Contrary to what we usually believe, the best moments of our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.’
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi —
Values and Committed Action
ACT takes the stance that we increase our suffering when our actions are not in line with our values, causing us to move away from the person we aspire to be. As mentioned above, ACT gets its name from one of its core messages; accept what is out of your control and commit to taking action that enriches your life. That is, we can have a thought, emotion, urge, or memory and still step back and decide how we want to act. Fear does not have to give rise to aggression or a desire to harm ourselves or others. Worry, shame, anxiety and depression do not have to give rise to maladaptive and often destructive avoidance behaviors. From an ACT perspective, no matter what thoughts, emotions and urges we are having, no matter what happened to us in the past, right now, in the present moment, we can take responsibility for working compassionately with our habits to improve the quality of our lives. That is, regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can always chose to take committed action to live by our values, which ultimately leads to living authentically and having a rich, rewarding and meaningful life.