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10 Valuable Life Lessons Learnt From Living & Working Abroad In 2016

sarahs-coolI thought it was going to be weird coming home from another year abroad.

2016 has been a complete whirlwind of unexpected amazingness and self discovery. SO much has happened.

Many new firsts, new experiences I never thought I’d have the pleasure of experiencing.

New friends who’ve become family, new qualifications, new achievements, new ventures, new direction, new goals, new desires, new strengths, new memories and massive bucket list to attend to. Oh and let’s not forget many failures turned lessons learnt along the way.

Here are my top 10 life lessons from my 2016 adventures:

#1 Making A Living Isn’t The Same As Making A Life

Money will NEVER solve your real problems, period.

Money was invented as a type of currency, a tool used to exchange time, goods and services for commodities.

Sure, it can provide short term fulfilment; a flash car, a nice house, even temporary love but it will never buy you true happiness and fulfilment.

The problem here is, today’s Western societies seems to revolve around money and materialism. And we’re literally working ourselves to death to obtain these commodities, swapping our quality of life for tangible items that will go out of fashion next month…

How big and modern is your house?

How many cars do you have?

You can always make more money, you can always buy new things, but you can never buy back time.

Build a life, not a resume.

“Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

#2 Be Patient

Growing up is tough.

We’re under huge pressure to decide what university to attend, the perfect career, the right life partner, where to buy a house, how many children to have and the list goes on!

In some societies were expected to plan out our lives before we’ve reached a quarter way through our life span!

This year I’ve learnt to slow down.

To not get caught up with planning ahead.

To let life unfold.

And when you do, opportunities come at you from every direction. You’re showing the universe that you trust what it has in stall.

So my advice to you is to open your mind to whats possible.

Take the time to write down what you want out of the year.

Be spontaneous. If you’re not 100% sure what you want just wait and take the time to weigh up your options until it does feel right.

Go outside everyday, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Notice your surroundings.

Meditate everyday, give your mind a chance to relax. Then give yourself permission to think clearly.

Listen more talk less.

TAKE ACTION. It doesn’t matter how fast you go as long as you don’t stop.

Work towards your goals like tomorrow is your last day on earth and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

#3 People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel

I bet you can remember times at school when a bully made fun of you or a family member embarrassed you… but you can’t remember the project you did at work last week! Because your brain filters out memories and the most important are the ones that had you feeling.

Treat people how you’d like to be treated because what goes around, comes around. Your vibe attracts your tribe, so put out good vibes only!

This is crucial in business as well as life. Treat every relationship as a future opportunity.

#4 Time is your most valuable asset

Think about this for a minute…. what are the most valuable things in your life?

Majority of people would say things like family, friends, money and health/fitness.

But if you dive deeper into these concepts you realise that you can lose each one, and work to eventually get them back.

But not time... once a moment or opportunity has passed, it’s gone forever.

Lesson here – be a YES person. Set goals, take risks and crazy opportunities, because failing is better than never trying.

Sir Richard Branson know’s what’s up:

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

#5 If you don’t have health…

You’ve got nothing!

It’s usually not until you’ve lost it that you start to appreciate the good health you did have.

I remember being super ill when I first arrived in India to do my Yoga Teacher Training back in April. My friend and I had been traveling around South East Asia for 5 months when we arrived and on the second day staying at the ashram I began feeling as though I’d been hit by a truck… no energy, runny nose, no appetite and all I wanted to do was sleep.

Being this vulnerable was so hard! Times like this you really appreciate being at your usual 100%.

Life threatening diseases can be prevented by:

Nourishing your body by making food your medicine.

Moving your body everyday.

Being conscious of what you put on and inside your body.

Develop your brain by continuing to learn.


#6 Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it

The older I get, the more I realise you get out of life exactly what you put into it.

Attitude goes beyond education, circumstances, money and success.

It’s more important than skill, talent, beauty or charm.

It can’t be bought, but it can be learnt.

One thing I know for sure is that having a positive attitude is a choice, and everyday you have the choice to make each and everyday exactly how you want it to be.

#7 Get comfortable being uncomfortable

No one outstanding got to where they are by staying in their comfort zone.

To grow and develop as a person you need to step out of your comfort zone and experience things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Take a cold shower. Go camping. Go sky diving. Take a flight. Go diving. Invest in a new business venture. Start a new sport.

While you’re at it make sure you enjoy the journey (don’t let it overwhelm you!), journal about your development, share your journey with others, and celebrate small wins!

“I’m continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.” ~ Ashton Kutcher


#8 Never stop learning

There’s one single universally accepted concept that all successful people can agree on, you should never stop learning.

The best entrepreneurs in the world don’t pretend like they know everything, they’re the first to admit that there are always new skill, systems, techniques and strategies to learn and continuously improve upon.

So why don’t we all have this mindset?

It’s a shame the modern school system has taught the majority of us to dislike reading, books and learning.

Why don’t they teach us about good mental, emotional and psychical health, agriculture, meditation, yoga, how to take care of the environment, climate change prevention, pollution, how to train our mind or how to create opportunities like an entrepreneur. I know, but that’s a story for another time.

The point is, it’s up to you to educate yourself on what’s important.

The wisest mentors in the world are waiting to meet you on book shelves, take advantage of their advice!

#9 Gratitude = happiness, which changes everything

According to the dictionary, Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.

Consciously being aware and grateful for the things we DO have in our lives provides outstanding value to our overall wellbeing.

Gratefulness shows in every aspect of our lives; emotionally you are more relaxed, happier, and resilient.

Socially you are kinder, attract deeper friendships, have a healthier family life and usually people just like being around you!

Grateful people are usually healthier with improved sleep, increased energy and make more time for exercise.

Since being exposed to the Law Of Attraction I’ve been hand writing 4 things I’m grateful for each day, and I can honestly say I’ve seen a massive positive shift in my mindset and perspective.

Get involved!

#10 You are the only one who can change your situation

“To achieve something you have never had before you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done before.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

We as humans tend to over think EVERYTHING. The reality is no one can change your life but you.

If you want to travel, research then reach out to others who are doing what you’d like to do. Ask them questions.

If you’re feeling lost in life go back to basics and find out what makes you tick. Follow your bliss.

If you’re unfulfilled in your current job, search for a career you’re passionate about. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

If you’re overweight; exercise more, eat smaller healthier meals, don’t eat 4 hours prior to going to sleep and drink more filtered water.

If you’re marriage is crumbling and you want to save it, find a unique way to rekindle the love. Think outside the box. Be spontaneous!

“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own mind.” ~ Napolean Hill