-Nathaniel Branden, “The Psychology of Pleasure” in Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness (New York: Signet Centennial Edition, 2005 re-print of 1964 edition), p. 78.
- “…through his work man gains his basic sense of control over existence—his sense of efficacy—which is the necessary foundation of the ability to enjoy any other value. The man whose life lacks direction or purpose, the man who has no creative goal, necessarily feels helpless and out of control; the man who feels helpless and out of control, feels inadequate to and unfit for existence; and the man who feels unfit for existence is incapable of enjoying it.”
- “The problem of survival is never ‘solved,’ once and for all, with no further thought or motion required. More precisely, the problem of survival is solved, by recognizing that survival demands constant growth and creativeness.”
- “In order to deal with reality successfully—to pursue and achieve the values which his life requires—man needs self esteem: he needs to be confident of his efficacy and worth.”
- “A mind is healthy to the extent that its method of functioning is such as to provide man with the control over reality that the support and furtherance of his life require. The hallmark of this control is self-esteem.”
- “If man’s thinking is to be valid, this process must be guided by logic, ‘the art of noncontradictory identification’—and any new concept man forms must be integrated without contradiction into the hierarchical structure of his knowledge. To introduce into one’s consciousness any idea that cannot be so integrated, an idea not derived from reality, not validated by a process of reason, not subject to rational examination or judgment—and worse: an idea that clashes with the rest of one’s concepts and understanding of reality—is to sabotage the integrative function of consciousness, to undercut the rest of one’s convictions and kill one’s capacity to be certain of anything.”