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Given all the amazing options that exist in the world for choosing the best country and city to live in, why don't more of us "shop" for the best place to live in the world? Several factors come to mind:

1) It doesn't even occur to us. We know it is important to consider which car to buy, which house to buy, which person to marry, maybe even in which city to live within the country we already reside. But our culture doesn't teach us (maybe it even discourages us) from considering which would be the best country to live in. I didn't seriously think about living in another country until I was 51 years old.

2) Our desire/tolerance for adventure is low and we like to stay with what we're used to and to avoid the anxiety that might arise by trying to live in a new country and culture (especially one that doesn't share our native language).

3) Physical proximity (and maybe obligations) to friends and family is very important to us.

4) We're not sure how we could earn a living in another country.

5) Most countries put up barriers (sometimes insurmountable) to immigrants, especially to those potential immigrants from poorer countries. Currently, the USA is a prime example of implementing this "we don't want you here" policy.

Despite all these reasons for staying in your current country or country of birth, amazing advantages may be available to you as an expat. Having become one myself, I know that many countries of the world are better for me to live in than the USA (China being the best choice for now).

Which tennis pro will win usually more games? The one who puts the most focus on winning each and every tennis game? Or the one who puts the primary focus on enjoying the game itself (enjoying the process of the game)?

Who is likely to get more results (accomplishments) in their life? The one who focuses first on getting always more and better results? Or the one whose priority is on loving the game of life itself by enjoying the processes of going for the results that they want?

The is the most counterintuitive and most valuable knowledge we can ever learn and is the fundamental key to having a great life and to being best friends with yourself.

Learning from my cat...

My cat Princess jumps onto my lap...she enjoys lying there.

Later I push her off my lap.

Even though she would prefer to stay on my lap, she accepts without upset that she cannot stay on my lap (for now).

Later she may try to jump onto my lap again, with no memory of her former "rejection."

When you have created Now/Next Integrity as the foundation of your life, then while you are enjoying doing whatever you're doing, you will also be getting hungry for the next thing on your plate.

For example, while I am enjoying the everyday routines and processes of my work and daily life, I am also getting hungry for the upcoming holiday, which I always have planned.

And, while enjoying the special adventures of my holiday, I am getting hungry for gong back to work and returning to my regular routines.

Many of us revere one-way streets. We are careless about our one-way attitudes and our willingness to make life decisions which are costly to recover from if doesn't make sense later to continue in that way.

Consider our attitudes:
"Don't give up."
"Finish what you start."
"Always keep your word."

Consider our willingness to lock in our future in ways that create big costs if we need to change our mind:
Getting married and creating joint property.
Having kids.
Borrowing a lot of money.
Making promises that we may not want to keep later.

Everything has costs.

To get an apple, you must pay some money.

To be a good salesperson, you must hear "no" sometimes.

To fall in love, you must take some risks.

To have and raise children includes a whole buffet of costs, both short-term and long-term.

To enjoy having a husband or wife may include listening to their snoring.

To stay alive (enjoy life) sometimes includes the costs of feeling pain and fear.

Yes, we can often find ways to reduce the costs and increase the benefits.

But, at the end of the day, costs will always be attached to the benefits that we receive.

Are you loving these costs? These costs are paying for the benefits. If you are not loving the costs, then you're not fully loving the benefits.

"It's so great I can get an apple for so little money."
"Every time I get a 'no' I'm saving up for a 'yes.'"
"It's exciting to embrace the risk that I might lose my love."
"Having children has given me the best deal of my life."
"How lucky I am (snoring included) to be married to this amazing person."
"Thank you, pain, for letting me know what needs attending to."

And as you love the costs, the benefits will increase.

Whether by design or default, we often prioritize our relationships with others over our relationship with ourselves.

We are willing to make it hard on ourselves and not take care of ourselves in order to please others or look good to others.

Yes, having great relationships with others is important.

But most fundamental is taking care of ourselves and being our own best friend.

If we prioritize this ahead of our relationship with others (if a conflict occurs), then, in the big picture, in the long run, we'll have better relationships with others also.

Yes, persistence is an important foundation of life...

Yes, patience is an important foundation of life...

Yes, taking things step by step is an important foundation of life...

Yes, making plans and setting goals is an important foundation of life...

Yes, being decisive is an important foundation of life...

Yes, honesty is an important foundation of life...

Yes, making requests is an important foundation of life...

Yes, saying no is an important foundation of life...

But what is the source, what is foundation of all these foundations?

If you have learned to enjoy the processes of life, if you have learned to enjoy the journey of moving towards whatever you want and intend, then all these other foundations will grow naturally from this foundation of foundations...this is the quintessential requirement for living a life you will love.

Woody Allen said, "80 percent of success is just showing up."

Do you consistently get back to people by the time you said you would get back to them?

Do you keep all your promises to others by the deadline agreed upon (or let them know in a timely manner that you won't be keeping your promise)?

If someone makes a promise to you, do you always followup with them right away if they haven't fulfilled on that promise by the date agreed upon?

Do you have structures and habits in place that ensure that you'll easily and consistently address all these accountabilities?

I've found that less than 10% of people are good with all of the above. Even though many handle much more difficult accomplishments, they neglect to create and maintain these simple foundational practices.

People who insist on being told the truth often don't handle the truth very well.

Consequently, those around them often lie to them, even at the risk of being found out.

Choose courage to accept that you may be lied to. This fosters more internal peace as well as better relationships.

It seems that others are pretty honest with me...because they know that I am not likely to be upset with them or blame them if they tell me the truth, no matter what that truth is.

And, on occasion, if I do discover that someone lied to me, if possible, I will curiously ask them to help me understand how my behavior might have stimulated them to lie to me.

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