Inspiration

Simply Fearless

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Have you ever stopped and thought how debilitating fear is to our lives? It stops us cold on our tracks before we endeavor to work on anything. Fear in our minds is a goal and innovation stopper.

Although most of us realize fear, let me cover a couple of examples to see how it affects our lives.

What is fear? It is an emotion that is triggered in our minds before we venture to do something, when we are faced with an unforeseen situation and so on. The result of which is whether the situation we think we are faced with ends up happening or not, our body reacts the same way as if it happened.

This causes inability to continue, worries, unexplained uncertainty, change of plans, lack of confidence and, in addition, a plethora of physical problems that all stem out of excessive worry. Realize that fear is in our mind but we can learn to control it.

First, if you are working on a project, ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” Set some parameters regarding worst-case scenarios. Life is meant to be enjoyed and not stay in the trenches without going after what we want because something might happen, the result of which would be devastating. Really now?

How can we progress from one level in our lives to another higher level if we do not go out with all of our might after whatever we seek?

Yes, I understand, there are times in life where not everything works and a different outcome might appear. So what? Try, try again. Do not let that stop you. To quote Wayne Gretzky, the hockey legend, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Would you want to wake up 20 years later and ponder what might have been if you tried?

All of us have something to fear. But if we can only train ourselves that, yes, life is uncertain, yes, it is difficult, yes, it is not fair, but what do we do then?

Still go after everything we always wanted. No matter how we feel inside. The more you do it, the more it becomes a habit. People have achieved so many records. They’ve conquered the highest peaks, ocean depths, become society’s benefactors, broken records in sports and athletics and make new inventions that can save lives. How would they have achieved all that if they didn’t try? I am certain they experienced the same emotions when they were starting their journey, but they found a way to cope with the uncertainty and think in the present versus what might happen to them.

The more you tackle everything in life this way, the more you strengthen your mind to not allow fear take hold of you. To paraphrase it, by going after everything you want to accomplish without being afraid of failure is like exercising your mental capabilities to a degree that makes them stronger.

It is like exercising your body muscles and next time you are able to lift more weight, run faster, swim better and climb higher.

People walk on burning coals, freefall from planes, sail through the treacherous Magellan Straits in South America or climb the North Face of Eiger to name a few. Do you think they’ve done this without fear? No, they just have mastered their fears and insecurities and they know how to keep them in check.

They don’t let fear become too big and take over their thoughts. They keep it well enclosed just enough to make them aware to be careful in what they’re doing especially if it is of a risky nature. They always ask themselves, “What’s the worse that can happen?” If they’re prepared for the unexpected, that makes everything workable and achievable.

Imagine what we could all accomplish if we just go for it no matter what!

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: August 25, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mad About Life? Don’t Be. Yes, You!

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Do we really need to get bitter with life? All of us experience setbacks daily in our lives. Is it fair to say that everything that happens to us is somebody else’s fault and not ours? Not really. Maybe sometimes it can be someone else’s fault, but not always. It’s not nearly enough as we may think.

In the process of blaming others, we change. We do not trust others as we used to. We start to get colder. We blame life with expressions such as, “Life’s not fair.” Or, “I should have gotten X.” Or perhaps, “Why hasn’t anyone noticed me. Am I invisible?”

We get mad with ourselves. We get angry at those around us and feel trapped in what we call, “current conditions.” There are serious implications, which can spiral our life downwards if we don’t notice first.

Our relationship with loved ones can suffer. Our work can suffer, and of course, our health and financial situations too. How do we avoid this mess?

How Am I Doing?

First, you need to ask yourself how you’re doing with any given situation. How do you perceive the challenges? Be aware of the side affects such as irritability, general malaise, lack of patience or fun in your life.

We all tend to personalize what is happening in our lives. And yes, sometimes it is very personal. But how we perceive things and those challenges makes a difference. No matter how life seems, it doesn’t stop it from being absolutely beautiful. And, each day is meant to be lived as if it’s the last – because it’s that precious.

Enjoy the outdoors. The sun. The air. The water. Life is there, if you just stretch and reach out for it. Relationships. Friendships. Family.

Don’t take anything or anyone for granted. No one is guaranteeing us anything. That’s not how life works. You need to look for the joy in the challenges that will come your way.

Don’t get comfortable, because that’s when you stop reaching out and searching. That’s when you stop dreaming. Believe that anything is possible. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Don’t believe them. People will always criticize you. They won’t like your ways. It’s your dream. Your life. Claim what’s yours.

Don’t Close Down

We don’t need to close down to anticipate the punches. Actually, a boxer in the ring will always keep his eye on his opponent. He may guard himself and keep his arms and gloves in a defensive position, but he’s got his eye on his adversary.

Take life head on. Don’t forget your values. Being bitter is not a value that will benefit you. It is only toxicity.

Every day I see people who are not open to life. In business interactions, for example, many people want everything for themselves as if they were on a desert island and playing “Survivor”. That might be a winning strategy in the short-term, but ultimately, it is going to bite you. In business, as well as life, negotiation is the name of the game.

Life is about giving and taking.

Yes, life is full of human piranhas. They prey on the naive and look to take advantage. That’s a fact. They exist. So, keep your eye on your worthy opponent and don’t be eaten alive.

Forget the News

Life is to be enjoyed, no matter what is happening in the world. The news is terrible these days. You see stories of death, war and famine. But beyond that, you see commentary couched as “news”. Everything is negative and toxic. It doesn’t matter from which side of the aisle you get your so-called “news”.

Why not do a little experiment? Filter out the news. Or, don’t watch it at all. Ask your friends and colleagues to update you on anything important happening in the world. But, whatever you do, don’t listen or read the news for more than 15 minutes a day. It’s a waste of time and it actually works to anger or depress even the strongest minds.

Before the 24-hour news cycle, we only watched the news either in the morning for a few minutes or in the evening. Now, it’s on all the time. Seriously? Most of the time, nothing has happened from one hour to the next, or even day to the next. The story that is gripping and should warrant your attention for more than a few minutes happens few and far between.

Do Unto Others

Instead, live by the Golden Rule. Remember that one? “Do unto others every day, as you would have them do unto you.” We go about our lives and we tend to forget about those around us. Don’t.

Try to help wherever you can. Try to get away from not having the time to reach out because you’re so “busy”. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to send a kind text or a few minutes to make a phone call. Putting it off until tomorrow or sometime in the future is only an excuse because it is never the “right” time.

There’s no better time than now.

As you know, you don’t always need money to help someone. Your time is a worthy and needed gift to someone who is alone or lonely.

Waking Up

Please don’t just wake up in the morning hating the day because of this or that. It sets the tone for your day, your month, your week and your life.

We all have issues we have to deal with. We can’t compare our lives to that of anyone else’s because we don’t know what others deal with behind closed doors. It’s safe to say, however, that we all deal with things.

I see young people who are already beaten by life. They have so much to live for, and yet they don’t see it. And then you look at older people and many have the energy to take on life – still with the smile and kindness that you wouldn’t expect from someone their age.

Life is to be cherished. If you don’t like the status quo of your life, change it! But, by all means, don’t become indifferent to it. That simply makes it more of a struggle than it has to be.

To better times!

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: August 11, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

While I Breathe, I Hope

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“Hope…Sometimes that’s all you have when you have nothing else. If you have it, you have everything.” You might have read this old adage, and it’s very true. Hope changes our disposition, our attitude and way of thinking. Look at how you feel when something you were hoping for comes true.

When times get tough, it’s hope that gets us through the difficulties.

People hope for anything: a better job, a relationship, a family, a new business, better performance at work or in sports, an accepting group of friends, peers or fellow professionals. People hope that a publisher accepts a manuscript, that an offer is accepted on a house or that a fundraising goal is reached.

Hope threads through our lives in every aspect. We can hope for a break from working so hard. We hope for a favorable turn for the better on a health condition. Whether you agree or not, hope is the fuel for living.

Hope gives you wings to soar in the midst of all the ups and downs of life. Without hope things would be dark, depressing, monotonous and without a glimmer of light – especially during the tough times.

With hope, you look forward to what’s next. You dream and visualize things for the better. You extend yourself to strategize and reach your goals. You work to find the best approach to get to the desired results. Without hope, we would all have lesser lives because it keeps us from moving forward.

Hope offers the tools to keep on going when everyone is telling you “it won’t work.” Hope provides you with energy, the strength to persevere – even when you’re doubting yourself. But you know you can’t let doubt take the best out of you.

Doubt is like weeds in a garden. It suffocates the plants and flowers.

You have a plan in life. Muster all your physical and emotional strength and tackle the task at hand. Don’t let doubt divert you from forging through your path. Keep focused on your hope and aspirations.

Life, these days, requires every cell of your being to work in unison. You’ve got to be able to duck when you need to and press forward when the timing is right. You sometimes need to take a stand as well as be able to conquer.

Since I was a boy of 8, I have known the Latin words, “dum spiro spero.” Or, in other words, “While I breathe, I hope.”

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: August 5, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Your Brain on Greed

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Greed over the years has had different and, at times, controversial connotations. Some claim greed is good. This has been depicted, for example, in movies when it comes to young aggressive stockbrokers, car salesmen, etc.

The truth of the matter is, at times greed helps sell items and services. There are mainly two forces that will make an individual buy what you want them to buy. One is greed; greed for getting something that will help them get more benefit than others. In other words, if someone doesn’t act on the purchase, he or she stands to lose something.

The second force is fear of loss, or what someone might not get if they do not act on a particular opportunity that appeared to them.

This principle has been used in sales for many years.

What is Greed?

But, what is greed and how has it transformed our collective way of thinking over the years? According to the dictionary, greed is the self-serving desire to further the pursuit of money, wealth, power or other possessions. This especially happens when it denies the same to others.

Whether greed is considered good or not, it is for you to decide and apply it or not to your life according to your values.

Effects of Greed

But, realize this, greed has brought many people problems in this world. The problems are too many to list, but wars have been started because of greed. Corporations have acted against people’s interests because of greed. Often, politics does not serve the many, but the few, because of greed. Income inequality can be traced back to greed. For example, in the United States, the top 1 percent owns more wealth then the bottom 90 percent. Obviously we have an issue of inequality.

Anywhere you look, whatever the country, it’s probably safe to say that many people feel things are not getting any easier for them. And, the fact of the matter is that greed and the affects of greed will not get any better with time. On the contrary, it seems as if the differences are getting more pronounced.

How Can We Prosper?

The only way that I see it is to be a self-starter. Each one of us has to be innovative and creative. More and more of us will be forced to go out and start our own businesses. If you haven’t seen the trends yet, please do some research. Full-time jobs are on the decline. If you think you’re going to have your job for five, seven or ten years, think again. You’re on your own.

Your best bet is to create your own business, small company or organization and offer a solution to others in some form of product or service. Only then, can you feel that you have some control over the forces that are in action in today’s world. Only then, can you feel that you can call some of the shots.

Social Good

But while you’re out there on your own, being your own headhunting firm with a client roster of one–you, remember a few other things. Most of us are in the lifeboat with you. Be empathetic to other people’s needs. There’s no need to be all about greed. Try to help wherever you can and if you can dedicate a percentage of your profits to a good cause, I’m sure it can use the help.

As tough as things are in the world, we are moving toward shared social responsibility. People notice companies and businesses that are dedicated to social good, as well as profits.

We might not be able to change the world, but we can each demonstrate what we can do in the midst of chaos, confusion and uncertainty. Make people aware of what is going on. Help people understand that you’re going to lend your voice to social good by creating a business environment that will be respectful of people’s needs. Business decisions can be profitable and not adverse to others. There’s no need to work with greed as your primary or only motivation. It’s a fine line, but a happy medium does exist.

The world would be a better place if all of us were more giving. And although you might be thinking what difference you can make being only one person, the fact is that you can make a difference. In Margaret Mead’s words, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Just think what all of us can achieve one person at a time. If we could set aside our egocentric desires and think in terms of what good can come of our lives, we can change someone else’s life and prosper.

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: July 24, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Silent Majority Can Make A Difference

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We seem to live our lives with a daily stream of racial, gender or religious bias. Catch the news any time and even on slow days, there’ll be some story that pits one group against another. Some outrage. Justified or not. There’s always something to get our collective anger riled.
Social media has made it easy for people to show their true colors across the world in a single tweet. And, it’s allowed us to respond moments later. All of us can sit behind a keyboard delivering whatever we think is just. We are all now judge and jury.

I wish things were different in some way. But, the truth is from time immemorial bigotry toward people who are deemed to be “different” (race, language, etc.) has permeated. It may seem more amplified now because of social media, but it’s always been there.

There have always been people who feel threatened because they don’t understand – or want to understand. To some, every one who is not like them presents a menace. In their minds, it all translates into challenges to their way of life or how they see the world. They deem difference as a threat against their values, their way of thinking, their way to make money, etc.

How far from true!

The Drivers

While I don’t have the solution to this abhorrent behavior, allow me to make some points in the hopes that it may help the conversation. Worldwide the incidents of racism, sexism and religious intolerance are so numerous that it seems to have always been a way of life.

Some intolerant individual does something outrageous and all of us demand and deliver our own brand of justice in the news and across social media. It’s a cycle that repeats unendingly.

Bigotry and division have been accepted. It doesn’t end and it doesn’t go away because we can’t eliminate the main drivers, fear and hate. Although I can probably speak the most about the United States because I have lived there for a long time, it’s disheartening to hear about the struggles that continue.

Recently, 9 people were murdered in a place of worship. When people are killed in what should be one of the safest places, a place of prayer, what else should be expected other than to think racism is ingrained?

Hatred doesn’t have a place in society. It robs us of everything dear and valued to us. People are robbed of their dreams and futures. Why does this have to exist? Is it because someone decided at one point in time that this is the way to be and that’s the status quo? Is it nature or nurture? I have to think most or all children are not born with hatred, bigotry or fear. These are learned behaviors. Someone has to instill fear into a child. Someone has to tell a child that another person who is black, or a girl or of a different religion is “bad”.

According to hate mongers, anyone who does not conform to the preconceived way of life needs to be looked upon with disdain. To them, everything that was not part of what they were brought up to believe is a threat to their life.

Gladiators In The Arena

In 2015, people should be more accepting. And, we need to do this directly by targeting the motivating forces of fear and hate.

We have conquered space and still can’t conquer ourselves and how we behave toward others. I believe that everybody should have the same opportunities in life no matter what his or her skin color, gender preference, affiliation, religion, etc. This world should not be a world for the few, the blue blooded, the “entitled” who reside in “bubbles” safe and sound while the rest of us fight it out as unruly crowds or gladiators in the arena. Unfortunately, many of us believe this is simply the way things are.

I don’t believe in violence in any way, shape or form. I believe in social justice and social good. The hard question is how can we achieve it? One step is by voicing our opinions; by making our opinions heard. The other is by directly addressing and talking about the tough stuff, the hate and drilling that down to the fear.

The Voice Of The Silent Majority

I was guilty of being a member of the silent majority. I was busy all of the time and I let things pass. But a friend brought this to my attention and I listened. Those who are discriminated against cannot do it alone. They need to have allies. We need to make our collective voice heard. We need to say we are sick and tired of injustice and lost opportunities because some of us happen not belong to the “right” group or class. There’s no such thing as the “right” group or class. We’re all human.

We need to engage and talk about it – no matter how difficult. But not entirely from our Facebook or Twitter feeds. We need to talk about it in person. We need to talk about it with our friends. We need to talk about it in the cafes. We need to talk about it with our loved ones and children. We need to create safe spaces to discuss the fear and start to work through the rot.

Tell people “no” to bigotry of any kind. “Yes” to equality for all. “Yes” to opportunities for everyone. “Yes” to hope. The world can be a better place if we allow it and all of us do our part in bringing all sides together.

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: July 13, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tweak Your Life to Your Taste

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Ralph Waldo Emerson said once, “Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” In life we all experience our day-to-day issues. We are like a boxer who is at the bottom of the third round being pummeled by the opponent while trying to defend himself and at the same time make his move.

Not an easy play and most of us stay in the defending mode while trying to stay standing for another round.

If we let the blows get us down into submission, we will never experience the sweetness of life. Be like a child curious about the world. Don’t get jaded by bad experiences. Always ask, “Why?” When we are at an early age we don’t know what it means to set limits. Anything and everything is possible. Stay that way throughout your life against whatever you’re facing. Make plans no matter what. Why should we let limitations dictate our life.

Being this way – fearless – it is only then we will truly experience life, live life, feel the breeze, get closer to nature, cherish every moment.

Let yourself go to places you’ve never been. Life will give us plenty of excuses about lack of time, resources, even at times, lack of health. We only need to find one reason to dream and act on our dreams. Dreaming alone without following it with action doesn’t accomplish much. But we need the dreams to frame what are we pursuing.

Most of us are adverse to change. We were all taught to play it safe from early age. But what is safe? Get the education, get the job, get married, have a family, the house, the mortgage, the cars the vacation. Is that all there is?

Although this idea seems to be disrupted recently by the younger generations who feel they need to experience life on their own terms see the world while they can, create companies, create fulfilling relationships, do social good while bringing some goodness into the world.

I think the younger generations are more in tune with what they want out of life in a greater degree that the Boomers or the Gen Xers. And although it is not easy for them to follow their hearts in the midst of all this uncertainty I believe that at least they know what they want and they are pursuing ways to get it.

After all, we only have one life and if all we do is conform with what society tells us it is the right thing to do, what then do we do for our spirit? How do we feed our soul?

As Mark Twain once wrote, “20 years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

To better trails.

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: May 25, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Finding Your Groove

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For those who are middle-aged and finding it difficult to either become entrepreneurs or wishing to rejoin the workforce, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most important thing to remember is that middle-aged workers have a lot to offer, including a wealth of life and work experience, esprit de corps and loyalty.

Of course, anyone can try entrepreneurship, and in today’s world, freelancers are increasingly becoming the bulk of the workforce. In the not too distant future, there will be more freelancers than individuals employed in a traditional full-time job.

Whether you are looking to become an entrepreneur or an employee, there are still some things you will have to do. You need to have clarity around the idea you want to execute in a new business or they type of company or business where you would like to seek employment. Skipping this basic step and doing or taking “anything” is simply a recipe for failure. Lay out a clear vision for what you want to do, why and how to get there.

I’m a big believer in being prepared. If you’re prepared, you can “wing it”. If you don’t know what you’re talking about and you make everything up as you go along, it’ll eventually catch up to you. So, research and learn about what it takes to be successful. Understand how the field may be changing and what it takes, including marketing yourself or the business, to be successful.

Being an entrepreneur or employee still requires realistic expectations. Yes, high expectations are important, as are dreams and vision, but no matter what you do, it always takes a great deal more work than you ever expect. And, so setting expectations that are based on sound reasons and assumptions is going to get you much further.

Things have changed drastically due to globalization, outsourcing, disruption, innovation, position redundancy and automation. Yes, everything was different ten or twenty years ago, but if you are looking for employment, recognize that even the selection of candidates is different today.

Now a resume will be initially checked by software programs that search for unique key words in order to identify candidates for further consideration. This happens before a pair of human eyes even looks at your resume. Those resumes that make it past that first hurdle then go to a human resources specialist who will devote about 6 seconds to reviewing it. Imagine the odds of getting chosen in many positions, based on those two realities.

Today, a lot of success comes in not only what you know but also whom you know. It is vitally important for both employees and entrepreneurs to network. If you happen to be an introvert, this can be a challenge. A good technique is setting a goal to invite one or two people a week for coffee. If you have the personality and are more adventurous, attending networking meetings is a better way to go since you can meet many more people and use your time more effectively.

Your overall goal is to make as many meaningful human connections as possible. In a startup business, these individuals can become your customers or lead you to new clients if you have the solution to a need. Otherwise, in the job market, by networking, you are helping to position yourself outside of the resume stream that will first get vetted by a computer and then a specialist. It allows you the opportunity to potentially get your resume in the hands of the decision-making hiring manager.

Focus groups, networking meetings, coffees, employment and business conventions– anywhere you can show your true colors in person are all effective strategies. Don’t rely on only one strategy. Use a variety of them and see what works best for you.

If you are middle-aged, you may have experience and a bias that you may not realize. It happens generation after generation. You have older employees or entrepreneurs who have to work for, or with, much younger people. It doesn’t matter. Even if they don’t have the experience you do, you probably do have something to learn from them. Be open and willing to work with a younger person, including a boss.

Don’t allow the assumption be true that the older you become, the less inclined you are to be up to speed on the latest technology. Consistently brush up on technology, computer skills, social media and news so you can compete and operate in today’s world.

Try to lead a healthy lifestyle. It might not seem important, but it is crucial to success. You need to be at the top of your game, and this means mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. You want to have vitality and energy–no matter your age.

Unfortunately, life can be hard and especially in an environment with constant change. Employers want success. Customers want the same things. The reality is no one cares in business about your issues, complaints or baggage. All they care about is high performance. Remembering this will only help you.

Be willing to go the extra effort, as this will differentiate you from your competitors. Although middle-age is an advantage, it can sometimes be viewed as a disadvantage, so just accept this as a fact of life, don’t work against it. Instead, go with the change and use it to your advantage.

Finally, realize this, any one–no matter the age–in order to survive and thrive needs to be smart and work hard. Utilize all of your skills and leverage and extend your network to its fullest. Always be willing to learn. In today’s world, everything changes constantly. As someone once said, “Life is a contact sport”.

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: April 10, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Art of Doing Nothing

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The Italians have an expression, “dolce far niente” –the sweetness of doing nothing. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us took time to ourselves without a plan, a “to do” list or “honey do” list? Wouldn’t it be better to simply take some time, be it 30 minutes to two hours possibly, in the middle of the day to just do nothing?

Just to relax, close your eyes, take a nap, watch the sea–most of all to give a break to your brain. Let your mind quiet down. I know it sounds absurd, but some Europeans do it every day.

Unfortunately, most of us are all so entrenched in the work ethic that we couldn’t forgive ourselves to get a break just because we feel like it. It has been proven, however, that all of us need a break daily and not once or twice a year. The benefits are numerous. Health benefits, lower stress levels, decreased blood pressure, better sleep patterns, more fulfilling days and longer lives. Should I say more?

And yet, most of us don’t do it. Our reasons are many. We’d rather wait once or twice a year for that precious one or two weeks of vacation during which we try to do everything, including unfinished chores in the house.

Otherwise, we are waiting for a cherished weekend. We take one of the two days–or both–and we work on our “honey do” list. We may be lucky to have Sunday to ourselves, where we try to relax and be casual around the house because we’re tired from all of the demands of the prior week. If we have this lucky Sunday to ourselves, maybe we go to a restaurant or, if we have the energy, drive somewhere. Really, is that all life is meant to be?

Why do we have to make work the center of our universe? Why do we only have to arrange our lives around work? Do you ever wonder? Yes, we all need money to live. But what is it all worth if we’re miserable, stressed and on target to die early never having lived, simply existed?

Are you aware there are countries where living life comes first and everything else arranged around that goal?

Imagine how different your life could be; how more efficient your work could be; the energy you could have daily; and, how you can reach more goals.

I understand that there are times, and people, when one could say, “I couldn’t do this even if I tried. Not in my workplace.” Maybe I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt if you’re in certain professions for example, ER surgeon or nurse etc. But what about the rest of us?

Folks, most of us especially the younger ones, do not pay attention to trivial and foreign habits. All we try is to belong; to conform; to mimic the behavior or others.

As we’re getting older, and only if we’re open to new ideas and we question everything, then some of us start exploring and wondering what is the right path for us.

We may start with taking a walk just because we want to and eventually it becomes a habit. Others may do another small little thing to relax our mind, body and spirit. It can be as simple as taking a walk or peacefully drinking a cup of tea a set time every day and not allowing anyone to enter your space during that “sacred” time.

Try it. Give yourself a couple of weeks to start getting breaks in every day and see how you feel at the end of the week. I’m sure you will find the world did not come to an end because you took some time out for yourself. If you don’t find any difference whatsoever, don’t continue doing it.

But, what if you see another side of yourself and life. One that is more relaxed and vibrant. Wouldn’t it be a good reason to repeat this break time? I bet it would!

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: March 26, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Never Say “Quit”

traveling-by-hot-air-

It has been a long time since I sat down to write and I missed it. Today, I want to write about how life interferes while we are busy making plans.

Life can be unforgiving, twirling us hard, hitting us against obstacles and challenges daily. We just need to keep on going.

These past two years have been very challenging for me due to travels and unforeseen situations in certain environments. What I learned is not to lose hope. As I heard from someone who lived to be 100 years old, you just have to plan every day and continue forward. Do everything the best you can in anything you do each day. The rest, anything you cannot change with no power to make a difference, simply let it go.

Decide every day to be happy – no matter what. Stress is self-induced and over-rated. Yes, there are times when we all reach our limit, but what if we decided not to be affected by the negative (news, attitudes, etc.)?

What if we started extracting negativity from our lives? What if we avoided miserable people who can steal the energy out of us in minutes?

Do you come into contact with positive people? Always try to be close to them. They will only lift you up.

The hardest thing in life is to keep being inspired with all the good that can happen to us even while in the meantime we are faced with challenges. That is where many of us despair, lose confidence or get depressed.

Believe me there is light on the other side. You just have to go through the darkness first in order to appreciate the sunshine.

There were times when I thought of letting everything go; no more trying. But there was always this voice inside that was telling me, “You came so far – for what? You have to keep on going.” And, that’s what I did.

Do not lose hope. Believe deeply in something or someone. A friend, a loved one can help on your path. Sometimes, even a stranger can help. It is always better to have someone with whom to talk and walk together.

Sometimes we come so close to finding our calling in life, but because of all the difficulties that life throws us we fall short of reaching our goals. Persevere no matter what. Yes, life can be cruel, but yet so beautiful. You have a choice in perspective – no matter what.

Find a reason why you want to do what you are doing. Why? For whom? Yourself? Your loved ones? And, before you go to sleep at night, remember that “why”. The next day before you start your day, remember it again.

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

It is to find your freedom?

Is it to help others?

Is it to change your work circumstances?

Whatever that “why” is, let it guide you to persevere no matter what.

Expect difficulties and be prepared to handle obstacles. Have the attitude that “I can”.

Once I read somewhere that if you want something out of life bad enough, the Universe will conspire to offer it to you. You just have to keep going.

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: March 23, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Why Don’t You Stop?

Ocean

Sometimes life seems like a swirling ocean that continues to break waves in an un-ending succession of white-capped peaks. Things happen and continue to happen and you are left with very little time to consider choices because you are too busy trying to navigate the waters that are churning.

What happens if you were to stop treading water?

Your reply may be, you may drown.

Well, what if you don’t go under? What if you take it easy, rest and float on your back for a little while in the middle of the vast ocean?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes, that is exactly what you need to do. Sometimes punching and continuing to slug it out is the wrong course of action. Consistently being on offense without rest weakens you. It only becomes a matter of time until you reach a point where you become too tired to go on.

So, rest is required.

Within a cyclone, we know there can be calm weather in the center, or eye of the storm. You have fought the front end of the battle, and then there is a moment when you have to just stop and take stock of what you have done before moving forward.

Take that time to breathe and assess what you have learned. We are always learning. Whether we choose to apply the lessons we learn is another matter, but if you are paying some attention to what your life experiences are, you are always learning. If you take a moment to look back at the path you have carved out, you will find a landscape full of lessons for you.

When you have reviewed these lessons, then you can start to plan your next course of action. Is it more effective to swim against the current or to go with the current? At what time is it most advantageous to move? What resources do you now have at your disposal? What do you need for the next stage and how do you obtain it when you are in the middle of a heated battle? Can you improvise something? What goals will you create for yourself so you can assess whether or not you are getting closer to shore?

It is only when you have had the opportunity to stop and rest that you will be able to see your situation clearly enough to continue the path forward. When you have taken the time, in the middle of the challenge, to assess what has happened and what is happening, it is only then you will have the knowledge to be able to think clearly about what the next course of action should be.

It is when you have had some time to assess what has happened that you can clearly make any adjustments, and in addition, you can acquire the necessary rest you need to be able to then reach into the reserves you have stored to continue to move forward.

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Life on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: September 27, 2014

© 2014 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.