3 Simple Values For a Happier Life
“The best way to create the future is to create it. – Abraham Lincoln
Surreal to find myself in America, just days after its celebration from British independence, as I arrive from a very different Britain, soon to gain it’s own independence from the European Union (a.k.a. Brexit). Sure every country has its pros and cons with issues that people can potentially stand divided. Today, I look to my birthplace America to find three simple values for a happier life.
America is much more than a country equipped with the latest and greatest products, amazing entertainment/sports, and incredible service with a smile. It’s a beautiful melting pot of people, culture and values. And it never ceases to amaze, every time I come back to my hometown of Los Angeles, how incredibly different (and some ways same) the world is and how much we all can learn from each other.
From humble beginnings, to life now as a 10-year expat in Europe, I’ve lived and worked internationally as a coach, yoga teacher, writer, and speaker. But I hold many of my American values dear. Here are my top 3 American values I invite you to take for a test drive, if you haven’t already. These can help create positive habits for a happier and more fulfilling life – wherever you may be in this world.
1. Just ask. There’s no shame in asking for help, in service or in money. We all can do with a helping hand, once in a while.
How can we become the next, best version of ourselves if we refuse to think and act beyond our normal limits?
I know that if I didn’t ask and receive financial aid (a.k.a. student loans) I wouldn’t have been able to attend the prestigious university of my dreams. And from that help (not handout) I gained an education, new skills, employment, like-minded friends, but most importantly life experience. Better to live a life knowing you asked and tried, rather than not knowing at all.
2. Try harder. Life isn’t always easy and it’s all about duality. We’re meant to experience the full spectrum of this human life.
How will we ever know what we’re capable of if life were always easy-peasy?
When I graduated university I lived paycheck to paycheck wondering how was I ever going to pull myself out of debt. Well I did, eventually. By investing in myself and in my future through university, step-by-step with each career transition I successfully climbed the financial ladder. Now I live abundantly travelling the world while still balancing family and work commitments. Never second guess feeling called to invest in yourself – your health and well-being, relationships, and/or career. Sometimes through these difficult moments you can truly learn to move beyond your fear and comfort as you start to experience a different way of life and a whole new world.
3. Be different. Yes we all are one and connected on some level, but diversity is beautiful and that’s what the real world is all about.
Can you imagine the world if we were all the same?
Boring! Growing up I struggled as a Eurasian American (a.k.a. hapa) and found, at times, it difficult to understand where I fit in. But looking back, I can see clearly how those very differences helped shaped me to be the person I am today, embracing the differences both of myself and others, with love and compassion. This ultimately has served me to thrive as I live and work abroad with all types of people from around the world. Revel who you are, not just in nationality/ethnicity, but also do the things that bring you joy and be the person that feels authentic. Celebrate yourself and share your unique gifts.
Think about your birthplace. What values have increased happiness in your life?
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear about your experience of life as an expat at home or abroad. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,
Ten years as an American expat in Europe, Leslie knows what it takes to overcome the challenges to create a new and happy life. As an international Coach, Yoga Teacher, Writer, and Speaker she guides others to live a stress free life. A Los Angeles native, she lives in Barcelona with her French husband and two children. To find out more about Leslie and her work click here.