I’ve talked a lot about making value-pursuit (“building a life you love”) the only compass you follow in life; particularly how that relates to throwing out fear as a factor to consider in decision-making. “Price no object” = “Fear no object.”
I realized another corollary to that today: “Pain no object.”
I talk about fear as being an irrelevant factor to living: it doesn’t matter how much fear you may feel. Being afraid doesn’t change anything about the nature of your goals, the nature of the work required to achieve them, or the nature of the happiness you’ll feel when you do. It doesn’t change the nature of the choice you have to spend life “shaping the world in the image of [your] values”* or not – choosing to build the goods you want and instill the virtues you desire or not – and that giving up any part of that process to fear is giving up the ultimate purpose of your life to avoid death (the irony).
The same goes for pain. Like I said above, living life is about pursuing and achieving goals, which results in happiness. Pain doesn’t change that. If I give up pursuing life because of pain, I’m giving up pursuing life to avoid death – moving closer to death in doing so.
The possibility for pain and fear is always there. But fear and pain don’t affect the nature of living and enjoying life unless you use them as guides. There’s no reason to concede any part of the life you love to them.
*Gregory Salmieri, ‘Atlas Shrugged on the Role of the Mind in Man’s Existence’, Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, p. 244