This is a quote from the book "The Virtue Of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand
...ly, by doing objectively valuable work — indirectly, through the objective evaluation of his work by others.
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It is in this sense that a rational man never holds a desire or pursu
es a goal which cannot be achieved by his own effort. He trades value for value. He never seeks or desires the unearned. If he undertakes to achieve a goal that requires the cooperation of many
people, he never counts on anything but his own ability to persuade them and their voluntary agreement.
Needless to say, a rational man never distorts or corrupts his own standards...