Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do you need reasons to cheer up a bit?

Do you need reasons to cheer up a bit?
Are you a recent expatriate? Have you just arrived in your new location only to find out that you have by no means escaped certain annoyances that occurred on a daily basis back home? I mean issues such as: paying the bills, standing in lines, car repairs, meeting deadlines, endless meetings at work, and so on. Yes, this is life no matter where you live, where go and where you are right now.

However, to be very understanding, these issues can be especially tough when you are a newly arrived expatriate. Not only do you have to deal with all the daily events and routine, but you also have to manage a range of other expatriate-related realities namely; language barriers, visa problems, getting lost every other day, having to pass a driver’s test again, driving on the “wrong” side of the road, getting used to the food, not being able to get a decent cup of coffee and the list continues …

However, there is good news. Although the going may be tough, there are many upsides to being at this point of your life right now and there are reasons to be bright and cheerful. Let’s consider a few:

    * Strangers appreciate you for trying to speak their language. In fact they make you feel special for doing so.
    * How about those friends you met at the local tennis club? They help you with cultural information, make phone calls for you and are available for any Q & A.
    * People you barely know help you get the Internet hooked up.
    * Colleagues take the time to show you how subway system works.
    * Neighbors advise you on which grocery store to shop at and which markets offers great deals.
    * New friends share their best-kept secrets of favorite locals and drag you off for fun nights on the town.
    * The gym manager gives you a special membership discount as a way to welcome you into town.
    * Teachers at the Dutch, French or Spanish language classes have more patience than you ever thought possible for any human being.
    * People passing by on the street help you find your way around this new city.
    * Colleagues support you in meetings and help you understand the company policies and rules.

And so, before you know it, you are beginning to enjoy your daily life and you begin to feel that you are a real and integral part of the community. Actually, at the end of the day, it all comes down to getting out what you put in. If you really want to give your term in this new land a fair go and be happy while living abroad, you may just need to go out on a limb, take some risks, put some effort into your experience and live your life with positive expectation.

Give your host country a chance and open your eyes for all it and its people have to offer. Be prepared to live outside of your comfort zone and don’t compare everything to how it is done back home. You are in a different place now and if you make this place home and treat it like home and I can almost say with confidence, your new home will treat you back in more ways than you ever thought possible. You may not ever want to leave ...
Quote of the week

“Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness and its power of endurance – the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or the sullen.” Thomas Carlyle


    * Free fruit.
    * Translation help.
    * A local public holiday.
    * A new friend.
    * Phone calls from home.

How was your week…?

Do you want to achieve fulfilment, success and true hapiness?
Are you in control of your destiny?

As you are reading these words, you may be thinking about and looking for a way to improve your sense of fulfilment, success and true happiness in your life.

It seems that some people nearly always attain success in relationships, business and personal fulfilment, while others in similar circumstances may do well, but never seem to reach the higher levels.

We often say they are "lucky" but I suggest that luck has nothing to do with it.

What does have everything to do with it are the following six factors.

They are the areas which every one of us need to improve in order to attain personal fulfilment, success and happiness. Which of these would you wish to improve?

1. Self-image.
 Your beliefs about your self affect how you feel and how you       appear to others. Your self-confidence and self-worth are the result of your self-image.

2. Self Control.
 The true fact is that either you control your life or you are controlled by it.

3. Creativity.
In its broadest sense it is the artist and the scientist within you, who solves your problems and brings new ideas.

4. Cooperation.
 No man is an island, and the successful person will be expert at communication skills, persuading and encouraging others to make his own and their shared goals come true.

5. Planning.
 It is said, that "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up somewhere else".  If someone doesn't have clear and focused goals, they cannot complain if the "somewhere else" is not to their liking.

6. Concentration.
 Willingness to get going, concentrated effort, persistence and resilience in the face of obstacles -  all are crucial to success in achieving life goals.

Doing What You Love

What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m sure you were asked this question at least once when you were a youngster. When asked the question, did you have an answer at the ready, or did you need a few minutes to think about it? We all had dreams of becoming something great, like a fireman, a teacher, or a rock star, just to name a few. Well, how did you do? Maybe you never aspired to be what you set out to be or said that you would become. But then again, things change. The older we get, our tastes change, our view of the world changes, even our goals change.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my career path is to do something you love to do. Why is this important? I feel that if you enjoy what you make a living at, you end up being happy in more ways than one. Life itself becomes much more interesting and fun. You find yourself speaking passionately to others about your work. The experiences you have along the way become much more rewarding, and enrich your life in many ways. You meet fascinating people. I know people who have turned favorite hobbies into small businesses, and have succeeded. Sure, they may have had to sacrifice a steady paycheck for their happiness, but not one of them either turned back or gave up. Their passion carried them through to success.

While no job or business is perfect, the important thing is to enjoy it, even learn from it. If you are unhappy in your current situation, why not take steps now to change it? Somewhere out there is a job or business that is perfect for you. If you are already there, I applaud you. If not, realize that it may take some time to figure out what you really want to do, and even more time to actually get there. That’s all right! I can tell you from experience that finding and doing what you love is absolutely worth it, every step of the way. All of the research, training, and hands-on experience has made me a stronger, happier person. Feeling in charge of my own destiny…well, there just is no greater feeling.

Do what you love, and love what you do, whatever that may be. You’ll be happier for it, trust me. I promise you will never look back.

Don't Be A Slave To Your Things

Do you have things like a bicycle, jetski, or swimming pool that sit unused? Is it that you don't have time to use them because you have to work so much just to pay for them? Sometimes it seems like all the things we own somehow own us.

The bad news is that it's often true. We have to arrange our lives around our things. You get a new truck that can go anywhere, but you're too busy working to go there. Someone is out fishing while you are putting in overtime to pay for your fishing boat. You use your large-screen television a lot, but does it sufficiently reduce the debt-stress that came with it?

Break The Chains!

The good news is that there's a better way. Actually, there are three better ways. First, know what you really value. Second, use cash instead of debt. Third, learn how to look at costs and benefits.

Will you really enjoy that $2,000 mountain bicycle enough? Maybe. This isn't about right or wrong desires. It's a question of truly seeing your own values. Think back to things you've bought but not used, or not used enough. What truly enjoyable things could you do with that money if you had it now? You've got to be self aware and honest.

Cash is king. The price may seem the same, but put those things on a credit card and, with interest, you'll pay a lot more. Cash means you have to save and wait a little for things, but you can buy more and have less stress. Credit cards provide the illusion of a richer life. Escaping debt gives you the reality.

Finally, learn to understand costs and benefits. A friend once came to the realization, using pen and paper, that his jetski cost him $300 for every hour he used it the first year. Loan interest, gas, insurance, depreciation, repairs, licenses - these things add up. And he thought it was too expensive to pay $100 per day to rent one! Consider the real costs of things, and look for a cheaper way, or at least make an honest decision that it's worth $300 per hour to you.

Your things should be making your life better. If they aren't, you need to start looking at them differently. Don't let your things own you. Change your approach.

Don’t Be a Victim of the People Pleasing Quadrant
People pleasing can be a defeating habit in a person’s life, simply because the act itself  takes your focus off what you CAN control, and puts your focus on to what you CAN’T control, which is somebody else’s happiness and peace of mind. Here is a perfect example to illustrate my point:

If you buy your lover flowers, and they come home to tell you they just received a raise at work – the flowers you give them are just going to add to their joy, and you are going to have a wonderful evening.

However, if you buy your lover flowers, and they come home to tell you they just got fired from work – they may look at the flowers and give a quick smile just to acknowledge you and quickly go back to sulking – or worse, they may be hateful and yell, “WHAT GOOD ARE FLOWERS GOING TO DO ME NOW?!?!? ARE THEY HIRING FLORISTS?!?!”

Of course, this is common sense – but it is a perfect example of why people pleasing doesn’t work 100% of the time. You will never be able to predict what kind of mood anyone is going to be in all the time, simply because things will always happen outside of our control. Consequently, your happiness or misery is in the other person’s hands, which puts you into a very vulnerable position.

I have developed what I call, “The People Pleasing Quadrant” to broaden readers awareness of what people-pleasing is, and what to do once those people-pleasing tendencies rear their ugly heads. Quadrant means “four” which means there are four different situations you will find yourself in that you will need to develop strategies to combat your people-pleasing tendencies. The four situations are as follows:

Quadrant # 1: Dealing with the people you like or love when those people ALSO like or love you in return:

This first quadrant is the easiest to manage, because at least you genuinely like or love the person you are dealing with, and they like or love you as well. However, remember the example we used above about the lover losing their job and the flowers? No matter how much you like or love someone, or how much they like or love you, bad things happen sometimes. We all say things we don’t mean. The trick is to not take the people you care about personally, and feel responsible for “fixing” them. Let the person you like and love be hurt, angry, mad, and upset. It doesn’t have to affect your core happiness, although you can sympathize with the person and let them know you will be there for them, if they want to talk. Besides, this person cares about you – and they don’t want to drag you down, just because they are having a bad day. Give them a little space, and let things sort themselves out. Spend your energy focusing on more productive ventures, such as going for a jog to get in shape, studying for an important test, or reading a book that is of interest to you. People-pleasing is really annoying to people who like or love you already. They don’t expect you to make everything better, they just need some time to get over it.

Quadrant # 2: Dealing with the people you like or love when those people DON’T like or love you in return:

The second quadrant is oftentimes the most painful quadrant to come to terms with, regardless if it is about a “friend,” family member, or lover. Once in a great while, we can like or even love someone who doesn’t like or love us in return. We do everything in our power to be “good” enough, “supportive” enough, “encouraging” enough, “kind” enough, whatever enough! But somehow, it is never enough, and it never will be.

Once in awhile, these people we like or love are nice to us out of pity, guilt, regret or remorse – or because we are fulfilling some kind of need for them that they don’t want to give up. Don’t mistake their temporary kindness as genuine concern! Because honestly, these people don’t like or love us at all. It could be for a variety of reasons, but those reasons don’t have anything to do with you. The trick for getting over people-pleasing in this quadrant is to realize what quadrant these people belong in, and come to terms with the fact that they don’t like or love you. On the other hand, realize that there are millions of other people out here who would absolutely adore you. Realize that you are wasting your valuable and precious time with people pleasing, especially in this quadrant, because no matter what you do, it won’t matter. Just move on to someone who will like, love and appreciate the beautiful person you are.

Quadrant # 3: Dealing with the people you DON’T like or love when those people DO like or love you.

Most of the people-pleasing in this quadrant comes out of guilt, pity or personal gain. Although I must admit, it is really hard not to like someone who likes you, but you may be able to definitely see that the other person likes or loves you WAY more than you like
or love them.

I believe my grandmother taught me a very gracious lesson about how to handle situations in quadrant three. One day, a boy who just moved into my neighborhood decided to ask me out on a date. He really had a crush on me, and I could tell. However, I didn’t feel the same way about him. But I did enjoy all of the flowers, candy and attention he gave me.

At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with taking whatever he was willing to give. But my grandmother pulled me aside and told me why it wasn’t nice to encourage gestures and lead a person on, especially when I knew his intentions. Of course, I liked him as a person because he was so sweet. But the truth of the matter is, he was wasting his time courting me when I wasn’t interested. Although I could have continued to use him, I went with granny’s advice and politely told him that I could no longer accept gifts because I was not interested in dating anyone at that time. However, we decided to be friends and did fun things together on occasion. He found a new girlfriend who truly adored him to pieces, and fell in love with her. The last I heard, they were planning to get married. The moral of the story is, he was a sweetheart, and deserved to find someone who liked and loved him. It would be selfish of me to stand in the way of that.

Quadrant # 4: Dealing with the people you DON’T like when they DON’T like you either!

A person will rarely find themselves in this quadrant when it comes to their personal life, unless it has to do with Ex-Lovers
or step families. Otherwise, you can just get up and walk away, which is why quadrant four is reserved mostly for the work place and figures of authority!

People-pleasing in this quadrant reflects suppressed feelings, and putting up with a lot of emotional, mental and verbal abuse. It can be because you are afraid of losing your job or
because you are afraid of the person themselves. In situations like this, it is always best to get a third party involved, because for one reason or another – you are forced to deal with this person, and they are forced to deal with you. Neither one of you are going to be able to compromise about a reasonable solution on your own, because both of you don’t care what is in the other’s best interest! There needs to be a mediator who can look at the situation objectively on neutral ground, and come up with a reasonable solution. Don’t be afraid to be the bigger person and ask for outside help. It is the only way the conflict will be resolved. In matters dealing with the family, it may be best to go to counseling, join a support group, or bring a person from the outside into the situation. Remember, your goal is to conserve energy, and focus on how you can change things, and make them head in a positive direction. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. If everyone else wants to wallow in their misery and problems, you can let them do just that. But you can choose something different.

In closing, when you eliminate people pleasing in your life for good – it is always great to have the awareness that you only have a one in four shot of really hitting it off with somebody special! (In case you were wondering, that one shot lies within people who are in Quadrant number one!) If you go into each situation expecting the best, but prepared for the worse – you will always come out on top. But most importantly, be yourself! There is no point going through life pretending to think and feel a certain way just to please other people. Besides that, you won’t have the opportunity to attract the people in your life who would really like or love the person you truly are!

Another tidbit I’d like to share out of granny’s little treasure chest of knowledge, wisdom and experience. She always use to say, “Rhiannon, there are three types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. But once in a great while, you will be fortunate enough to find a person who is capable of doing both.”

I hope this article will encourage you to be a person who can do both.

Don't dig your own pit

If you want to enjoy your life out of spending, enjoy if you have you have your own resources and money.

But don't enjoy your life by becoming a debtor to somebody.

Of course in the modern world, there are many ways and means, which force you to become a debtor.

Attractive advertisements in the satellite TV force you to become a debtor. It tempts you to buy the modern amenities at any cost.

Even though if you don't have any money or resources it show you many resources for obtaining credit to buy that product. But you must think thousand times before becoming a debtor.

In today's world credit is the easily available commodity. Numerous companies are waiting to pull you in their trap. They are competing severely to pull you in their trap.

But you must be careful to entangle in that trap.

In spite of this caution if you are prepared to enjoy, then you won't get any pleasure, but you will lose your peace of mind.

Let us discuss about the common desire of everybody. It is natural that every body wants to have their own house. It is a reasonable desire.

But the desire can be attained if you have enough money on your own to buy the house.

If you are an executive working in a company what will be your thinking?

You will ready to apply for some loan and buy that house. You have decided and applied for a loan also and the loan has also been sanctioned.

You will ask the engineer to construct the house with in the sanction of loan.

The Engineer on seeing the plan will say  "Sir, you are constructing house once in your lifetime, why such a low budget house, we can increase slightly your plan sir, it won't cost much only a 10% increase in your normal budget" he will tempt you.

By that time you will also have some Himalayan courage, and think why we can't adjust that 10% increase, ok we can adjust that 10% increase by obtaining loan from our relatives, and you give consent to the engineer's suggestion.

The Engineer will begin to build your house. The house is also going to be completed soon and only some finishing work is there.

You ask your engineer 'when can I take possession of the house', sir?

The engineer will politely tell you, Sir, there is a small problem, the problem is there is a sudden increase in the cost of materials, so I fear whether it is possible to complete the building what we have already planned.

But you are in the dream that the house should be constructed at any cost. So you don't bother about the resource to complete the house and prepared to arrange for the money required for completing the house.

What you will do. The next thing before you will be some bank balances available out of your savings and the jewels of your wife or your children.

So your savings, jewels will all go from you and fill the cashbox of another businessmen.

Your house will become ready finally. On seeing the house raised beautifully you forgot all the sources where the money came from to complete the house.

You will forget about the loan you obtained from your company.

You will forget about the loan you obtained from your relatives.

You will forget about the erosion of your savings and jewels.

All these will come to your remembrance only when the company commences their recovery for the loan you obtained.

All these will come to your remembrance only when your relatives need the money they paid.

All these will come to your remembrance when you don't have enough money in your savings account for your urgent requirement.

Then your mind will think about the resource to fill up the deficit in the family budget, the loan to repay to your relatives and for your urgent requirement.

You will get easy resource to fill up this deficit, because you are working in a company, getting regular salary, higher salary. Companies are ready to give credit.

You are also ready to get credit from another company to fill up the deficit.

So you are ready to close the small debt pit, and begin to dig another debt pit, which is little more in size than the first pit.

The same deficit pressure mounts after some time. Again you are prepared to obtain loan from another company.

Now you dig another debt pit, which is more than the size of first and second debt pit.

Like this you will go on digging pit after closing the earlier pit to overcome your deficit.

Finally at one stage when you see the remaining pit, it will look like a deep pit, which you cannot fill it up from any source.

So the ultimate choice before you will be to dispose off the house and fill up the huge pit finally stands before you.

You have also made arrangements to dispose off the house.

One person came forward to buy the house. Even though the rate offered by him is not as expected by you, you have no other option except to get the money and fill it up the debt pit.

The house was finally sold off and you got the money. But while working out the amount you have to settle to your debtors, you need some more money.

However with the proceeds realized out of selling the house, you have settled most of the debt and still keep some portion of the debt.

You have lost all your savings, jewels, and other resources and still you have to settle more debts?

Where all of your money has gone?

It is no secret, most part of your debt were for the interest.

The interest made you to close one pit and dig another pit and finally you was let with a big pit with most part of the pit were for interest.

This is a common plight of most of the families especially in the middle class peoples.

The reason is due to their mental capability to enjoy all modern amenities without knowing their economic capability.

Enjoying the life is absolutely necessary but it should be from our own resources. We can enjoy the life but not on obtaining debt.

We have to increase our resources to enjoy the life. We should find out the opportunities to increase our resources and then think about enjoying the amenities.

Emotional Baggage

We all have them. It has many faces.We carry them around us, We store them in the remotest part of our brain, in the deepest chambers of our hearts.We have them in our extensive database of memories. Some are so close  to the heart, it brings out tears at the slightest provocation. Others may feel anger, very deep resentments and may exhibit anti-social or antagonistic behaviours.

Shadows follow and haunt many, in their dreams or waking hours, in unlikely places, unexpected and intimidating. Uncontrollable anger that can lead to violence can explode without warning.

Others will live in denial and spend their lives disconnected with the real world. Some will find blame in everyone except themselves; it’s always the other person’s fault. What  about victims and the victimizers?

Many are lost searching for something, they can not identify. Something is missing. A mass of lonely faces line  the crowded streets, sit in public places, in schools, agonize through the day in the workplace, gather at churches perhaps to seek solace. Everyday.we see a vast sea of sad , depressed and unfriendly faces. Our roads are open avenues to lash out their frustrations, thus uncontollable road rage. Scary.

Emotional excess baggage demands a high price at times. There are those who succumb to the weight of this burden, it gets too much to bear. They find no further reason to keep up the fight. Life loses its  lustre, they find the world cruel, their existence meaningless.To them, the fight over, if there ever was one.

There are many who go through life like a driftwood,l et the current take them wherever, it does not matter anymore. Is our world this cruel?

What causes these emotional suffering?

Broken dreams, broken relationships, failed careers, lost hopes, betrayals, violations, childhood trauma, or other forms of trauma ,add to this health issues. Social disgrace, financial disasters, poverty and addictions cast deep emotional scars to the most vulnerable members of the family and society.

Is our fast-paced society to blame? Add to this the pursuit of material success, endless toys,gadgets and exponential advances in technology. Fragile relationships, weakening  family ties, unreasonable expectations of self
and of others add to the already overstuffed emotional baggage.Some carry  them for a long, long time.

All is not lost,if we take a moment to listen to our deeper needs, beyond the physical. There is a flood of information, organizations, professionals and other resources most communities offer. Deep  emotional  suffering is a critical
issue that can no longer be ignored, by society and by those who suffer. There is more to life.

Wisdom of the ages from different cultures and beliefs are revived or revised to suit the present psyche of society. It offers a holistic approach , involving the whole person’s mind, body and spirit.

The wonders of medical and scientific research are vast,although pill-popping is not always the best answer.

Take stock of the weight of  your emotional baggage .

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