The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 17: Self-Trust

Previous: Chapter 16: Respect

Just as I am the easiest person to deceive, so I am the hardest person to trust.

To be trustworthy inside and out, I must have great command of myself, great mastery of my emotions, great loyalty to my principles, great constancy of purpose, great internal discipline. I must keep straight, guide myself, monitor myself, point myself in a consistent direction, set my own path in life, live up to my ideals, and aspire to the highest excellence I can achieve.

To be trustworthy inside and out, I must have a strong moral compass within me, and not merely respond to pressures and sanctions that come from outside of me. I must choose my own principles and command my own laws, for myself alone and for no one else. I must be sovereign, autonomous, and a more strict governor of my own actions than any external force could ever be.

To be trustworthy inside and out, I must do what I want. As Peter Keating observed, this is not the easiest thing in the world but the hardest: to know what I truly want, what is best for me, what is consistent with my highest potential — and then to have the courage of my convictions by working tirelessly to achieve that in my life.

To mine own self be true — this requires deep self-knowledge and great self-discipline. Self-respect, self-esteem, self-consideration, and self-love are secondary effects — feelings that can only be based on the hard-won reality of self-worth. I must not confuse the cause and the effect.

Next: Chapter 18: Productivity

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > The Tao of Roark