Recently a few articles and books caught my eye. All of them were targeted at expats and all of them used the word survive in some fashion. There was either a title “How to survive as an expat” (Disclaimer: not the exact words); or an e-book on “5 Ways to Survive your move abroad (again, not exact words); or an article on “Survival tips on…”, etc, etc, etc. All this written material was intended to help expatriates and was offering help from the perspective of survival and having to survive.
Why do I bring this up? If we look at the definition of the word survive, this is what we get:
- To remain alive or in existence.
- To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere.
- To remain functional or usable.
How is that for a perspective? How inspiring does it sound to you if you are an expatriate (or preparing to become one)?
My point here is that perspectives from which we approach our lives matter a great deal. Perspectives can be empowering and inspirational – the ones that make us look at the world thought the glasses of possibility. Perspectives can also be cautious and fearful — the kind that force us to look at the world through the glasses of prevention.
Looking at our expat experience from the point of view of having to survive is nowhere as fun and calling as looking at it from the point of view of thriving. What do you think?
And how do you look at your expatriate journey?
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