Aligning Your Values to Your Travel Purpose

Ever wondered why your life is not flowing for you? No matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to make it fit right?

You don’t seem to have a clear idea of what is important to you. You waffle and are confused by the greyness of the world. You come close to reaching a goal and then at the last minute it disappears blown away by the puff of the wind.

Or, do you understand the feel of life when it flows, as if everything that happens around you happens just for you? The planets align and you spend every day doing what you were born to do.

This doesn’t mean that life does not have its challenges; it does and will always because that is just the human experience. But when the flow is happening life is good and manageable, despite the difficulties that arise.

Most of the time, when things aren’t going the way we want them to it is because we are living our life out of sync with our values. It took me many years to understand this and when I did a long time to accept it.

Sometimes our values don’t line up so well with the way others expect you to live and to be. And for this reason we may choose to live out of accordance with them.

This generally results in a lot of pain for you. This is why life just never feels right.

Each of us has a value system that we need to live by

Your value systemYour values act as your personal compass guiding you.

The direction of our lives is controlled by this magnetic pull of our values. They are the force in front of us, consistently leading us to make decisions that create the direction and ultimate destination for our lives.

Not using the internal compass results in frustration, disappointment, lack of fulfilment and a nagging sense that life could be more if something were different. In opposite, using this compass gives us a sense of certainty, an inner peace and total congruency.

Your values are usually formed from your life experiences and conditioning through punishment and reward and those role models that surround us every day from birth.

Think about the value you pride yourself on. If you’re not sure what that is, it usually comes down the thing you’d fight tooth and nail to keep. They are the things that fulfil you and make your life rich and rewarding.

All of our decisions should be based around these values. We have all of them within us, but there are usually two or three that take precedence above all others.

My values are FREEDOM, FUN and CONTRIBUTION

Before I understood what this value system was and what I treasured, I saw myself as being someone who was irresponsible, could not settle down, someone with their head in the skies, and someone who was on the run.

I did not know what was wrong with me. I could not hold down a full time job, not because I was a bad worker or was fired, but because I chose not to.

Two years max was all I could ever do. And even then it was temporary positions so I could run out that door if needed.

The constant nomad, wandering aimlessly, unknown what I was searching for because for some reason I thought that I had to search of something so this must have been what I was doing.

LOST

When really I was FOUND. I was just doing what I was born to do.

FREEDOM

It is what I value the most. The minute someone starts telling me what to do I feel the walls closing in on me and I can’t breathe. The minute I feel myself doing something I don’t want to do my whole body tightens and wants to scream out in frustration.

It’s led to a constant battle to figure out what it is I should be doing. Once I sorted out my values, I sorted out what I should be doing. Traveling and blogging. Always my terms.

It’s what gets me up early in the morning and keeps me working late at night. Any other way of being just does not work for me; I feel stressed, confused, frustrated unhappy and unfulfilled.

FUN/JOY

Understanding your values system can also help you to work out ways to overcome challenges. It is kind of difficult to have a value system of fun, because often life is not.

I would find myself so many times wanting to quit things I started. I felt like a flake, someone who couldn’t follow through, a lazy arse. When really that is not true, I am a hard worker and I am determined to succeed.

I just have difficulty continuing on with things if I don’t find it fun. (One reason why I am still, at 36, often the first to arrive and last to leave a party.) I guess you could also term it as joy. Joy is my most esteemed emotion and I think the only point to life.

Freedom helps me to feel the joy. Once I had children the joy hit all-time levels-Joy at giving someone else the gift of life, joy at experiencing unconditional love, joy of spending every day with my family. Travel provides me with total joy; another reason why I can’t stop. (see the connection here with freedom)

I know now that when I reach a point in whatever I am doing that is not fun and I want to quit, then I have to find a way to make it fun. Maybe I put on some music, get a little silly with it, take a break, whatever I can to make it joyful again then I can easily carry on and get done what I have to.

CONTRIBUTION/MAKING A DIFFERENCE

I think I spent many years ignoring this value of mine. I ignored it because I had a total lack of belief in myself. I never thought I had anything to contribute or could make a difference.

Whenever you are out of alignment with your values, you are going to feel an enormous amount of pain until you get back on track. And I did. It took me many years until I got over the fact that I thought I wasn’t good enough.

And then contribution became a major part of my values system. I can’t leave this world without knowing that I somehow made a difference. I believe that I do have something to contribute now and it is why I do what I do. Share the world with others and hopefully inspire them to live their best life- why? Because it’s fun and it’s liberating!

How can your values system affect your travel choices?

People will always make decisions based on their value systems, whether they are aware of it or not. The more aware you are of them, the better you are at making those decisions and the more aligned you will feel with your purpose. This is why there is never a BEST way to travel, as each of us have different values that work for us.

Do you really want to travel, but just can’t find the way to make it work for you?

Maybe security is one of your highest value and having that taken away by an unpredictable life is just too much for you to bear. Once you understand this you can make some changes. Create a way to travel that is quite structured to give you that peace of mind.

Maybe it is through an organized guided tour of a country, in your own country, or with friends and family.

Maybe its comfort which is why solo travel scares you to death and the thought of leaving your friends and family even more terrifying. Maybe you should plan travel with a few of your close friends, or work on making new friends the minute you go.

That could also be why the thought of camping makes you feel ill. Resorts and luxury travel might be your thing.

Maybe it’s contribution. Travel for you then would mean volunteering around the world and doing whatever you can to help make the world a better place.

Can you change your value systems?

I think you can, although I believe there will be some that you just can’t change as they are what will align you most with your purpose, which is why you came here.

Perhaps there is a calling you have and your value system is getting in the way of that. Maybe you really want to be an entrepreneur but you value security so highly. Maybe then you have a lot of work to do in changing your focus and mindset.

Sometimes your values my clash with each other and a change needs to be made. Recently my health took a hit and I had to have a couple of operations. This was a major signal to me that I did not have health as a high enough values priority and so I made a couple of changes to push it up the list.

Step by step I think you can change your values

I first heard about how to do this from Anthony Robbins. He says the steps to setting up or changing your values system is:

Step One: Gain awareness of what your current values are so you understand why you do what you do?

Step Two: Make conscious decisions about what values you want to live by in order to shape the quality of life and destiny you truly desire and deserve.

To discover your values answer one simple question

“What’s most important to me in life?”

Be careful you don’t choose means values like money, family. These are really not what you are pursuing. The feelings are the end values. Those things that money and family will bring, like security and love are the values you need to live in accordance with.

Here’s a list of some values to help you.

Love, success, freedom, intimacy, security, adventure, power, passion, comfort, health, contribution, growth, happiness, creativity

Tell me in the comments below what do you think your top three values are.

Does it help you to see why you may have made some decisions on your life? Can you use this information to help you make changes, to understand what it is you have to do with your life? Does it help you to know how you can travel or your style of travel?

28 thoughts on “Aligning Your Values to Your Travel Purpose”

  1. Roy Marvelous

    Hm, if I could pick only 3 it’d be freedom, love and contribution. Interesting that you mentioned Anthony Robbins – I sold all my stuff and left to travel the world 8 years ago, after listening to his Get The Edge program 🙂

    1. Awesome Roy, I have that program too. I’ve done it several times. I like his straightforward approach. He makes a lot of sense and has helped me bring so many changes to my belief systems and hence my life!

  2. Heathers Harmony

    Great thought provoking post! I have a pretty good sense of self but I think its time I put a little more thought into it and pinpoint 3 of mine! Thanks!

    1. Glad you found it helpful Heather. I think it will help clarify things for you and make your vision a little sharper!

  3. Mine would be freedom, contribution and passion….and they drive me in work, travel and my quest for experience all things culture!

    Great post!

    1. Thanks TAsh! I think passion is a great one. It’s hard to continue moving forward if you don’t have this. That is why not much cleaning or cooking gets done from me. 🙂

  4. Jeremy Branham

    Love the perspective on this! I have to say I’ve never thought of my decisions in this way – we act according to our value system This gives me something to think about. I do know many of my priorities and don’t always balance them well. This is something I want to do better but this post really makes me think about the things that matter, the decisions I make, and how I focus my time.

    1. It’ sso helpful to understand what they are and how they impact your life. I know I’m not such a flake anymore I’m just living in accordance with my values

  5. The company that I work for in Sydney represents John Demartini (from The Secret) and he says exactly what you’re talking about above which I completely agree with.

    Find your values because when you’re living by your highest values you’re more motivated, you’re more passionate and will ultimately be more successful because you’re doing what you love.

    He also says to surround yourself with people who inspire you – which I definitely also agree with 🙂

    1. Oh I like him! spot on. I think surrounding yourself with people who inspire you is vital. Its so easy to be dragged down by those you aren’t on the same wave length as. It’s amazing the impact others can have on your moods and your belief system. so someone like me who has freedom as her highest priority can clash with those who have security as theirs. Stop putting me in boxes!! 🙂

  6. Great article. I didn’t know about finding your highest values. I love what Beverley wrote as well. Mine are freedom/independence, connection, adventure. I want to be independent and free I guess they kind of go together, and I love connecting with people. I feed off of the connection between two people, it is so great! Then of course adventure, seeing different things and learning about them is what motivates me to keep moving forward. Exactly what I needed. Thank you ladies!!

    1. Adventure is a good one and I think something I would probably have as my fourth one. I like connection, that is a great one to have. You must be good at forming relationships.

  7. The freedom part really makes sense for travellers, but beyond that, yes it makes sense that people travel for different reasons, they get something different out of it. I suppose mine would be freedom (hence the travelling), creativity (hence the blog) and well on the third one I am not quite sure yet, I’ll get back to you on that 🙂

    1. Creativity is a good one for bloggers, and I think the freedom goes very well with travellers. It’s why we come down so hard upon our return to rule bound society. arggh!

  8. I love this post, and it’s so true. When you live a life that clashes with your personal values it makes you feel horrible. From the list freedom, happiness and creativity were the ones that resonated with me.

  9. I love this post Caz! I’m not sure what mine are, I never really thought about it like this. But it sounds like a great way to live, something that hopefully will help me get myself going in the right direction.

    1. It will really help you Ali. Spend some time thinking about it. I recommend Awaken the giant within by Anthony Robbins, it will really help you get clear on it.

  10. It is amazing how many things work along this pathway. Knowing what you want or sometimes what you don’t want helps a long way to filtering out the noise and finding the good things you are actually looking for.

    1. Filtering out the noise! Love it. WE need all the help we can get to do that, especially with the world we live in these days.

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