Day 6: Be the Source, Be the Fountainhead!


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Welcome to Day 6 of the Self Challenge Week and I am with you.

Howard Roark.

For this is his name and he is one of those literary characters with whom you would immediately fall in love because of integrity of his character, because of his unwavering faith in his own self, because of his passion for his work and because of his focus on the ultimate purpose in his life.

Published in 1943, The Fountainhead is the novel which is woven around the struggle, perseverance and love of this literary character, Howard Roark, who is an architect by profession. While this fiction is a brilliant testimony of Ayn Rand’s literary genius, however, this work also serves as one of the best reads which has widely influenced the readers of all times and still continues to inspire the youth, the artists, the entrepreneurs and the Silicon Valley techies and geeks and many more individuals across the globe.

For today’s post, I have highlighted some of the most quoted dialogues of Howard Roark which reveal the philosophy and ideology of Any Rand and by reading them, you would understand why she created this Man named Howard Roark.

Read the first word of the dialogue and I am sure that you would glide effortlessly through the entire post, for that is the beauty in writing of Ayn Rand.

Love What You Do and Do What You Love

“But you see, I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards–and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.”

Your Work Has Integrity, Its Each Part Constitutes to Make it a Whole

“A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn’t borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn’t borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it.”

You Must Know What Matters Most To You, You Must Know Your Goal and Move Towards Your Purpose in Life

“Every form has its own meaning. Every man creates his meaning and form and goal. Why is it so important–what others have done? Why does it become sacred by the mere fact of not being your own? Why is anyone and everyone right–so long as it’s not yourself? Why does the number of those others take the place of truth? Why is truth made a mere matter of arithmetic–and only of addition at that? Why is everything twisted out of all sense to fit everything else? There must be some reason. I don’t know. I’ve never known it. I’d like to understand.”

Don’t Lose Your Soul

“If you learn how to rule one single man’s soul, you can get the rest of mankind. It’s the soul, Peter, the soul. Not whips or swords or fire or guns. That’s why the Caesars, the Attilas, the Napoleons were fools and did not last. We will. The soul, Peter, is that which can’t be ruled. It must be broken. Drive a wedge in, get your fingers on it–and the man is yours.”

Men with Vision Rule the World

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received–hatred. The great creators–the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors–stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The first airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”

Thoughts Lead The Men of Great Achievements 

“Man cannot survive except through the use of his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons–a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man–the function of his reasoning mind.

First, Be a Creator and Then Give away

“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution—or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.”

Your Work Is Your God

“My reward, my purpose, my life, is the work itself.”

Howard Roark.

To know more about the author who created this character, follow the links below:

1. Any Rand and Her Objectivism

2. The Literary Achievement of the Fountainhead

3. Any Rand Books


  • Shatrughna Pathak says:

    Happy to see your motivating posts again Ma’am 🙂

    I am yet to be familiar with Ayn Rand’s writings but undoubtedly she is one of the most quoted personalities in modern philosophy.

    Howard Roark as a character seems to be very good portrayal of an individualistic person. There is no doubt that personal goals summon very high amount of motivational energy and satisfaction,
    Humans are still highly social animals and collectivism overshadows individualism for most people.

    All above points are intellectually stimulating and I agree with them except second last as there are very few creators and a large pool of people just inherit what already has been created. Creation and distribution is superb at the same time distributing what one has gained from others must not be condemned.

    • Pratibha says:

      Dear Shatrughana,

      I am extremely happy to see you, thanks for visiting the blog and connecting again 🙂

      Yes, Ayn Rand is one of the most quoted writers and has inspired millions of people with her philosophy of objectivism and individualism. I highly recommend you to read her two novels: The Fountainhead and the Atlas Shrugged. Also, when you get time, dive into her other philosophical works, which I am sure, would be true philosophical delight for a reader and thinker like you.

      I agree to both of your points. All the men whom we call as great, have been individualistic in approach and they have moved the world with their vision, power of character and philosophy, however, for most of the people, collectivism overshadows individualism. This is the way of the world!

      I also agree to your second point. Plato says that all art is imitation because the only creator is the God and what all we create is imitation of the work done by God. In fact, the very foundation of any new discovery, as we call it, is also based on the bed rock of the work done by its predecessors and therefore what we all create is nothing but the rehash of the old things, which we present in our own manner and style and therefore we must appreciate the process of giving. However, the point which she wants to highlight is that, for all those who pretend to be giving the gifts without giving credit to the one who created the gift, must understand the point of creation and taking efforts in making of that gift.

      • Shatrughna Pathak says:

        Whoa !! Reading novels…That would be a good challenge for me. I think Ma’am your recommendation would allow me to do so 🙂

        My opinion was based on text only, I am sure context would be clearly resonating with what you have described Ma’am and to which I completely agree.

        • Pratibha says:

          Yes Shatrughna,
          I personally recommend you to read both the books and after reading them, I am sure you would write me either a big mail or a blog post.
          First go for the Fountainhead. Next go for the Atlas Shruggged.
          And you would be amazed to find that the protagonist of the Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, comes after 500 pages, and then takes the story forward. I am sorry for letting the small cat out of the bag. Enjoy them and I will wait for your feedback:)

  • Devanshu says:

    One of my friend said, i get paid for the job i love, i get paid for my passion ..

    Follow your passion and success will follow you .

    • Pratibha says:

      Well said Devanshu….this is the only secret to achieve any success. Love what you do, create your own value system. Follow you passion and you will be always happy for “happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values, ” says Ayn Rand.

  • Rubal says:

    Eve ma’am…
    Some of the posts are really well-written and thought out. Although we know a lot of things/acts we must do, we don’t really do them. But, reading the last 6 posts has once again told me that we can very well get what we want.
    Thanks for the beautiful posts and anecdotes; and I might not always be able to write to the posts, but surely I read them all.

    Thank you

    • Pratibha says:

      Hi Rubal,
      Great to see you again!
      Many thanks for your words of praise.
      Yes, this self challenge week has been full of challenges and learning experiences for me, but honestly, I enjoyed this week a lot.
      Still one more day left and I am charged up to write my last post of the week.
      So, stay connected and keep reading and try to write because when you write, I feel that you have made efforts to imbibe the messages delivered in the post.
      Take care!

  • Prashant says:

    Ma’am first of all this is the an awesome article.
    It reminds me when u took our substitute soft skills class about 3 years ago, and taught us “Do what u love and where ur passion is”.
    Just like u, I too believe that the greatest and the most important discovery in the world is to find ourselves (soul).
    Yes almost everybody is selling their soul in every hour of their life. But there are people like us too who do what they love. I believe our population will increase.

    • Pratibha says:

      Thanks Prashant.
      And thanks again for remembering the Soft Skills lecture.
      Population is increasing and population of people like us is also increasing. We must appreciate that.
      “What shall it profit a man, if he gains the world and loses his own soul” says The Bible. I believe in that, I am sure you too. If we work on our soul and listen to it, the rest of the things in the would follow.

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