How To Properly Navigate the World on Your Journey to Self-Actualization
The following is an excerpt, Chapter 14, from my new book — Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement
“You got a dream … You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.” — Chris Gardner in the Pursuit of Happiness
This could be another run of the mill chapter of a self-help book about keeping your dreams guarded because everyone’s trying to tear you down. Again, this is true in a sense, but the cliche doesn’t fully explain what’s going on.
Taleb once said, “Life is like an Ayn Rand novel, except well written.” In Rand’s books, the protagonist is often an outlier who basically sees everything the opposite way of the common person in society.
Take Howard Roark, the protagonist in The Fountainhead.70 Howard is an architect who strives to make truly groundbreaking and aesthetically perfect buildings. Often, his creations are mocked by the masses, but with an underlying sense of envy at the real craftsmanship and originality of his work.
The character he’s juxtaposed against, Peter Keating, is the prototypical success. Also an architect, he follows the rules, pays homage to the greats, always does a stellar “by the book job.” He climbs the ranks, kisses the right asses, ascends the ladder, and gets everything he wants. But he’s not happy.
In Howard, he sees everything he’s not.
He often masochistically comes to Howard for advice. Howard gives it honestly and matter of factly without a hint of emotion, which infuriates him further. See, when you experience someone who’s the true antithesis of a societal drone, it’s infuriating.
Per Rand in the book, “Men hate passion, any great passion. Henry Cameron made a mistake: He loved his work. That was why he fought. That was why he lost.”
Howard’s mentor, Henry Camron, urged him not to follow the same path of daring originality and true love for the work because he knew it was a surefire recipe for ostracism. Even if you don’t aspire to…