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The Biggest Flaw of Ayn Rand

Hey Sebastian,

I came across your site a few days ago after a friend posted a link to your "What Skills Do You Need to be an Entrepreneur? Only Two" article. While I've read many different blogging sites about similar topics, there was something about your writing that has compelled me to stay on your site and read through dozens of your articles. In fact, of all the sites/blogs I have read, you are the first I have attempted to contact. You seem like a really interesting guy, and you have certainly inspired me.

Anyways, I read in one of your works that you aren't much a fan of small talk (nor am I), so I'll cut straight to my questions:

What are you thoughts on Ayn Rand? Have you read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead? The reason I ask is because a lot of your writing seems to reflect some of the core points of her philosophy, at least on an individual perspective (as portrayed in The Fountainhead). I'm not sure how you feel about her philosophy for a society as a whole, as in Atlas Shrugged.

If you've never read her before, here is a good excerpt of her thoughts on money (to get an idea of what her books are like):http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/economics/money/1826-francisco-s-money-speech.html

How it all started...

On Zen Wednesday

I, like many of you, spend the majority of my week sitting in a cubicle, typing on my computer and going to meetings. Don’t worry… this isn’t going to devolve into an anti-corporate rant or anything. For the most part, I actually like my job. I work with nice people, my boss is smart and doesn’t micro-manage me, and my work is challenging without being too stressful. Granted, I wish I was getting paid to do something that I was absolutely passionate about (don’t we all?), but since I haven’t fully figured out what that even looks like yet, this is as good as anything.

Even so corporate life; with its process and procedure, long stretches of sitting, and work assignments that aren’t always exotic or thrilling, can sometimes feel a little flat and soulless. To combat feeling uninspired, years ago some friends and I started a little tradition we call “Zen Wednesday”. Mid-week, we send each other random emails with whatever thoughts and ideas are currently inspiring us. It could be a quote we read that stuck in our head, a link to a blog on creativity or mindfulness, a thought for guided meditation, or a snippet from an article on beating procrastination…whatever. The source material didn’t really matter; the point was to take a moment in the middle of the work week to bring awareness back into what we were doing. To think, to be aware, to feel happy or grateful, to breathe, to make something simpler, or maybe to just let go of the bad experience we had when that guy cut us off in traffic that morning. The point was to pause for a moment, remember to live in the present and not take things so darn seriously.

I started to realize that a Zen Wednesday email could completely change my mindset and/or my mood. I had a little extra spring in my step when heading to the copy machine (which, by the way, totally freaks out your coworkers, thereby totally increasing the awesomeness). I listened better to the people around me. I got out of my own head and started paying attention to what was actually happening, instead of worrying about what might happen, or agonizing over some incident that happened last week. Zen Wednesday made me a more happy and engaged person. And I liked feeling that way.

In addition, my lovely, glitter-soaked, leopard-print fabulous friend Kristy Edwards introduced me to the concept of “Favorite Things Friday”, a sort of gratitude journal where you end the week reflecting on the all the things and experiences that made you happy. Another great recalibration tool I use to remind myself of all the extraordinary love and joy in my life.

Suddenly, I thought…..why keep these traditions locked up just amongst my little inner circle? Why not throw the magic of Zen Wednesday and Favorite Things Friday out into the Universe? Can’t we all use a little more mindfulness and gratitude in our lives??

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