challenge

Suggestions For A Meaningful 2016

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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.

 

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How to Overcome Turmoil in Your Life Like a Winner

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What prompted the writing of this post is what’s happening around us; namely, uncertainty about the future due to political and economic conditions. Although I am not going to get political, blaming this or that about today’s outcomes, I will concentrate on how we might want to live life no matter what’s happening around us.

If you happen to live in a war-torn area where every morning you wake up and take your life into your own hands even walking outside your door, I can understand that your only interest is safety for you and your loved ones. You want to minimize danger and look for ways to start fresh somewhere safe. But for the rest of us who live in the rest of the world, life is a little different.

We are still faced with uncertainty, but maybe not to the degree of the group I mentioned earlier. Still every day, depending on certain factors that shape life, mainly socioeconomic geopolitical and environmental, we decide what’s best for us. No matter what, we are still faced with, uncertainty, anxiety, fear, stress, regarding our future. Depending on each individual, we react differently. But, how can we better handle the circumstances of our lives?

This is strictly coming from commonsensical experience of living life. I believe we keep on going living our life without “crawling under a rock”, to use the old adage, and waiting for the end. Life goes on no matter what. If everybody froze in their tracks just because there are people out there who have “bad intentions” for the rest of us, the world would be in even worse shape than it is now. Life goes on – we still live, work or travel – just like before all this started happening around us so frequently.

Here are a few thoughts to go by:

Enjoy life as much as you can.

Don’t cave into fearing.

Just be aware what’s happening around you. Be aware of people around you whether you are sitting in a restaurant, a public event or waiting for your train/airplane etc.

Learn some basic survival skills. Learn CPR, you never know if you’ll ever need it. All it takes is one time and you might save the life of a member of your family or a stranger.

Don’t take chances by inducing additional risk to your life by visiting places, which are not recommended.

Use your intuition. If something looks bad or smells bad, chances are you want to keep away.

Now I do not want to imply that you can’t take risks when it comes to business, or even life itself. If everybody played it safe, none of these innovative startups would have evolved into the companies we know today. If all the disruption that is happening every day in technology, science, banking, transportation or travel, to name a few sectors never happened, we would still be stuck in the “same old.”

So take it for what it is, some change is good.

Unfortunately the world is not the same anymore, when it comes to the ways things used to be. You can never take for granted any one or any thing. Due to what’s happening around us we do not know if we will be safe when we leave our house in the morning.

All we can do is live every day to the fullest. We can be there for others and make an effort to be the best we can be in how we conduct our lives.

You must have heard the adage, “Do not take your life too seriously, nobody else does.” It is very true. Find ways to relax your mind, even for a few minutes a day. It will help you get through the day-to-day challenges with renewed energy and focus.

Last but not least, be grateful for what you have, compassionate to others and “live life hard.” In other words, live it full throttle.

 

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

Posted: December 08, 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

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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

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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

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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.

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.

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.

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”

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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.