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