Taking Responsibility for Your Happiness: Insights from Contemporary Psychology (MP3 download)
By Gena Gorlin
The life of a creature without free will is determined by factors outside its control, so it is not responsible for what it does or what becomes of it. But because human beings have free will, the shape our lives take is up to us. True, we are born into circumstances that are not of our own making, and there are facts of nature that we cannot change, but there are countless lives possible to each us, and by recognizing what you cannot control and taking responsibility for what you can, you can create a life of which you can be proud and in which you will be happy. Building on Dr. Salmieri’s discussion of Ayn Rand’s ethics, Dr. Gorlin’s talk provides research- and practice-based psychological guidance for choosing your values and creating a happy, self-directed life in accordance with them. She discusses strategies for increasing self-awareness and value clarity, distinguishing between the controllable and uncontrollable aspects of your thoughts and feelings (and dealing with each accordingly), and increasing autonomy and enjoyment in your relationships through assertive communication.
Recorded at the Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016 in Atlanta, GA.