My Take on Ayn Rand's Idea of How To Pursue Happiness
Health and Wellness

Ayn Rand Taught Me How to Pursue Happiness, It's Selfish But Now I'm Happy

Ever tried to make someone happy, only to find yourself more empty?

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Rachel Eliz
Ever have that feeling when you realize you haven't been happy in a while?
Ever have that moment you look around you and think "Is this it?"
Ever really believed that maybe... just maybe, good things come to those who wait?
Ever tried to make someone happy, only to find yourself more empty?

I was bored one day and decided to read a book. What book you may ask? Well, I decided to read "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, a book that is 753 pages long containing 311,596 words. After reading it, I didn't agree with everything she was implying and Objectivism is a bit much to be convinced by in just one book.

But the one thing that I absolutely took away from this book was that I need to make myself happy before I make anyone else happy. I am my first priority and she basically said that selfishness is a virtue so I should love myself and make myself happy instead of trying to please others.

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I am a people-pleaser and go so far as to inconvenience myself if it makes others happy and I receive praise or a good feeling from it. Lately, that feeling is growing smaller and less effective. Maybe it's because I am in College but everyday acts of kindness are so insignificant. I bought Dinner many times throughout the year for my RA's to thank them for their work but each time is less joyful and fulfilling than the last.

I have never done anything that goes out of my way to make myself happy because I doubt it all the time. If I knew someone like me, I think I would feel better but then that person is inconvenienced. So I realized that I need to be my #1 priority.

Rand's message using Roark, the main character, is that no matter how successful you are and popular you are if you are not pursuing and doing things to make yourself happy, it is all a waste. This is because our goal in life is to grow as an individual. By indulging in selfishness and self-interest, I can discover myself and develop myself as a person.

College is a time in your life that you need to be trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do because if you get your degree and realize that you are only doing this because of how others see you, how you want to be seen, or what others want from you, then you are not acting in self-interest. I was also like that.

I went to the High School and Early College my parents wanted me to and that almost destroyed me. All those years, I was unhappy but I graduated and my parents and everyone around me was happy. Naturally, I liked that feeling because no one praised me for being 15 and taking college classes or taking AP classes since entering High School. It was expected and that was the sad part. I never did anything selfishly except subtly collecting items from Asia because Asia interested me. I never wanted to burden someone so I learned about Asia in secret.

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Rand changed a lot of that. I still help people but don't inconvenience myself anymore and I do things that I want to do now. I am learning Chinese and am studying to be Teaching English as a Second Language Teacher. My parents were disappointed but I am living my life, they aren't.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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