who is john galt?
This question appears many times in Ayn Rand’s classic 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” and, curiously, it also appears on the side of our shopping bags currently in our stores.
You might be wondering why a company that makes yoga clothing has chosen a legendary literary character’s name to adorn the side of our bags. lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson, first read this book when he was eighteen years old working away from home. Only later, looking back, did he realize the impact the book’s ideology had on his quest to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness (it is not coincidental that this is lululemon’s company vision).
elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness
In “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand describes a society where people work and reside in government-controlled environments that are tightly regimented. Without realizing it, this control created a society of mediocrity; propagating a cycle of listless, uninspired existing as opposed to living. The character John Galt encouraged all of the world’s innovators and intelligent minds to go on strike from the increasingly controlling government in order to create a vacuum of brilliance, proving that independent creativity and free-will is critical for quality of life.
what john galt teaches us
While the plot in the book may sound radical and far-fetched, we place many of these constraints and limitations on ourselves which impede us from living our best lives. Think about it: we are all born with magical machines, aka human bodies, able to think, jump, laugh and run. We are able to control our careers, where we live, how much money we make and how we spend our days through the choices we make. Of course, there are situations sometimes where we aren’t able to control what happens to us. Life can be hard, challenging and unfair. What we can control, however, is our reaction. We can choose to rise up and be great.
Many of us choose mediocrity without even realizing it. We think we “have” to do things or “aren’t able” to do what we want. We create rules and experience fear when we dream of a life we love. Why do we do this? Because our society encourages mediocrity. It is easier to be mediocre than to be great.
What do we want to create for our lives right now? We can do it. It might be hard but there is nothing stopping us. Think about the reasons and excuses that come up when we envision our best lives; it is remarkable how manipulative and clever mediocrity can be, sneakily convincing us to continue existing without what we desire most.
Our bags are visual reminders for ourselves to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity. We all have a John Galt inside of us, cheering us on. How are we going to live lives we love?
- get your own copy of Atlas Shrugged
- keep the sun shining all winter long with these beach reads
- how to get a book club off the ground