Ever tried living like a single mother in a foreign country? That is what au pairing feelt like for me and I learned that easy is the last thing it is. It is however one of the best and most exiting things you can do, here is why
Meeting Kindered Souls
Tough times build the strongest bonds. The friends you make during your aupairing are often other au pairs, due to simulair schedules and relatable talks about culture crashes. These friends will last forever and when you leave you´ll have friends from all around the world.
Learn A lot
Not only about yourself but about other cultures, how to deal with challenges, networking plus learning a whole new language. Fooling people you´re a local is suprisingly empowering.
Get An Extra Family
I know now that all families have stuggles and that makes mine at home feel normal(ish). After a few months your hostkid start feeling like a sibling. You have inside jokes and know how to push each others buttons. It is a humbling feeling to have two families, plus you can visit them after you´ve left.
Becoming A Role Model
I grew up as the youngest pampered kid and therefore having a little human asking me for advice and copying what I did felt strange. But as I like to say " with resposibility comes self respect". All of the sudden I heard myself quoting those I admire and spreading wisdom I hardly knew I had to ears that were really listening.
Oh the travelling, au piring teaches you to live life to the fullest. I saw more and did more in a month then I used to do one whole year living at home. Since time off is a luxury and you get offered to go to 4/5 events every night, staying in is not an option. 2 am texts saying "wanna drive to Delaware, we´ll sleep in the car?" now seem valid and soon you will find yourself picking up redbulls at the nearest gas station.
More than anything au pairing is an opportunity and like with everything else, your actions affect the outcome. No matter what though, it will expand your mind and make you a wiser human being. And who doesn´t want to be a more knowledgeble open-minded person?
I recently had the privilege to sit down and talk success with Swedish buisness owner Douglas Hellström. His company Plustid distributes daycare for busy families and he is well-respected in his field. I try and surround myself with influental and successfull people since I aspire to be one and I ask for advice. Lately I had a lot of tasks due and with juggling this website with a full time job I needed some advice on how to be superproductive without having to grow mutiple arms. This is the answers found over that lunch.
Writing stuff down creates clarity, may that be in a phone, on post IT´s or in a calender. Douglas explains he is using one "need to be done today" list and one "get done asap" - list that he checks off whenever there is some time to spare. Keeping the ”today”-list as short as possible (but not shorter) means that you have room left in the day to act on opportunities as they reveal them self. If you manage to come to this point your gutt feeling will no longer be that a phone call is a hassle or disturbance but rather a welcome potential business opportunity. Using tags in email is another great way to keep track of things, that way when you go to the grocery store you could simply search for all things you tagged in that department appears.
Empty Your Mind
Once you´ve figured out what to do to move forward, scheduele it and forget about it. Keeping it in your head will confuse and stress you wich makes the task much harder. Use your brain to create and work on productivity, it´s not made to work as storage. A human can at average remember 7 things, that means as soon as you get a new task, something else falls out, no matter how important it is. Unless your a memory master, do not put that on yourself. The important thing is to create a system that you can trust to remind you of important stuff in the right time or place. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy tech system or plain pen and paper. Find a trustworthy system that works for you and use it across the board or else your mind will be busy keeping ideas instead of having new ones.
Yep you have heard it before. It is the one advice that keep coming back. I used to have the bad habit of doing whatever popped up because I was afraid to forget it. It ended up with two confrontations from people meaning well and stepping in between me and the wall I was about to run into. I realised that instead preventing fires is a lot calmer then franticly putting them out scared the whole house will burn down. Douglas says that "Planning ahead is not the opposite to being spontaneous. It’s rather a requirement in order for you to act immediately without it being on the expense of something else."
Having a schedule means increasing efficiency results in having more time ..more time for fun. Spontaneity is a gift and when it swings by, make sure you are prepared to grab it.
This post will not be funny nor is it intended to be. This week lots of lifes where taken. Innocent civilians were gunned down, killed and traumatized. It is all over the news and eventhough it feels like we have heard it before it´s as shocking as ever.
Whether it is on a beach in Tunisia, mall in Nairobi, university in Kenya, the streets of Beurit, an airplane in Egypt, a mosque in Kuwait or all over Syria, actions like these leave a hole in the human soul. The terroristgroups Al-shabab, hizbollah and IS, not to be mistaken for Islam, are claiming responsibility for a lot of these crimes showing the world that these people, if you can call them that, wish to spread fear and use that to take over. If we let them, they have succeeded therefore I´d like to highlight some of the heroes and events following these horrible attacks that shows humanity and support freedom.
We the survivours, because no matter where we are, we are all survivours, have a possiblity to help. So take the love the victims no longer can share and spread it amongst your society. Hug close relatives, volunteer in refugeecamps, smile to strangers and do everything in your power to help wherever you can. Stay stong with compassion, speak up towards injustice and refuse to be silent. In these times remember, hate and anger is contagious, but so is LOVE.
The category you are in is named world domination for a reason. This is where we aim and that is where we want you to be. Dominating at what you do. Beeing the best in the world in your field, so let´s get you there.
Looking around it seems like the people glued to average are not the ones that aim to high and fail. It is thoose who aim to low and succeed. I see it all around, in the worried eyebrows of a 40 year old clerk at the post office and in the rolling eyes of a merchandise clerk watching someone unfold the shirt she just folded. Letting go off opportunities that do not align with your path is success 101. With all information around you, you probably already know what to do to get closer to the finishline. Beware the grasp of comfortability. Success is not comfy, but then again neither is getting stuck below your potential.
If you do have to take a job you never dreamt of , make it your dream. Be the best at it even if it ´s only temporary. Flipping burgers can become an art form and the person reciving your wonderful service might be your next boss.
Networking is gold to figuring out others but also yourself. People at these event are often have driven and really cool personalities you can adopt. After mingeling with the top you can easily see how small adaptations in behaviour can make the biggest difference. Merly showing up is an act that states you are one to be remembered, bring business cards. If you do not have them, get them. Now, no exuses. Also make sure to follow up. Add the person on LinkedIn or email and suggest another meet up, marvelous things can happend.
To make a right you have to find the wrong.. Sorry to break it to you but you will not wake up one day having all the answers. There is no cheat sheet on the breakfast meny. The fact that basically everything your doing can be improved, should not make you sad. If you can do better there is potential to go better places. So go make mistakes, the more embarasing the harder the lesson. But for god´s sakes do not forget to fix the wrongs you are doing. A person who knows all their flaws but do nothing is depressing, a person who knows and is fixing them is invincible. everyone has an Akillies heal just make sure to wear shoes. Plus everybody loves a comeback.
We are all selfmade, but only the sucessfull will admit it. Join them.