6 Reasons Why Individualism Is The Best Social System For Everyone.

In his 12 Rules For Life, Dr. Jordan Peterson observes that our current world is “dividing and polarizing and drifting towards chaos”. He advises that, to avoid catastrophe, we each bring forward the truth as we see it, and reveal it for others to see, so that we can find common ground and proceed together. This is the paradox of Individualism. It is the only way to find common ground.

1 Everyone Follows Their Own Individual Conscience.

Individualists avoid the lure of collectives, who cloak their vice in expressions of virtue, promising to protect your interests, when, really, they have only their special interests in mind. Individualists divorce themselves from government, school districts, political parties, unions, identity groups, organized religion, and any collective that requires an individual to align his or her thinking with that of the group. It doesn’t mean that we refuse to pay taxes or fail to stop at red lights or keep our children out of school. It does mean that we examine our own conscience to find the truth as we see it, not as groupthink tells us to see it.

2 All property is private property, so I know what’s mine and respect what’s yours.

Following your conscience is philosophy of individual life. Private property is economics, which Ludwig von Mises described as the philosophy of human life and action, the essential part of civilization. Civilization requires just a few general rules to make it work. Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t initiate violence against a fellow human being. Distinguishing between what’s mine and what’s yours, and thereby differentiating our spheres of individual responsibility, is one of those standing rules to live by, expressed in private property and property rights.

3 Everyone is free to try their best, to see what they can achieve.

When we know what is ours individually, including our body and mind as well as our private property, we can orient ourselves properly and set ourselves towards success. It turns out that in a free market based on property rights, success is tied to serving others. We succeed via empathy with others’ needs, and taking action to address those needs with our services. We try to find a different and better way to deliver our services via what Adam Smith called the division of labor and David Hume called the partition of employments. We all find our specialty and our niche. We cultivate unique knowledge. We do what we do better than anyone else can do it. We take pride in our differentiation, and meaning in the responsibility of developing it.

4 Each individual contribution is tested and corrected by others.

How do we know if our efforts to serve others actually create value in those others’ eyes? We get market feedback. Others tell us, by buying or not buying, demonstrating customer loyalty or not, paying the price we ask or bargaining it down. The feedback can take different forms – attendance at our church, likes on our Facebook page, invitations to social events. All of this feedback falls under the heading of testing and correcting our best efforts. Individualists embrace the data; we’re glad the market is free enough to provide it. We use it as a means to improve and to help us reach our goal. If we are not able to get individual feedback – if the data that’s reaching us is filtered through someone else’s lens, or is “positioned” to us by some collective ideology – we are not fully participating and we are unable to achieve our highest purpose and meaning.

5 No-one is qualified to pass final judgment on others’ capacities or what they can do.

Should we all be equal? Certainly not in what we can achieve, because, in the division of labor, we each want to demonstrate that we can provide better service to others and be worthy of our hire. This is how individuals find their own level. To quote Dr. Jordan Peterson again, there is “a brutal principle of unequal distribution” anywhere that creative production is required. A handful of authors sell all the books. Four classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky) wrote virtually all the music played by modern orchestras. Equality of outcomes is not available to us. But each of us can strive to be the best at what we do, to contribute as much as we can to the need of all others, and thereby achieve as much as we can, without anyone else telling us when to stop, or how far we can go. Individualism is opposed to all privilege, and on all limits to what able individuals can achieve.

6 The individual’s reward corresponds to the value of the service rendered to others.

When market feedback indicates approval of the individual’s efforts, it’s a signal for further entrepreneurial action. Do more, reach more customers, treat more patients, raise more money for your non-profit, add new features to make the service even better. If the signal remains strong, keep adding. That signal is profit, both monetary and psychic. If the marketplace perceives a continuing value in the entrepreneur’s service offering, there’s potential for a long-lasting profit stream. Most of that profit is typically ploughed into further investment to enhance service quality; or, alternatively, competitors invest in new improvements. In all cases, the customer – and society – wins.

Individualism does not refer to the existence of isolated or self-contained or selfish individuals. Social order is the result of individual actions, because each of us follows incentives to contribute as much as possible to the needs of others. The way we take part in the more extended and complex social process is through the market for our services. Individualism is an entrepreneurial order that creates a thriving society for all.

Each Of Us Can Drive Towards Lifetime Sustained Peak Performance – Like Tom Brady

In his book The TB12 Method, Tom Brady lays out a system to achieve a lifetime of sustained peak performance. He might seem to us like a special case. After all, he is an elite athlete with over 20 years of high achievement from his years as a college quarterback at Michigan to his tenure with the New England Patriots in the NFL. His results have been superior and sustained over time. For example, he is the NFL quarterback with the most Super Bowl victories and the most Super Bowl appearances.

In his book, Brady describes an approach to lifetime peak performance that is built on attitude rather than rare skills, and “can benefit anybody who is committed, open-minded and disciplined”. The benefits include living “a vital, active and energetic life off the field as well”. He describes the TB12 method as “common sense principles”.

As individuals, and particularly in our entrepreneurial mode, each of us can take on the challenge of lifetime peak performance. Circumstances change, new challenges present themselves, and we all age, but we are all able to strive for peak performance over an extended period of time. Brady’s ideas and attitude are available to all.


Commitment to peak performance is the first step. As we say in our 10-Point Manifesto For Individualism, everyone is free to try their best, to see what they can achieve.


Once you make the commitment, devise a plan and stick to it. That doesn’t mean the plan never changes; in fact the opposite, because new learning brings new understanding and insights. But you stick to the habits and behaviors you need to maintain to implement your plan every day. For Brady, that might be the exercise room and the skill exercises he needs to repeat and repeat for peak performance, but also the nutrition habits, hydration habits, proper rest and many more elements of everyday discipline.

Self-Directed Learning, Training and Preparation.

Much of the TB12 Method book focuses on what Brady has learned about optimal muscle conditioning, the best ways for him to train (which might be different for him than for other individuals, and different than for other positions on the team), and the best choices to make in a wide range of fields that contribute to performance. He has eagerly sought new knowledge that’s relevant to his current goals, and applies that knowledge in training and preparing for games. There may be little time to think when faced with unanticipated developments in a game situation, so learning and training and preparation are needed to lock-in the muscle memory and habits of mind that govern performance under stress.


Brady works with a subject matter expert, Alex Guerrero. Guerrero has his own set of knowledge, based on research and experimentation with elite athletes to develop the best ways of keeping them fit for their specific athletic activities and helping them to recover from injury or, better still, prevent injury. None of us can hope for peak performance unless we collaborate with others. Each node in a partnership or network brings unique knowledge and capabilities. Our job as a peak performer is to recruit and nurture the best network, to give as much as we get, and to earn the privilege of working collaboratively with others who represent excellence in their own specialty.

Team Role.

Brady plays at peak performance in a very special role that is deemed to be key to team performance. Nevertheless, there is no peak individual performance without peak team performance. Brady knows his team role, and while he often chooses a different training regimen from, say, a defensive lineman, he is always highly focused on how the team does what they do together. He has had many teammates in a long career, but only one professional team. Knowing your role, and helping teammates understand their roles, and integrating all roles in pursuit of a single shared goal, is a big part of the high-achievement individual’s skill set. It’s important to know and apply what’s unique about yourself, and equally important to know how to blend into a team.

Sweat The Details.

Brady spends an extended amount of time in his book explaining the contribution of detailed decisions, habits and practices to sustained peak performance. He covers nutrition (what to eat, in what proportions and ratios, and what not to eat), hydration (how it’s an amplifier of daily vitality), and supplementation (smart use of selected supplements to completely meet your individual nutritional needs). He takes a comprehensive view of personal performance and makes sure no detail is left unattended. You can do the same for your life, your work, your family commitments and every other aspect of your performance.

Re-centering, Rest And Recovery.

One of the 12 sections of the TB12 method focuses on mindset, centering, brain exercises and rest and recovery (especially sleep). Brady even provides advice on room temperature for sleeping, and the role of a clean bedroom and a good mattress. “I like the idea of my body working for me during the night. I’m getting the edge (on my opponents) even when I am sleeping.”

Peak Performance For Longer Than You Believed Possible.

Tom Brady is creating a brand built around the promise of sustained peak performance, and about each of us becoming the best version of ourself. The answer is in our hands, he tells us.

What if we had a President whose brand was built around the promise of being the best person he could, and helping all Americans to be the most productive they could be, and helping the country to achieve peak performance, focusing on the most important contributory factors and eschewing the political distractions that get in the way and make us despise our government? What if any politician were to build such a brand and make such a commitment? It would be nice if one of them read Tom Brady’s book and reflected on the difference between personal peak performance and political performance.