I have finished "reading" (listening to on CD) Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The language of this book is just beautiful. It was a joy to listen to, even though I doubt I could ever read it. Ayn does a masterful job of controlling the tone of her book. As I was listening to it I felt myself relax and tense up as situations changed and developed. I don't normally get that involved in a book, especially one I am listening to.
Even though I enjoyed the book and the story. I can't agree with the underlying philosophy of life that Ayn presents in the book. Man's mind is not everything, reason is not everything. Sure both have their place in the world and our lives, but Man is not an end unto himself. I also don't think that everyone can be truly objective about everything. Our lives, past experiences, and situations color everything. I do think that we should be as objective as possible, but two different people can see the exact same thing, person, or action and interpret it differently.
I do agree with Ayn on one thing, greatness takes action. No one reaches true greatness without effort and movement. This really applies to my life. Almost my entire life I have coasted. I am smart, if I say so myself, and didn't have to push too hard to get mostly A's in school. I pick things up very quickly and don't have a hard time getting things done at work. But I have a very hard time losing weight and making progress in my running. I have a hard time pushing myself. Buying the heart rate monitor has helped with my running, but losing weight is still a problem. I trade the immediate pleasure of eating that piece of cake, extra helping, or sitting on my butt for the long term pleasure of being fit, happy with my body and having lots of energy. (short term pleasure=long term pain BUT short term pain=long term pleasure, I can't remember what book that comes from) I take the easy way out every time. Even if it hurts me in the long run.
I think this is the first situation where I have had to stick with something and really WORK at it. Little tricks and motivation tips just aren't doing it for me. I have always hated this phrase, but I need to just do it. Finish the job, run the race, lose the weight. I will enjoy life and myself so much more, and get rid of a lot of guilt as well. But back to my point, all this takes action and effort. This is probably the first time in my life I have ever had to really work at something.