Your thoughts and emotions are not the best guides. Discovering what truly matters to you – your values – will give you a more stable direction in life.
If ever a man had come off tired Lambert Strether was that man; and hadn’t it been distinctly on the ground of his fatigue that his wonderful friend at home had so felt for him and so contrived? It seemed to him somehow at these instants that, could he only maintain with sufficient firmness his grasp of that truth, it might become in a manner his compass and his helm.”
Henry James. The Ambassadors
‘Thoughts about the past, emotions, bodily states, and the like are often very poor guides to action, especially when they are viewed in the contexts of literality, control, and reason giving. Chosen values provide a far more stable compass reading. This is true because thoughts and feelings often lead in contradictory directions, and they invite a focus on irrelevant process goals (e.g., getting rid of a certain feeling or having only certain thoughts). Values can motivate behavior even in the face of tremendous personal adversity.’
Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, and Kelly G. Wilson. Learning ACT: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills-Training Manual for Therapists