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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.

 

Mad About Life? Don’t Be. Yes, You!

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

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

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

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

How Am I Doing?

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Close Down

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

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

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

Life is about giving and taking.

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

Forget the News

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

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

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

Do Unto Others

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

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

There’s no better time than now.

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

Waking Up

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

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

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

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

To better times!

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

Posted: August 11, 2015

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

While I Breathe, I Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted: August 5, 2015

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

 

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.

No Time to Waste

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Living life today with the goal of making it is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes challenges or goals require so much effort on your part, and and sometimes it is almost easier to quit. But, when you reach those points that is exactly when you cannot quit and you have to go on if you want to climb your mountain. You have seen people who cannot see and somehow, after mustering all their reserve, climb Mt. Everest. The other day I read about a person who had no legs – just the prosthetics – and he did the same thing. How do they do it?

First, it requires an incredible desire to make it. Second, it requires an incredible discipline to stay the course and stick to the plan that has been thought out and set. No deviations, aside of something coming up unexpectedly, which always happens, and then you deal head on, re-adjust the route and come back to the plan.

But before you decide what route to take, what plan to follow or where to go, you need to decide what’s important to you. Whether young or old, whether you go at it later in life because of X or lost time because of Y, or you have not lost any time because you’re starting out fresh, it is your time to take on the day and seize the moment, even if you do not know where to begin.

First realize that the rules of have changed. In order to reach a goal, it requires even more work than you may be used to experiencing. Provided you realize what your natural talents are and also perhaps by receiving some feedback from friends, you can embark on a goal where you feel you have an edge.

For example, if you are looking for a career, realize that not everybody is cut out to become a scientist or an engineer. But, you can follow your heart (and your brain) and do what you want to do.

Be willing though to take calculated risks.

And, always be ready – every day – to give it your best and more than your all.

In every goal in life and everything you do, you are competing with so many others. At times people who are more qualified than you. Does it mean you pack it up, get depressed and climb under a rock? On the contrary, other factors can come into play that can give you an edge over a seemingly better candidate on paper; factors such as your drive, motivation, determination.

Can you take a different approach than everyone else? Can you handle a little more calculated risk? What happens when you take a more direct approach? What does your network look like? Non-existent? Do you know any people? Can you change into an extrovert if you are not?

In business these days, you need to build a network of people you know outside just your friends and relatives. People who you can reach out and talk to when you want, people who will offer to connect you with others because they believe in you and that for many reasons will promote your efforts.

But you need to be able to reciprocate. The old approach of knocking on doors does not work very well these days. Although many people still use it if they have no connections, it is not the most efficient way and will usually take so much longer than working through your established network, your acquaintances and through the people you met during the course of your life.

And, it takes work to maintain those relationships. You don’t just meet someone, then do nothing with them for a number of years and then when the need arises, you reach out to them. No, it doesn’t happen this way. You have to build and nurture that connection. It requires a lot of effort on your part, but it is an absolute necessity to achieve your goals.

Life can be very hard, and to make your mark in this world, you’ve got to be willing to give it your best and then some. There will be tough and bad times, which you might have already experienced, where things might not come your way for some time. But, you need to continue to fight – no matter what – even when someone promises you that “you’ve got this in the bag” and then you never hear back. Even when you thought you hit your goal, only to be left standing wondering what happened.

Do not ever despair. Don’t let other people’s comments or life’s unpredictable moments define you and your future. Learn from your mistakes and failures. And then, continue to dream and follow the dream no matter how hard it looks, because eventually it’s going to be fine. Devise and stick to your plan, making course corrections as necessary. Have the stamina and tenacity to make it happen. Don’t let anyone get the best of you.

And, most importantly, always be grateful of what you have, because even in the darkest hours, you still have a lot, whether it be your next breath or the gift of a sunset on a particularly difficult day. Stay to the task and know that no matter how the “weather” is out there, you will eventually reach your goal – or something better.

May your dreams become reality.

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

Posted: June 10, 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.

Never Give Up Your Field of Dreams

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We all remember the movie with Kevin Costner, but I will not be talking about baseball. What I want to write about, however, are our dreams and what happens when things don’t come your way.

When we are young, we all have dreams. Some of us are blessed to live a child’s life that involves fantasy and dreams. I am sure as a child you were probably asked by an adult in your life, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Then you grow up, and sometimes life happens to you. Other times, you have some control and you make life happen. But, as the years pass and especially if you are tossed around a little, or a lot, in rough seas, your dreams either evolve, and become more realistic, or they start to disappear. Maybe, one day you find yourself quietly sitting somewhere thinking to yourself – how did I get here and where did all of those plans and dreams go?

I am usually very focused in my life, those in my life and where I can make a difference. However, I think most of us will agree that something very different has happened, especially since the economic melt-down. We see report after report, hear commentators or listen to people complain, sometimes bitterly, about the loss of what they once had.

All around us we have the ashes of lives and parts of our collective society in ruins. We all have someone outside of ourselves to blame for this, such as the recession, the job market, advanced technology, globalization, etc. Whatever it is, I think all of us know that nothing – absolutely nothing – can be taken for granted. Not your job. Not the house or apartment you live in. Not your health. Not your wife. Not your children. Nothing. I have read that what we knew of our lives before this enormous societal shift that kicked off the first decade plus of the 21st Century was all part of a big lie or illusion that we bought into. Perhaps.

Nevertheless, we are all left standing, or maybe on our knees at the moment, knowing that nothing will ever be the same. Period.

So, what do you do? Do you stay on your knees? Do you hang it all up and stay under the covers? What do you do?

Maybe it’s because of who I am, maybe it’s because of how I was raised or my ethnic heritage but all I know is you get yourself up each and every day. You never quit. You never let anyone get the best of you.

There is a great piece of history from Greece, and it comes to us in the life and efforts of Leonidas and his warriors. Essentially, Leonidas was the King of Sparta who defended Greece against an invasion by the Persians. In August of 480 BC, he took 300 Spartans and with other Greeks who joined him, he led a force of approximately 7,000, which was substantially smaller in comparison to the 200,000 men modern scholars say were on the Persian side.

You can read the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, but the most important thing to know is that Leonidas faced his battle head-on. With a smaller force of men than what he started out with in battle, he courageously fought to the death to try to prevent the Persians entry into Greece through the only access road. His tale is a story of absolute courage despite overwhelming and devastating odds.

That’s what we all need to do. We all need to fight our battle head-on and with force. And, in my experience, the only way to fight that battle, whatever it is – is to have a plan. A dream. You have to be shooting for something. Leonidas’ goal was to prevent passage to the Persians. He had a plan. He stuck to the plan.

We each need to do the same. We can’t allow life to beat us into submission. You can’t let cancer, disease, a job loss, a marriage that ends, the death of a loved one – anything – defeat you. Leonidas still lives today in memory because of that courage to stand and fight, no matter the odds.

So, the message here, is to dream. Even if you don’t dare, just dream one thing. Make one plan to kick the disease, get a new job, start your own business, get a new home, marry that woman, travel the world, whatever it is…And then, whatever life throws at you, do not quit. Do not give up until the game is really and truly over, if you do not succeed. And, know this, even if the moment comes you do not get it all; the game is indeed over and there are no seconds left, you fought. You did not give up. And, that makes all the difference in the world.

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

Posted: May 19, 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.

Take The Plunge, The Water is Not That Cold

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This is for those who want to find their inner child and for those brave souls who, despite what life is throwing their way, still dream big. You may be working somewhere but you’re looking for a change. You might be looking to start your own business or even travel and experience the world.  Perhaps you want to live overseas or you want move out of the town where you live.

 

Life has a way of happening to you or because of you. It doesn’t wait. When you want things to happen, sometimes they don’t. And when you least expect things, life happens. Somehow, it always seems that “now” is not the best time for changing things. Tomorrow will be better, but somehow tomorrow never comes. When I am looking to make a change, I tend to write down the pluses versus the minuses and that helps me determine my next steps. If you happen to be the analytical type, I would recommend you go through this process because seeing it in writing helps you visually see the pros and cons.

 

But, be careful of paralysis of analysis. Over-analyzing change often leads to no change at all. So, a more thoughtful and less stressful way to handle things before you embark on your dreams and trying to turn them into reality, would to test the waters a little. Think it over, research, but put a plan together and a timeline. Determine calculated risk. Again, I do not suggest that you disappear to the Pacific all of a sudden or invest every penny of your savings on the idea of starting a business. These are not calculated risks. But in the beginning, take smaller steps to realize the dream, determining the best thing for you and if it is something you can handle without jeopardizing personal relationships with loved ones will go a long way to ultimately making it happen. And, as results unfold, measure progress – accept failures, make adjustments and then continue to execute on your larger plans.

 

Of course you know your priorities but realize this, if you don’t follow your soul and your calling, who will? If not now, when? I can also tell you this – the experiences you would live and the regiment you would follow, will make you grow and that is a necessary ingredient in life. And, the feeling of personal freedom – to trying to lead some part of your life on your terms – is priceless. All of this does not come easy. I wish, I could tell you otherwise. You probably will work harder than you ever did, but you would be working for you toward your goals and dreams. It is a great feeling for those who can act on their dreams and turn them into reality.

 

Fear is natural, but you have to take a step and let it be OK because the alternative would probably be to never try. 

 

There are so many things to explore – starting a side business, losing yourself on a trip to Italy, enrolling in a cooking class in France and starting to learn French. Or perhaps going to Barcelona and checking out the Spanish culture, staying on a Greek island and writing a book, or while at a convention in South America adding a couple of weeks to strictly explore Buenos Aires and learn how to tango. Try it, don’t let it get erased from your memory because it will only become more difficult to act on it later – someday. Again, often, “someday” never comes. 

 

No one knows what life will bring us tomorrow. As Louise Erdrich wrote, “And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

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

Posted: April 9, 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.