Character and Conscious Living - Ayn Rand

As man is a being of  
self-made wealth
so he is a being of  
self-made soul.

Just as our physical survival
on our own effort,
so does our psychological survival.

We face two
fields of action
in which
a constant 
exercise of choice 

a constant 
creative process 
are demanded of us:
the world around us
our own soul 
by “soul,” I mean our consciousness. 

Just as we have to  
produce the material values 
we need 
to sustain 
our life,
so we must 
acquire the values of character 
that enable us 
to sustain it 
and that make
our life
worth living. 

We are born without the knowledge of either

We must discover both 
and translate them into reality
and survive by shaping the world and ourselves in the image of our values.

We have only two 
sources of information 
about the character  
of the people around us:
we may judge them by what they do and by what they say (particularly the first).

Galt's Speech : For the New Intellectual