I read "The Fountainhead" while I was in college and the characters failed to leave my sub conscious mind. Those talking of self sacrifice and selfless life may never understand what she tried to say. But without first learning to loving yourself how can you love another?
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. At age six she taught herself to read and two years later discovered her first fictional hero in a French magazine for children, thus capturing the heroic vision which sustained her throughout her life. At the age of nine she decided to make fiction writing her career. Thoroughly opposed to the mysticism and collectivism of Russian culture, she thought of herself as a European writer, especially after encountering Victor Hugo, the writer she most admired.
"What is greatness? I will answer: it is the capacity to live by the three fundamental values of John Galt: reason, purpose, self-esteem." | Playboy interview with Ayn Rand
"I don't intend to build in order to have clients; I intend to have clients in order to build." | The Fountainhead
"I refuse to apologize for my ability - I refuse to apologize for my success - I refuse to apologize for my money." | Atlas Shrugged
"Your self is your mind; renounce it and you become a chunk of meat ready for any cannibal to swallow." | Atlas Shrugged
"Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedoml a free mind and a free market are corollaries." | For the New Intellectual
"You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live. You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power—and secretly add that fear is the more “practical”—you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned." | Atlas Shrugged
“Now look at me! Take a good look! I was born and I knew I was alive and I knew what I wanted. What do you think is alive in me? Why do you think I'm alive? Because I have a stomach and eat and digest the food? Because I breathe and work and produce more food to digest? Or because I know what I want, and that something which knows how to want—isn't that life itself? And who—in this damned universe—who can tell me why I should live for anything but for that which I want?” | We the Living
"The root of production is man's mind; the mind is an attribute of the individual and it does not work under orders, controls or compulsion, as centuries of stagnation have demonstrated. Progress cannot be planned by government, and it cannot be restricted or retarded; it can be only stopped, as every statist government has demonstrated."
"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it." | Atlas Shrugged
"[Selfless love] would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person’s need of you. I don’t have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person."