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Motivation by Values

1-I have become terribly lazy 2-I think my view of love is irrational.

(this is raw unedited text, computer transcribed directly from the audio, without voice inflection, pauses etc. Sometimes this results in the text implying the opposite of the intended meaning.)

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The Selfish Path to Romance - download chapter one for free at Dr or at

This is a question from Janet . . .

I have developed a terrible amount of laziness in the past few years, what can I do to change myself? I've tried forcing myself to do things. But that doesn't work, I would rather do nothing. Janet.

Janet, the first thing I can say is you are robbing yourself of an interesting life to do nothing day in and day out is imprisoning yourself, imprisoning yourself in your rocker, or your couch, or in front of the TV or in front of the computer. If you're hooked to video games or whatnot. You're just you're throwing away what could be an energized, lovely life.

However, I know that there's a part of you that wants to change that wants to improve your life. And what's my evidence? Well, you took the time to email me the question, you're looking for information. So the first thing is you called yourself lazy. When we label ourselves, it's really hard to get out of that. Now lazy means your resistance to your resistant to work or any exertion, and you're disposed to idleness. That's the dictionary definition or you're very slow moving your sluggish Now, assuming it's not a medical issue, what would cause the person to be slow and sluggish and just resistant to any effort? What would cause that?

Well, how do you motivate yourself, if you are motivating yourself the following way, I will give you the good housekeeping seal of approval, that it will backfire, and you will rebel against yourself and undermine your own happiness. So here's the following. If you're motivating yourself by duty, I should go I should do more with my life. I've got to figure out what career I want. I have to go back to the gym, I must push myself to clean my house, I ought to pay more attention to my kids. You hear those words, I should got to have to push myself ought to it feels like you're pushing yourself from the outside forcing yourself to live your life like a critical parent. Get out there, get off the couch, do something with your life. It's the language of duty. The good news is that you can say no to that language with even that language not just too apparent but within your own head. Without sabotaging yourself. You want to use a cognitive therapy skill called reframing it. You can say to yourself, listen, I've been trying to push myself to do things. I've run that experiment long enough. And guess what, it's not working. I also labeled myself as lazy, which only solidifies me as a sluggish, slow slouch. Can't say that slouch. So if you adopt what's called a learning stance, you adopt a different attitude towards your own life. And you want an attitude that my values matter, like we had in the clip from the fountainhead a moment ago, that your sense of personal value really matters. You want to develop yourself into a passionate valuer. Now, you're not going to do it all at once. You can start small with little small values. But you don't want the attitude that you can't do anything. Now why would anybody self sabotage? If you've been brought up to think that it's selfish to pursue your own goals? And the only reason to take any action is if you're helping mom out, or if you're helping your neighbors out, or if you're helping the I don't know strangers out, or people you've never seen, then you might rebel. You might say what about me and then you feel selfish, and then you retreat and then just sit on the couch and do nothing and then you become a lazy? What a lazy person. That type of philosophy won't get you very far. If you have a different philosophy. This is my only life. I want to make it interesting, a little more interesting. In what areas what would I enjoy in terms of jobs or a career? That may take some thinking on your part, Janet, what would I like in terms of my home? Would I like it a little more organized? Would I like to decorate something the decorate my bedroom make it a little more fun? Would I like a romantic relationship? Now you want this more? You want a decent romantic relationship or when you feel better about yourself? What leisure activities may I enjoy?

So you can read the fountainhead and that helped me tremendously. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand helped me tremendously. And my co author and I also wrote the book, The Selfish Path to Romance, how to love with passion and reason and the first person you want to learn to love is yourself. That's why we titled it The Selfish Path to Romance we don't mean the mean rotten way to romance we mean the self respecting way to romance It's my co author is Dr. Ed lock. You can get that at Amazon or or So we have a whole section on how to make yourself lovable and how to become a passionate valuer.


Now, here's another question that I received from Cory . . .

Dear Dr. Kenner. I'm a gay guy. With regard too love, I feel I'm irrational. I'm 27. And I always wanted to date guys, I always want to date guys in their late teens. I think it's questionable that dating younger men will make me happy. I don't think that I want to grow up, but rather than I'm superficial and find them to be cuter than guys my age range. I feel I can never be happy in a relationship if I don't change. But it's so hard. What can I do? Cory.

Cory, whether you're gay or not, you are right, and that you won't achieve any lasting happiness with the thinking methods that you're currently using. And it change will be impossible because you don't know what the proper thinking methods are, or how to use them to facilitate your goal. And that's the first question you want to ask yourself? What is my goal? And you might say it's a good romantic relationship with a partner. I will say you can't start there, there's a deeper goal that you will want. And that's how do I understand myself? How can I introspect and identify the core ideas that I'm holding my core ideas about myself about romance, and that will help me solve the riddle of why I'm attracted to younger men and at least gives me that self understanding. So there's a great book, you can get mind over mood by Dennis Greenberger and Christine detsky. You can get him at my website, If you're holding deep seated ideas, such as I'm inadequate, I'm unlovable, I'm unworthy. You know, maybe you had some trauma in your past. Or maybe you just concluded that on your own, you will learn how to challenge that and how to repair yourself and how to improve yourself. With that book, mind over mood. If you think that you're only superficially attracted to these guys, you need to know why you're set why you're robbing yourself of genuine romance. So I hope that helps you can look up those books, and look up my book to The Selfish Path to Romance.

I'm Dr. Ellen Kenner at the rational basis of happiness.


And here's a little more from Dr. Kenner.

You've heard me preaching it for years, but you didn't have the wits to know what you were hearing. Why do you suppose I denounced greatness and praised mediocrity is like you. Great men can't be ruled. Why did I preach self sacrifice? If you kill a man sense of personal value, he'll submit.

And that is from one of the worst villains in all of literature. That is from I won't tell you his name. But that's the villain in Ayn Rand's book A y n r a n d two different. That's a first and last name, The Fountainhead. And that's the point of that book is never to let anybody kill your sense of personal value. don't submit, don't throw away your life. Don't throw away your ambition, your goal your dreams, your your dreams in many areas, whether it's career or friendships, or your children or leisure activities or hobbies, don't apologize for the good within you and enjoy your success. You can enjoy it unapologetically. However, that takes courage that takes courage in learning a philosophy that doesn't tell you to submit that doesn't make you crush your own values. And of course, I highly recommend that book. It's on my website, And there's a lot more information on my website.


For more Dr. Kenner podcasts go to And please listen to this ad.

Here's an excerpt from The Selfish Path to Romance the serious romance guidebook by clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner and co author Dr. Edwin Locke.

Partners need to communicate constantly but most do not. Why is communication not a conscious priority? Most partners feel that because they were in a settled relationship. They no longer need to talk as much about their feelings toward one another. They focus on everyday practical matters. Yes, but expressions of tenderness concern and interest in one another's lives go untended, they go on automatic and don't talk unless their subconscious mind happens to feed them something. It is precisely because they are in love that partners need to communicate in order to maintain and deepen that love.

You can download chapter one for free by going to and you can buy The Selfish Path to Romance at