Motivation

What We Can Learn From Quiet Leaders

IMG_6779

When you think of J.K. Rowling, I’m sure you think of incredible talent. She is a global leader regarding her celebrity status, financial fortune, and philanthropy. But, J.K. Rowling herself has said she is an introvert. So, she is a quiet leader by all accounts.

When she thought of the idea of her most famous character, Harry Potter, she said, “I had been writing almost continuously since the age of 6 but I had never been so excited about an idea before. To my immense frustration, I didn’t have a pen that worked, and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one.”

Imagine being inspired by a terrific idea and then being too timid to ask anyone for a pen so you can get it down on paper before the idea escaped?

J.K. Rowling is not the only one who is a quiet leader. History has many examples for us:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Elon Musk
  • Tim Cook
  • Isaac Newton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

I think we tend to have an understanding that “leadership” is brash and bold. It’s extroverted. It may even be loud. There’s a flurry of activity around a leader.

However, that’s not always the case, and we have to do more in business and life to realize we have outstanding leaders who are quiet. And leaders can come to the forefront at any given moment. Sometimes, in the most trying circumstances we see the greatest leadership. But in that chaos, there may be an imposing force within someone that others follow.

From a business perspective, lets take the leadership of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. It’s an excellent case study of two leaders within Apple.

Steve Jobs

We all know that Steve Jobs is an iconic innovator. Jobs’ powerful character is now legendary. He was someone who was fierce in his vision. He was loud and demanded perfection. No detail was too large or too small for him not to notice. He was relentless with his team to keep pushing further.

Although it was probably not easy to work for Jobs, he was exceptional in his vision, and that is what propelled his team and Apple forward. Team members wanted to be part of the creating the world he saw initially in his mind, and because of his innovative vision, we have the products that fundamentally changed the way we communicate, listen to music and work.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook is the counterpoint to Steve Jobs, and many say he’s the right person to be CEO following Steve Jobs. I think that because of Cook’s quiet and introverted style, the media and perhaps even the world is less fascinated with him––with all due respect to Mr. Cook. However, he is no less a leader.

While Jobs was one for talking, Cook is a listener. Quiet leaders have a great ability for listening and being tuned into their surroundings, and this brings harmony into an organization. Team members feel that their ideas and thoughts are relevant and meaningful, and for Cook, personally connecting with customers is important as well.

In an article that Cook gave to Businessweek, he said, “You can learn a tremendous amount in a store. I get a lot of e-mails and so forth, but it’s a different dimension when you’re in a store and talking to customers face to face. You get the vibe of the place…Not allowing yourself to become insular is very important—maybe the most important thing, I think, as a CEO.”

In other words, Cook has the humbleness to understand that he does not have all of the answers. He is willing and open to listening to others.

Lassana Bathily

Leadership can be anywhere. In the case of Jobs and Cook, these individuals have been the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world. However, if you think you have to be the “boss” to be the leader, you’re missing the point. We tend to think of the person in charge as the leader, but look around you. It can be anyone and practically any circumstance.

One of the most impressive examples of leadership that I recall came under the most trying of situations. Lassana Bathily was a clerk in a store in Paris in January of 2015. As many of us remember, that month terrorists attacked the City of Lights beginning with the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

A few days later one of the terrorists entered a grocery store where Bathily worked. When Bathily understood what was happening, he took matters into his own hands and became a hero and leader in a hostage situation.

He quickly ushered frightened customers downstairs into the freezer of the store. He then turned off the lights, asked everyone to please remain as calm and quiet as possible and closed the door.

His quick thinking helped save the lives of six people who could have easily died in the hostage situation. He took a lift after safely placing the customers in the freezer and escaped quietly onto the street. Once he got on the street, he provided valuable information to the police about what was happening inside of the store.

Desmond Doss

Through history, there are countless stories of leadership in even the most challenging circumstances. Not too long ago I watched an excellent movie called “Hacksaw Ridge.” The true story is about a conscientious objector during World War II. His name was Desmond Doss.

Like many of the men in his community during that time, he felt compelled to serve and joined the Army––despite the fact he refused to kill or hold a firearm. He wanted to serve only as a medic helping the soldiers, but even medics carried guns into battle. Doss was tested severely for his quiet principles by his fellow soldiers and even the Army when he was court-martialed. When he went into battle in the South Pacific, he was surrounded by extreme violence. But, this quiet person did the incredible. He rose to the occasion as a leader, and he saved 75 men during heated battles, never once holding a firearm, much less firing a single shot. He earned the respect of his fellow soldiers and officers.

So next time you think about leadership, reflect on the quiet leaders. One of the most prominent in history was Mahatma Gandhi. He is yet another example of quiet leadership that changed, in his case, a nation and the world.

We can all aspire to be leaders, but we don’t have to do it all in the same way. It can be quiet and thoughtful and still make an incredible difference.

 

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

Posted: April 13, 2017

© 2017 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 You’re Getting the Meaning of Purpose Wrong

IMG_6662

A lot of people talk about purpose. They tell you to follow your purpose for work and life and do whatever you’re passionate or meant to do in life.

While I agree that we have to follow our passion, I think a lot of people are missing the point on “purpose.” It’s not simply to do what you’re meant to do. There’s a bigger meaning to that word.

The Meaning of Purpose

When speaking about purpose, many people have a narrow definition of it. They talk about doing something for which we as individuals were created to do. In other words, many people speak of purpose as some cosmic undertaking.

This is a bit of a mistake.

Many successful people in life, and by the way, I’m not using that term narrowly to mean financial riches, work at what they believe is their purpose in life. That’s good for them, and many thought leaders tell you to find your purpose and chase it with everything you’ve got.

But, I would argue that many others do not work at what they would think is their life’s purpose, yet they are also successful. The success is possible because they do their work “with purpose.”

Working with Purpose

Have you ever wondered how some of the poorest people in the world could be so peaceful and happy? How about others who have a terminal disease and yet as they face certain death, they can live their lives above that reality? And, what of others still who have suffered great tragedy and somehow can survive and even thrive?

Upon reflection of these lives, it’s too simplistic to think their purpose is to bear their circumstances nobly.

How could people with great poverty or difficulties possess wealth beyond measure?

The reason for this is simple.

They live their lives with purpose.

Every moment in their lives is purposeful.

So, what does that mean in reality when many people aren’t doing what would seem to be their life’s purpose, but yet they are still able to be successful and have a meaningful life working with purpose?

  • Working with purpose means you are compassionate with yourself. It means that although you might want to be at C, but are only at A, that’s okay. It means that you understand that achievement of any kind, large or small, does not come in one fell swoop. It comes with consistent work.
  • Individuals who live and work with purpose understand that the mere fact that they are doing will bring them some challenge. That’s how life works. Yet, if their goal is something they truly desire, then they will be patient, and when the inevitable problems appear, they will draw on their patience, learn and keep going. They are people who are resilient and don’t let setbacks consume them.
  • The wealthiest people understand that working with purpose means they find meaning in their work and their lives, whatever that may be. We, humans, are curious creatures. Most of us want to know and learn. But, many of us miss the meaning that comes in the simplest acts. The person who has the dirtiest job in the world can be one of the wealthiest because he understands the meaning behind his work and the contribution to the whole. On the other hand, the CEO of a company who has a vast fortune of riches may totally miss the meaning of working with purpose.

Purpose is a beautiful word and one that we should all make a point to hold in our daily lives. When you hold purpose in your hand and mind each day, you are reminded of your importance in the day to day. And when you work with purpose, your wealth grows immeasurably as even the simplest act can take on new meaning.

 

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

Posted: March 22, 2017

© 2017 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.

 

 

How to Handle Rejection

FullSizeRender

In life, we all experience rejection from someone or something that didn’t work out as we planned. As long as we’re alive there will be always times when things do not come our way. There will be people who may disappoint and reject something we want.

How do we handle ourselves? What do we do?

Again, there is not one way to handle it and it would depend on the circumstances. Still, there are some basics that I’ll write about – if nothing else, to attempt to help you in times of crisis.

Let’s begin at childhood. Most of us are taught from an early age not to do this or the other thing because it’s not the right way. Later on, we realize that some of these rules might not apply or might need adjustment to handle the demands of everyday life. Specifically, some rules are meant to be broken.

We’re always taught to be nice to others and to show our “good side” so we have a chance:

  • to get noticed
  • to get into a good school
  • to get a good job
  • find a good person to live with, and so on.

Unfortunately, as we all know life is not that regimented and things don’t always happen the way we plan. Most of us are not taught to handle rejection well. For example, when one goes on an interview for a job and you get the feeling 15 minutes into it that the interviewer is not that impressed, or you hear back with that form letter that declines you for the position. How do you handle yourself at that point? Do you break into pieces going into a deep depressive state blaming the company and so on or do you stay focused and centered?

You tell yourself that maybe this was not meant for you and you take that experience as the impetus to dust off the experience and get ready for the next engagement.

I learned about rejection the hard way because many years ago I chose sales as a career. In the beginning, I worked for companies and later on I represented myself. During all that time, although I’ve been very successful, there were times when I faced plenty of rejection. I had to learn how to deal with it to survive and flourish.

I learned quickly in business not to accept rejection as something I would take personally. I might not have gotten the desired outcome because it may not have been the right time, the right product, the right service, the right mix. The person I was speaking to may have had a tough day and wasn’t in the mood to see my point of view or purchase my product or service.

I became aware that the world does not revolve around me and there could be thousands of reasons I did not get what I wanted. I have become so skilled that I have been complimented on my exceptional attitude and respect toward a client, even in the toughest negotiations. And, I’ve reached a point where rejection repels off of me like water to a duck.

It can be done. You can do it as well. You can take small steps and realize that and the word “no” does not reflect on you personally. You can also learn to have the mindset that you will get what you’re working on, and you don’t need the distractions of rejection. Rejection can be the ultimate disturbance.

With a focused mindset, you can achieve a lot. But realize that there might be times when you will find obstacles, that’s life. During those times it depends on how you handle the adversity and rejection. Your success depends on how you compose yourself and that determines the final outcome.

Some ways to handle rejection are:

  • Remember that rejection is not always about you. Oftentimes, people are rejecting your proposal–not you personally.
  • It may not have been the right time for the other party. Sometimes a person across from you might be having a bad day, bad mood not feeling well etc. Something may have influenced your rejection that is not known to you.
  • The universe but might be telling you something. Let’s say someone turned down your proposal to go out. Perhaps that person was not going to be a good fit for you and you were saved the pain. You might get upset at first for refusing you, but it does not mean you need to stop asking people out because you are traumatized. Maybe you can move along to someone else, but just don’t stop.
  • Some rejection can be beneficial. It can show us how to regroup and rethink our situation. Just fine-tune it, adjust and go for it again but with an improved strategy. There’s always a lesson to learn in rejection.

There’s an order in the universe that with thoughtfulness and focus, we will ultimately get to our destination. But, you have to mean well. You have to do your best. You have to be open to new things and new relationships without losing your determination and maintaining your enthusiasm. You have to be willing to adjust your rudder, even if things don’t come easy for you.

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

Posted: August 18, 2016

© 2016 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.

How Simplifying Your Life Gets You More Joy

IMG_3023

It seems that life has come become so complicated, or is it just me?

The media and many so-called gurus tell us that everything can be achieved no matter what. It is called a structured, regimented life, etc.

Here’s what I say. Really?

Whatever happened to the joy of life?

Whatever happened to the elegance of simplicity?

Every day we are robbed of our potential by just conforming to what is the “right way,” according to others.

Folks, is real living important to you? Or, is the joy of life a cliché?

Have you been living by rote and have stopped wondering if it’s ever going to change? Do you wonder if it’s going to become easier?

If you yearn for more, then you have to apply yourself to less.

Take Back Your Life

First, simplify your life. Be selective to all those time robbers that appear constantly. Make choices. Although you may be reading all these articles explaining how important it is to be in the midst of everything, social media, mining big data and being up to date with the Internet of things in order to succeed, you do not have to be a part of everything.

You can decline to do things.

Ask yourself: Do you want to live like a pre-programmed drone, because everyone else is doing it?

Or, do you want to live with a purpose?

I read somewhere that although many will try anything to become successful in their pursuits in life, what the world desperately needs are more healers, peacemakers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Don’t for a minute think that it’s any more complicated.

Get Out of Your Own Way

What can you do to find the time to do the things for you, your soul, your peace?

Do you have any thoughts about it?

Do you even think that way anymore?

If you feel like spending a few minutes in the middle of the day doing nothing, here’s a thought–do it–you deserve it. Find a quiet place and close your eyes for a few minutes.

A few minutes of downtime is truly what your body needs to restore your energy. It’s not checking out what’s on the news or your social media feeds.

Be Nice to People

The only way to get more out of life is to simplify it. One of the easiest ways to do that is to cultivate kindness and compassion for others, and for yourself. The energy comes back to you.

Since we are all so busy, we seem to treat each other worse. Every day is a stream of violence, hate and disregard screaming for your attention brought to you courtesy of whatever media you’re paying attention to at a given moment.

This narrative can end–one person at a time. If we turn away from our phones and the news and look to truly connect with others.

Many of us feel we need to be at the cutting edge of what’s happening in the world. We are living in a world where each day we wake up to hear news of brutality, struggle, and disorder.

We listen to the news constantly. We check our phones every minute, looking for emails and social media updates to no end. I ask you, is this what you’ve been placed on this earth to do?

Our self-made purgatory and obsessions with our phones and keeping ahead of things is all contributing to the grave problems of this world!

Don’t you get tired? It never ends!

We seem to have forgotten that there are real people right next to us looking for a real human connection–if we only looked up from our phones!

Keep Tabs on Where Your Time Goes

Aside work, how do you spend your free time?

We all have only so much energy for doing things. Limited with what we have been given and based on our regiment of rest, work schedule, nutrition, fitness, genetics, health state we try to do the best we can.

But, we all have to beware of all the extraneous time wasters.

We have to get close to nature when we can, even for just a little. Being in the park,

forest, or lake is priceless. Nature is steady. And, she is not interested in looking at the phone or spinning off into the next “must do” activity.

Nature relaxes you and you feel more grounded into the planet. There’s so much benefit to seeing the awesomeness of nature.

Don’t you think you should stop checking your phone so much? Unless you are the head of a country or a high-ranked individual, every message, news alert, text or email that comes through your mobile does not, in fact, need to be looked at–right now.

If you have to, set alerts on your mobile phone for emergencies. Anything else is not an emergency.

I’m amazed when people text back-and-forth 30 times and then wonder where all that time went.

When working, set your parameters where you do not need to entertain gossip or drama. If there is something bad happening in the life of someone you know, a friend or relative, make the time to talk and possibly help them feel better. But, do not allow someone to simply unload to you if it’s simply an exercise in self-centeredness on their part. You don’t need to absorb people’s bad energy intended only to make you feel miserable. It is known that negative people can deplete all the energy out of you just by listening to them

Always try to find some inspiration out of life, a book, story, music or videos. Positive messages and thoughts have a tendency to re-energize us. You do not need to live with a to-do list always. Prioritize what needs to be done and tackle only the most important stuff first. If you do not manage all your to-dos, there is always tomorrow. Really, more often than not, it’s not really that important.

People who try to do twenty different things all the time, multitasking, so proudly claiming they can handle everything, are the ones who at the end of the day are gasping for air.

Keeping busy and just existing is not living life fully.  I understand that living life means to-do’s, obligations, chores but it is up to each of us to choose what that really means and not believe the hype that it has to be a constant state.

If you want to live a happy fulfilled life, simplify it and devote time to yourself and to your loved ones every day because life is short.

Last but not least, it is up to you to realize life’s importance and devote time to what matters to you most. Don’t act like so many others just because everybody is doing it. Always ask why you’re doing something.

 

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

Posted: July 27, 2016

© 2016 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.

What’s Life Got To Do With It?

Living-On-Your-Terms-Sparkler

Recently I came across Arthur, an older gentleman who used to live in our building. I had not seen him or his wife for six months and in the past we had talked a few times. They seemed to be nice and private people.

Although we did not speak the same language when I saw him he was in tears, trying to explain in English that his wife passed away a few months ago.

He was devastated. And, I could not help but feel a degree of his pain, as I thought of my wife upstairs.

There are times when we lose someone dear to us. It is something most of us try to avoid thinking about, and we tell ourselves we’ll deal with it when it happens to us. But we all secretly hope it never does.

Our impermanence is something, however, we should be thinking about. When we do that, it actually helps live a better life.

The thought of our eternal departure reminds us to appreciate our family, loved ones and friends while we are still all present in each other’s lives. Even in those mundane moments, or the tough times, the prospect of someone no longer being a part of our daily lives is a reminder to hold every moment with them close to the heart and memory.

When the specter of what is always just beyond the horizon of our days becomes something we embrace, we learn to live a different life.

If you were told you had less than one year to live, what would you do with each of your remaining days?

Would you live a life that never pushed the boundaries beyond your comfort zone? Or, would you reach out to the world in a way you have never done, full of fearlessness?

Would you squeeze the very last drop out of your life and make it as fulfilling as possible?

Or, would you remain fixated on the excuses many of us accumulate that keep us from living a life on our terms?

Would you do something out of the ordinary scope of your life?

What happens if you learned that your spouse, partner or loved one had less than a year to live? What would you help that person do with each of those remaining days?

Perhaps your first instinct is to say, “I’m only human. I only can do so much.”

I’d like to challenge you to think with regard to your own life, how you can rise up to the fact that our life as it is today will not be like that forever. Unfortunately, most of us will experience the passing of our other half or someone who is a kindred spirit.

The way to meet the permanent sleep that awaits each of us is to accept the idea of mortality every day.

It is by doing this, mindfully, each and every day that we can then do the following:

  • Live life to the fullest.
  • Be good to people and appreciate their presence in our lives always.
  • Take care and enjoy our families, even in those moments that are seemingly banal and not full of any excitement other than simply occupying the same space in a room.
  • Do the things you have always wanted to do: a trip, start a new business or write a book, etc.
  • Treat yourself and your partner often to little and simple things, which demonstrate you care.
  • Do something outrageous and fun, just because.
  • Invite people (even strangers) to your home and into your life.
  • Really see and experience the growth and development of your children instead of always being at work or too tired.

Many times we do something because we feel we ought to do this or the other to keep somebody happy, buy what about you?

Life is too short to hate, to be unfulfilled or not to be grateful for each day. Say “thank you” more often. Be ambitious to do your thing, but humble at the same time. Don’t be afraid to say I’m sorry if you made a mistake.

Forgive yourself in life. It’s okay if you didn’t become an astronaut, quarterback or a successful entrepreneur or even actor. Life is still good because you have it and those who you love with you. It’s fine that you followed another path and became something else. Glamour is overrated.

Realize that your mission is to live your life, experience the journey and if you are part of a couple, to make the other person’s life better along with your own.

If you live to be 80 years old you are living for only 29,200 days. Think of those 365 days a year mindfully and with purpose. With your time on earth you are meant to say, “I lived. I experienced. I loved.”

Get to a point in your life where if something happened to you – or someone you loved – you can say have no regrets. I lived my life. I cherished my family and those around me. And, I wrote the definitive story of an amazing life.

What a powerful feeling if all of us can experience that.

What a life!

 

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

Posted: February 29, 2016

© 2016 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 Right Attitude And How To Create Momentum

Image-1

The right attitude is paramount in the worlds of business, entrepreneurship or career advancement. Someone will argue that as long as you are a professional who knows your area of expertise well, you will do fine in life.

Not necessarily.

There have been many people with advanced degrees and experience who have not made their mark after many years of struggle.

Attitude

Here’s why: Attitude.

The right attitude is crucial. It will propel you to different heights no matter what comes your way. If you are determined with a mission and a vision of what you’re looking for, then you’re halfway there.

Of course charisma and a positive outlook on life as well as enthusiasm about what’s coming next, doesn’t hurt. Attitude can be invaluable or it can be destructive if used the wrong way. You can have a negative outlook and attitude on life that simply does you in.

Having said that, if you’re looking for a particular outcome having the attitude that nothing will stand in your way and deter you from doing what you want in your life, is the place to start.

Persistence

But attitude is not enough. You have to persistently have the right attitude. You can never blink, especially when things don’t go your way. You need to exude confidence that flows from your attitude towards life and you need to condition yourself to overcome the obstacles that will come your way while pursuing it.

In other words, expect the unexpected.

Persistence can only be achieved with a good and positive attitude.

So the way someone’s attitude is, will translate into the ongoing behavior that will be adopted with regard to how that person acts, reacts and talks to others. How that person motivates himself or herself to keep on going. How that person uses innovation and creativity to get through the hurdles.

Gratitude

Attitude and persistence are important. But then, another ingredient also becomes essential.

That element is gratitude.

One has to maintain an attitude of gratitude for everything you have so far and for everything that will come your way, realizing that better and bigger things are around the corner. Being thankful in advance of what you will be receiving is essential because it keeps you centered, humble and real.

Many people, unfortunately, don’t foster these qualities. Perhaps it’s because they do not believe in themselves or have become jaded and embittered.

No one said life is easy but we do not need to make it any more difficult than it is by having the wrong attitude, or a sense of entitlement, which has no connection with anyone other than ourselves.

Getting to the Finish Line

Do you want to get to your “finish line”, whatever that is and whatever it might take? Then “try and try again.” Get your head straight. Get your attitude right. Know that you have to be persistent and develop gratitude for what you have – however much or little. Stay away from the negative, including entitlement. No one is entitled to anything.

Get your facts straight, use your knowledge and motivation and act accordingly.

Research the life of inventors and you will realize that before they succeeded in creating “Y”, they failed hundreds or even thousands of times, but they kept on going. With every failure they learned and made their vision clearer and better.

I understand that getting involved into something new, embarking into a new business or anything new can be unnerving, but stay focused on the reason why you need to do this. Maintain your vision always in the picture frame, and you will realize that you cannot be deterred.

Calculated risk, at times, is absolutely necessary to get places. It is either this – tackling life – or doing nothing (i.e. the alternative) and wondering the rest that of your life “what if”.

Doors will open if you persist, people will notice you, opportunities will be created and all you need to remember is to repeat, repeat…repeat. Nothing happens without clarity of vision and persistence.

Then, the more success the more fearless you become, the more you keep on repeating and building on what you’ve achieved. Life is a testing ground that can be very challenging, but also exceedingly beautiful. You just live it a day at a time, one step at a time with the attitude that you are taking the right steps.

 

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

Posted: January 28, 2016

© 2016 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.

 

Suggestions For A Meaningful 2016

Image-1

1) Offer to help when you can.
2) Be grateful for the little or a lot you have.
3) Laugh every day and make someone laugh.
4) Simplify your life.
5) Do not worry for the details.
6) Take care of your health.
7) Be authentic, be real.
8) Love and care for your family as well as your friends.
9) Always set time for yourself every day. Time to relax, time to learn new things.
10) Focus when you work.
11) Enjoy when you play.
12) Take time to recharge.
13) Take on a hobby.
14) Volunteer some of your time and talent when you can.
15) Be humble always.
16) Don’t hold grudges even if you were wronged.
17) Speak your mind without being negative.
18) Enjoy life, enjoy the nature.
19) Try to make a difference anyway you can.
20) Do not add to the mundane.
21) Play with children and make them laugh.
22) Be respectful of others.
23) Always welcome discussion and different points of view.
24) Be open to opportunities, to new friends.
25) Don’t come across as a know-it-all, even if you do know a lot.
26) Be spontaneous.
27) Show the ropes to someone.
28) Take initiative to lead when you can.
29) Do not fear life.
30) When deciding on an outcome use logic, followed by your intuition and then emotion.
31) Do not hate, it’s not worth it.
32) Leave your preconceived notions aside and just live.
33) Challenge your brain with new things, new languages, new areas of interest.
34) Realize everyone of us are only human and frail no matter our age and plan accordingly. Focus on new experiences.
35) Last but not least “it is not the destination but the journey that counts.”

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

Posted: December 31, 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.

 

How to Get Balance and Change in Your Life

balance_by_incisler

What Are We Looking for In Life?

I was prompted to write about this subject because of many comments from people I know, as well as because of what is happening in the world.

Where to Begin for Balance and Change?

For one, you have to be clear about what is important in your life. Many of us care about family. We want our family to have good homes, jobs and more than what they need. We may also crave acceptance, acknowledgment and safety. Many of us want balance in our quality of life. Balance in our personal lives is important, as well as in the work we do. Unfortunately, sometimes life seems to interfere. And, things as we all know, seldom come as we expect.

What Does Balance Mean?

Let’s start by putting certain things in perspective. What is the elusive “balance”? The word has been used ad nauseam. But, it’s pretty simple. All of us strive for some sort of harmony in our lives. Some of us manage better than others. Some are used to life the way it is, balanced or not. Others want nothing but change in the hopes of achieving equity between competing interests in life. In other words, balance. Change could be anything from living arrangements, residence or city or work options, such as a job or self-employment.

Where to Begin to Get Balance?

Where do we start? Prioritize, write down what’s the most important thing you need to change in your life then the second best thing and so on. Keep it simple. Do not write down twenty things even if there may be so many. Start with the first few and start tackling them. Focus on the most pressing. One of the major reasons why people fail to make change, and find balance, is because they don’t realize the greatest chance for success comes from taking it one step at a time. They don’t understand they have to first create the foundation, consistently, and then put the building blocks on top, level by level.

For me, because I’m visual I like to write things down. I then deconstruct it. One of the ways I do this is to write the pluses and minuses for my options.

Next, visualize how it will make you feel if you do that change in your life. Will you find the balance you want? Would it make you feel better? Would the experience or action enrich your life and change it for the better? Think of where you are now and where you want to be.

Many times when there is any change in our life and we are not used to it, we get overwhelmed and at times frozen in our tracks. That is why it is important to start small and implement small changes that will lead to harmony in our lives. You want to get to the point where you can handle and sustain the change, and then jump with both feet.

Ultimately, in life change we reach a point where after having put the steps in place and calculated the course of action, the next move is to simply take action. The effect will not be felt until after you’ve done it. And you’ll never know until you jump. But only then you can compare life before and after the change and if it led to more balance in your life.

How Can You Deal With Change?

In my experience, try to deal with one change at a time and keep on adding. Change can be good especially when you feel stuck. Change gives you hope for the better. Change can make a difference in your life. Change can bring balance because you are prioritizing your needs, not those of others.

When there’s change, you will get push back. That’s life. Don’t pay attention to negative comments from people around you who think they’re doing you a favor by trying to show you what a big mistake you’re making by following your calling and not staying with the status quo. If you’ve done your due diligence, trust yourself.

Life can be unforgiving depending on how you choose to look at things. For many, it’s definitely not easy, but it’s all a matter of your mind and perception. Depending on your view, we can find all the excuses in the world to not doing something. To the contrary, we should be looking for ways to stay on course for calculated change and try to make a difference in our lives for the better. This is especially true if we seek balance.

Here is to the courage and strength for following our own path, unaffected by life’s obstacles we need to overcome every day. And here is to balance!

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

Posted: November 17, 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.

Adversity in Our Pursuit of Happiness

blue-abstract-glass-balls

Many years ago I left my country to go far away to study. I had the goal that as soon as I graduated I would return. Things didn’t exactly happen as I planned them. And, four years became many, many more.

Sometimes life can be unpredictable due to opportunities or obstacles. During those times, we have to adjust our sails to get to our desired port.

I don’t have any regrets aside of missing the family I left behind. At times, something might remind me of the old days. I think of the friends I lost touch with through the years. And, I wonder if some of those friends might be around some place I can’t find.

But you know what? No matter what they say about plans and strategizing, we are all human. We plan, predict, project, and extrapolate to chart a course for our lives. But life isn’t that predictable. Regardless of what we think, something will always happen. If it’s not your own actions, it’s the environment or something else that forces changes to those plans. That’s life.

What We Need to do When Things Don’t Go As Planned

First, just breathe and adjust your rudder. You may have already planned contingencies. Whatever you do, just don’t freeze. Do not stand still. Do not change the destination if all it takes are simple course corrections.

Eventually, you’ll get to your desired goal as long as you want it bad enough. You’ll get there as long as you’re willing to continue the journey.

My life has been a roller coaster. I could have quit a long time ago, but I didn’t. I just kept on going. Was it easy? Absolutely not.

This post is about doing the best you can with what you have available. It’s about keeping on learning to improve your options.

Adversity encountered in your life, is not a bad thing. It means an opportunity to grow – an opportunity to get creative, an opportunity to innovate.

What’s important is to realize if something is not going the way we planned, just to put the brakes, re-evaluate and change lanes. Half the battle is realizing that your life is not going in the direction you thought you were originally heading. Make the course corrections, even if you have to make several of them along the way.

Adversity is a Gift

There are those whom, for whatever reason, everything seems to go as planned. If you’re one of those people, kudos to you. Be careful though, because if nothing adverse has happened to you, it does not mean it won’t.

Count your blessings and be humble. And, definitely don’t be smug to the fact that you’ve arrived with that smile on your face. Life is known for eventually messing with everyone.

For those of us who’ve experienced our ups and downs, here are a few rules to abide by:

  • Set your priorities straight.
  • Write down what you’re going after.
  • Educate and inform yourself if you haven’t already on the journey ahead.
  • Go after your goal as if it was the last thing in life you would do.

As long as we live, we go through calm and turbulent times. This is a gift. It’s a blessing. We don’t learn when there is calm. We learn when there’s a storm. And when that happens, we have to be able to handle it like nobody’s business.

How to Persevere

We get strength in practice and life experiences. We’ve been through this, we’ve been through that and after a while although we are not in the business of collecting setbacks, what’s another one?

When something does not happen the way we planned, it’s because of our experience with adversity that we are able to rebound faster.

Take the opposite side of the coin. Think about someone starting out who’s not expecting the unexpected. When it happens, it has an incredibly jarring effect. But, they still have to get through the challenge.

With challenges, it’s easy to start hating life. It’s easy to decide not to take chances because the net effect between trying and hurting is not worth it. It’s too painful. No one enjoys not being able to succeed in a particular area.

I implore you – don’t stand still. Don’t freeze in place. It would be a shame.

A better strategy is to embrace adversity. Learn the lessons and don’t change your mind about the end game.

There are people who breathe difficulty and transform it into action. That’s followed by dogged persistence. It’s seasoned with a whole lot of attitude. These people can see adversity as an opportunity to excel, prove themselves and get the odds in their favor.

If you’ve tried, try again. Follow the path of others if you have to. Don’t get “negged-out”. It will only be a matter of time before you make a difference. At times plans will fall apart and strategies will not make it further than the drawing room. Keep going. Believe in yourself. Eventually, you will break your “sound” barrier.

The moment you see the first “win”, a new air of confidence will fill you. That’s how you win the battle. Step by step. Winning the small battles will instill confidence and you’ll get more wins until the scales begin to tip in your favor. And, then you’ll have reached your destination, only to figure out a new adventure.

To living fully, persevering and taking on life one battle at a time.

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

Posted: October 16, 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.

Authenticity Is Still King

Quartz,_Tibet

Authentic people are truly interested in other people they meet. They focus on them. Authentic people don’t have a hidden agenda. They call it as they see it, which is very refreshing these days.

I was on the telephone with a contact from the past. I was reminded of a presentation we made together. If you follow my blog, you know I’m in the sales business. I love my profession. I’m one of those people who think everyone is in “sales.” We’re all trying to convince others to see things our way.

Oftentimes, in sales, professionals are trained. They’re given a script and told to follow the “process”. Good sales people learn to take ownership of the key points and make it their own. The most successful people in sales adapt whatever they’re selling, whatever methodology they’re supposed to use to their style.

The most successful people in sales, and life, are authentic. They are who they are. They don’t pretend to be someone else. They don’t use someone else’s moves. They might borrow words or thoughts, but they reinterpret them and make them their own. When this happens, they’re not just jumping on the bandwagon. They are being authentic and true to themselves.

The Value of Authenticity

Do you have any idea about the freshness and value of authenticity? Some people believe if they don’t parrot someone else, no one will listen to them. But here’s what happens when you don’t stay true to yourself. Either people will spot the fakeness in you and walk away or you will eventually tire of the lie.

Unfortunately, authenticity is sometimes a challenge to find in the world. It seems sometimes that it’s easier to copy someone else. We all need to be successful, whatever that means. In today’s fast-paced world, it may take less time to just assume someone else’s ideas, thoughts, practices and processes and adopt them as your own.

But there is integrity in authenticity. It may take a little longer to succeed. Yes, it may be a little harder to prove yourself. The path may be more winding. However, if you’re authentic to yourself, success will be yours and no one else’s.

These days, everybody seems to expect success overnight. No one seems to have patience anymore. But, it’s still important to learn the ropes, especially in an ever-changing world. If you want success to be meaningful and matter, truly matter, you have to take the time to learn and grow. You have to take the time to stay true to yourself and own what you say and do.

When you’re authentic, you’ll get your time time for acknowledgment, awareness and even acceptance. And, there’s something to be said for not mimicking someone else. Study the people that you consider experts in their field or in life. But, when you develop something inspired by their work, come up with your own ideas and view on a topic.

Add Experience

Most of us, present our knowledge to the world either from prior education and/or life experiences. We communicate what worked for us and what didn’t. That can be invaluable to someone else. Experience is an incredibly powerful element when mixed with authenticity.

In today’s world, we are bombarded every minute of our lives with information. It’s as if we exist in a maze of data. And then, at times, we see that some might not appreciate our background as much as new fads and trends. Still, we should true to ourselves. My belief is if 1,000 people prefer the new lights, the 1,001st person will actually care about how the lights work. Not everyone cares about the “sizzle”. Some people still care about the actual steak.

Speak Your Truth

When you have something to say that comes from the heart and you feel that you will burst if you stay quiet that is a good sign. When you are real and authentic, you cut through the joker material. You get rid of the stuff you see circulating everywhere, which becomes another “me too” exercise.

Always stand by your beliefs. Be willing and able to defend your words, if you have to. Tell it as it is and as you see it. Direct people from A to Z by showing them how to avoid the traps you may have experienced. Experience still matters, even in a world of shiny, new bright lights.

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

Posted: September 17, 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.