How heroic individuality breeds unattainable standards and what you can do to stop it.

People felt that their jobs couldn’t be sustained before the pandemic even started. The relentless hectic and frenetic energy of today’s world had many people on the verge of burnout. A mixture of weariness and restlessness, jitters and dread, were and still are frequent experiences. Knowing what this is, how it operates, and what you can do to stop it is useful. I’ll talk about that in two parts below.

The Challenge: exemplary individualism

Heroic individualism is a constant competition between oneself and others in which quantitative accomplishment is the primary determinant of success and self-worth and where work frequently takes precedence over relationships. Heroic individualism always shifts the goalposts, no matter how far you get. 10 yards down the field where you never seem to reach. According to heroic individualism, you can never have enough, be enough, or do enough. There is constantly more to do. Long-term, it is a formula for disaster, even though it might produce respectable performance in the near term. This is due to the fact that, at least on short timescales, activities that are intrinsically wasteful and unproductive are necessary for long-term fulfilment. I’ve been studying heroic individuality for the past few years. Here are some typical symptoms that may be present in you:

  1. Low anxiousness and a persistent sense of being hurried or rushed, if not physically then mentally.
  2. An impression that everything in your life is moving at a frenzied pace and that you are being tugged and pushed from one thing to the next.
  3. A persistent feeling that something isn’t quite right but no clear understanding of what it is or what to do about it.
  4. Not always wanting to be on, but finding it difficult to do so and feeling bad when you do.
  5. Feeling overworked and restless when you have free time and space.
  6. Being easily distracted and unable to concentrate; finding it difficult to sit still without picking up your phone.
    interior is empty or lonely.
  7. Battling with contentment.
  8. Despite being prosperous by traditional measures, you still feel insufficient.
  9. The desire to experience some inner serenity and peace.

But in our present optimization-obsessed environment, heroic individuality is the prevailing way of thinking. Many people are left wondering why it makes them feel unsatisfied, worried, and restless. The hungry ghost is an idea that originates from ancient eastern psychology. The stomach of the ravenous ghost is infinite. He stuffs himself to death with food and never seems to get satisfied. The condition is serious. Many of us live in a modern world that is dependent on the production of hungry ghosts. But we can all decide to leave the game, including you and me. No need to turn into ravenous ghosts. All that is necessary is for us to take a step back and consider what it is that we really want. Yes, it’s simple. yet not always simple.

Grounding as a Solution

Success can be gained from a place of groundedness, which is a solid and unchanging basis that allows for long-lasting success rather than transitory success. While striving is not entirely eliminated, it is directed in more beneficial and positive directions. It encourages better concentration and fulfilment because it is less hectic.
Groundedness has the opposite effect of heroic individuality, which leaves you feeling totally vulnerable, unhinged, and unmoored. It firmly places you in that position and aids in helping you identify what truly matters so that you can concentrate on that.

The most recent findings in psychology, neurology, and sociology are combined with age-old Buddhist, Taoist, and Stoic principles to create groundedness. Five guiding principles that can be used as a road map to a new and more satisfying sort of success one that is far superior to heroic individualism were often revealed to me while conducting research for and writing The Practise of Groundedness.

  1. Acknowledge where you are in order to go forward. Realising where you are, embracing it, and starting there. Not where you wanted to be. not where you believe you ought to be. not where people believe you should be. However, where you are. If you don’t accept that something is happening in the first place, you can’t work on it in any meaningful way. You must accept what is happening, even if you don’t like it.
  2. Own your energy and attention by being present – Being mentally and physically present for the situation in front of you. more time being spent totally in the now, rather than dwelling on the past or the future. Distraction is alluring and, for some people, even addictive, but research shows that actual excellence, happiness, and well-being come from complete focus on your task at hand.
  3. Take your time to get there – Allowing things space and time to develop. not trying to travel at warp speed to escape life. not expecting immediate results and giving up when they don’t materialise. Knowing that in order to save time, we frequently complete tasks swiftly — not better. But what good is it if we only accomplish more things swiftly with the extra time? I have not yet come across anyone who desires that their gravestone read “he rushed.”
  4. Develop genuine strength and confidence by embracing weakness. Authentically turning up. At work and in life, being genuine with oneself and others. removing cognitive dissonance, the inner conflict and pain that develops when too much of your outside existence is performative, when there is too much of a gap between what the sociologist Erving Goffman dubbed your “front stage” and “back stage” personas.
  5. Create a strong community – Fostering true belonging and connection. creating environments where people can assist one another through ups and downs. putting people before mere productivity. Keeping in mind that, on our deathbeds, we are more likely to cherish the links and connections we made along the way than to focus on our gold medal, promotion to regional vice president, best-seller, or any other apparent accomplishment.

You don’t need to gaze up or down when you are grounded. Wherever you are, there you are. You are aware of what is significant and worthwhile of your time and effort. This does not preclude you from experiencing highs and lows, possibly even periods when you struggle to keep your head above water. However, it does imply that you’ll be able to manoeuvre through them. The environment is constantly changing. Some things will improve while others will deteriorate. However, heroic individuality is undoubtedly here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. This article should have helped you express how you may be feeling as well as how your coworkers, friends, and family may be feeling. It should have also given you some suggestions for how to deal with it.

Hello Everyone, finally published my new book “Focus”. In this book, I took a poetic licence in considering the spiritual aspect of focus, which has rarely been done. Other books focus on the practical aspect and tell you to do this and that, but in my book, I discuss how we can find focus within ourselves without relying on an action-oriented approach. Any purchases or KDP reads will be greatly appreciated. If you like my books, do leave a review. Here’s my author page on Amazon –


10 Comments Add yours

  1. vwani says:

    I enjoyed reading this, most people these days are living with that “front stage” “back stage” personas & SM is making it even worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes it’s important to stay authentic to ourselves. Sadly it’s complicated.


    1. GS says:

      Glad you agree


  2. sicetnon3 says:

    Another example of dualism: “competition between oneself and others in which quantitative accomplishment is the primary determinant of success and self-worth and where work frequently takes precedence over relationships”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      The thing to remember is that in dualism we assume concepts exist in isolation, opposing one another. But in the Tao there is no isolation. Everything is connected and reliant on everything else. How can we feel hopeless or desperate when we’re integral to the functioning of everything, no matter what happens? And how can we feel too egotistical when we’re just as significant (or insignificant) as a leaf, an ant, or the person we oppose ourselves to? There’s an Italian proverb: at the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box. Same with the Tao; there’s no distinctions. There’s nothing to chase. And oddly, when you stop chasing so desperately, the world tends to come to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sicetnon3 says:

        “But”? 🙏🏼 yes, the Tao states “there is no isolation”, which places the concept in competition with…? Inclusion of the word “no” paradoxically excludes something/someone. Everything belongs

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        That’s the point, and it is really nicely illustrated in that atomic example. In a static, fake world, there is A and B. There are pure opposites. There are simple explanations: happiness and sadness, success and failure, etc. But in an entropic world, in which matter is always trying to exit from its vessels and nothing is ever left unchanged, we must accept a more nuanced view of things. Nothing is as it seems, nor is it otherwise. As soon as you grasp what you’re chasing, it morphs into something else. So stop pretending you live in a static world, a world of pure opposites. When we overcome dualism in this way, we overcome precisely what makes life feel unnatural — ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. sicetnon3 says:

        Yes, nothing is left unchanged. “Welcome to the new Earth!”

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.