We have selected 25 of the most powerful quotes from Ayn Rand as a guide to living a strong life. She was a hero to many baby boomers through the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. These quotes summarise the key aspects of her Objectivism philosophy.
The post-war economic growth and prosperity engendered a generation wanting a new societal structure. The rationalist ideas proposed by Rand echoed their hopes and aspirations. Her philosophy of self-determination was embraced widely as it tapped directly into American ideals of freedom, hard work and individualism.
It resonated with the new social freedoms and mobility the boomers were hoping for. These amounted to a revolutionary tide which swept through America and other countries. The 25 Ayn Rand quotes below are a guide to living a life of self-determination.
Ayn Rand’s philosophy was spelt out in her two best-selling books, both considered modern day classics – The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The latter is considered her magnum opus. She described Atlas Shrugged’s theme as “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as a corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.”
The philosophy of objectivism holds four key principles:
Objective reality – this holds that aside from our own perceptions, there is a true reality happening, whether anyone sees them or not. The only way we know we exist is in relation to that reality; our existence is defined by the capacity to observe reality.
Absolute reason – there’s no room for emotions or faith, only facts should guide people.
Individualism – the individual should be empowered above everything else. A man who can embrace the logic and reason of an objective reality is the most powerful figure. And if a man is able to do that, he should only ever act in his own self-interest.
Laissez-faire capitalism – where the economy is completely unregulated and separate from the government. This allows powerful Objectivists to do all they can in order to improve their own standing, while not violating the rights of other people.
You will get a feeling for her philosophy from these selected quotes. They remain very powerful motivators and moral guides. If you haven’t read her books, we recommend them. They are thought-provoking and belong in everyone’s library.
We have grouped our selected quotes into three categories:
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.”
“I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in between.”
“Freedom: To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”
“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
“I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.”
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.”
“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.”
“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.”
“Do not let your fire go out. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, and have never been able to reach. The world you desired can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it is yours.”
“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.”
“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose.”
“Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.”
“To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that’s real power.”
“If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”
“Every man is free to rise as far as he’s able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he’ll rise.”
“Man survives by adjusting his background to himself.”
“Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think.”
“Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants.”
“Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others.”
“Any alleged right of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another isn’t and can’t be a right.”
“The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap.”
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”
“An individualist is a man who says: I will not run anyone’s life – nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone – nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”
We hope that these Ayn Rand quotes will inspire you to greater things. They ask a lot of the individual, but with a strong moral compass and self belief, they will help to keep you on track. They remind us of what is important in life, and how you should act if you are to be a winner.