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What Uber and Taxis Can Teach You About Decision Making

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We spend a lot of our time making decisions. We make some choices on auto-pilot, like brushing our teeth in the morning; others are tougher, revolving around job opportunities, life partners or places where we’ll live. At work, managers and business leaders are always making decisions about new products, staffing or initiatives.

Sometimes the hardest part of decision-making is not the process; sometimes it’s merely making the best decisions that propel us forward and don’t cause a mess of other problems.

With every decision, there are always pros and cons. Everything comes at a price in life and business, and even an opportunity that appears excellent has some downside to it. That’s just the way it goes in life and work. There is no such thing as perfection, but that’s what helps keep us always striving for better.

The battle between Uber and the taxi industry is an excellent example of decision-making. Uber is valuated at around $60 billion, but the company, and its CEO, Travis Kalanick, have pushed it to a point where based on news reports you have to wonder what’s going to happen next––and not in a good way. We’ll see in the future if their decisions have been the best, both for Kalanick and Uber.

The Problems with Uber

A couple of years ago, Uber was all the rage. At the time, a medallion for one iconic yellow taxi cost $1.3 million. But, there was significant competition for the traditional cab as it seemed that everyone in Manhattan was calling an Uber taxi.

Last year as I was talking to a cabbie about the taxi industry and Uber, he informed me that some New York City taxi owners were trying to sell their medallions for $500,000. At the time, it sounded like the death knell was ringing for the old taxis.

As it turns out, not so fast.

Flash forward about another year, and yellow taxis have taken matters into their hands to compete against Uber. Their decision was kind of simple: let Uber crush them and destroy the traditional taxi business (still a possibility), or put up a challenge. In the meantime, Uber, the famed disrupter seems to face one problem after another.

First, a recap of how the New York taxi industry is dealing with Uber:

  • Fight fire with technology fire. There have been a handful of apps that have been used by the traditional taxi industry to compete with Uber. The apps have succeeded in fits and starts, but next time you’re in New York City and don’t want to take Uber, or hail a cab the old-fashioned way, take a look at Arro or GoCurb.
  • Compete on price. One of the reasons why Uber was initially so successful is because it used sophisticated algorithms to undercut taxi prices and then to use surge pricing when demand was high. The regular cabbie on the street, and the taxi industry for that matter, just couldn’t compete with the advanced technology of Uber. Traditional taxis took a beating, but they’re looking to compete on pricing.
  • Driver competition. If you speak to a cabbie in New York City, ask them how driving a yellow cab compares to Uber concerning earnings. Many drivers who went to Uber found themselves working more and earning less. It’s no news to learn that as the drivers see it Uber has not been terribly kind and, ultimately, they’ve made no secret of wanting to use driverless cars exclusively.

In an article posted on TheStreet, it was reported that Kalanick and Uber prided themselves on, “Nimble, creative decision-making.” It’s true that Uber is innovating and continually thinking out of the box to get ahead of its competition. However, there have definitely been challenges which have been detailed in news articles.

  • Does the business model work? Uber is not yet a public company with over $12 billion in investments, and one of the primary reasons is because it’s not yet fully confident that it’s able to provide its investors with a solid return on investment.
  • Drivers are not happy with Uber and to make matters worse, Travis Kalanick was caught on video telling an Uber driver that if he wasn’t making enough money, it was his fault.
  • Uber and ethical boundaries. Uber is a notoriously tough competitor, and its method is to not only disrupt but destroy. It’s reported that it used technology, called Greyball, to deceive legislative and regulatory officials in places where there’s been resistance to Uber.
  • Battle with Google. In the courts, a war of the tech titans is playing out as Waymo, which is owned by Google to develop the technology for self-driving cars, has sued Uber and its company, Otto, over stolen company technology secrets.

I can go on with Uber’s challenges at the present moment, but it’s clear that Uber is at some cross-roads. In the not-to-distant future, we can see Uber continue down a highly profitable road as the undisputed king of transportation (of course, ultimately without drivers). Alternately, we can see a company that is battered and continues to go from one problem to another until investors move on or the company and investors come up with a significantly alternate strategy to Kalanick’s playbook.

The reality for Uber is not that it’s not been making decisions.

It has.

The question with Uber is, is it making the most effective decisions?

So, in a world of options, how to do you make the right decisions? Or, perhaps a better question, is how do you make the best choice with the options, opportunities, and challenges you have at hand.

  1. The first place to begin is always with your values. In the case of Uber, as an outsider, it seems to value disruption, fierce competition and winning (at all costs). You can have good values, or you can have values that appear destructive to others, but whatever the case, decisions have to conform to values. Decisions are always better if they align with your values. You’ll find yourself more comfortable, and you’ll be rationalizing less, even in the face of challenges.
  2. Visualization of vision. In the past, I’ve sat in plenty of meetings where some manager tells the team to visualize financial success. Frankly, I always rolled my eyes. However, that’s not to say there isn’t truth to visualization and vision. When you’re in the process of making decisions, and you want to decide on the best course of option, you have to think through the end-results between options. For Uber, the company sees itself as the dominant global transportation company. That’s the visualization of vision.
  3. Paradox of choice. We live in a world where there can be too much choice. Too many options can keep us from making decisions, and we end up in a situation of inertia in the decision-making process. When you’re making an important choice, one of the things you want to do as fast as possible is to eliminate options quickly. If you have five opportunities for a decision, remove three as soon as possible. Then work on the remaining two.
  4. Situation guiding. Sometimes in life and business, you have events that happen that may or may not be in your control. The older you become and the more experience you have, you should use it to help inform your future. Even if you’ve had failures in the past, you have learned something. Keep going back to what those lessons have been. Use the lessons to inform your present situation. For the taxi industry in New York City, they relied for decades on their business model until it was impossible to continue. And now they’re fighting back with technology and trying to provide cabbies with better driver conditions. The situation Uber created has helped guide them as they try to beat back the completion.
  5. Someone asked me recently if I had to pick a single word for my life, which word would it be. That was easy: courage. Decisions take courage, especially when the challenges arise. No decision arrives without work. Even if you think everything is going to be fantastic with your life partner, the new job, city, business opportunity, etc., there’s always work to do––and sometimes it can be hard and painful. Courage in speaking about the inevitable challenges with those who are working with you, courage in moving forward when it’s easier to walk away and courage to make strategic adjustments will help you find validation and success in your decisions. In other words, stay the course and use the headwinds to your advantage.

I think it’s fair to say that the number of decisions that most of us make on a given day has multiplied. Technology and human advancement have provided us with enormous opportunity, but as the taxi industry, with unexpected challenges. However, any decision, even the toughest, can be made with focused and calm thinking. And, always bear in mind your values, the vision, choices elimination, the situation and courage despite the challenges that arise.

 

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

Posted: May 23, 2017

© 2017 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 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.

Why Don’t You Stop?

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Sometimes life seems like a swirling ocean that continues to break waves in an un-ending succession of white-capped peaks. Things happen and continue to happen and you are left with very little time to consider choices because you are too busy trying to navigate the waters that are churning.

What happens if you were to stop treading water?

Your reply may be, you may drown.

Well, what if you don’t go under? What if you take it easy, rest and float on your back for a little while in the middle of the vast ocean?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes, that is exactly what you need to do. Sometimes punching and continuing to slug it out is the wrong course of action. Consistently being on offense without rest weakens you. It only becomes a matter of time until you reach a point where you become too tired to go on.

So, rest is required.

Within a cyclone, we know there can be calm weather in the center, or eye of the storm. You have fought the front end of the battle, and then there is a moment when you have to just stop and take stock of what you have done before moving forward.

Take that time to breathe and assess what you have learned. We are always learning. Whether we choose to apply the lessons we learn is another matter, but if you are paying some attention to what your life experiences are, you are always learning. If you take a moment to look back at the path you have carved out, you will find a landscape full of lessons for you.

When you have reviewed these lessons, then you can start to plan your next course of action. Is it more effective to swim against the current or to go with the current? At what time is it most advantageous to move? What resources do you now have at your disposal? What do you need for the next stage and how do you obtain it when you are in the middle of a heated battle? Can you improvise something? What goals will you create for yourself so you can assess whether or not you are getting closer to shore?

It is only when you have had the opportunity to stop and rest that you will be able to see your situation clearly enough to continue the path forward. When you have taken the time, in the middle of the challenge, to assess what has happened and what is happening, it is only then you will have the knowledge to be able to think clearly about what the next course of action should be.

It is when you have had some time to assess what has happened that you can clearly make any adjustments, and in addition, you can acquire the necessary rest you need to be able to then reach into the reserves you have stored to continue to move forward.

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

Posted: September 27, 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.

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.

No Time to Waste

Sun Rises From Haleakala

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

The_helm

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.