Why discover and uncover your values is the foundation for a meaningful life.

Moskenesøya (Norway), July 2018. Photo by Alexandra Mateus.

Dramatic events have a way of leading us to a crossroads and then feel for a change. It gives us new appreciation and gratitude for life. I take these experiences as learnings that serve as signals to shape what I should be doing.

Creating a list of what brings me joy is helping me define the values I want to embrace. I find it helpful to tailor them according to what matters most to me, to my own life. It is still a process for me. I like to write it and scale it to achieve the most important ones in the present and near future. So whenever I’m struggling with a decision, I turn to my list of values.

In my view, time is the most precious asset we have, and we need to manage our energy in the time we have in our life according to our purpose.

There is nothing that we have to do. We were born with free will. We can cross as much off our to-do list as we want to. Learning to protect time and get comfortable with saying no has been the single most life-changing step I’ve taken to simplify my life. I’ve been finding the more control I have over my time, the more control I have over my life.

We all have the same amount of hours in a day. It’s how we spend them that matters. The way we make these choices is by returning to our values. If something doesn’t align with our values, it is easier to say no.

Travel works much the same way, becoming aligned with our values. The journeys you embrace carry how you want to fulfil your life.

A way to support us to define purposeful experiences is to keep a journal. At the same time, travelling, where notes are written about the details of the places visited, the people you meet, the activities embraced, if there was some space for the unknown, and the main takeaways you gathered.

On a deeper level, reflecting on the emotions or feelings that each day inspired you could guide you to have more control over your travels. The experiences that motivated you most are the ones you want to continue to embrace in life.

Being meditative is embracing the best and the most challenging parts of your day and seeing where it takes you. A journal could fill the gap if travelling device-free or in a digital detox. It ensures you keep rooted, so once you return home, you’ll have a precious time capsule of your time away and revisit it whenever you need it.

There are many suggestions to choose from, yet, an entirely blanked notebook is perfect for giving you space to set daily intentions, add activities, and combine them with thoughts. Depending on your values, you could add more flavour to your notebook. You can always experiment to find what works best for you.

Unlike other resources, we cannot make more time. Having a limited amount of time increases its value and the energy we put into activities we want to embrace. Therefore, it makes sense to use the time wisely and appreciate the time we are given.

Getting a bird’s eye view of your travels would be the best way to get a sense of our situation and regain control of it. We cannot control what we cannot see. We need a visual diary. It’s important to start where you are now, but I suggest sticking with one travel diary. Having just one place you can go to get a sense check of your time is a much simpler approach. It is less likely to result in missed or forgotten appointments and therefore helps you discover your version in a simplified way and according to your own pace.

Big things happen one tiny step at a time and fostering daily habits to support these big goals, or even just the direction you’d like to head in.

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/

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Alexandra Mateus

Alexandra Mateus

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/

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