More from and about
Nathaniel Branden
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

Romantic love is a passionate spiritual-emotional-sexual
attachment between two people that reflects a high regard
for the value of each other's person.

   

Stressing the practice of living purposefully as essential to fully realized self-esteem is not equivalent to measuring an individual’s worth by his or her external achievements.  We admire achievements—in ourselves and others— and it is natural and appropriate for us to do so.  But that is not the same thing as saying that our achievements are the measure or grounds of our self-esteem.  The root of our self-esteem is not our achievements but those internally generated practices that, among other things, make it possible for us to achieve.
  
  
How do we keep our inner fire alive? Two things, at minimum, are needed: an ability to appreciate the positives in our life – and a commitment to action. Every day, it's important to ask and answer these questions: ‘What's good in my life?’ and ‘What needs to be done?

      
Faith is the commitment of one's consciousness to beliefs for which one has no sensory evidence or rational proof. When a person rejects reason as his or her standard of judgment, only one alternative standard remains to that person: his or her feelings. A mystic is one who treats his or her feelings as tools of cognition. Faith is the equation of feelings with knowledge.
  
The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of the body. The child's primary business is learning. It is also the primary entertainment. To retain that orientation into adulthood, so that consciousness is not a burden but a joy, is the mark of the successfully developed human being.
  
Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.
   

To love is to see myself in you and to wish to celebrate myself with you.  What I love is the embodiment of my values in another person.  Love is an act of self-assertion, self-expression and a celebration of being alive.

     

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem,
the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.

   

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Live with integrity, respect the rights of other people, and follow your own bliss.

   

Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves
superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by
measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their
joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.

   

In any culture, subculture, or family in which belief is valued above
thought, and self-surrender is valued above self-expression, and
conformity is valued above integrity, those who preserve their
self-esteem are likely to be heroic exceptions.

   
    

Psychotherapist and philosopher Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D. is a lecturer, practicing psychotherapist, and author of twenty books on the psychology of self-esteem, romantic love, and the life and thought of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand.  His work has been translated into 18 languages and has sold over 4 million copies, and includes such titles as Taking Responsibility, The Six Pillars of Self Esteem, and My Years with Ayn Rand.

The name Nathaniel Branden has become synonymous with the psychology of self-esteem, a field he began pioneering over thirty years ago.  In that time, he has done more than any other theorist to advocate the importance of self-esteem to human well-being, a mission which began with his involvement in Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand's "Inner Circle."

  

  

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