4th century BC – “Know Thyself” (gnōthi seautón) inscribed above the Oracle of Delphi in Ancient Greece

2350 BCThe Maxims of Ptahhotep writings, by the Vizier Ptahhotep

399 BC – “The unexamined life is not worth living”, attributed to Socrates

161-180 ADMeditations, a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius

1574 – Serfdom fully ended in England by Elizabeth I

1637 – “I Think, Therefore I Am” (French: Je pense, donc je suis; Latin: Ego cogito, ergo sum), by Rene′ Descartes

1690 – ‘Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions‘ – The Second Treatise on Government – John Locke

1776 – ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness‘ – in the United States Declaration of Independence

1776 – Idea of Economic Individualism introduced in the book ‘Wealth of Nations’, by Adam Smith.

1789 – Phrase ‘Individualism‘ (individualisme) popularised during the French Revolution

1830’s – The word ‘individualism‘ commonly used as a pejorative (a word expressing contempt or disapproval), against collectivism

1847 – A series of lectures, ‘Elements of Individualism‘, by William Maccall

1848 – ‘We are distinct persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary to our individual existence.‘, in a letter by Frederick Douglass

1855 – ‘Self Help‘ book, by Samuel Smiles

1910 – ‘The Science of Getting Rich‘ book, by writer Wallace D. Wattles

1921 – ‘The Psychology of Individuation‘ publication, by Carl Jung

1929 – Term ‘Rugged Individualism‘ used by Herbert Hoover

1937 – ‘Think and Grow Rich‘ book, by Napoleon Hill

1940’s – Emergence of the philosophical study ‘Existentialism’

1943 – Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of needs‘ theory, in the paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation‘, by Abraham Maslow

1950’s – Emergence of Humanistic psychology, also often referred to as Humanism

1956 – ‘The Strangest Secret‘ spoken recording, by Earl Nightingale

1960’s – Rise of ‘The Human Potential Movement

1970’s – Introduction of ‘Self-Determination Theory