The idea of being mindful, or mind-full, might seem stressful at first blush. After all, most people’s minds are full enough already without having me reminding them to be that way!
But that’s really not the essence of mindfulness. If you do a quick Google search for the definition of mindfulness, you come up with this…
A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
Putting it that way makes it seem far less stressful, doesn’t it?
The certain strain of mindfulness that I speak of in my blogs is what I like to call impact mindfulness. That’s simply focusing one’s awareness on one’s impact on people and the planet. Most of what we do, or don’t do, does indeed have such an impact. So, why not be mindful about what that impact actually is?
It’s as simple as that.
I break it down into a three-pronged framework to make it even more-so. That framework of focus is as follows: (1) prioritizing impact over self-interest; (2) embracing the concept of the Big US; and (3) removing impact blinders.
The three are interconnected and interrelated…that is, you can’t truly accomplish any one of them without the other two being present in your consciousness, or mindfulness. And my hallucination is that without all three being mindfully present as a guiding force for our actions, our impacts will suffer…and people and planet along with them.
I sincerely believe that this is pretty important (and heady) stuff worthy of a high degree of mindfulness.
As some of you may already know I’m a long-time expat and a permanent resident of Costa Rica. Living as an expat in Costa Rica caused this dramatic paradigm shift that led me to the idea or mindset of impact mindfulness.
We are the outsiders looking in. We have this unique opportunity to see things from a different perspective and let that new way of observing the world guide us to greater impacts.
In fact, here are 10 reasons to be Expat Mindful…
1 – Some ways of doing things you will observe in your adopted country may be better. It pays to put aside your national pride, which can be one of the most insidious impact blinders, and keep an open mind about new ways of doing things.
2 – The converse is also true and you can bring that different perspective to bear in your adopted country to help them find better ways.
3 – One of the central ideas behind embracing the Big US is the concept of world citizenship. That we’re really all in the boat together and your time in a foreign country can help you see that in it truest light.
4 – Changes to our planet are taking their toll everywhere. However, it might be that those changes are more evident to you in your adopted country than they were back home. That might motivate you to take action…and that’s a very good thing!
5 – We are indoctrinated from an early age to believe in certain “truths” that might just not be so true after all. It could be that your time in a foreign country can help remove those impact blinders. It certainly did for me!
6 – Most expats have a desire to immerse in the culture of their adopted country. Being expat mindful and maintaining the degree of open-mindedness required to be so can really help in that regard.
7 – Life in a foreign country can be hard at times. So hard in fact that many give up on the idea altogether. Being expat mindful will help you get over those hurdles because it gives you a larger reason to relish in the challenge than self-interest ever can.
8 – Expats are ambassadors who represent their birth countries to the world outside of them. Being expat mindful can help change negative attitudes and bridge cultural gaps.
9 – The overall learning and life enhancing experience one can gain from time in a foreign country as an expat can be deeply rewarding. Expat mindfulness can greatly enhance and accelerate that process.
10 – Perhaps the greatest reason to be expat mindful is because it supplies the why. Having a clear reason to do something can generally be quite motivating, wouldn’t you agree? And the motive of impact at least in my opinion is the most inspiring of all…and that’s true not just for oneself, but for others as well.
If you’d like to delve a little deeper into this idea of Expat Mindfulness I recently published an eBook on the topic entitled, Expat Mindfulness: How Expats can Change the World with Impact Mindfulness.