A Happier Life: An Expat’s Pulse

The window of our heart longs and opens up for life’s journey in search of a happier life.

A happier life is our beating pulse as a migrant. A better life does not always promise us a happier life since we know that a better life calls for a lot of sacrifice and hard work, nostalgia and sadness, solitude and determination to thrive well as an expat.

We have to keep in mind that the understanding and state of being happy vary from person to person, the realisation of our unique goals in life, what we gave up to pursue another path of joy that leads us to profound fulfilment in another country, our adapted new home.

There are many wisdom and advice on how to have a happy life. Some of these tips may work well for others. What I can share to you are pointers that contribute to a happier life:

  1. Take care of our well-being. Get enough rest, sleep, be calm, centered, eat balance diet and exercise both mind and body. Having good health prepares us into a much better mood and physique.
  2. Honest awareness of our being, our talents, capabilities, and limitations. Don’t compare to others, we have to acknowledge and appreciate others’ potentials and individuality.
  3. Be a grateful, simple yet special. Have a humble, appreciative heart in our daily endeavour.
  4. Find a work we love that supports us financially and learn well the foreign language and culture of our new resident country.
  5. Working hard towards our goal but being tenacious in case of failures or mishaps.
  6. Conquer and eliminate regrets, envy, ill judgments, pride, hatred and greed.
  7. Embrace flexibility, perseverance, determination and prayers and go with a heart that does not break but only bends.
  8. Despite of what ugly weather we are in, carry an optimistic and cheerful spirit.
  9. Surround ourselves with good true friends and laughter.
  10. Learn to accept, forgive, resolve, heal, grow, improve and move on.
  11. Keep in mind that we don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Don’t take all the quantum responsibility but learn to delegate tasks, encourage cooperation, and teamwork at home, school and work.
  12. Budget well: ascertain between needs and wants, anxiety and real concerns. Keep separate the household funds from personal money spent to keep up our pleasure, dignity and independence as we are in charge and responsible for our own pleasure and joy  of freedom.
  13. Preparation is paramount in any endeavour: plan, schedule well, balance priorities and duties, family and leisure.
  14. Discover our passion, hobby, find time for it: hone it, be great on it, share it and learn to enhance the present moment by embracing timeless truth, simply being comfortable within ourselves.
  15. Create our buffer time, listen to our favourite music, pamper ourselves with simple pleasures like relaxing, reading a book, doing your favourite sport, trying something new, be adventurous without compromising  safety, don’t forget the little child in our heart, dine with friends, window shop, travel and explore.
  16. Have faith. Face problems one at a time and don’t let a wave of challenges overwhelm us keeping in mind that pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice. Growth and changes happen and the best security is right within us. Outside circumstances are often outside our control and what goes around us is not nearly as important as what goes inside of us. Unlock that sacred secure place from deep within.
  17. Discover the effective ways of true deep listening.  Develop self-control against impulsive replies that may hurt others. Listen to the wisdom of both the young and old keeping in mind that everyone is struggling, see people as they are not how they could be.
  18. Never hurry because we lose dignity, poise, finesse and concentration. Rushing adds up to unwanted pressure and tension. Have time for thoughtful reflection and significant insights. Value each moment and prolong patience.
  19. Have peace and contentment in our heart. Love the process of living each moment fully, keeping in mind that our presence can be source of inspiration and strength to various people we meet.
  20. Bear in mind the spirit that is essential: to nourish our soul as we develop in various stages of our life. Nourish it by sharing our timeless love, good values, fun, cherishing the good in others, respect, compassion, be a golden heart in different sectors and relationships: work, school and home.
  21. Move towards the direction most favourable for living up to our full potential, increasing enthusiasm, energy and seize the chance to push through the barriers of fatigue and self-doubt by having stronger self-confidence.
  22. Surround with beauty that enriches our soul, carry daily positive attitude as it creates ripples of positive expectation and results from people, situations and events.
  23. During tougher times, it is wise to take time off, keep our spirit uplifted by knowing ourselves honestly, our coping mechanisms in times of crisis, what works best for us on how to replenish our energy keeping us fresh and cheerful again.
  24. Simply giving our heart – the best we could in any endeavour brings fulfilment and joy within us as well as for others.

How to have a happier life depends on ourselves not the country we live in nor from our partner or spouse or from other people. If outside factors affect negatively our happy outlook in life, be resilient to creatively transcend such incidents into a productive and optimistic way.

True happiness is present in the essence of life which cannot be bought by money such as a beautiful mind, common sense, insight, wisdom, serene spirit and a gifted heart.

That happier life is our unique inner fulfilment, it is in the process while we go for our dreams and realise our goals: the degree of which cannot be compared to others.

Each moment of our life gives us multiple chances to act on to be happy as we choose to create our happier endings every day we share our generosity, peace, kindness, respect, timeless love and joy.

A happier life is not in any material goods but it breathes from within us, it is a sense of completeness, a grateful heart, an inner peace in harmony with our soul.

Angelica Hopes

Author of the books:

Landscapes of a Heart, Whispers of a Soul

Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul

Life Issues


A Happier Life: An Expat’s Pulse © 2013 Ana Angelica Abaya van Doorn All Rights Reserved.  Unabridged version  October 17, 2013

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