Princeton University defines individuality as “a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence”. Basically this is a term used to describe those who hold themselves accountable for what they want in life. They go after what they want, and pursue their goals and priorities with little irrelevant intervention. It can also be followed that their decisions in life are directly made on the probability of personal gain. In other words, they make decisions based on what they can get out of them. It is upon this realization that our lives become much clearer.

Our lives are, and have been, based on the decisions we do, and have made. Everything in your life is a direct result of your decisions. This decision, as Peter McWilliams in Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Butts! States is “not a single, monumental choice, rather, they are the decisions made daily, hourly and minute by minute”.

This may be a big pill to swallow. If you think about it, I’m saying that everything in your life, even if seemingly unrelated to your interests, is there because YOU made the decision to let it be. (OUCH) As hard as it may seem to believe, it’s true. We make decisions based off what we want out of them, it is this want we must look at further to understand why we live the lives we do.

If you want to change your life, what you do for a living, whom you’re surrounded by, what you may have or not have, then you first must change within yourself. You need to stop looking to others for answers and begin to look at yourself—the one who has been responsible all along.

Let me take an example of an article I recently read entitled 39 Ways to Live, and Not Merely Exist, ( Inside this article the author, Leo Babauta, gives ways to better enjoy your life such as mini-retirements, and watching sunsets daily. If thinking through the individualistic views these are great ideas (if you like them of course) and are worth a shot at the least.

There were many comments portraying that this lifestyle is foolish, and childish, and is “lived by one with no responsibilities, no kids, and no real job”. Well besides the fact that the author of the article is married with 6 kids, lives in Guam (seriously…), has 5 published books, one of which, The Power of Less, is a new bestseller—this is a ridiculous assumption. It is the same mindset that created this assumption that lives in the heads of those who live their lives out of mere obligation.

An obligated life, is a life you can’t enjoy, it’s a life created by false pretenses, and frequently accompanied by stress and depression. It’s a life that belongs to someone else. It’s a life lived by someone who makes decisions based on what others want or for the “greater good” and sacrifices their own welfare.
Some people feel they need to sacrifice some of their time or resources for others as a way to feel better about themselves, but if this is the case the problem is more internal then you may know. Instead of making decisions and wandering through your life based on what others want, or what organizations or belief systems want from you, it’s time we began to examine ourselves—what we want. Don’t worry, this is not selfish, it’s merely living the life you’re given, and making the most of it.

There is only one person that will be beside you for the rest of your life—and that’s you, so become acquainted. Start to make decisions for yourself, and begin to live your life to the fullest. Find those lost passions and goals and start today to reach them. Let’s make this one way street something to brag about!
Were left with a decision… (surprised?) Live your life for you, and accomplish what it is you want through this individualistic view, or live it for others, for people who only are getting what they want—through you. It’s your life; don’t waste it living for someone else.

Author's Bio: 

Devin Ford is a author and fitness trainer/competitor. His interested have always been in the furthering of ones self, both mentally and physically.