Values on Prescription
My Values on Prescription card deck (my first ever) is now available in the shop, oh joy of joys, so I’m fleshing out the definition of values for the non ACTers out there. It’s not a concept exclusive to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy but it is a fundamental and explicit part of the ACT model.
You may recall that values were mentioned in a previous post:
So, as I said, values offer an alternative to just blundering through life. We are all besieged by consumerism and have to try to construct a sense of self within the dominant contemporary western culture of comparison and judgement, often without really knowing what matters to us or who we actually want to be. Very tricky!
Values are not to be confused with goals (what we want to achieve or get) or rigid rules (things we feel we should, ought or must do), and they are not about how we want to feel (emotions are fleeting, values are not).
Values are chosen willingly and they are what matters most to each of us, not anybody else, not your parents, your school, the company you work for, or the church where you worship (though there may be overlaps).
One of the greatest challenges we all have to face is working out what we want our lives to be about. What sort of human being do you want to be? What do you want to stand for in your brief time on this planet? The more you can connect your actions to your freely chosen values, moment by moment and into the future, the more you will feel that you are making the most of your time on this earth.
Sorry to break it to you though; this is not a recipe for a life free of fear or sadness – there is no such life. But a values driven life is a recipe for a rich and meaningful life.
My Values on Prescription cards, on the other hand, are just a bit of silly nonsense. I hope they might tickle you a bit, they might get you thinking. You might begin to see connections between those prescribed medications that are intended to improve our quality of life and living life according to one’s values. Well worth a look 😉
There’s plenty more to say about values … and there will be time for that later.