Values-Based Living and Behavioral Activation

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 2:02 PM

I have read many books on organizational leadership. One such book is called “Built to Last” by Collins and Porras. The authors analyze ingredients of successful companies. One ingredient is the ability for organizations to stick to their core values. The leadership team  communicates the values often, and the employees live and practice the values. Successful companies know the importance of having a clear mission and core values in order to be successful. So this has made me think as to why more  individuals do not live by this. Do you have a personal mission statement? What are your core values?

I would like to share with you some of my core values (Serving Others, Growing with myself and God, Loving others and God, Living with Integrity). I obviously have a long way to go, but these are values that I try to reflect in my life. I miserably fail (and all the time), but when I do, I try to learn from the mistake and press forward. I hope to “serve” others by using my gifts and passions to help others. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility VALUE others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but to the interests of others”. Wow!. I hope to grow with myself and God as well. When I make mistakes, my goal is to learn from them. I also continue to try to grow in my relationship with God. Colossians 1:10 reflects this core value (“ that you may live a worthy life and please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, GROWING in the knowledge of God...”). I also seek to live out the value of “Loving God and Others”. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, with all your SOUL, and with all your MIND.... And the second greatest commandment is to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-38). Finally, I want my behaviors to reflect the value of “integrity”. Proverbs 10:9 says, “Whoever walks in INTEGRITY walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out”.

Values-based Behavioral Activation is a behavioral-based treatment which has been a successful treatment for individuals who are depressed. The therapist helps the client to develop their own core values. The therapist then guides the client to try to engage in certain behaviors that may reflect those values. For example, if an individual, has a value of giving. The client will develop a plan for the client to find 1 or 2 specific ways that they can practice the value of “giving” through their behaviors for the upcoming week. There are usually homework assignments and the client will rate how their mood changes when they engage in behaviors that reflect their core values. Cool, huh? What is neat is to see how these type of behavior changes will often result in improved emotional health.

One great aspect about having personal values is that it makes your decisions much easier. Roy E Disney said, “it is not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are”. Consider developing a few core values. Perhaps, you can even develop a personal mission statement. Then try to engage in behaviors that reflect these values. I can only assume if you do this, you will live with greater joy in your life, especially if the values are of substance.

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