Professionally, as in all areas of life, each one of us wants to be ready for the next place we are to occupy, before we arrive there or before time catches up.

That new situation might be to learn a new language, have work experience while still at school, learn to use new technologies, and so on in many situations. Across time we have named this situations migrate: to change place.

Whatever that new place is, the most common strategy is to prepare for the worst and whatever happens will not be that bad. In my story, I have managed to change countries to a place where I did not have an advantage due to my name, or the schools I attended, or the companies I worked at. For some time now, in this new place I have the job I want in one of the most professional performance marketing agency worldwide. Achieving since the first year results above all comparative benchmarks: Vs the industry, Vs the previous year, Vs other similar programs. I did not achieve this by preparing myself for the worst, instead I put into practice an individual strategy based in the etymology of the word Migrate that I am going to unveil here. 

When one migrates, changes place, there are two movements required: to immigrate and to emigrate. Both are different concepts that share the same root. Who has changed places by doing only one movement, immigrate or emigrate, cannot achieve a complete change of place. There begins the problem and also the solution. This concept of changing places is embedded in the beginning of almost all great movements in history. For instance, the beginning of the Christian religion in all its derivations, began when God tells Abraham “Lej Leja” which means “Go away from yourself.” But it also means “Go to yourself.” With this we can now go into the meaning and structure of each action:

Migrate

Change of place

Emigrate

Outwards change of place 

Immigrate

Inward change of place

These definitions contain a powerful discernment and at the same time a powerful order. To achieve a change of place (Migrate): First, I Emigrate when I cross the edge of my own limits and Second, I Inmigrate when I inhabit the place I arrive. It is also an order, because in order to achieve a place of my own I first have to move out of where I am. Inhabiting a place of my  own is something to achieve.

The Migrate topic is close to me because of my family and social history. I have Lebanese ancestry, I grew up in Mexico and decided to expand myself from the United States. Given this I’ve had the pleasure to hear many stories about Migrants, Immigrants and Emigrants. Now, don’t be deceived that migrating is only for those who are forced to go beyond their place of origin. To migrate is to change places, that place can be a country, a position within a team, a level of mastery and any change from one place to another. Also, don’t think that in order to change places in your life you should change countries. Although in certain circumstances it helps accelerate the result of creating a place of my own, it is not required. What matters is to change place: from child to adult, from student to professional, from novice to expert.

Migrate is to change place. To do so the first part is to emigrate: to go beyond my current place (limits) and the second part is to immigrate: to inhabit a place of my own.

Why is this order important? First emigrate and then immigrate to achieve a successful change of place: Migrate. Who only crosses their own limits does not create a place of his/her own and who only arrives to a new place will recreate the same situation as in the previous place. Who only emigrates needs to inhabit his new reality, and who only immigrates needs to go beyond his own limits in order to be a fit for this new place. For example:

Only emigrates: Virus

A Virus is able to change his own structure (limits) but doesn’t create his own reality in the place it inhabits.

Only immigrates: Parasite

A parasite is able to adapt to any new environment but is not able to go beyond its own limits.

To only emigrate or immigrate does have a merit yes, but in no way is an excuse from achieving true change by uniting both actions. When both actions are done sequentially, I create a new place while at the same time create a better version of myself at that new place. To migrate is such a useful strategy because I don’t depend on the circumstances to change my own reality. I start from within (emigrate) to create around me (immigrate) and start a new place (migrate). 

Illustration

I chose the two-spiral image for this post because it shows two movements at the same time: going outward and inward. This reflects perfectly what to Migrate is all about: Emigrate (out) and Immigrate (in). This two-fold act united in a higher concept is embedded  in many symbols throughout history, for instance one of the most well known symbols about Divine order: the Yin-Yang. May this illustration be useful to remember and apply true change in your life. 

Application

Once I know what something is and what it is not, I know what I can expect when I say it or act upon it. Now that we know what it takes to occupy successfully that next place in my life, I make a plan. This plan differentiates Migrate from Emigrate from Immigrate. For instance:  

Speak professionally

Migrate: Become an expert speaker

Emigrate: Attend speaking events to overcome shyness

Immigrate: Develop own style of voice

Career advancement

Migrate: Achieve promotion

Emigrate: Learn management skills

Immigrate: Accomplish team wins

Get fit

Migrate: Reach optimal weight

Emigrate: Stop eating after 7pm

Immigrate: Design healthy meals

Across the three examples, for every change of place there are two actions: going beyond my current limits and inhabiting my new reality. We can see that to achieve the place of an expert speaker it is not enough to develop one’s own style of voice; one must also put that to the test even if it means overcoming being shy. To achieve that position the order is to rise above my own limits (Emigrate) and then create my own style (Immigrate).