fearless

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.

 

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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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.