Ayn Rand quotes are inspirational regardless of whether or not you hold her same values. Whether you are a die-hard objectivist or believe her philosophy is misguided, the beauty of her words is that they inspire you to think and to establish what you DO believe. While reading her completed works is the best way to understand her philosophy, sometimes small phrases are all that is needed in order to spark an interest and develop ideas. Listed below are seven Ayn Rand quotes that will inspire you to take a closer look at your own personal philosophy toward life.
1 The Importance of the Self
Few Ayn Rand quotes embody her philosophy as simply as, "I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." For Rand, holding your own life at the highest value is considered not only as good, but also moral. This view challenges the modern ideal that selfishness is an unflattering trait.
2 Ignorance Will Not Buy Bliss
"We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality." We can choose to ignore facts because they seem unpleasant or too hard to deal with, but Rand points out that choosing to feign ignorance is not a solution. Eventually there will come a time when we must face the consequences of our actions, so better to face them knowingly and be prepared.
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." Recited as almost a challenge, Rand speaks of the power of self-motivation. If you want to succeed in fulfilling your dreams, your motivation must come from yourself and you can’t rely on others to get you there. You must be prepared to fight in order to reach your goals.
4 The Value of Debate
"When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit." Rand was no stranger to debate, as her philosophy can inspire passionate opinions. I love this quote because it shows that she would go into debates believing that regardless of the outcome, both parties are better off for it. This is goal that all intellectual conversations should seek to achieve.
5 What is Love?
"Love is the expression of one's values." Love’s meaning can’t be defined by anyone but yourself. It is a reflection of what you place importance on. What I love may be very different from what you love because what we value could be considerably different.
6 Love’s Prerequisite
"To say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say the ‘I.’"
Because to love something or someone is a reflection of your own values, it follows that we must first acknowledge what it is we value before we can recognize those traits in others. Without a true understanding of ourselves and what we value, love become a word that we assign to people and things without any real meaning.
"But money is only a tool…It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires." Rand’s message here is a simple one, money is not the end goal but rather, it is the means in which men who wish to create can satisfy their desires. Those who seek only to obtain money can find no joy in it for they lack purpose. What good is money if you don’t know how to use it to make you happy?
Ayn Rand’s works have helped shape many brilliant minds in both our history’s past and in today’s current time. Her words challenge how we look at ourselves and a society as a whole. What have you discovered about yourself and your views after reading some of her greatest quotes? Will you go on to read any of her full literary works?
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