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How to Handle Rejection

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In life, we all experience rejection from someone or something that didn’t work out as we planned. As long as we’re alive there will be always times when things do not come our way. There will be people who may disappoint and reject something we want.

How do we handle ourselves? What do we do?

Again, there is not one way to handle it and it would depend on the circumstances. Still, there are some basics that I’ll write about – if nothing else, to attempt to help you in times of crisis.

Let’s begin at childhood. Most of us are taught from an early age not to do this or the other thing because it’s not the right way. Later on, we realize that some of these rules might not apply or might need adjustment to handle the demands of everyday life. Specifically, some rules are meant to be broken.

We’re always taught to be nice to others and to show our “good side” so we have a chance:

  • to get noticed
  • to get into a good school
  • to get a good job
  • find a good person to live with, and so on.

Unfortunately, as we all know life is not that regimented and things don’t always happen the way we plan. Most of us are not taught to handle rejection well. For example, when one goes on an interview for a job and you get the feeling 15 minutes into it that the interviewer is not that impressed, or you hear back with that form letter that declines you for the position. How do you handle yourself at that point? Do you break into pieces going into a deep depressive state blaming the company and so on or do you stay focused and centered?

You tell yourself that maybe this was not meant for you and you take that experience as the impetus to dust off the experience and get ready for the next engagement.

I learned about rejection the hard way because many years ago I chose sales as a career. In the beginning, I worked for companies and later on I represented myself. During all that time, although I’ve been very successful, there were times when I faced plenty of rejection. I had to learn how to deal with it to survive and flourish.

I learned quickly in business not to accept rejection as something I would take personally. I might not have gotten the desired outcome because it may not have been the right time, the right product, the right service, the right mix. The person I was speaking to may have had a tough day and wasn’t in the mood to see my point of view or purchase my product or service.

I became aware that the world does not revolve around me and there could be thousands of reasons I did not get what I wanted. I have become so skilled that I have been complimented on my exceptional attitude and respect toward a client, even in the toughest negotiations. And, I’ve reached a point where rejection repels off of me like water to a duck.

It can be done. You can do it as well. You can take small steps and realize that and the word “no” does not reflect on you personally. You can also learn to have the mindset that you will get what you’re working on, and you don’t need the distractions of rejection. Rejection can be the ultimate disturbance.

With a focused mindset, you can achieve a lot. But realize that there might be times when you will find obstacles, that’s life. During those times it depends on how you handle the adversity and rejection. Your success depends on how you compose yourself and that determines the final outcome.

Some ways to handle rejection are:

  • Remember that rejection is not always about you. Oftentimes, people are rejecting your proposal–not you personally.
  • It may not have been the right time for the other party. Sometimes a person across from you might be having a bad day, bad mood not feeling well etc. Something may have influenced your rejection that is not known to you.
  • The universe but might be telling you something. Let’s say someone turned down your proposal to go out. Perhaps that person was not going to be a good fit for you and you were saved the pain. You might get upset at first for refusing you, but it does not mean you need to stop asking people out because you are traumatized. Maybe you can move along to someone else, but just don’t stop.
  • Some rejection can be beneficial. It can show us how to regroup and rethink our situation. Just fine-tune it, adjust and go for it again but with an improved strategy. There’s always a lesson to learn in rejection.

There’s an order in the universe that with thoughtfulness and focus, we will ultimately get to our destination. But, you have to mean well. You have to do your best. You have to be open to new things and new relationships without losing your determination and maintaining your enthusiasm. You have to be willing to adjust your rudder, even if things don’t come easy for you.

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

Posted: August 18, 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.

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.

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.

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.

How to do Social Good and Feel Great About It

 

How would you feel if you are able to bring some good to society, give a helping hand to people struggling around you and at the same time feel good about doing so? It does not matter whether you are a Millennial, Gen-Xer, Boomer or part of the Greatest Generation, donating, giving to charity or volunteering, you can still give of your time or money and see an immediate impact.

Volunteering is more grassroots and organic, and allows you to experience the work of a charity. Find a mission that represents you. It does not need to be elaborate and difficult to grasp. Case and point: A soup kitchen. Volunteer some of your time one day to serve some meals for the elderly. I did this with my family for Thanksgiving one year and I received more than I ever thought possible. I realized I benefited so much in spirit and the fulfillment from the act was something unforgettable. You can contribute toward meals for children of the Appalachia region. Many of them go to bed hungry.

In Kentucky, for example, between 2010 and 2012 about 15.6% of the population was ” food insecure”, which meant that at times throughout the year their families were not able to afford food. There are many ways each one of us can help by supporting local food banks or other local projects where the goals are to feed, clothe, house and even provide disaster relief for families and the elderly. You can always start at home where there are so many organizations supporting various groups in need or you can help in faraway places for equally valuable causes.

Dollars can get you very far when you are contributing to a specific cause in Africa, for example. Take micro-funding – $100 loans start businesses for the people in Africa. Even less buys desks for children in Malawi, many of whom sit on the dirt floor to study as opposed to a desk in school. You can help support a young African who makes lamps by hand to donate to children so they are able to study at night. These children work all day to help their families survive and they are so poor that they study by candle light at night, which is not conducive to their eyes or study.

Doing even small things can help you see results immediately. The smile from an elderly man who needed a meal in a soup kitchen, providing food to a family in the United States who can not buy food, $100 for a business in Africa, a desk, a lamp – all simple things that we sometimes take for granted, but they can make an incredible difference in the life of one person.

Doing good and making change immediately is something almost anyone can do and all it takes is just a little bit of time or money and a desire to make a difference.

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

Posted: May 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.

Motivate Yourself and Change Your Story

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First realize that no matter what is happening in your world, whether you have a relationship, work or financial issues, how you deal with these crises is completely under your control. Even dire health problems fall into this category – your choice of how you view the challenge, whether with acceptance, peace or fighting spirit can help in even the most difficult circumstance. It all comes down to the right attitude. We all know those who were told by their physician that they had a serious condition and basically were written off but due to their persistence and motivation they overcame the odds and still live full lives. Or, they made peace with what was to be their journey and they spent their remaining days in the embrace of their friends and family – living life on their terms.

Positive thinking is very crucial. Period. But how can you do it when you feel your whole world is tumbling down around you?

Start by realizing that there is a situation, an issue that you do not want to become a permanent condition in your life. You have to get out of it. Then start to explore your options or how you will choose to perceive and address the issue. Can you get more autonomy at work, for example? Do you have another option on the table? Other offers? If you cannot stand your present place of employment, understand and pinpoint the reason that you and your supervisor do not get along. Is it your performance? Is it his/her performance? Is it bad chemistry or something else? There’s always something else that can be done to alleviate or change the situation. Or, you can change your thinking in how you view the situation. The theory of deduction is alive and well at this point. Results are a flowchart of actions taken.

All of us make mistakes but we need to learn from them. It is OK to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. This is how we evolve and how we grow. All we have to do is pay attention.

Visualize where you want to be and where you want to go. Try to prioritize. Realize that you deal first with the most important burning issue and everything else can wait. Next, start planning. At one point I did not believe strongly in planning until I realized that there has to be some sort of a road-map to follow and every day can not be a “fly by the seat of your pants” experience. To me, planning is crucial for direction – just like a plane or ship navigating to its destination. You have to have something to shoot for in the distance.

Do everything to make it happen or even exceed it. Always want to try to overshoot your goal, if you can, so even if you don’t reach it you are still within range.

Don’t let the little things rattle you. The older you grow in life, the more you realize how inconsequential those little things are to the overall picture. Prioritize and…prioritize.

Everything can be resolved if, at first we acknowledge there is a problem, we identify it and we are open to finding a solution. Each day is precious and we are not guaranteed the next hour, let alone tomorrow. So, start feeling good about yourself. Stay motivated by surrounding yourself with positive and inspirational people, material and circumstances. Start celebrating everything positive in your life. Don’t wait until you win the war. Wars were never won overnight but one battle at a time. Wars are hard-fought. Feeling good about yourself means you have to take care of your body, your mind and your spirit. According to Socrates, “Sound body makes for a sound mind.” Join a gym, play a sport or even set time for some vigorous walking provided it is not contraindicated. Get out of your own way.

Love your family, love your friends, love what you do. Give back. All this is going to make you feeling better about yourself. Be enthusiastic about life. Yes the game has changed and it is not what it used to be, but it never is. We can definitely flourish if we are willing to adjust and reinvent ourselves and are also willing to learn.

It is very easy to discount everything and always look for excuses or blame other people.
But all of us experience lulls and if we are willing to embrace change, the time to climb back up again will be substantially shorter. Just do not get complacent – ever – and blame every circumstance around you for where you find yourself today.

There you are, you have got the basics of the commonsensical formula. All you have to do is apply it to your circumstances – consistently – not just for one hour, or one day or one month.  This has to be for a lifetime.

As a friend used to say, “wherever you go, there you are.” To happy years ahead.

Posted: March 29, 2014

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

© 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.