15 Perspective Changing Quotes From Atlas Shrugged

Written by Gilberto Rosas on May 19, 2016

6 min  read

 I actually read this incredibly long book last summer and as I as looking back through some quotes on my Evernote, I found these gems and thought they’re just too good not to share with all of you. These are the ones that really struck a chord and that’s saying a lot about these quotes since this was a 1000+ page book that they were dug out of.

I sincerely hope this brings as much “aha” moments to you as it did for me.

What’s wealth but the means of expanding one’s life

This is by far one of the most beautiful perspectives that I’ve encountered regarding the creation of wealth. To be wealthy is to be abundant. A truly wealthy individual has a rich life and not just a life filled with riches. There’s a difference between the two. Having riches may get you the car you desire and the extravagant house you’ve been dreaming of but the happiness from that eventually subsidies. At the end of the day you’ll be left with the burning question: Are you happy?

Every living thing must grow. It can’t stand still. It must grow or perish

It’s the way of the nature. You’re either growing and getting better or you’re getting worse and even if it may seem as though you’re staying the same, give it a couple months. just like it took you time to see results when you were growing,  it will take time to see the results of you doing nothing.

Happiness is the state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values

Think back to a time when you felt depressed or really unhappy. It was probably because you weren’t living up to one of your values or the ideal in your head that you had for a certain outcome. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to let that sh*t go. Really. What value is attaching yourself to an outcome going to bring to your life? Accept what happened, learn from your mistakes, and try again. It’s the tried and proven method used by top performers and millionaire executives. Also realizing that it’s not the end of the world and you still have tomorrow as a fresh start. At all times, you can choose to be a happy. You are not a victim or a slave to your emotions. Let it go, move on and try again!

Learning is a process of identification and integration. Your mind learns what it is through integration of the senses to learn as mch as it can about its environment

This is absolutely fascinating. I’ve always found it absolutely amazing to see how the brain functions and how it adapts to new environments. It’s as if our brains are ancient old technology that updates itself every second, always adapting. Essentially, it is hardware that creates its own software. By simply taking in the environment, our brains send signals to the rest of our body that will effect our physiology and our behavior to adjust to that new environment. Through this process, we habituate how we should act in certain surroundings.

Life is a process of self sustaining and self generated action

It takes massive amounts of action and effort to create an extraordinary life. Unfortunately, a life of your own design is not the default. If you want something, you will stop at nothing to get it. I think when  you break it down to the fundamental desire for success, what you get is a yearning to live life on your own terms. But acquiring this success can be a slippery slope because when it comes, it is quickly fleeting. Meaning you have to work hard to maintain it; just as hard as you did to acquire it. It’s not easy, but it’s most definitely worth it.

Friendships are worth more than gold

We only get a select few of true friends who would go to war and back with us at a moment’s notice. Cherish them. It doesn’t even need to be a friend, treat your acquaintances well and you might be surprised at what opportunities might come your way. That guy from the gym that you did a favor for might just give you a referral for your new business. The possibilities are endless and the friendships, no matter how small or brief they may be, are priceless.

Tell me his ideal woman and I’ll tell you his evaluation of himself

You can tell all about a man based off of who he thinks he deserves. Not to mention that we also look for those who are much like us so that ideal woman would have very similar or complimentary qualities as the man desiring her. A takeaway from this would be to have a strong set of values because it’s what you’re going to attract. This is where personal boundaries play a big part!

Be too powerful to have no purpose

Become a powerful force in your environment. As a matter of fact, become so powerful, it is blindingly obvious what your purpose is. If you feel like you have no purpose and that the only reason for your existence is to produce offspring then I implore to reconnect with yourself. Find out what it is that you love to do and follow that. If you don’t know what you love to do then try anything, literally ANYTHING! I know what it’s like to wake up and not have some big pig picture goal to strive for. The effects of this weren’t good: boredom, depression, and easily reactive to the day to day problems that may arise no matter how small they might seem. When you have a purpose, you approach life differently and you attack your goals much differently as well.

It’s not so bad as long as there’s always something you can do

This quote here has given me so much relief. I realized that if I can’t control it, why worry about it. Some examples of this are the weather, other people’s opinions, natural disasters, and random events throughout the day. It’s a part of life. But there are 3 things that you can always control at all times: your thoughts, your words, and your actions! This is how you control your life and put an end to being in the passenger seat. Your thoughts create decisions and your words and actions are the follow through to making those decisions a reality.

Every man builds his world in his own image

What I’ve noticed from every successful person is that they take full responsibility for everything that happens in their life, and I mean EVERYTHING. If something is wrong at the cause they look back to the effect and see what they can improve or tweak to make it better. You, alone, have created your life. Once you have that mentality over your life, you can proceed to master it. Most won’t though. And I don’t blame them if what they have in their life is a bad circumstance resulting from poor decisions. But life is dynamic. It moves forward. You don’t have to stay the same. Change your decisions and you change your life!

Men stumble through life, unreal, unformed, and die having never been born

Sound like someone you might know? Don’t wander aimlessly and remember to live fully. Know what you want in life. Know where you are, know the end goal and don’t worry about how to get there because by doing so, you end up missing everything.

A man who surrenders his value is subject to anyone’s will

You either stand for something or you fall for anything, period.

If one’s actions are honest, one does not need to be the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Every action is measured by the sentiment from which it proceeds.” Meaning that intention is everything. If your intention is for good, then you don’t need to worry about the outcome or how others perceive this action because that perception will say more about them than it does about you.

Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival

Isn’t it amazing to see that everything we have here is a result of a human being’s mind having a vision of something and bringing it to fruition. You can see the evidence from the mobile device or laptop you’re reading this from to the walls that surrounds you and the furniture that comforts you. Our mind is truly capable of incredible feats and with it’s proper and deliberate use can create solutions to any problem you might have. Any problem that problem in life that you might be facing has probably been faced by someone else already and they have probably found a solution so that means you can too. 

What’s burning a city, compared to tearing the lid off hell and letting men see it.

I’ll leave this for you to interpret but I just found this to be just a badass quote!


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