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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.

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15 Traits of a Good Leader

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In my life I had the privilege to work for a few good people with great leadership skills and I also realized that in the midst of it all, I came across some managers with practically no skills, who happen to be in their positions for reasons unbeknownst to me (eg. right connections at the right time, etc). The problem for them was they either failed to realize or were in denial about their lack of skills. This resulted in the team(s) they led failing to produce the expected results since the leadership vision and the right goals were not there from the beginning. It never stops amazing me how some organizations operate with so many basic principles not in place.

But, let us talk about some of the main traits of effective leaders and what organizations should aspire to when they are looking to fill a position, whether promoting from within or looking outside the organization for talent.

1) Confidence – A leader should exude an air of confidence. They should come across as being experienced and knowing how to handle the position as well as the people entrusted to them.

2) Vision – They should be able to show their teams where they’re going, why they need to get there and how they’re going to achieve it through goal setting and the right strategy.

3) Effective Communication – They should be able to get their message through clearly and in a timely manner to both the people they manage as well as to their higher-ups.

4) Honesty – They should come across as genuine and honest in their communication and how they relate to everyone. People can understand easily if leaders mean what they say or are going through the motions as part of the job requirements.

5) Inspiration – Great leaders should be able to motivate employees through inspiration. A leader should get the team(s) interested toward the common goal. People always need that extra push to reach their potential especially when life and other tasks interfere.

6) Fearlessness – A leader should be fearless. Most times in life things do not go as planned. Life happens, unexpected scenarios occur and the right person should be able to handle pressure and stress well and not let distractions or interruptions get in their way.

7) Focus – A leader should always have the eye on the task at hand. No matter what happens, he or she must be able to be organized and handle anything head-on and leading by example.

8) Effective Delegation – A leader should be able to conceive the idea at a high level and delegate accordingly to the respective team members the ways to contribute towards its completion.

9) Creativity – A leader should be creative coming up with ideas and alternatives, thinking outside the box and having the innate intuition to act on something at the right time.

10) Fairness – Not coming across as a know-it-all individual. A leader should be able to give credit to the members of the team for a job well done.

11) Respect – By being respectful of employees, a leader will earn their respect.

12) Flexibility – A good leader will be open minded and adaptable to changes. In the business world as well in life everything is in constant flux. Everything changes. In addition be able to tweak existing strategy, recalibrating and adjusting accordingly is a necessary, without missing a beat.

13) Responsibility – Learn from mistakes and accept responsibility without passing the blame to others. The team realizes that the person in charge is human and this individual should have the humility to declare that something was wrong and is reevaluating by redesigning and building better alternative options and efficiencies.

14) Positiveness – An effective leader should be positive and enthusiastic. Always starting a meeting with something positive to say and not constantly warning and reprimanding people.

15) Empathy – Last but not least, a good leader should show that the person cares for the team genuinely. Setting time for employee suggestions and issues. In addition, when things are going according to plan, a good leader should acknowledge that and offer some measure of reward.

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

Posted: April 28, 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.