Most people that I’ve met in English-speaking countries tend to be slightly shy. By contrast, most individuals that I’ve met in Spain are very outgoing and gregarious – they are quite extroverted. During my trip to Spain, I’ve obviously improved my social skills a lot!

  • The importance of having high-quality social conversations:

In the past, whenever I was talking to someone that intimidated me, I would mentally scold myself, “Why did I sound so stupid? This high-profile individual will never want to speak to me again.”

After spending some time in Spain, I have learned that my social awkwardness can be removed from my shoulders permanently. Truthfully, no one actually remembers much of what I have said. In reality, what people clearly remember is what it felt like to speaking to me.

Was I pleasant or defensive? Was I funny or aggressive? Was I argumentative or genuine?

That is to say, individuals remember my emotional imprint after the conversation ends.

Say this sentence out loud right now: “Julie is Jessica’s neighbor” in a friendly tone and then say it again in a furious tone. You could tell the difference – it’s not the exact words that convey the message; it’s the feelings and emotions behind the words.

Therefore, whenever I feel that I am not getting a great response from other people as I speak to them, I evaluate my tone of voice and change the feelings / emotions in my tone.

Feelings and emotions in my tone is much more effective for achieving my goals or ruining my goals than we imagine.

Therefore, I always keep my tone of voice positive and upbeat. That’s why nowadays people like talking with me.

  • How I attended an upscale dinner party during my trip to Spain:

I brought a little black dress with me when I was in Spain. It has glittery sequins sewn into the fabric and I also wore a long, jeweled necklace. Apart from that, I wore a big bright red flower in my hair.

Christina is a woman that I met at that dinner party. She is a successful career coach in Spain. At that time, I was a bit confused because I really needed to figure out my career. Although I had a decent job and was running a freelance business at the same time, I always felt that I needed a career change for some reason.

According to Christina, a job doesn’t work out sometimes. If that happens, I should acknowledge the fact that it is not my failure. It only means I haven’t found my true passion yet. I should find the spot in life that I was born to fulfill in my lifetime.

Occasionally, I am supposed to try on different jobs or careers, just like I try on shoes, clothes and jewelry, until I discover the look that showcases me with a real wow.

If a job involves too much pain but I like the work itself, that means I simply need a new pathway. Maybe another employer in the same industry. Somewhere I can thrive and flourish.

Talking to different people in Spain has given me many creative ideas. If you think about it: everything that we tend to take for granted nowadays (cars, TV, telephones, the Internet, etc.) all started with an invisible idea in a person’s thoughts. Invisible ideas generate the visible things in this world. Your ideas define you. Your ideas have the potential to take you to places you didn’t even know possible.

A lot of individuals’ ideas died because those people didn’t pursue their ideas which could have changed their lives. So, if you have a good idea, you should follow your idea and make it come true. You give yourself life by giving a creative idea life. You become fulfilled and satisfied as a result.

  • I found joy during the trip to Spain.

In order to create positivity in life, I have to be a giver. I always give resources of my personality, encouragement, a caring nature, a loving attitude and vibrant happiness to people I meet.

Basically, a positive character, a kind heart and a sharing attitude are keys to social acceptance and success.

In a social context, I’ve become a good listener after learning the four levels of listening from Martha Beck.

The first level of listening is ear listening. For example, a party is filled with voices; however, if a person says my name, my ears would pick it up immediately even from across the room! This is a way to separate that voice from all other voices with ear listening. This level of listening is merely the beginning.

The second level of listening is body listening. According to Marie Forleo & Kate Northup, if we hear something that makes us feel contracted or tense, we should observe that reaction carefully. Rather than react by yelling back, we should take a deep breath and let the body know it’s not physically dangerous.

If I take those simple steps to stay present and calm, my entire experience could change gradually. Let’s say I hear an attack, I can empathize with that person who is scared, tired or heartbroken. All those feelings and emotions may sound like something unpleasant to the ear. Yet when we practice body listening, we start to understand what that person is actually trying to tell us.

Now I can relax more and create a safe environment for myself and others.

The third level of listening is heart listening. When my body is totally relaxed, I can figure out others’ motivations and intentions easily. Now I can decide how much I would like to open my heart. As I listen to someone, I tend to check whether my heart wants to back off or move forward. When someone is lying to me, my heart moves away. When someone is telling me the truth, my heart wants to understand more.

The fourth level of listening is soul listening. This level of listening allows me to cultivate self-awareness and compassion. I can understand other people at a much deeper, extraordinary level. It bonds people together and creates peace.

  • In life, you don’t get what you want. You get who you are.

This is something profound that I learned in this trip to Spain.

After stretching myself socially, I’ve become a good conversationalist. I’ve met a lot of accomplished people, including best-selling authors, celebrities and multi-millionaires. Interestingly, they have 2 things in common: A) They do not really know what they are doing in at least one area of their lives. B) They move forward even though they don’t know what they are doing.

The ability to wing it is so key.

They don’t let those things hinder their progress or stop them.

That’s who they are.

In fact, knowing what you are doing isn’t really a prerequisite of living a fabulous life that you are proud of.

“Despite feeling like you’re figuring it out as you go along, you simply move forward anyway.”