7 Relationships That Will Change Your Life!

Living in the jungles and long periods of time in isolation has changed our life and perspective on many things but one greater than all is friendship.  Some of our heroes and those we respect who have accomplished amazing tasks in this world, have relationships with those who believed in them, encouraged them, prayed for them, and even sacrificed to see their goal accomplished.  So how do you meet “those” kind of people.  The answer may not be what you think.  Often in this world, we look for those who are more successful, richer than us, and more powerful because we think that will help us.  But, let us share with you the kind of friendships you should have in your life to help you reach your goals, to bring happiness, to endure with you, to empower you, and encourage you when times get tough.

 Make friends with a lot of people who are much poorer than you.

Why? Because they will teach you about yourself.  I have found that sharing meals, kids playing games together, and talking about life can change my heart, perspective, and fill me with great fullness.  Often these friends can be our greatest cheerleaders in life and often live a life less distracted by material things.

Make friends with those who are accomplishing goals that benefit others more than themselves.

Why? Because if you read anything about happiness, you’ve read that it truly is “better to give than to receive.” Those who live a life giving more, have wisdom to share that only they can understand and explain to you.  They have secrets that you will need to learn.

Make friends with those who are already in a tight knit community.

Why? Because they know how to live life with others and can make the most loyal of all friends.  These are the ones who may bring you in to a group prepared to love and care just as they have for each other.  Don’t instantly label a group as a ‘”click” but feel them out to see if they are welcome to outsiders as yourself.  You may be surprised to find that its their genuine love that binds them together.

Make friends with many other nationalities.

Why? There are more reasons than I can mention in this blog but here are the best three.  Their ideas are likely better than yours (even if you are an American:).  They can probably do it more simply, naturally, and less expensive than you can.  Their perspective can make you better such as Asians teaching me that living life as a community is better than striving alone as an individual.

Make as many friends with those who have suffered much in life.

Why?  “You can’t change the ocean or the weather, no matter how hard you try, so it’s best to learn how to sail in all conditions.”  You may have to go to a nursing home for this one but I challenge you to go today.  Many have suffered through war, depression, poverty, homelessness, addiction, rejection, hunger and many have never suffered, or not yet.  Learn lessons now and if you can “interview” these friends as they may likely be willing and desire for their story to be told.

Make friends with those who are confused, lost, and a bit immoral.

Why? You never know, you may be the one who is a bit confused, lost, and immoral, or judgmental to those who are either way either our hands should always be stretched out.  I have found that deep down we are all a little or a lotta broken and sometimes we need to be reminded of that.

Make friends with God and those who are making friends with God.

Why? People will let you down, even the good people, but only the one who created you can meet all your needs.  Give Him most of your time in love and adoration.

40 Reasons Why I Love Working With My Husband

  1. He loves adventure but without me he’d never get out the door.
  2. He’s good at multitasking. He can figure out any problem, fill out any paperwork, and procrastinate all at the same time.  I send the reminders.
  3. Conflict resolution in the workplace? He listens to the complaint then makes a firm argument.  I skip listening and just apologize a few too many times.  He looks at me thinking “what in the heck is she apologizing for?” (This is real talk here.)
  4. We use to think that working together, meant working together.  He asked me to help with the finances and I asked him to attend my woman’s health class on gonorrhea.  We now know that working together means working towards the same goal but different roles.
  5. My kids say “if mom is laughing at dad’s jokes, it means we have guests.” I’m the funny one, just sayin’
  6. I hate to organize.  He thrives on it.
  7. He dots his i’s and crosses his t’s.  I dot my t’s and cross my i’s.
    Our work sites are often dangerous and its good to have each other.
  8. I spend money, he hordes it (unless it’s Apple).  I share everything, he glares at me.
  9. We often have the same ideas. I hit go, fall on my face.  He thinks about it, thinks about it, thinks about it. . . and it gets done right.
  10. I hate paying bills. If it were up to me, we would be looking at bars.
  11. He’s a pessimist (realist) and I’m an optimist.  Both are useful at times.
  12. If it were up to me, we’d have a husky farm here in the tropics. Again, he’s the realist, its a good thing.
  13. Telling him to “calm down” works about as well as trying to baptize a cat. He hates them both.
  14. We don’t argue, pretty much realize its a waste of energy.  Disagree – give it some time. Go on.
  15. For years, our work required taking the baby along.  I’d remember the car seat, diapers, my purse.  Yet, all he could talk about is how I forgot the baby.  He remembers everything!  . . .What was I talking about?
  16. 6 AM obligations: me.  9 PM obligations: him.
  17. Real conversation in the car.  Me: “we need to help them, they look lost.” My husband swerves to turn the car around.  Kids: “Why are we doing this?”   Mom: “because your father and I love telling people what to do.”
  18. We often google talk. We won’t let the other finish their sentence without coming up with alternate suggestions.  The outcome is often the right page.
  19. I manipulate to make myself look good.  He tells the truth and makes us both look bad.
  20. Some wives stop their husband when he has a bad idea.  I pick up a camera.
  21. I make him laugh.  Usually a year later when he sees the video. Bazinga!
  22. I cook, he cleans.  I clean, he recleans.
  23. For me partnerships are everything! For him, the task at hand.  Without him, I’d accomplish 0.  Him without me, no partnerships.business partners in vietnam
  24. Him, “just give me some time.” Me, “you have 5 minutes.”
  25. Coffee, so we can say and do stupid things faster. I’ve learned, coffee before convo.
  26. I love to write.  When a grants on the table, nothing holds me back! He just wishes I would do it in a bikini.
  27. Same work site: I look and say “it’s excellent!” He looks and says “we gotta lotta work to do!”  We’re usually both right.
  28. I encourage.  He corrects.
  29. He’s serious.  I play too much.
  30. We both talk too much.
  31. We both lead but I can follow where there’s another leader.  He leads period.
  32. He speaks truth.  I will tell you what I think you want to hear.
  33. He has good discernment of character.  I would invite O.J. Simpson on the team thinking “he’s a nice guy!”
  34. We’ve learned to enjoy the quiet when the job is done and give each other the time and space for hobbies.
  35. I’ve learned to forgive rather than move on when things get hard. To see the good in him and others instead of exaggerating the bad.
  36. I’ve become more patient.
  37. I’ve learned that nagging is useless and a damaging tool.
  38. I’ve studied personalities and learned to be compatible, flexible.
  39. Our love for each other has grown more over the years and more deeply because of our work together.
  40. We both know without our faith, neither of us could accomplish it.

For 16 years, we have worked together starting a non-profit organization in Southeast Asia.  Overall, we’ve been together for almost 24 years.  We wouldn’t change a thing about our journey together.

Please take a moment to share this blog on your favorite social media sites!

Our first year working together.

If you are interested in working with your mate, you may want to read some serious opinions before you quit your day job.  I suggest this blog:

The 4 Best Lessons I Learned When My Husband Became My Colleague.

Pursuing My Passion In Cambodia: The Breakdown

I had to choose.  This decision has been made by me many times before but never had I felt so unable to make any decision. How did I get to this low point where I had nothing left for anybody and no vacation, meditation, or time off could take away the weight that I carried.  Reflecting back, I had taken on many roles the year before this but most of which I loved.  After doing my best to carry on these many roles, often with little sleep, I fell under the weight of criticism from others.  Maybe it was that I had carried so much that I was shocked that someone would criticize me.  Maybe I deserved the criticism because I was knowingly carrying too many work and family obligations.  I’m uncertain which it is but what I do know is that I would be spending the next 3 years figuring out just what happened during that time in my life.  One conclusion without a doubt, is that I tried to live up to everyones expectations of me and it wasn’t working at all.

The road to success is always under construction.

We often read about strengths and weaknesses and I too was no stranger to the teaching “find your strengths and focus your energies on those activities” but when life carried on so successfully I began to set aside such advice and think that I could somehow be superhuman and carry on a “bit” extra.  But, what I didn’t realize is the longer I went on like that, the more it would wear on my body and the longer it would take to recover.


That’s what I learned the hard way.  I had a choice: to live for myself or live towards others expectations of me.  The problem is that being a people pleaser myself, I couldn’t even tell you what I enjoyed anymore.  I had left most hobbies behind and convinced myself that I enjoyed things that I really didn’t.  Sometimes I think midlife crisis’ can feel like an adolescent again.  “Who am I?” seemed to float around my thoughts like it never got answered at 16.

I decided to revisit the personality tests again and look deeply at what were my strengths and weaknesses to decide what roles that I could take on without wearing myself thin.  My favorite is the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test found here: Meyers Briggs Personality Test or 16 Personalities Test.

After reviewing these tests again, I came to realize that I was doing many job roles that did not fit my personality.  This was the cause of my burnout.  I didn’t love myself and take care of myself which led to adrenal fatigue, depression, and anxiety.  I would slowly make my way back into a functional member of society but only if I kept a better balance.

What does that balance look like for you? The following decisions have to be made if you are going to live in your strengths and enjoy following your passions in life.

  1. Live in your strengths 90% of the time.  Choose roles that are in line with your what you are passionate about and makes you happy.  All of us were created in a specific way to fulfill specific roles in our lives that benefit others.  If you are not staying within your gifts and passion, you are living a life that’s unbalanced which leaves you feeling drained.
  2. The only way to live this life is to communicate to loving supportive people who will walk alongside you allowing you to say no when needed.  I had to learn to say “no.”  As we moved to a home in rural Cambodia, we got involved in community.  Immediately, the locals wanted help with different problems.  I made an agreement with myself that I would not say yes to anyone but would tell them that we can talk more later.  This gave me time to think whether the role asked of me would fit into my strengths or not.  It also gave me the opportunity to say no in a way that was gentle and thought through.  In one circumstance, I had a new friend ask me repeatedly to help organize community events.  Knowing that organizing events stressed me out, I explained to her that I could not help with these events but also let her know what I enjoy most and how it could benefit her and the community.  We’ve had a strong friendship ever since and I get to teach her and other ladies in a health class which I enjoy very much.
  3. You must find a work environment that your strengths can shine in and that you do a work that you are passionate about.  Good communication about what strengths and skills you can use to contribute to reaching the company’s goals should be appreciated by any good boss.

Living up to others expectations of us leads to burnout and little satisfaction in life.

A special note to fellow bloggers and authors: what do you enjoy writing about and have experience with?  Experience is the best school. Anyone can read a book but writing comes from learning, applying it to life, and then writing.  Skipping the applying step makes ones writing fake and superficial.  Good readers can see past that.  I’ve made the mistake before going for that killer headline to get more readers but long term success requires patience and endurance continuing to put on paper your experience and expertise in your own unique way.

Choosing your unique passion and strengths in life will be fulfilling but will not be appreciated by everyone.  There are people who wish to use you, many people are working to achieve their own goals which may not be inline with yours, and you will have to choose.  It’s easy: yes, not now, or no.  But keep your goal in sight!

To fulfill your passions in life, you must be willing to say no.

What am I, Ann Hall, passionate about?  Meeting health needs and getting clean water to rural poor people.  To see me in action, you can watch this on youtube.  Please like and share this blog so others too will benefit!

Tips For Living A Life of Risk And Happiness

Does being a risk taker make a more fulfilling life? Being one myself, I had always been curious about this side of human nature particularly if being a risk taker increased happiness or did it decrease the years one gets to enjoy life?!

“Everybody dies but not everybody lives.” William Wallace

Fortunately, there is much research about risk taking.  It is interesting to see who tends to be a risk taker, how they rate their level of happiness, and what you can do to be more of a risk taker in your life, business, travel, and relationships.

The paths we take are often precarious! 

Who Are the Risk Takers?

There are several research studies describing likely risk takers.  According to a research study done in Germany with 20,000 participants, those who tend to take more risks in life are wealthier, taller in stature, most likely male, younger in age, and more highly educated.  Who Tends To Take Risks?

Are Risk Takers Happier?

The answer is what you’d expect: yes.  But why?  Much research has shown that risk takers are often more passionate about what they pursue and tend to steer clear of things that they consider boring.  Well how about that!  It makes sense because changes in life require a certain level of risk and major changes in life to pursue what one is passionate about requires a higher level of risk.  So, if you have never considered yourself to be a risk taker, is there a way to change this and maybe increase your risk taking ability?  8 Reasons Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful

How To Become More Of A Risk Taker?

It’s never too late to start.  Those who are risk takers take a path of either settling as they age or grow steeper in the risks they take.  Take me for example.  At a young age, I took a lot of risks.  Truth or dare was my game.  I was competitive, easily bored, and often in trouble despite my good upbringing.  After falling on my face a few too many times, I decided to settle.  Married, bought a house, car, dog, and ready for that American dream of working, mothering, settling.  But, it never seemed to fit.  Until one day, there was an opportunity to travel and do mission work on the other side of the world.  Finishing my degree, it was my husband who took that quick trip 17 years ago.  That’s when our lives changed.  The trajectory changed.  Through prayer, we realized that we wanted a risky life living overseas, helping those in desperate need, and trusting in God to sustain us.

Ann zip-lining off the Great Wall of China.

Choosing risk in not a one time decision.  When one is passionate about pursuing a goal, risky decisions have to be made repeatedly.

Within these past 16 years, we have had to choose to make risky decisions for ourselves, our food, home, transportation, livelihood, and especially choosing how to raise our kids everyday in a place that is riskier than their home nation.


How does one begin to live a more risky life?  By beginning to doing what’s right in your own unique way. There is a movie we like called “Yes Man.”


I don’t like every line of this movie but I do like the concept behind it.  Begin saying yes and you will find yourself refreshed, happier, living a more fulfilling life.  Begin saying yes to what’s right, good, loving, and be creative in your efforts to help others.  Love your family in a way that’s radical. Choose to smile at work all day long and compliment those around you.  Can’t smile at your work place?  Then, find a job that you feel you would be more passionate about, one that you know is making a difference in the lives of others.

Lastly, love the world around you deeply.  Refresh yourself by exploring, jumping off airplanes, zip-lining over forests, and take a loved one with you while you do it.  One thing I’ve learned about leading Asians who have never taken risks is that taking risks in play leads to taking risks in life.

Let me know what you want to change in your life.  How can you live a more risky life to pursue the things you are passionate about? Share here and don’t forget to share this blog so others can benefit too.

Click here to find more ways to increase your risk in life.




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