Disconnect, Choices and real Joy!

Posted by | September 16, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments


So I’m sitting here and thinking about my outcome?

I often get asked “Which do you like better, the U.S. or Sweden?” It’s not an easy question to answer, but I have a few thoughts. Mostly, I think that feeling torn between two cultures is a real joy in life: two choices of location, language, identity, you name it. But it has its complications too!

In general, I am really happy in the US and in Europe, for different reasons. In the US, I love the “anyone can do it” spirit, the multiculturalism, the comparative lack of class-consciousness and the pervasive culture of hard work and optimism. In Europe, I love the slower pace of life, the sense of history, the value placed on arts and culture. Here are only a few specifics that spring to mind.

When I’m in Europe, I miss:

  • Small talk. I know this is classically American and kind of superficial, but I prefer it over being considered invasive and inappropriate when striking up a conversation with a stranger.
  • The non-smoking culture.
  • American opening hours. I know, this is another lazy American thing, but it’s really hard to get into the mindset of planning the day around when the grocery store is open

But then again, when I’m back in the US, I miss:

  • That touch of European class. Coffee in a china cup, with a napkin and a little chocolate so that you don’t have coffee breath. Real food made with real ingredients, even if you’re in a hurry. Train attendants in pressed uniforms. Pastries wrapped up in fancy paper and sealed with a fancy sticker, even if you’re going to eat them right away. The absence of sweat pants and sneakers outside the gym. The absence of dollar stores.
  • Public transportation that goes everywhere. I know, the US is too vast for a European solution to this one. But it’s just such a huge difference.

But what triggered my thinking tonight was the election that just took place in Sweden. It made me think a little bit more about how privileged I am to have two great options to where to reside. It’s been close to 20 years (!!!)  since I packed my suitcases. Sometimes it feels like time has flown, sometimes like it’s been so many moons ago. I can’t say I have experienced any internal conflicts of where home is…. I used to laugh when flying to Sweden as I would say “I’m going home” but would use the exact same word when flying back to the US. That was about the extent of my geographical existential confusion, if you will. But tonight, it’s been a day or so since Sweden had their governmental election and I followed many discussions on Facebook, realizing then that I wasn’t quite tuned in. I have had a jist of the politics over there. Sweden’s economic growth has been much higher than that of the rest of Western Europe, or the United States, since 2006. Sweden has one of the lowest inflation rates in Europe; it runs a budget surplus every year; its corporate tax rates are considerably lower than U.S. rates; and it spends more on research and development, as a share of its economy, than we do. Its firms are highly competitive in the world economy, and it runs sizable current-account surpluses. Last night as people were waiting up for the final count of votes, I realized just how divided the country was and how most Swedes had very strong feelings around this. But I couldn’t chime in to any length.

So for all this time that I have lived here in the US I have not been able to vote since I am green card holder, not a citizen but have failed my rights as a Swedish citizen to vote from afar. What is the right thing to do? Did I just bail on my responsibility or have I done the right thing since I’m not in the loop? Should I be ashamed of not being taking my rights seriously?

Well, how do I plead? …  Not guilty your honor! judge

Why do I say that [so nonchalantly you may add]? Glad you asked. I know I have a choice and for that I am glad. I also know that all of us have control of how we react, no one can tell me I am not taking it seriously and hurt me because I know that is not true. There is an “Event + Response = => Outcome” formula I operate by and if we all did the same and took responsibility for it, this crazy world would still be doing it’s world- thing but people would realize that they have control of how they think, do, react etc and perhaps the blame game would stop.

I love my outcome. I love my options and the opportunity to vote for the next election in Sweden if I choose to. Mostly, I think that feeling torn between two cultures is a real joy in life!

About Inspiring Result

I am a thought leader who want to live in a world where people feel excited about doing what they choose to do, fulfilled and in a place where there is room to reach the level of success desired; enjoy laughter, loved ones and fulfilling conversations. I am a Success Coach, with close to two decades of experience with a background in traditional counseling, Sport Psychology and a degree in Strategic Interventions from Robbins-Madenas Training Center. I've been applauded for my straight forward, warm approach working with a range of clients from many high profile regulars, organizations to the 'girl next door'. When I'm not immersed in my coaching world I can be found on adventure with my family, in the barn with our horses or burying my toes in the sand. Integrating what I believe in every single area of my life, I do not try to balance the mythical scales so that work and family demands and rewards are exactly even. Rather, I trying to understand this: Accurately assessing the nature of [one's] own personalities, sense of self-identity, and the degree of control over work and family lives is crucial to finding satisfaction. Balance is not the goal, a healthy prioritized integration is. My work has been a warm welcome into many busy lives and is offered as a structured one on one program, workshops and educational sessions on a consulting basis, talking about how to successfully identify and reach goals by strategically gaining clarity. Currently I'm passionately working on integrating generations in today's workforce; creating a business culture where talent is retained and can thrive, not only Millennial talent but all talent throughout the organization! As your strategist, I am driven by your results and your success!

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