Monthly Archives: May 2010

3 awesome things in your expatriate experience

The other day I was listening to my local NPR station and heard an interview with an author of

“The Book of Awesome”, Neil Pasricha.  And while I am not a big fan of the word awesome I thought Neil’s idea of “awesome things” is a powerful insight into a human experience and a great resource for gratitude.

For those of you who have not heard of the book or the idea, it all started with Neil’s blog where he set out to list 1000 awesome things that happen to all of us.  An awesome thing can be defined as something that, albeit for a moment, makes us happy, giddy, excited, relieved, etc, etc, etc.  Awesome things are different for all of us and those that might be awesome for me may not be awesome for you.

And so I thought that those of us who have lived abroad and been expatriates probably have our own collection of awesome in our lives.  What are they for you?  What have been the awesome experiences and things for you in your journey of expatriation?

I want to invite you to play a game with me.  Name 3 of your awesome things in comments.  I’ll start:

  • sharing my experiences with my visitors
  • the first moment of landing in a new country
  • finding a grocery item I want when supplies have been erratic

What are yours?

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Copyright © 2010 by Global Coach Center.
If you’d like to reprint this, please do so but make sure you credit us!

Expat reality… deconstructed in 3 steps

If we think of some of the “realities” we encounter daily as expatriates, we can probably come up with hundreds, if not thousands.  There is the reality of not understanding a word spoken around you; there is the reality of not having the same foods you are used to; there is the reality of finding a job or a career after a move; there is the reality of maintaining a relationship with your family and friends while making new friendships… on and on it goes.

I bring this up because in one of the recent discussions on a coaching board, I read something that got me thinking about our perceptions of reality and how it affects our expat experiences.  One of the coaches suggested that instead of looking at what we think *is* — and define our reality – we may want to look at our relationship with that reality.

Looking at the relationship is a great tool.  In fact, I have used that same approach – the relationship approach – in my Culture Shock management program.  But how do we look at our relationship with reality and what will that do for us?

Let’s take an example.  For instance, take the reality of moving half-way around the world and finding yourself without a job or a career.  The reality here is that you don’t have a job anymore and your career is at a standstill.  Now what?  How can you help yourself?

(1) Look at your relationship with this reality.  If that reality were a human being, how would you describe your relationship with it?  Hostile?  Frustrating?  Depressing? A struggle?

(2) Now that you have defined your relationship with your reality, think of how that relationship is affecting your ability to change that reality (if you want to change it, of course)?  Is it serving you?  Is it helping you move forward?  Or does it get you stuck and uninspired?

(3) What would you do with that relationship if it were with another human being?  How would you change it?  How can you change your relationship with reality?  How can you change it so that it serves to empower you?

What do you think?

People who read this post also enjoyed:

2 ways to reduce overwhelm in expatriation

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Copyright © 2010 by Global Coach Center.
If you’d like to reprint this, please do so but make sure you credit us!