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Notes from the Expat Coach


Let me begin with a story:

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the  wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a  moment.

 “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

 “What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question  with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not  a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

And so… where do you come from?


 

The Power of Asking Questions

I’m definitely not a person who gives a lot of advice. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I hardly ever do unless asked for it directly. Why? Mainly because I just typically assume that others know “a little” more about their lives than I do. “A little” is a euphemism of course ;) But if I were to give advice, what would it be… what would it be…

” Never stop asking questions.”

That’s my advice. Never stop asking questions, never hesitate to ask for a clarification if you feel lost and never stop asking for help if you need it. And really, just make sure you never stop. It’s in human nature to answer, to help and to explain. Have you ever met a person who knows an answer to a question and wouldn’t share it with you, when asked? Oh, I have met plenty of those people, but I’m not talking about high school here ;) I’m talking about a real life situation. You ask somebody for directions, you ask somebody else how to fill out a form, you ask your friend if you should get back together with your ex, you ask your parents what you should do in your life – they will all tell you the answer to the best of their knowledge. Especially your parents would be more than eager to share theirs ;)

And what about if you honestly need help and you ask people to help you – you need someone to feed your cat while you’re gone, you need a person to give a second opinion on the project you’ve been working on, or you simply need advice which football club to join. Trust me – you will find help very quickly. People love to help – it IS in their nature. However – and you will find it true for yourself as well – it’s always nicer to help those you feel connected to. And it’s easier to help people you know or those you’ve met once before.

That connection doesn’t have to be deep. “I know someone who knows someone” is sometimes enough. But connection works both ways. So tell me: can You help another person? Are You already that one person somebody else wants to be connected to? If yes, you do know what I’m talking about and you understand that being connected opens a whole new dimension to your world. You know, because it already happened for you. If not… great! Here is my advice: get connected! Reach out to people, start asking for help, start asking questions, and make sure… that you never stop.

The Power of Your Mindset…hmm

Have you ever thought how literally every situation in our lives can be perceived from 2 extreme points of view and anything that’s in-between? And how it’s really up to us how we want to see our own world and how we eventually decide to see it?

How does it apply to Barcelona? Good question. Well, let’s see. Let’s start with a simple question: Are you here because you wanted to be here? At one of the countless social events I went to, I heard the following answer from a “fellow Expat”.

“I wanted to go to Argentina but I got a job in Barcelona so I settled for that.”

How on earth does that sound??? Well kinda “low life” to be honest. How about:

“I moved to Barcelona from the outskirts of Rotterdam.  I wanted to be by the water,  I wanted a country where they speak Spanish and I love hiking!! Hola Barcelona,  here I am!!!”

That’s the “high life” deep inside we all want.

Another time I heard another person say:

“Someone was just lucky and got that job.”

Well, come on now. Let me ask you: Why aren’t YOU lucky? And if you admit that there is an infinitesimal chance that luck actually does exist, why do you have such strong beliefs about the need of preparation and hard work? And – honestly – why would anyone be more lucky than you?

Or another example:

“Oh, this person got a job and I know for a fact that he is better in A, B, C and Z.  I won’t even apply ’cause I don’t stand a chance… “

All of those stories are so typical! Why do you think they aren’t really “success” stories? Well, because there is no success thread in them. Not even a tiniest one intertwined somewhere in between the lines. I believe that at this point you probably have the same feeling. Let me share some lessons for today, then. I’ll make it simple, ’cause there is really nothing complicated about our mindsets ;)

  1. You are lucky to be where you are.
  2. If not – you can get lucky and get where you want to get.
  3. If not – you can be as good as a person who got there or even better because nobody is better at being you than you.
  4. If not – see number 1 and know that you are double lucky because life is just about to teach you a lesson.
  5. Boom :-D

Well, here is what an Expat Life Coach will help you with. A coach will help you come up with new perspectives. A lot of them, actually. And although they do NOT have to necessarily work for you, they WILL help you soften your own vision and open you up to some new possibilities. Different people see completely different things in the exact same situation. You do, too. Then each one of you will go and make your own decisions based on what you saw. And although all of you start initially in the same moment and circumstances, you all create a different “rest of your lives”. Why not choose the “rest of your life” that’s happy and successful? There is literally nothing that can stop you from making that choice except you, mi amigo. So you might as well go ahead and start now. Good luck!

P.S. Let me know if you need any help ;)

Life Purpose in a New Place


When you discover your life purpose, your actions become perfectly (I hope so!) designed to link where you are in the moment with where your heart desires to be. We all often fail to even recognize our life’s purpose. But when we do, it remains clear even when we decide to move to another place and start a new chapter. Does it matter where you want to be a teacher or a musician, or a blogger? Does it matter where you want to be an astronaut… well this one probably does ;) But when you feel – deep inside – that you are meant to become a teacher or an astronaut, the feeling will not abandon you regardless of whether you move from Atlanta to Barcelona or from Bogotá to New York.

When I moved to Barcelona, my life purpose was not very clear to me. I mean, I did have like a vague silhouette of a purpose, but it was very far away from what you can call an actual shape. Oh, and forget about the colors or dimensions… or anything tangible for that matter ;) I knew that I wanted to continue helping people build their life in the most happy and successful way they can. I knew I wanted to do that as a life coach, as I honestly believe that coaching can make a positive change in people’s lives. However, since my Español wasn’t the best at that time, I decided to help the community that I just joined – the community of Expats. The idea was so simple and so natural, that I new right away that it was really good.

So what now? I’m becoming the Expat Coach every day filling my days with choices I believe will help me reach my destination. My life is awesome, I love it. I happily deal with all the possible challenges a new city has ready for me. Barcelona continues to amaze and surprise me in the most unique way and I’m already in love with this city. So now, I also want to give back. I want to say “Thank You, let me do something for you this time”. I feel that there are a few mechanisms that can honestly help people create a great life in a new place from the gecko. It would be great to recognize which ones you have and which ones you don’t. That probably calls for another post though…

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

― Patañjali