courage

What’s Life Got To Do With It?

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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

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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

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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.

 

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.

Simply Fearless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted: August 25, 2015

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

Embracing Change

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We each have to leave some of our familiar surroundings behind, our relatives, our friends, our homes at some point in our life.  Although it is never easy to move, especially for those of us who are not nomads, it is an experience that can be handled more easily if you set some parameters.

You can either hate change and do everything in your power to minimize moving, whether for other opportunities, work, relationship, etc., which is highly unrealistic in today’s world or, of course, the extreme opposite being those who are ready to travel at a moment’s notice with some luggage always packed. And then there are those in between, or who will make a change if they have to but their decision does not come easy and they would need some time to adjust to their new surroundings. So let me put some thoughts on paper and see if it can be helpful for all of you who dare to dream but find it difficult to take that first step.

Due to the way we were brought up we do not like change. People like stability, but at what expense? Life is not what it used to be. Due to globalization opportunities, ease of mobility, economic conditions, etc., people sometimes need to decide to make a change for the better. After evaluating options and conditions at hand someone decides to leave their familiar environment and move to a different neighborhood, state or even country. Some people just travel the world for a few months or even years. I am not referring to that segment of population. They are the ones that enjoy that form of activity. I’m referring to those who might decide to move elsewhere due to work opportunities, relationships, etc.

Realize this, playing it safe and not taking a chance is not the only way to live. And yes starting out somewhere else, getting that new job, moving to a different locale, might at times be unnerving and stressful, but life doesn’t guarantee us a lot these days. We have to embrace change if we want to thrive in such a demanding global environment. There are always some adjustments to be made, but it is doable. All it takes is to be open and embrace it.

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

Posted: August 26, 2014

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