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Using Reason to Cultivate Passion: A Moral and Psychological How-To Guide

Gena Gorlin

Presented at: OCON 2017

Date: Jun 10, 2017

Despite all the graduation speeches enjoining us to “be passionate” about something, the experience of deep, passionate emotion is not an easy one to achieve, much less sustain. This talk offers guidance for achieving that rarefied quality which Ayn Rand ascribed to one of Atlas Shrugged’s heroes—a “disciplined capacity to feel too deeply.” The talk integrates tools from cognitive-behavioral therapy with insights from Rand’s theory of values, without assuming prior knowledge of either.

Part 2 - A Hands-On Workshop
This workshop builds on Dr. Gorlin’s earlier talk, though attendance of the talk is not a prerequisite for participating. Attendees learn strategies for non-defensively attending to their emotions; identifying and evaluating the associated beliefs and motives; and taking actions that help trigger or intensify value-based emotions. Through this approach, attendees can begin to develop a richer emotional palette that consistently flows from and helps motivate reality-based value-pursuit.


Parts: 2

Handout: none


  • YouTube, 2017 (En) - 59 mins - part 1 only