Ever wondered what makes some expatriates happy when they live in another country? And what makes others not so happy? I’ve created “THE WINNING SEVEN™” or 7 Behavior Choices of a Happy Expat.
Here are the first three:
1. I am intensely curious. Coming to another land is always interesting. You get to learn about the culture, you get to experience a different way of life, you get to try new foods, and maybe even new sports and new hobbies. A whole new world opens up for you. How do you want to be around this new world? Take a metaphor of a toddler, for example. When children are young there is so much newness around them that all they want to do is explore. A toddler’s curiosity is intense — everything is interesting and they have no preconceived ideas as to how things should be. A happy expat is kind of like that. A happy expat sees the new place through the lens of a toddler. Everything becomes a new “toy”, a new “game” to learn and enjoy.
2. I accept others as they come, I don’t judge, and I don’t try to change people to my liking. This new place you’ve ended up in has been in existence long before your plane deposited you there. People here are used to being and doing things their way. No matter how much it may bother you and no matter how much you disagree, a judgmental attitude will get you nowhere. Accepting that things run the way they do is your key to happiness. Remember you don’t own the absolute truth of how to be. There are many different truths and realities out there. You see your truth through your emotions and others see their truths through their emotions. We all have different emotions and we are all different. Accepting others as they are will contribute to your happiness.
3. I look at everything as an amazing learning experience. Someone once said that “life is always offering us new beginnings, it’s up to us whether to take them or not.” I don’t remember who said it but it’s an empowering way to look at what’s available to us at every moment of every day. And especially to those of us who get this incredible opportunity to not only travel but also live in different places. Imagine for a moment what you would have missed if you never moved. What things would you have never seen and what things would you have never experienced? And now imagine what you have seen and experienced as a result of every move. How many more new things are out there for you? Even those times when nothing seems to be going your way, what is your gift there?
The next four are coming up in the next blog!
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