60 of the Most Inspiring Ayn Rand Quotes

Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1902 and moved to America in 1926. Primarily known for her most famous novels, “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead,” she created and developed the philosophy known as Objectivism. She placed an emphasis on reason as the only reason of finding knowledge, rejecting faith, and believed in the ability of the individual. Her belief was that the community is best served when individuals work to achieve their own desires.

Her work as been popular among Libertarians and political conservatives. Encouraging every individual to live for himself, Ayn Rand inspired individualism and egoism.


Ayn Rand Quotes

Here are 60 of her most inspiring quotes.

  1. “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.”
  2. “I never found beauty in longing for the impossible and never found the possible to be beyond my reach.”
  3. “I am, therefore I’ll think.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.”
  6. “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. 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 desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
  7. “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”
  8. “He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see.”
  9. “The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”
  10. “Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.”
  11. “Joy is the goal of existence, and joy is not to be stumbled upon, but to be achieved, and the act of treason is to let its vision drown in the swamp of the moment’s torture.”
  12. “If one’s actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others.”
  13. “What is man? He’s just a collection of chemicals with delusions of grandeur.”
  14. “Self-sacrifice? But it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed.”
  15. “One loses everything when one loses one’s sense of humor.”
  16. “Self respect is something that can’t be killed. The worst thing is to kill a man’s pretense at it.”
  17. “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be left waiting for us in our graves-or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”
  18. “Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotions.”
  19. “Love should be treated like a business deal, but every business deal has its own terms and its own currency. And in love, the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you. You love them for the values, the virtues, which they have achieved in their own character.”
  20. “But you see, the measure of hell you’re able to endure is the measure of your love.”
  21. “Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants.”
  22. “We are on strike, we, the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one’s happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.”
  23. “It’s not that I don’t suffer, it’s that I know the unimportance of suffering. I know that pain is to be fought and thrown aside, not to be accepted as part of one’s soul and as a permanent scar across one’s view of existence.”
  24. “Is it advisable to spread out all the conveniences of culture before people to whom a few steps up a stair to a library is a sufficient deterrent from reading?”
  25. “Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
  26. “Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.”
  27. “The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them.”
  28. “There are no evil thoughts except one; the refusal to think.”
  29. “Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer – and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.”
  30. “A rational man never distorts or corrupts his own standards and judgment in order to appeal to the irrationality, stupidity, or dishonesty of others.”
  31. “The more you learn, the more you know that you know nothing.”
  32. “To love is to value. Only a rationally selfish man, a man of self esteem, is capable of love – because he is the only man capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, unbetrayed value. The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
  33. “A quest for self-respect is proof of its lack.”
  34. “Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burnt at the stake he’d taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived and he lifted darkness from the face of the Earth.”
  35. “We are all brothers under the skin – and I, for one, would be willing to skin humanity to prove it.”
  36. “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.”
  37. “Guilt is a rope that wears thin.”
  38. “Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned.”
  39. “Know what you want in life and go after it. I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals, and I loathe humanity, for its failure to live up to these possibilities.”
  40. “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”
  41. “Any work is creative work if done by a thinking mind.”
  42. “Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of a man’s independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn’t done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.”
  43. “A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.”
  44. “I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him.”
  45. “There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and the air of the streets. Fear walks through the city, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare speak.”
  46. “She knew that even pain can be confessed, but to confess happiness is to stand naked, delivered to the witness, yet they could let each other see it without the need of protection.”
  47. “If you know that this life is all that you have, wouldn’t you make the most of it?”
  48. “Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others.”
  49. “She knew that she could not have reached this white serenity except as the sum of all the colors, of all the violence she had known.”
  50. “Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: “I will it!”
  51. “For the coming of that day shall I fight, I and my sons and my chosen friends. For the freedom of Man. For his rights. For his life. For his honor.”
  52. “Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves.”
  53. “Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences. The work, not the people. Your own action, not any possible object of your charity.”
  54. “A leash is a rope with a noose at both ends.”
  55. “Psychologically, the choice “to think or not” is the choice “to focus or not.” Existentially, the choice “to focus or not” is the choice “to be conscious or not.” Metaphysically, the choice “to be conscious or not” is the choice of life or death.”
  56. “It’s so graceless, being a martyr. It’s honoring your adversaries too much.”
  57. “There can be no justification for choosing any part of that which one knows to be evil.”
  58. “Every man builds his world in his own image; he has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence—by his own choice.”
  59. “The quickest way to kill the human spirit is to ask someone to do mediocre work.”
  60. “The difference between animals and humans is that animals change themselves for the environment, but humans change the environment for themselves.”
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Ayn Rand Video

This 1959 interview with the infamous Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame, was Ayn Rand’s first appearance on television. In the interview, Ayn Rand introduces her philosophy of Objectivism. The interview discusses very complex topics that range from the nature of morality to the misrepresentations about the “robber barons.” She also gives her perspective on the future of America.

Ayn Rand’s works are thought-provoking and inspiring

Ayn Rand’s work, “Atlas Shrugged,” is now a major motion picture in several parts. She has inspired many to follow their dreams and to understand the importance of reason as human’s highest power and loftiest goal.

These Ayn Rand quotes remind us all that reason is our highest power, and that working to fulfill our dreams helps everyone.

Image Credit: English: Photo portrait by Phyllis Cerf. Published by Random House. / Public domain

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