I read somewhere online that the definition of hell could be summarized in the following quote:
“On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous
Sometimes, to become successful, and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things, rather we need to give up on some of them instead.
There are certain things that are universal, which, if you give up on them, you will be successful, even though each one of us could have a different definition of a successful expatriation adventure.
So, what are the things one should totally give up to have an excitingly successful expatriation adventure in France? Here’s my take on this:
1. Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn
If you really want to move to Paris anytime soon (or you’re probably already here), it all starts right here. First you have to take care of your health, and the two main things you need to keep in mind are:
1. Eating Well (Healthy Diet)
2. Physical Activity
Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day. French people don't hate plus size people. They simply don't understand how one could embrace a lifestyle and food habits that lead to being obese. The French have a very old and strong culture around food and health, and most of them just can't project themselves in a situation where they become really fat, for no other reason than an unhealthy lifestyle.
You will need to be fit if you want to make it here.
2. Give Up The Short-term Mindset
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West
Successful expatriates in France set long-term goals, and they know that these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do on a daily basis. These healthy habits shouldn’t only be something you do; they should be part of who you are.
3. Give Up Playing Small
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson
If you never try and take great opportunities while you live in France, or allow your dreams to become realities, you won’t ever reach your true potential. And the country that’s hosting you or friends and family back home will never benefit from what you could have achieved.
So, here’s the thing, voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed. The French hate lazy people and they aren’t huge fans of successful people neither ( the French Paradox).
4. Give Up Your Excuses
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Successful expats know that they are responsible for their expatriation adventure, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, past failures, laws and regulations in their host country.
Remember that you are responsible for what happens next in your life in France.
That’s really frightening!
But it’s also exciting, I think.
Avoid making excuses and I guarantee you can make it in France because excuses will limit and prevent you from growing personally and professionally.
It’s your movie! You’re the main character and no one else.
5. Give Up The Fixed Mindset
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery
In a fixed mindset, we tend to think that our intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits and that talent alone makes things work — without any effort.
You know what?
I’ve found that that’s completely wrong.
Every successful expat in France knows this.
They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception of France and the French people so that it can benefit their lives.
Don’t forget that the person you are today, isn’t necessarily the one you have to be tomorrow.
6. Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”
“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué
Pardon me, but I tend to believe that the idea of an overnight success is a myth.
Successful expatriates know that making small continuous improvements on a daily basis, will be compounded over time, and give them desired and expected results.
That’s why, even if you’re planning for the future - to move, live and retire in France for instance - do focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1%.
Is it your French language skills that you want to improve?
Is it your network of friends that you want to enlarge?
Start now! You’re doing it for your future!
Start right now!
7. Give Up Your Perfectionism
“Shipping beats perfection.” — Kahn Academy’s Development Mantra
I don't believe in perfectionism because I think nothing can ever be perfect, no matter how much we try.
The Fear of failure after you’ve moved here (or even fear of success) often prevents many expats from taking action and showing their creative initiatives to the world. By waiting for things to be right, we often lose a lot of opportunities.
So, “ship,” and then improve (by 1%).
8. Give Up Multi-tasking
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ― Winston S. Churchill
Successful expats know this pretty well.
That’s the reason why they’ve always chosen one thing and then beat it into submission.
No matter what, a startup idea, a conversation, or a workout.
Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.
Also, do what you like the most and delegate!
9. Give Up Saying YES To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals
“At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘f**k off’ much more frequently.” -Mirren
Successful expats know that to accomplish their goals, they need to learn to say NO to some tasks, activities, and demands from friends, family, and colleagues.
Are you so bad at saying ‘no’?
Are you a people-pleaser and hate to say ‘no’?
Unless you feel 100% comfortable about a project/request and its proposed outcomes, you should say ‘no’.
Believe me, on a short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will be worth it.
10. Give Up The Toxic People
“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen
You can’t distance yourself from toxic people until you first become aware of who they are.
Stay away (at all costs) from the following toxic drainers:
● The Temperamental
● The Victim
● The Self-Absorbed
● The Envious
● The Manipulator
● The Dementor
● The Twisted
● The Judgmental
● The Arrogant
11. Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media & Television
“The trouble is, you think you have time” — Jack Kornfield
Impulsive web browsing and television watching is a disease of today’s global and French society.
These two should never be an escape from your life or your goals to successfully live in France.
Unless your goals depend on either, you have to minimize (or eliminate) your dependency on them and direct that time towards things that can enrich your experience during your time in this country.
Go to conferences, meet up with other expats and locals in your city, read, improve your language skills, volunteer, go to the museum, write about your experience in France.
Since you don’t have time, you should learn to utilize the little time wisely!
“When distractions disappear, ideas come,”
- Louise Gillespie-Smith
12. Give up your Ego
Working on yourself in fixing your egocentric behaviors can be very exhausting.
You have to go on a step-by-step journey.
In very small, but manageable steps.
Giving up your Ego is the way to go if you want to enjoy life in France.
Over to you
Thanks for reading, Happy Expatriation adventure and Bonne année.
Is there anything you think I should have added onto this list?
Please do share your ideas and insights down in the comments.
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