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  1. Hello, I recently read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It certainly cleared several things for me. I am a man of extreme talent and capability. And as a result I have always been inundated with superfluous praise by those around me. Excessive praise led me to question the validity and genuineness of it all, and as a result, I began to question and doubt the subject of such praise: my abilities, and as such, myself. Simultaneously, I had a sense of guilt for my great abilities. A guilt that drove me to disguise myself as mediocre in the face of any whom I considered as such. A debt of modesty where none was due. The combination of the doubt and the guilt-driven disguise became a reflection of who I was becoming, and led to the belief that I was, in fact, mediocre. The sham became fact because I allowed it to, because I was not true to myself. A dark depression followed in which I was incapable of producing anything of value. I had lost my motivation. In my meaningless phase of existence, I felt insignificant, and my actions, or lack of actions, caused me to be just that - insignificant. I became a shell of the person I once was, like the indifferent undead of the abysmal world outside of Galt's Gulch. I crawled on my belly like a limbless creature, searching for a way out, when all I had to do was use my limbs to stand up and walk out. And eventually, that is what I did. When I read Atlas Shrugged recently, it solidified some of my thoughts on my experiences and put words to why I ended up where I was. It justified my tearing away all of the weights, obstacles, and burdens that I had been irrationally placing on myself over the years, leaving me with a clear path towards greatness that will only be attained with my own volition and effort. Given the great influence, I wanted to learn more about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. I am greatly disappointed. It was like that experience we all have after reading a great novel and coming to the big screen to see it as it was meant to be seen, except that all of our interpretations and images of the characters are butchered and our favorite parts are left out. I have concluded that the true Objectivist movement can only exist at the individual's level, the level at which it is meant to be truly meaningful. To go beyond that is to rely on the interpretation of others. The novel showed me that I have tools needed, sharpened and ready. There is no reason to dull the blades searching for further meaning outside of myself. "I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." And so, with that conclusion, I shall leave you with as swift an exit as my entry.
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