Do you have a bevy of positive expectations before you travel, especially if your trip is exotic or highly anticipated?
Psychology researcher Roy Baumeister (I’m really enjoying a MentorCoach course I am presently taking from the famed book author of, “Willpower“) reminded us humans are not very good at guessing how much pleasure a new experience might bring. We tend to over-estimating the positive aspects of it and how long the pleasure will last.
I heeded Baumeister’s warnings as I planned my trip to India. I was blessed to be a keynote speaker in New Delhi, India, Sept 25th. What an honored journey!
India is one mind-expanding country!
Her people no matter what their station in life, joyfully loving.
Where else would a humbly kind Amity University professor traverse the huge city of New Delhi to flag down our van in the middle of the street to present me with a stunning, “Welcome!” bouquet of flowers? And then politely ask for a photo so the Dean, Dr. Abha Singh, would know I happily received them? What fun! She was my lovely and much appreciated guide to the festivities all day long.
At the beautifully decorated conference center, with Hindu ceremonies and a stunning dancer, I felt like “Queen for a Day” (for you youngsters, this used to be a fun 1950’s TV where women’s dreams came true). From potted plants, to programs, to award plaques, to the best audience ever, India knows how to make a guest feel loved and valued. I am forever grateful. And I was glad I kept my expectations in check. It made my experience all the more memorable.
In my presentation, I discussed the ebook I wrote in their honor…
The packed to the balcony audience loved positive psychology and were avidly interested learners. A pure joy. I wasn’t ready for the radio interview after the presentation, but the host was so enamored with positive psychology, it was a treat.
I had expected this would be a fun and fascinating experience, but not in my wildest dreams did I imagine the humanity and spirituality (great character strengths!). I now understand why so many people journey to India for enlightenment. The cacophony of contrasts in India with sights and smells and horns blowing and vendors hawking put my happy senses on happy high alert.
Deep bows of gratitude to my hosts, Amity University, and to Dr. Sunil Saini for opening the doors to fascinating India. I am still breathless. Kudos to my presentation assistant and tech life-saver, soon-to-be Ph.D. student, hopefully in the USA, Sugandh Gupta. This exceptional young woman is like my daughter of the heart.
Yes, I had kept mine in check. Middle road. But I am thrilled to report, I am still in the after glow.
About the trip in general? Three weeks in India and Nepal, now that was a 14 air flight frenzy of exhausting and exhilarating, “WOW!” Getting to see our adopted family in Nepal was heartwarming bliss. But I am getting ahead myself, as I will blog about that joy down the road. Wait till you hear about the charming, gifted French videographer who just happened to be staying with our son in Nepal. I will give you a teaser. She is doing a documentary on HAPPINESS around the world! What are the odds that a positive psychology coach from the USA would meet a French photo journalist in Kathmandu, Nepal? Don’t you love serendipity
Want some tips tips for traveling with positive psychology no matter where you travel?
1. Make an intention ahead of time to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.
Be open-minded and flexible. Plans will morph, but stay your course!
2. EXPECT the UNEXPECTED.
Leave your cuss words at home. Yes, we did miss our flight from Heathrow to Mumbai, India, but security in England on 5 star terrorist alert was understood. Do be assertive re: getting re-booked, but be friendly and polite. Beg like I did if you have to.
3. Gather up your GRIT.
Your passion and perseverance need to be in your carry on!
Plan for it to be broadened.
5. SAVOR every nuance.
Treat your eyes to new vistas.
6. Ramp up your RESILIENCE.
Accept diversity with a smile.
7. Anticipate overwhelm. BREATHE!
Want flourishing and living the good life no matter where you travel? Pack all your character strengths. Make new friends. Count your blessings.
Do have a fabulously meaningful Thanksgiving, too!