Saturday, November 21, 2015

Relationships - key to success for living in the land of smiles

No one is an island

Not even Tom Hanks when he was shipwrecked.  He created a ball face character named 'Wilson' to keep him sane.

Its my belief that relationships in life are the key to happiness and success in any place you choose to live - whether it be the frozen Tundra or decide on a place like the land of smiles.  Its not how smart you are, there is always someone smarter than you.  Its not how rich you are, because there is always more money than you can ever imagine.  Relationships cross the boundaries of culture, money, class and politics.

Relationships go beyond your partner, family, and your friends.  Those are no doubt the most important because they are the closest to you, but relationships with each subsequent outer ring of friends, family, and business acquaintances are often overlooked.  When you are in a foreign country, the more good relationships you have with these outer ring people and entities, the happier and better adjusted you will be.

Some examples for me:

I've played golf with the same group of Thai friends for over 15 years.
I've used the same group of motorcycle taxi drivers for over 16 years.
I have the same barber for more than 12 years.
I go to the same place regularly for a foot massage for over 15 years.
I have had the same maid for the last 13 years
Lived in the same building for the last 16 years.
I use the same Airline to fly back and forth (with minor exceptions) for the last 15 years
Until this last operation, I've been using the same hospital for more than 10 years.
I belong to the same golf club for more than 15 years.
etc. (My list is quite long)

As you can see, relationships offer stability and predictability.  It might be boring to some people, but I like things and situations that are predictable, especially if you are in a foreign country and don't speak the language exceptionally well.  Nurture your good relationships - it takes work and a genuine commitment.  At the same time, dump the ones that are poisonous as quickly as possible. 

People who have failed relationships from their past and their home countries will likely have failed relationships here in the land of smiles.  If you are a jerk at home, just a change of venue won't fix the real problem.  In time, you will be the same miserable person you tried to leave behind.

Some times it takes a while to figure out exactly what is good and bad - especially here in the land of smiles when things are not always what they seem to be. But don't be too jaded to think that everything and everyone is a scam waiting for a sucker.   Be patient, be smart and aware, and be willing to give as much as you will get in return.

Your rewards can last a lifetime!

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