Aalto avp mobile logo

In front of you, there are so many roads to take and so many opportunities to catch, but you cannot have them all. How do you decide on what to choose?

Aki Hintsa wrote in his book The Core: “(The core is) the individual’s self, a kind of mental and emotional profile. Knowing one’s own core means thoroughly knowing oneself, one’s goals, and one’s motives. Knowing the core makes it much easier to make decisions, and it is a source of motivation.” To prioritize and stay focused on only a few main directions without spreading your energy and commitments to multiple interesting (but sometimes irrelevant) directions, you need to know your values.

Why start with something so big as values? When you don’t know your values, you end up following impulses, acting without goals, or you start overdoing everything or becoming passive. As a result, outcomes often fall short of expectations, leading to self-blame. Gradually, negative thoughts become a perceived reality, influencing your actions. This cycle breeds stress, pushing you towards avoidance behaviors like binge-watching Netflix, endlessly scrolling through social media, or getting lost in rumination and worry.

You already have your values inside you. The trick is to get them out and formulate them.

In contrast, when you know your values, things seem much brighter. You understand what matters both presently and in the future, and can guide your actions accordingly. This alignment fosters a positive self-image and a willingness to confront rather than evade negative thoughts. You recognize that thoughts don’t define you and acknowledge your history and limitations. While some things are beyond control, your actions remain within reach. Consequently, you cultivate presence and self-compassion, embracing the moment with kindness towards yourself. You reach psychological flexibility. (Lappalainen et al, Hyväksymis- ja omistautumisterapia käytännön terapiatyössä, 2009

So, how do you explore and define your values?

Frank Martela, in his course Art of Living, recommends answering the following questions:

Lauri Järvilehto, in his teaching, proposes to think about the questions below:

Your values are already inside you. The trick is to get them out and formulate them. All the questions above will help you define what you already know.

Another good tool to start with is value cards: https://meetingpointcounseling.com/tools/ACT-card-sort/

The values workshop is the second session in the Good Life Engine course. It precedes the goal-setting workshop because you need to know your values before you address your goals.

Here is a final question for you to consider: how psychologically flexible are you, and how can you be more psychologically flexible?