Objectivism – It’s About Being the Hero!
I began learning about the philosophy of Ayn Rand by reading her Magnum Opus: Atlas Shrugged. Since then, I have read a few more of her novels and some of her essays, and I’ve watched/listened to some of her interviews.
Rand is clear about her philosophy. It can be found here, but I will summarize it as I see it.
People should be free to exercise their rational thought to freely provide for their fellow humans, but mainly they act in their own self-interest. Moreover, a person has a right to the riches that other people are willing to pay for their service. This is the natural state of human nature, and when it is allowed to happen, and when you strive for excellence…that will bring you great satisfaction and happiness.
In short, whatever you do, do it with absolute commitment to excellence. Be the hero! …and if you happen to be compensated well for your excellent contribution to mankind, then you have to make no apology.
As I see it, riches are not the goal; rather, the excellence you produce is the payoff. Riches, tangible or not, are just the byproduct. Wealth, when obtained through rationality and toil, is to be admired and emulated, not envied.
But beware, Stocism and Zen tell us that so many factors are out of our control. You may never attain material wealth, and that is OK, but if you strive for excellence, this is an essential part of your happiness.