Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Preparing for a New Challenge

If you are about to embark on a new challenge that you worry you may not be able to accomplish, one way to motivate yourself into tackling it is to think of past goals that you've successfully achieved. Think of rather big milestones that you've reached such as finishing university, having a child, buying a house. If you were able to do those things which require considerable commitment why can't you face the next milestone ahead? Once you have listed some past accomplishments, try to think about how you felt before you actually started to work towards your goal. Were you nervous? Apprehensive? Afraid you could fail? Are they similar feelings to what you have now faced with a new challenge? If so, you've already proved to yourself that despite past apprehensions or doubt you were able to accomplish the tasks at hand so what is stopping you from doing it again.

What you can and can't do is all in your head.


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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Best Way to Manage your Stress

Forget about therapy. The best way to manage your stress is to just breath. And its free.

Take a deep breath. Breathe deeply and bring yourself only into the here and now. Stand with your head held high and your shoulders pulled back, breathe deeply and smile. Do you feel stressed doing the exercise?

Breathing is essential. In order to listen to our bodies and solve the problem that is creating the stress in the first place, we must breathe; reconnect with our own resources and allow the options to come. You have a choice when you become stressed.

Now think of a typical stressful situation in your life. Welcome that feeling, get in touch with it and now let it go. Could you let it go? Would you let it go? You always have the choice to let it go.

Breathe, take a step back from the problem. The more often you do that, the more often the answers will come.


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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Check Your Happiness Quotient

One way to maintain and even heighten your awareness to your level of happiness is to regulary take stock of what activities and people gave you joy over the past day, week or month. By keeping a journal and noting when you felt happy can actually help you determine what makes you happy. As well as help you make choices which will lead to even more happiness.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Makes You Happy?

Life is too short. The older you get, the more apparent it becomes that time goes by quickly. So why waste time doing something you hate?

Study after study shows that the majority of working people in the richer countries of the world are unhappy with their job. And as one spends the majority of their day at work, we can only assume that there are many unhappy people out there. As each person is different, we all want different things but one of the common factors amongst us is that most of us want some happiness. How do we attain that desire?

To start, we should ask ourselves these questions:

When was the last time I was truly happy?
Where was I?
What was I doing?
Who was I with?
In general, what makes me happy?
What activities give me the most pleasure?

Next, list the five situations that give you the most happiness. They should be activities. So for example, for me, I get pleasure from traveling with a purpose and participating in group sports. List your five things. Then examine the list and actively plan how you will incorporate more of the things that make you happy in your daily schedule. Thats right, not monthly but a daily/regular schedule.

The more you intergrate things that make you happy in your life, the more happiness you fill your day or week with. While this exercise is not the answer to all of your problems, its a start. Its a beginning to allow other great things and opportunities to enter your life.


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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adopt an Abundance Mentality

An "Abundance Mentality" is based on the belief that there is an infinite amount of resources for everyone and that possible opportunities are endless. People with an abundance mentality beleive that there are plenty of resources for accomplishing their goals and that one person's success does not mean another person's failure. This type of person can be genuinely happy when friends or associates are successful.

To make the idea clearer, let's compare it to the opposite of abundance, which is scarcity. If you have a scarcity mentality, you believe there is only so much success to go around. You see success as a limited resource. If someone else succeeds then that means it will be that much more difficult for you to succeed. This type of person typically has difficulty sharing, money, power or recognition. This mentality breeds greed, fear, spite, jealousy and all those nasty things that end up making us miserable.

With an abundance mentality, you are above such petty things. You can breathe easier because you know, for certain, that whatever life brings your way that there are solutions and opportunities waiting to be discovered. You don't have to live in fear of losing what you have because there is plenty for everyone.

Increasing your abundance thinking is easier said than done. To get started on the path to abundance, stop dwelling on what you don't have and begin appreciating what you do have. Each day, write down 3 things you are grateful for....I think I got this from Oprah:) but it works. Soon, each day, you'll actually start paying attention to what you are thankful for and become more appreciative of what you've been given in life.

Next, try helping others. More specifically, teaching people something you already know. Watching people grow thanks to what you have taught them is the biggest step along the road to abundance. G.G.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Adapting to a New Culture

I often get asked questions about dealing with the cultural differences when living abroad. And usually the answers are not obvious. If you are completely new to a given country, expect that you will make cultural "faux-pas" here and there; its part of the package. What's important is, what you learn from those mistakes. With every ungraceful attempt in getting one's agenda across is a lesson. Not only is it critical to learn from one's mistakes but equaling important is to always probe further on the question of cultural acceptability in your host country.

Lastly, once there is more clarity on the particular cultural issue, it's then time to modify one's behavior. It's the gradual modification of behavior over time that allows one to fully intergrate into the society of a given country. One person cannot change a culture. Know that ultimately, if you want to stay in a particular country for an extended period of time happily, its essential to bend to the culture.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Your Comfort Zone

Even though you may be setting goals, what kind of goals are you setting? If they are goals that you are certain or mostly certain you can accomplish, they probably arent the most ideal goals. Those are probabaly goals that are found within your comfort zone. That is to say, they are things that you can accomplish without much effort so you may or may not accomplish them because you know you can do it.

The zone that you want your goals to fall into would be your stretch zone. Your stretch zone is outside of your comfort zone and its a reachable goal but at the same time, it requires you to work harder to acheive it. Along these lines, your goals should be exciting. A goal should be something that, just by thinking about it, gets you exicited or inspired. Otherwise you won't really get around to doing it.

Often I speak to people who want to move abroad but they hesitate because the actual act of moving abroad is, by nature, outside of what they deem as comfortable. But that reality must not deter you from living the life you've always wanted. If you stay in your comfort zone, you won't progress and you will stay where you are. Make the necessary steps towards the stretch zone and reap the benefits of a more fufilling life.

To get what you really want out of life, you must experience some discomfort. After all, anything worth having is work.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's Most Important to You?

Once you've isolated the goals you want to acheive, its time to plan the steps necessary to reach those goals. However, if your goals are not aligned with your values or rather what you value most, you'll never acheive them. Few people really reflect on what exactly they value most.

Attaining true happiness does not just happen by chance. It requires regular reflection. Take time to think seriously about what you want, what you value and write it down. Examples of values you may have are honesty, integrity, independence, love and family.

Every now and again look at those values and your goals. Do they align with each other? If not, its time to reconsider your goals.


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change What You Say to Yourself

Talk to yourself the way you want your future to be. Successful people continue to take action quickly. If you tell yourself that, you'll never accomplish this, you'll never succeed at that, rest assured, it will become fact. Why not speak positively to yourself? Tell yourself that you can do anything. Tell yourself that you can have want you want. Tell yourself everyday, all day only positive things and they will come.

You don't believe me? Test it? Try this idea as you have nothing to lose. At the worst, you stay where you are but at best, you change your life.

Thoughts are causes, conditions are effects. People are their actions and everything counts. So if you act like a successful person, you will become a successful person. Think like a successful person and act like a successful person.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Preparing for Your Move Abroad

So you feel ready to move abroad. Now what? Before you quit your job and show up in your desired country, consider a few essentials that will help you with a smooth move abroad.

1. Save, save and save some more. Consider this, even if you moved just to a different region of your home country, it would cost money would'nt it? So why think that moving to a different country would be any different? You will need money for many different start up costs when you arrive to the country of your choice. Save as much money as possible before you quit your day job.

2. Do the research on the country where you want to live. Find out the job market, cost of living, housing options and overall economic climate.

3. If you are a native or near native English speaker, take a TEFL Course in the country of your choice. That gives you time to take a close look at the region where you want to live and get job advice. Its also a great time to network.

4. Re vamp your CV before you arrive so you can hit the ground running once you arrive.

5. In almost all parts of the world, there's no longer a need to close your bank account in your home country. Anywhere you travel you should be able to access your money. Never carry a large wad of cash on you.

6. Try to pack light. Moving abroad means being flexible and you never know what opportunity may arise. In most parts of the world you can buy most things that you may need. And for those things you can't find....well, its time to adapt.

7. Lastly, travel with an open mind. If you are in search of a replica of home then you've misled yourself. The idea of travel is to find and appreciate the differences amongst us, amongst countries and cultures.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Make Travel Goals

I often give advice in travel forums to people who are planning to make a trip abroad and usually people have questions about the logistics of things. For example,"What's the best way to get from point A to point B?... How long does is take?... Should I stay two days in location A and then spend 5 days in location B?" etc. As of late, I've been finding it difficult to give the best answers to the would be traveller without knowing what their reasons for traveling are. I am beginning to beleive that, not unlike many other aspects in our lives, one must have travel goals when planning a trip....even if the trip is just for fun.

Its important to ask yourself questions such as, what is the purpose of this trip? Why do I want to visit this place? What are the things to see and do that are the most important to me? If you have trouble doing this, try to imagine that you have already taken the intended journey and have just returned from an extraordinary trip. What things did you do? What kinds of people did you meet? How did you spend your time? If you can begin to visualize the answer those questions then you're at a good starting point to work out some goals.

Next, read more about the city/country that you'd like to visit. What are the sites that are most interesting to you? Often I hear, "I don't want to do anything touristy." While I understand that sentiment, some of the most beautiful places/sites in the world attract millions of tourist but often, its for a reason...they are well worth seeing. Conversely, I hear,"tell me all the top sites to see." While I think some sites are definitely "must-sees" its possible to run around a particular city, trying to hit every single site and in doing that, the visitor misses out on the essence of the city. He or she misses out on meeting the natives or just plain people watching.

Therefore amongst your travel goals try to have a good mix between seeing the sites and doing what the locals do. Perhaps you could even rank on a scale of 1 to 10, whats most to least important to see or do. Once you have that, then you'll be better able to decide logistics, make decisions on which route to take and where to sleep over more wisely.

Lastly, remember, you'll never be able to see and do everything and that should'nt be the point. Look at it this way, if there are things you didnt get a chance to see, its an excellent excuse to return.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The First Step to Changing your Life

If you're ready to re-invent yourself/your life, the first step is to play the part. The subconscious can not distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. How exciting for us...that means we can imagine exactly who we want to be and become it.
If you like this idea, start out imagining yourself doing the thing/things, you've always wanted to do and think about it everyday.

You must talk to yourself in a positive manner. Always, without stopping. Only give yourself positive messages throughout the day. Thats the difficult part...often we are so use to saying, "I didnt do this right, Ill never pull myself together, Im not smart enough." Whatever negative things you say to yourself, Stop it. Replace those negative feelings with only good, postive thought and images.


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Saturday, March 13, 2010

So What's Stopping You?

What would you do right now if you knew you could not fail? Now's not the time to be prudent...Imagine anything, it could be anything that you've always wanted to do or something that you never really thought too much about because it seemed too crazy.

Think of at least 10 things you would do and write them down. The next question is what's stopping you?...What's stopping you from having the things you really want. If you can isolate the obstacles, you now have the beginnings of a plan. Start with the easiest obstacles first and at the same time write a plan of what you need to do to have the things you want. Writing is key in this process as its said that when we write down our goals and plans, we are more likely to accomplish them.


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Monday, February 22, 2010

Recovering from Setbacks

Whenever you are trying to accomplish something that you've never done before, you will have setbacks. Count on it. However, its what you take from those setbacks that's important as well as how you react. When first embarking on the goal of living abroad, there will be times when things aren't going as you had imagined. What you had thought would be romantic is now far from that. But, after all, that's life...when reality sets in, it's time to embrace the situation. Its time to pay close attention to what the reality is of the country and culture you have chosen and decide if its for you or not.

I would suggest allowing between 3 to 6 months in a given country to decide if it's right for you. In fact, six months is probably best. Typically, in the first six months, there will be a lot of ups and downs as well as it takes about that much time just to find suitable housing, make friends and develop your own rhythm. Not to mention getting used to the new lifestyle, language and culture before one can truly begin to enjoy their new location.

While, this is not the case for everyone, this is just a general rule and often new expatriates are unaware of this "start-up" time so they become discouraged too quickly and return home. Conversely, if you find yourself unhappy and you've been in the same country for up to a year or more, its time to leave. Often I meet unhappy expatriates who have lived in the same country for years. What has happened is, they have stayed too long but things have gotten too complicated. Maybe, they've fallen for someone and just can't leave that relationship or they finally have a job with security or maybe they've been away from home for so long that they feel they would never be able to re-intergrate into their home-country again. For whatever reason, its important to avoid these pitfalls by not staying too long or leaving too early. G.G.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

What is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching allows a client to identify attainable goals and develop a plan to acheive them. Starting from the clients values and beliefs, we work to identify dreams, establish goals and create a realistic action plan to accomplish them by always staying accountable. A life coach is the person who remains in your corner and keeps you focused and motivated so that you can have all you've ever wanted.

Life Abroad Coaching maintains all of those ideas except it has special focus for those who wish to live abroad or already do. Services for Life Coaching Abroad include;

Cross Cultural Challenges
Small Business Abroad
Following a Spouse Abroad
Work/Changing Careers Abroad
Living Abroad Strategies for Getting Started

What an opportunity to create a new life abroad.

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Start with the End in Mind

In order to attain what you really want out of life, often its best to start with the end in mind. The "end" meaning what it is you really want. But, what if you don't know what you really want?

Well for starters, we can identify our goals. Here's an activity to get your goal juices flowing.

In less than 10 minutes, try to list 10 goals that you would like to accomplish. There are three rules in doing this:

1. Write them out in the present tense. They must be written.
2. They must be positive. For example, "I'll stop smoking."Thats not positive. Its better to say, "I am smoke-free."
3. Make each goal personal. That means something that requires your actions only. To say "My daughter is doing better in school." That requires her action, not yours. List goals that you have complete control over.

Once you've made your list, look at all ten goals and decide which goal will make the biggest impact on your life. Once you've identified it, circle it. That is your critical goal. Focus on it, think about it everyday and spend as much time as possible working on making it happen. GG

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