In Ayn Rand’s famous novel ” The Fountainhead” she talks about living what she calls an “unrestricted existence”. I read this years ago and it became the centerpiece of my life’s vision. Imagine doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want,  for as long as you want, without having to answer to anyone unless you choose to. The mental toughness/critical thinking question is, is this a realistic goal? My position is that mental toughness makes it possible. By studying the thought processes, habit’s and philosophies of the great ones and copying them, I think this is a completely realistic goal. Listen to this post and see what you think. I’ll look forward to your comments.  Steve Siebold  ( 3:00 )

Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

15 thoughts on “Mental Toughness/Critical Thinking Question: Is it really possible to live an Unrestricted Existence?”

  1. John You claim mental toughness can claim you wealth and success, and you claim this is possible with a family and staff to support. I have to ask you one question; that is; who do you work for? Is she a millionaire, or she your wife? Is she just your wife, or has she become your life?

    If the answer to any of these questions has been yes then I think you are not ready for the joy of an unrestricted existence.

    What can you tell me?

  2. I find this interesting. Ayn Rand was a product of communist Russia who some would argue was so consumed with disgust for its social conventions that she shunned them completely and through her novels promoted capitalism as the only social virtue. That’s the same kind of thinking that drives trickle down economics and, at its core, completely shuns social responsibility.

    Just build some really cool houses without greek or roman columns on them and all the sudden you are the most important person in the world. By that line of thinking Howard Rourke is more mentally tough, historically important, and socially relevant than Mother Teresa.

    “doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want, for as long as you want, without having to answer to anyone ” to Ayn Rand meant NOT being communist. Since she seems to love extremes, I ‘d argue that it also means having no sense of social responsibility whatsoever. There is nothing mentally tough about that. It’s mental cowardice to pretend that a full life can only be achieved in total isolation from the world around you.

  3. “how much of a slave we can become to people pleasing at the expense of living an authentic life. I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants to become mentally tough in this area.” – Paul

    And at the same time bending, flexing, accommodating, pleasing and tending to the needs and expectations of others in ways that are shaped by the choices of unrestricted existence are not contrary to the concept – they expand, draw from, and mirror cause and effect.

    The best of success to everyone.

  4. Steve, I’m glad you brought up the subject of “unrestricted living” About a month ago I just so happened to come upon a copy of “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Almost every page brings you to a place of seeing how much of a slave we can become to people pleasing at the expense of living an authentic life. I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants to become mentally tough in this area.

  5. I am a bit ahead here – I just saw your post in regard to appearing on the Today Show. Steve, do you know when your wife will be starting another
    90 day fat loss coaching program? The last I heard was that it was being revamped and would start in June 2009. I have not heard anything about it since them.

  6. “There are many not so blessed, who are restricted by circumstances brought about unfairly by others. An unfaithful wife, an arrogant Boss, an undesirable neighborhood. Corruption and hate all around. These restrictions can be eliminated from life by the way we change our thinking. But it takes strength. Mental strength to make the decisions to improve out lot. the choice as always lays with us. choose wisely.” cheers John

    There’s the truth that we get and become through our actions as a result of our beliefs and wants what we seek. Our vision determines our results in a cause and effect way.

    The mental toughness part – or ability to live an unrestricted existence – will look different in different lives. When trying times and great personal pain have influenced my life decisions in the past, I’ve looked for creative – imaginative – ways to work with ithe circumstances unrestricted by it’s potential influence as a paralizer of action and positive response.

    A less painful but serious example than I could give: in my youthful years after college I found myself laid off for three years from my career, I looked at things but didn’t have an expansive outlook or business mind at the time YET I became a house painter and imagined myself as an artist.

    I did some other things to make money – taught adult education, did some substitute teaching, and Artistically painted the inside and outside of homes.

    The power ot how I defined myself liberated me from self pity, from restricted existence, and three years quickly passed and I was recalled back into the local school district as a teacher. AND that experience made me a better teacher.

    A positive response to adversity can be accomplished by anyone. When you can’t remove yourself from a situation or don’t want to physically cut relationships off or change environments, you can learn how to live with unrestricted existence – creativity and the power of your personal vision in the situations you choose to take ownership over and win.

    THAT’s one of the facits I see at the core of World Class thinking and diamond toughness.

    The best of success to you and thank you Steve!


  7. Hi Steve, I didn’t really make an assumption merely asked a question. ‘Are you sure….’ Steve you write as if you only have one choice in life to move on and strive for a better unrestricted existance, or lose your job and family. This is not the case. Dont be deceived into think your job will be secure forever. neither is a married relationship 100% garaunteed. Children grow up and move away. people change. An unrestricted existance is merely a challenge, it may not happen in 99.9 of all cases but it is a dream, a target, a goal, a dicipline, to a better way of life, not just for you but your family as well. You can just keep doing what you’ve always done but you will just keep getting what you have always got.For the majority of the population this is enough.but it is not as good as it gets.
    An unrestricted existance is something which can be shared by many including your wife and family. Nobody decides you have to go it alone. if you change your thinking from divorce and a bad relationship with your kids to more love and joy, any resrictions which do arise you can eliminate. It really all depends on how you think and how happy you are in your current situation. If you are content to continue the status quo in your life fine, but if you find you are meeting restrictions in your life then you need to either accept them or take the responsibility to change them. You are a rarity in this world Steve, a caring family man who loves his wife and kids and to me that sounds like a pretty cool situation.
    There are many not so blessed, who are restricted by circumstances brought about unfairly by others. An unfaithful wife, an arrogant Boss, an undesirable neighborhood. Corruption and hate all around. These restrictions can be eliminated from life by the way we change our thinking. But it takes strength. Mental strength to make the decisions to improve out lot. the choice as always lays with us. choose wisely. cheers John

  8. Steve, John,
    I neither said you can’t be successful nor did I blame anybody. I’m also not trying to excuse anything. Honestly I’m surprised about all those assumptions. What I disagree with is the term unrestricted. If you have a family and you care about the maximum output for your family your individual output might be restricted for the greater benefit of the whole. Every marriage councelor will tell you that you will need to fulfill your partner’s needs and vice versa for a marriage to succeed. So compromise is a life essence when other people are involved. Of course you can ignore this since you are on your unrestricted exixtence trip and it’s all about you but you most likely will need to face the consequences as well (in a family situation this might mean divorce and bad relationship with your kids). Then when you turn 90 and look back at your life you can say “whow I had a fantastic unrestriced life” but there is nobody to say it to because people turned away from you. For me personally I don’t think so…

  9. Obviously it depends on how you define unrestricted existence – Steve you make it clear in your audio you mean not being a rubber band stretched this way and that by everyone and everything else. You’re talking about marching or doing any dance you want to make up to the beat of your own drummer.

    It’s possible to live that way. It’s possible to live that way in horrible conditions around horrible people. It’s best to live that way not in horrible conditins not around horrible people but in the freedom of your choices that put you in the place that you want to determine.

    I made a point to my son-in-law a couple years ago that if you were to quack at people some would grab their kids and get away fast, some would smile but keep moving, some would igonre you and some would quack back.

    We walked into the parking lot of the store we were at and I saw a guy with long hair in an old van sitting in the driver’s seat with a young child looking out the opened window.

    “Watch,” I said to my son-in-law. I cocked my arms and flapped them at my side and began quacking – loud! Wouldn’t you know it the guy did the same to the kid’s hands and quacked back at me smiling.

    Unrestricted existence frees the body, mind and spirit and integrated into your entire life makes your entire life more fun, more productive, and more fascinating every single day.

    The best of success to everyone.


  10. John,

    I LOVE your challenge to Thomas! This is what mental toughness is all about.

  11. Are you sure you are not using your wife and family as an excuse for not getting where you want to go in life. Excuses wont get you what you want. People who dont succeed nearly always blame something or somebody for their procrastination. Their environment, upbringing spouses,race,colour of skin, their boss, their lack of money,time or knowledge There are many millionairs out there with large families and staff to support. they are successful anyway. There never is a perfect time or situation in achieving goals, the time is now! you need to stop look externally and begin to look within at your self and ask yourself what is the real reason for your inactivity? Is it fear or lack of self worth, or laziness? Take a tip from me and ask yourself the question. can I do this inspite of my apparent restrictions? You can if you think you can!!

  12. For me personally: in theory yes, in practice no. I have the same reservations as I have with advice from Tim Feriss and others. I have 2 young kids and a non-working wife which depend on me (and my income). If I were alone no wife and no kids I would absolutely agree with you and I can tell you that I would be somewhere having a blast. But with marriage and kids comes responsibility and lack of flexibility and thus “restricted existence” and no I’m not talking about paying the bills. Note: I’m not at all complaining! I received the biggest gift I could ever receive by having 2 beautiful children but I’m consciously aware that this gift has a hidden price tag 😉

  13. Most average folk are living with many restrictions. Having the strength and courage to eliminate or break away from inherited restrictions is the key. Ridding yourself of toxic people and influences involves some sacrifices that many are not prepared to make. Yet only when you choose to do this will the restrictions life throws our way be removed. Living an unrestricted existance in a mainly negative world requires mental toughness. mental toughness is a major requisite in becoming who you want to become and in getting where you want to go. Yes we can all live an unrestricted life if we are willing to get tough with our emotions and see the grand benefit which awaits us. Get tough on your thinking and put those emotions into action you will be surprised at the result. cheers John Regan

  14. Yes, it is true and we should accept one thing, imagination is greater thing than you have knowledge ever, it is super power tool for achieving any success. really, it works. Major people denies it and raising a question about this thing. No doubt, we should have mental toughness in more expanded version. It helps in critical situation to stay on the course and win the thing we desired.


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