Have you ever traveled to a faraway place expecting to become someone entirely new only to realize when you return home you’re still the same person? Books, movies, and television are filled with stories of men and women traveling the world to find themselves. The secret, most people discover, is you don’t have to travel the world to find yourself and become happy. You just have to pay attention to what’s around you.
Motivational keynote speaker and host of Bridge The Gap Chris Bashinelli learned this lesson in his early 20s. He traveled to Tanzania to help make the lives of the locals better, only to learn they didn’t need his help. People in Tanzania had wonderful lives. It was Chris who needed to change the way he saw things.
After coming back, Chris realized we can all live better if we learn to embody the three principles of being a global citizen.
1) Be present in your life
Many times, we spend our time focused on the future. We think: I’ll be happy when I…get my dream job, promotion, married, have children, retire.
We spend all our time focused on a future goal and forget to focus on the here and now. Chris learned that joy resides in being present in our lives, in the moment we are in now. Goals give us direction but they should not take us away from focusing on the present and those around us.
2) Connect authentically with others
In business, we are taught to network to get ahead and promote our careers. Books, podcasts, and videos teach us how to make connections. The only problem with this type of connection is it often self-serving; often, it does the opposite of what we intend. It distances us from people.
To be more joyful, you need to authentically connect with others. Chris suggests you ask questions, listen with an open mind, and always have someone else’s best interests at heart. When you do this, you will find common ground with all people. You will make friends everywhere.
3) Find a mission greater than yourself
Part of being a global citizen is recognizing we are all connected. Advancing your own interests will make you happy for a spell, but advancing the interests of others will make the world around you a happier place.
Chris believes we need to stop listening to the noise of people telling us what we should do and who we should be. Instead, listen to your own voice and do whatever it is YOU want to do. Find that passion and connect it to a greater mission. You don’t have to cure cancer or join the Peace Corps to be part of a grand mission. You could be a singer who brings joy to the world through his music or an entrepreneur who donates her profits back to helping the environment.
When you learn to embody these three principles of being a global citizen, you will find that by bringing joy to other people’s lives, you have brought joy to your own.
Kyle Crocco is the Content Marketing Coordinator at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, and the lead singer of Duh Professors. He regularly publishes business book reviews and thought articles on Medium, Business 2 Community, and Born 2 Invest.