutions, by no one but ourselves. Power for the individual ultimately means controlling our flaws and impulses, so we can avoid the bad while pursuing the good.
Through strong willpower, great emotional control, a robust life goal, amazing physical health, and an assortment of skills, we can readily prepare ourselves against the upsets that life can throw at us. A few examples: a woman in debt will have a hard time adjusting to any economic upsets. Furthermore, a man who fails to choose healthy relationships will be out of luck when he is in need of assistance during hard times.
Additionally, if we do not exercise power over our vices or flaws – then someone else will. For example, when we do not check our spending habits, then manipulative corporations will have command over our wallets.
Power and Social Forces
Lastly, power through societal forces (especially politics) is a fleeting reality. One day your group is in authority then the opposing team is in control with the capabilities you used to enjoy. Obama got into the White House with the immense power that Bush possessed. Then Trump got elected with control over the forces Obama enjoyed. Societal divisions are wishy-washy, and the tables can quickly turn as the arbitrary values of the culture shift.
There isn’t much value in putting all our energy behind societal forces when they are so flippant and inconsistent. It’s best to invest in ourselves and figure out ways to build our communities, our skills, and our resources.
Individualism and Preparation
Reality is outside of our control. Failing governments, potential nuclear destruction, riots – all of these things are beyond our power.
However, I can prepare for governmental violence by being well-armed. I can prepare for potential riots by being in shape and knowing necessary self-defense. I can prepare for power outages by having a backup supply of food and other resources. Hell, I can prepare for being stuck in traffic by knowing how to entertain myself.
Prepare For The Worst
Power over one’s fate involves preparation for inconvenient and potentially dangerous circumstances. Society creates the illusion of safety by making us addicted to comfort. The culture should encourage individuals to take spare time and build strength for the terrible days. For example, we spend money on knick-knacks instead of saving that money for a rainy day. Or we’ll watch reruns instead of hitting the gym and building our physical health.
Being prepared is essential for being an individual. Going forward, I want to focus on building up financial security as well as basic preparation kits. However, all individuals benefit from having some money in the bank or a first aid kit or two lying around.
Individualism and Personal Responsibility
Society is unstable. There’s the unstable economy, the hostility between different identity groups, ongoing war, and much more. Our culture is not functioning at anything close to a respectable capacity. If one puts all faith in society and the institutions within it, then you will be disappointed. Remember how you are responsible for the good you do and the bad you commit. By taking responsibility for your actions, you are in the best position to correct any errors.
Exercise Power Over Yourself
If I do not go to the gym and become fat, then I can blame society. I can blame ads, food companies, and unrealistic body expectations. However, it’s infinitely easier to go to the gym instead of building a narrative that robs me of responsibility for my own life. If I say my fatness is the fault of the culture, then I have to wait until other people change which will take more time then going to the gym.
Obviously going to the gym is personally harder but creating a pointless narrative will never solve the actual problem – me being out of shape.
Additionally, if I take responsibility from myself and put it on everyone else, then the culture will respond. Sure, society may blame itself for my fatness, but the collective may conclude that simply banning all fatty products is the way to go. Now I’m out of the food I enjoy, I’m still out of shape, and I’ve given up the power to chose what I want to eat.
To reiterate: if we do not exercise power over ourselves, then someone else will apply it for us.
We do not have power over everything
We are primarily focused on building ourselves. We cannot control anything outside of our persons, but we can control our responses. For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic, I control whether I become furious or shrug at the misdeed. Society cannot decide for me.
Another example: if I lose my job tomorrow, I can control whether I have savings, other job opportunities lined up, and a set of reputable skills that employers would find valuable. On the flip side, I could be irresponsible and spend my money while burning bridges and wasting my life playing video games. Or, I can take power over my own fate and prepare for the worst that life has to offer.
Pursuing vice leaves me at the mercy of fate. However, pursuing virtue allows me to respond maturely and productively to unfortunate events as well as exercise power over the course of my own life.
We are individuals – not gods. We are not masters of everything or anyone. We can, however, become masters of ourselves. That is what it means to become an individual and develop the traits necessary to take control of our own fates.
- Where in life do you give control to others? Personally, I still give Facebook too much power over my free time. Why do you give power to others in this way?
- Are you prepared for rainy days? A potential break-in? Your car breaking down? A family illness? In what ways can you prepare and exercise power over your future?
- What do you focus too much time on even though you have no power over it? Occasionally, I care too much about the ins and outs of the political elite even though I know I can’t change their behavior. What do you spend much time, energy, and effort on, even though you cannot change the outcome of the situation?
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.