12 Lessons You Learn or Regret Forever by Dr. Travis Bradberry

 

Do you have your own business or are you thinking of creating one? Travis Bradberry, Ph.D., gives you 12 tips in this article, lessons he learned the hard way. Here are a couple: self-confidence comes first; squash your negative self-talk; focus on being productive rather that busy; don’t say yes unless you really want to. Find out the others in the article…

12 Lessons You Learn or Regret Forever by Dr. Travis Bradberry

 

Five Principles of Positive Psychology by Sue Langley

Sue Langley, creator of the world’s first government accredited Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, summarizes Positive Psychology through 5 key principles:

1)    Abundance – using the abundance lens helps people to thrive

2)    Virtues and strengths – building on strengths and how to develop them further can only make us flourish

3)    Positive deviance – we should strive to reprogram our instinctive human negative bias and focus on the positive

4)    Flourishing and languishing – as they are not opposites, people should work on both these points at the same time

5)    Happiness and wellbeing – there are 5 main factors to develop known as PERMA: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment.

Five Principles of Positive Psychology by Sue Langley

Leadership – 5 Impactful Tips to Create Strength-based Habits at Your Workplace

Frequent recognition and encouragement will boost productivity 40% while focusing on employees’ strength and revealing the hope in a difficult situation will raise motivation. What strengths can you use to move through a difficult work situation?

5 Tips to Focus on Strengths, by Sarah Lewis M.Sc. C.Psychol

Women executives, treat yourself to a day seminar at the luxurious Château de Villiers le Mahieu, to contemplate and develop your leadership. Places are limited, make your booking today here Empower Your Leadership

 

Making Friends and Meaningful Relationships in Paris

Does it help you to know in your loneliness you are not alone? Expatriate life can be a lonely life. It takes time to meet people, it takes time to grow meaningful relationships sometimes a whole lot of loneliness to find people you relate to and that you can share the ups and downs of expatriate life with. We are after all relational beings with a need to feel connected and to share our experiences.

The story goes like this, you have arrived in Paris, you hit the streets and walk for miles in wonder and awe. Then the reality of this new life hits you. You don’t have any friends and no-one to share and discover these new experiences. Life becomes a chore. Your mood begins to sink to the lower end of the happiness scale.  Even more sort after, you long for the joy of meaningful friendships.

From here you join every social group you can find, finding plentiful people somewhat like yourself, living in a city new or old and in need of companionship.

With acquaintances in abundance there remains a nagging desire for more meaningful friendships. Like the friends you share everyday life and delights with, the new activity you have decided to take up, the new shoes you saw yesterday when walking home from work, the coffees, dreams and challenges shared. Those friendships you can call on when times are tough and you need the listening ear of someone trusted and dependable.

It is possible that luck is on your side and those valued, trusted friends arrive at your doorstep very quickly. However it is more likely that friendships take some months or even years to find, develop and strengthen into meaningful relationships.

Ultimately, remember this life of making new friends means you come into contact with a wide range of people you may never have had the opportunity to meet before. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and others and you never know what lies ahead – so savour all your experience as a blessing.

Here are a few pointers to help you on your new friendship journey.

  1. Maintain regular contact with family and friends at home, they are your lifeline.
  2. Seek and build relationships both with your partner and separately.
  3. Be prepared to make friends and then make more, over and over again. Have a couple of introductory phrases prepared and be ready to ask lots of questions.
  4. Early in your arrival, be courageous, join and attend  a sporting group and every social group you can find, even those activities you wouldn’t normal partake in. Life won’t come to you until you step into it. Making friends, particularly meaningful friends, is hard work and takes time.
  5. Participate in a volunteer position in a non-profit organisation. Learn a new skill. A French class is the obvious choice for Paris, but there are many other types of classes as well.
  6. Be sure to contact every lead from friends and acquaintances. Connect with native French people, Expats from your home country as well as Expats in general.
  7. Take it slowly, do not divulge too much too soon, but be yourself.
  8. Be open to different cultures, ages and lifestyles, you never know who you may meet.
  9. Accept that rejection is part of the process. Lick your wounds and continue your friend finding journey.
  10. If you find you get along with someone, follow up with an email and suggest another outing.  Be aware of how you feel when you are interacting. If you are not comfortable or don’t like someone, don’t continue to connect.
  11. Spend time with people who reciprocate. Don’t put energy into someone that is not reciprocating, it takes up too much emotional energy.
  12. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed and seek the ever listening ear of a counsellor, to help you on your way.

Christmas Alone in the City of Lights

It is getting near that time of year. The lights are up but not yet turned on. Decorations are spanning the width and length of the avenues, silently waiting to glow and light the cold wintery nights. It can’t be far away now. Your thoughts turn to your usual habits with loved ones, food, presents and other traditions you follow at this special time of year called Christmas. 

 If this is the first time you are away from home at this time of year, you quickly realise there are some significant differences to the celebration of Christmas. I am sure if you look closely you will also find some similarities no matter what culture you are from.  

While you may be dipped into a bout of homesickness there is a little sugar to be had to help you through the jolly season. Acknowledge your homesickness, loneliness, lack of good cheer at times and let significant others know so they can support you through the season. This new location for Christmas may just be a perfect holiday from having to partake in the routine obligatory traditions that you love and loath all at the same time. 

Remain open to new experiences of Christmas traditions. Research, talk to your friends, find out all information possible to learn the common thread of Christmas traditions for the French.  If you prefer to not leave behind all your own long held traditions you may even be able to blend a little of both cultures creating a unique Christmas of your own.  

Organise to spend Christmas with new-found friends or if you are still very new to the country, look to your closest city for expatriate groups. There are often many organising lunches and dinners for expats to celebrate together. The main point here is do not spend Christmas alone. Take action now and make plans to spend Christmas with people. 

It will help to feel close with your loved ones if you can share some of the Christmas celebrations with them. The internet is a great tool for keeping in touch – with ‘live’ video and audio software available. If time difference allows you could sit through some of the festivities with them using the video-audio software of your choice. You will then be able to watch, talk and share the experience. Bittersweet it may be, but it will mean you won’t miss out altogether. 

Christmas is one of the times of year, where it is best to take extra notice of your health. The warnings for your physical health may very well be well entrenched. The warning here is, be mindful of your psychological health as well. A time when you are normally with loved ones to then find yourself alone can be challenging. Acknowledgement of its challenges and creation of plans for the season will help support you through what may be a very rewarding life growth experience this Christmas.