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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Call Me Howard Roark

I recently read “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. It has been in print for over 70 years and has sold more than nine million copies in 20 different languages. While I don’t agree with all the ideas in the book, it got me thinking and simmering about the makeup of who we are and what matters to us. As I read the book, I found myself wanting to be more and more like Howard Roark, the main character (that is, until the last few chapters when he makes a few terrible choices! Instead, I will take away the positive aspects of Howard Roark).

Howard Roark represents an individualistic and innovative architect who is committed to his principles and vision regardless of societal norms and expectations. He wants to be great and do great work and places no regard on if people think he is great.

Since I found myself wanting to be more like Howard, I have written 10 ways we can all be like Howard Roark:

  1. Develop a Strong Sense of Self: Roark is unwavering in his beliefs and values. He focuses on understanding his beliefs, values, and goals. He cultivates self-awareness and is prepared to stand by his convictions, even when they are challenged by others.

  2. Pursue Your Passion: Roark is deeply passionate about architecture. Identify your true passion and dedicate yourself to it. Whether it's a profession, hobby, or creative pursuit. Your dedication and enthusiasm will help you excel.

  3. Embrace Individualism: Roark refuses to conform to societal norms or compromise his principles. Embrace your individuality and be willing to think independently, even if it means going against the grain.

  4. Commit to Excellence: Roark is known for his commitment to excellence and innovation. Always strive for the highest quality in your work and continuously seek ways to improve and innovate.

  5. Overcome Challenges: Roark faces numerous challenges and setbacks but remains resilient. Develop your ability to handle challenges and setbacks with determination and a problem-solving mindset.

  6. Cultivate Integrity: Roark refuses to compromise his integrity or artistic vision. Cultivate a strong sense of integrity in your actions and decisions. Be honest with yourself and others.

  7. Build Strong Relationships: While Roark is individualistic, he still forms meaningful connections with a few select individuals. Foster positive relationships with people who support and understand your goals.

  8. Seek Continuous Learning: Roark is always eager to learn and grow. Stay curious and committed to lifelong learning. Continuously improve your skills and expand your knowledge.

  9. Embrace Risk: Roark takes risks to follow his unconventional path. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and take calculated risks to pursue your goals.

  10. Resilience and Perseverance: Roark faces rejection and criticism but remains true to his vision. Develop resilience and perseverance to overcome obstacles and continue moving forward.

I realize that Howard Roark is a fictional character, and real life is often more complex and nuanced. But we can draw inspiration from his qualities and then adapt them to our own context and personal values. Strive to become the best version of yourself while embracing your unique journey.

P.S. I first read the book in college and this time I chose to listen to it. Be prepared. 32 HOURS!






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