The Story of Uncle George :The beginning.

 

In the words of my uncle:

‘It was right after the war.I remember getting back from the military injured,both physically and mentally. My mind was filled with blood and pain,but also with a sense of freedom. I’ve seen hell,I’ve conquered hell and now i am back to continue with my life.I was in my mid-twenties, no degrees and my resume was basically one word: served in the army.

I arrived at my town, only to realize that nothing had changed. The little corner store where i used to buy ice-cream was still open, the bulb outside the cafe was still broken. Fortunately my parents were still alive,since war didn’t reach this corner of Greece(note from Katavasis:if you haven’t figure it out already,i am greek). Oh i can smell the freshly made bread my mother had just baked. They welcomed me,with my 7(!) other siblings.

I wasn’t one of those veterans, obsessed with war or tormented by the fallen. Yes, as i said, the army wasn’t a pleasant experience and i still have memories i dare not to bring up as they would break me,even after all these years. I was changed though. More so because i’ve seen how life can be unbearable. My little community wasn’t enough for me. I needed to experience more. And on the other side, the economy was collapsing. Some of my brothers had already left to get a degree or visited relatives to America and stayed there. I wanted to get out and also help my aging parents,who i hold dear.

It was sunny that day.I was sitting on a bench watching my father’s farm animals. Cows,chickens,goats etc eating the grass away.I heard the voice of an old friend. He was holding 2 big pieces of paper. They were my tickets. What i felt wasn’t joy,but regret and fear. I hesitated to touch them,like they were tainted with the new world and cursed with the memories i would lose if i left the country. A cool breeze rushed through me. I took a big breath and grabbed them tightly.

I packed one bag.One shirt,two pairs of underwear and my almost torn up trousers. My mother cried. She hugged me with a purpose to not let go. My father gave me one of his strict looks,like i did something bad ,but then i saw approval and yes maybe pride,in his eyes. The thing is,i could stay there, handle my father’s business,attend the fields and make a good living.I had the option.He was a hard working man and he could help me with my future. I couldn’t. My heart wouldn’t bear this. I needed to make it on my own. So i left.

We arrived early the next day to Athens with my friend. I had to take care of some legal documents first before i could fly. Long day. Finally, after i took care of everything we went out,to celebrate my last day in Greece. Now, he was the one that got me the tickets(wasn’t easy back then to arrange such trips,especially if you live in the middle of nowhere).I was obligated to spring for him and i gladly did so. We drank wine and ouzo,listened to music and did all the things one could do at that time in that city. It was getting late and i was leaving early the next morning. Before going to sleep,he suggested we have a bite. We went to his favourite place,where they serve gyros,lamp. After eating, i checked in my wallet to pay. There i saw my last money.

What i didn’t tell you, is that i was going to a foreign country broke. No money whatsoever. My last pennies were spent on that lamb. It’s comical in hindsight. I didn’t care though. I had energy and hunger for life. So,i left. With a hangover and a bitter-sweet sensation. Australia here i come!

 

Part 1.

Part 3( soon ).

 

 

 

Procrastination is the fear of death

I like to juggle many ideas. Ideas that may seem stupid and outright unworthy of attention.Still,i find it amusing stretching,molding,cutting and playing with them, reaching hyperbolic conclusions, most of the times without any real value.

But sometimes, my philosophical tangents reveal to me, what I like to call,’clickings’.

What’s a clicking,you may ask.

It’s when you close a box and you hear that ‘click’.When you ‘click’ bubble wrap,when ‘Il Commendatore’ from Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ concludes.When your mother kisses you or when your kids are smiling.It’s when things just work,when for one moment and one moment only,you can see the world as it is,raw without presumptions and predetermined views.When you finally just ‘fit’ everything into place.

And believe me fellas,we all get these moments.They are rare,but we all do.

Let me get back on track,because my tangent is getting in the way of my other tangent.

Procrastination:Post-poning desires,needs and responsibilities for tomorrow.

Everyone who went to college still remembers vividly the sleepless nights,with the company of a full cup of coffee and a paper due tomorrow.

It had been assigned to you 2 week before,but for some reason you decided it was best to cram 10 pages in one lousy,poorly lighted night.

‘Nah,i will start tomorrow,i got plenty of time.’

‘Nah,i have a week left.I got the ideas ready,i just need to put them into paper.’

‘What’s another episode of ‘Game of Thrones’?

And there you are.Sounds familliar?

We know how dreading and painful procrastination can be.We have many ways to work around it,counter it and dull it.But we don’t know the roots of it.

So,i had just woken up,sitting on the head of my bead,turning off my alarm clock,5 *snoozes* later.Nothing like a winter monday morning,am i right?

I had so many chores and errands to run that day…or i could just leave it for tommorow.Nothing urgent,no deadlines.

Hmm…so why did i wake up that early then?

What if i just go back to sleep and just wake up in an hour or two.

It hit me.

Procrastination is your brain,protecting you from danger.

What if i go to the bank and an asteroid hit me…

Or more realistically,what if i go to the bank and the transfer can’t get through.My client will be upset and he’ll probably complain to my boss.My boss will be mad and i won’t get the bonus.The bonus was the money i was counting on to go on vacations with my girlfriend.But if we can’t go,my girlfriend will hate me….

…and it goes on and on.

‘Isn’t this erratic to say the least?’

Yes,it is.But your brain is irrational,by today’s standards.But when we lived in primitive conditions,it went something like this:

Brain: -I suggest you don’t get out of the cave,because there’s a big,toothy bear outside and you may die in the most horrific way imaginable.Just wait until the bear is gone and it’s an optimal time for hunting.

You: -Me want to go.But me hear you.Thanks.

Basically,your brain is evaluating your current position in relation to a future one,if a certain chain of actions is followed.It strategizes for you,subconciously.

Although,there aren’t toothy bears outside of your house(what’s a toothy bear anyway) and the transfer will eventually go through.

Procrastination IS the fear of death.

But the fear of death is irrational and you shouldn’t subside to primitive urges that have no value in this day and age.

The Story of Uncle George

This past Christmas i got to visit family.

I usually get bored this day,since it encompasses mindless chit-chat,endless questions and forced pleasantries.

Don’t get me wrong,i hold my close family dear,but this time of year i get to see relatives i haven’t seen since i was a baby and therefore we have nothing in common.

Christmas day

My kind aunt shoved in me the third piece of chocolate cake and i was already lethargic from the amount of sugar running through my veins.

The doorbell rang and one of my little cousins(can’t tell them apart) opened the door.

This old gentleman came in,in his three-piece suit.He shouted ‘Merry Christmas’ and picked up my subtly aloof cousin in his arm.

My uncle George is 90 years of age.Still full of energy,bravado and attitude.

He is one of my favourite relatives and one i will gladly drink some of his rather stale,but strong scotch and puff one of his cuban cigars,that he always seems to carry one with him.

I don’t get to see him very often since he doesn’t visit often(neither do i).But when we get to meet,we usually indulge in conversations.We are like-minded and we both know it.

Anyway,he approached my aunt,told her something witty that made her blush and went to make him some coffee.He then approached me and shook my hand,looking straight in my eyes.No words.

He sat next to me and lit his cigar.

‘Don’t eat this crap.It makes you slow.You have to be sharp’,he told me getting the chocolate cake away from me.No words.No hellos,no nothing.

He is always like that.Commanding ,but with an understanding tone.

More people started coming and the place was filled.We are talking a lot of people.I didn’t know many of them to be honest.

‘Hey!

Hi!

Nice to see you again!

How’s the family?

You got the promotion?Great!’

The coffee was served and everyone was in the spirit of Christmas,getting up to date with each other’s life.

My uncle didn’t talk much.He was very careful with his words.

He is always nice and polite,with an amused smile on his face.

He stared everyone,observing them,when suddenly looked at me and said:

‘Aren’t we a bunch’ and he burst into laughing.

At this point,i have to say to my uncle is considered ‘weird’,’crazy’,but respected.

They admire him,yet mock him

They mock him,yet they are jealous of him

But we always listen to him.

As expected the conversations started drifting into politics.

A fiesta of blaming others for one’s misfortune(or impotence),negativity and virtue signaling.

‘Hey uncle,what do you think about all this’,my cousin said

‘His opinion doesn’t matter.He is well-off,can’t sympathize with us.He was lucky,isn’t that right uncle’,another hotheaded cousin.

‘You are correct.I am well-off and i was lucky.In the 80 years i’ve been working,i did occasionally find some dollars on the street’ and he laughed again.

‘Oh come on.Times have changed.Back then finding a job and making money was easy’

‘Times have changed,indeed.Same rules apply,though as always…’

‘So,how did you make it?’,my little nephew(not really) asked.

Now,i had listened to his story when i was little,but knew he wasn’t all that comfortable telling it.He knew most people would consider it boasting and would loath him.His words would go unrecognized.But i saw in his eyes,he felt bad for my cousin’s son,he wanted to help him,maybe steer him towards the right direction.Protect him from his average father and shelter him from a mediocre life,like he did with me.

So he started:

Part 2.

Random Thoughts #5

Well,it’s been a minute for sure.

While i have posted some content here,unfortunately i was not as active as i wanted.

It’s always busy around this time of year,so i didn’t have much time to write.

That’s not true.I did write.I didn’t publish.

I wrote a lot of material.Writer’s block is a big fat myth.

If you live your life freely,it’s inevitable that you will always have things to write about.It’s actually beautiful.

 

So,i am closing 5 months doing this.

Damn,is it fun!

I am so pumped about 2017,it’s ridiculous.

I feel like i have SO much to tell,i get overwhelmed sometimes about what i should write first.

I will just write,publish,repeat.

I over think shit way too much sometimes

 

Anyway.Blog is doing fine.In January the stats dropped in comparison to december(which was the best month),but that’s because i was inactive.

Still it was the second best month.

Stats are irrelevant of course.Content is what worths a damn.It’s fun seeing your site growing,though.

I am doing better than 99% of new bloggers(in terms of organic traffic).Douchey to say?Hell yeah it is.

But it’s true.

 

Ok i jerked my ego off enough.

I will be somewhat busy until the end of February,but nothing like January.Expect more posts.

 

That’s it folks!

 

 

 

 

 

The most misunderstood quote :The definition of Insanity

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result
– Albert Einstein

This quote is one of the most misunderstood ones to be reproduced over and over again.
You see it many times posted on Facebook,by average joes,virtue signaling how special and outside the norm they are.
They mostly want to describe a 9-5 for example.

14446203_1095012510567572_8794649873104266642_n.jpg

Meaning you should not wake up ,work ,come back and sleep(?)
Or maybe they want to describe the struggles,the sacrifices and how they challenge themselves everyday to succeed.
You get the gist.
It’s like every other motivational quote.
But this one can actually be dangerous.
It can confuse people into thinking repetition and healthy habits are bad and a free life is one where you just swing it everyday.
Hmm…let’s examine this further.
  • Did Albert(like Da Vinci) have a structured program?
  • Did he spend hours upon hours to study physics,math etc?
  • Did he have results?

 

Apparently yes.

So,why Albert said this:

 

It is not insanity if you repeat the same thing over and over again.It’s insanity if you want different results,but you don’t change your methods.

 

Again,this quotes wants to point out the fault in a certain process.

If you want a better life,you need to change things up.

That of course does not mean,that if you yield benefits and make progress,you are forced to change anything.

If it ain’t broken,don’t fix it.

Another one.

 

Of course we should not be afraid of change.Not at all.

We should evaluate our lives everyday,spot mistakes,problems and address them with courage and clarity.

There is nothing worse,than to be bound in a certain set of ways,to be so deep in your own self-delusion,that you cannot see reason.You cannot see what you are doing wrong.

But when you do find a system that works,your golden method,then you ought to stick with it.

Here is another quote,since we are on a roll:

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment”

-Zig Ziglar

 

It’s a variation of the famous latin proverb:Repetitio mater memoriae

Repetition is the mother of memory.

Or the more famous:Repetition is the mother of knowledge.

 

If you want to be good at something you have to do it everyday.

You must apply yourself.

If you want mastery,you need discipline.

Daily action is the secret.

 

Forge habits,then forge addiction.

Healthy addiction.

If you notice something you are good at or something works for you,obsess over it.

That’s how greatness comes.

 

To end with a visual quote,from one and only Arnold:

 

That’s it folks!

The 4-Stages of your working life.

I am sure you have a job.Maybe a 9-5 or a part-time or even better, you are your own boss.

Whatever you situations is,regardless your current financial status,you went through the 4-stages.

 

1)You started working part time.Got paid very little money,but it was enough.You could eat,drink and pay the bills,maybe one or two months late.You may or may not be behind your rent and you owe some debt to the banks.You often hop from job to job,trying to find the one that suits you best and your parents may aid you when things get a little difficult.You are not working your dream job,you work to survive.

 

2)Then you move up to the ‘ladder’ and you get a nice,secure job.A 9-5.You have a steady income,health insurance and benefits.You are on top of your bills,you don’t worry about rent or food.You have some savings and generally you live a comfortable life.Unless something very bad happens,you are ‘ok’ with your life.Your anxiety levels are low.You are satisfied.You work for stability.

 

Here is where the majority of people stay all their lives.The rest goes like this:

You spend 20-30 years in the same job,acquire a pension,while you have a savings account.Not a lot of money,but when you are 60+ years old you could retire and ‘live’ your life.

Maybe you got married and had kids,so most of the money will go to them.If you are frugal,you will make it.

The income bracket could be as high as low 6 figures.In comparison to the first stage,you could be making 10X more money.

What is it that got you from barely surviving to making that money?

The most important question though is,why most people won’t move up the ladder.

 

3)You worked you ass off,made connections and played the game.You got a big promotion.You keep grinding and you can see yourself on the top of the game.CEO,you even create your own buisness.You are self-employed.The sky is the limit.You work for success.Life is now your canvas.Opportunities are everywhere,you have enough wealth to do just about everything.You have fuck-all money and fuck-all attitude .Going from #2->#3 means that you could be making 500k and up or be financial independent.You live life on your own terms.

 

4)You basically have whatever you desire.The innate desire to make more money is hardly there.There is not really a motivation.You live an upgraded comfortable life.Just like you did at #2.Now you either stop or you work for greatness.You acquire a goal ,a vision ,a purpose bigger than yourself.Your art is just art.You don’t need to conform anymore.You are free.

 

Take for example Bill Gates.Although the guy is filthy rich and could spend his days at a beach in Hawaii,he grinds in order to tackle the major problems of the world.

Many artists keep making art for the sake of art.

Doctors still save lives even after they retire.

They don’t do it to survive or because they want to feel safe.They do it because they have this fire in them,the fire to keep moving forward.

It’s about providing value.

The more value you provide,the more value life gives back at you.

 

The question still stands.

How can you escape #2 and finish strong.

You don’t have to become a famous celebrity or a multi-billionaire.

You must create a vision.

Having goals is great and will help you immensely to be effective with your time and achieving tasks in the day-to-day life.

What is missing,is the big picture.

The ‘end goal’ if you wish.

This mental image/video should contain every minute,every second of your life.

The struggles,the highs,the people,the places,the smells,the feelings of your future life.

But most importantly,your vision contains your purpose.

The thing that is greater than you.It’s greater than life itself.

It’s the ultimatum,magnum opus that will transcend you to eternity.

  • Your doctor that saved your life has done it.
  • Your teacher that instills knowledge has done it.
  • A talented artist that inspires has done it.
  • A good man who comes home after 12-hour workdays and puts food on the table for his family,has done it.

Can you see a pattern?

Remember the more value you give,the more value life gives back.

All these people,help other people.

Maybe the secret to a happy life after all is helping others.

Yes,i believe that’s right.

After all,posthumous fame,hysterophimia, is not for the people with the nice car and the fancy lifestyle.

It’s reserved for the people who helped other.Even if you helped a handful of people,you will be remembered.

You see,we talked about money and mentioned that in order to ‘move’ between the stages(and fulfill your needs) there is a certain amount you need.

Notice the common denominator is independence.

Yes,you need to be independent both financially and spiritually.

If you are  not,you will cripple your life.

But how much money is enough?That’s for another time.

For now let’s recap:

Survival->Stabillity->Sucess->Greatness.

You can’t skip a step!

What’s your next step?

Get stability asap.

Yes,you heard me right.

Ignore the high energy,pumper self-help gurus that will tell you to go all in and it’s all or nothing.

In order to have a chance to be successful you have to be safe and comfortable.

In order to think clear and right,you must relieve yourself from any menial stress and worry.

If you worry about your bills,how are you gonna be able to think big and act even bigger?

You have to stand up before you can walk.

If you want to really help people in a big,meaningful way,you first have to be successful and independent.

Giving 1 dollar to a 100 beggars won’t make a difference.Giving 100 to 1,may.

Save it to have a  big impact,if you wish.

If you are serious about your life,for the year 2017,work for stability if you don’t have it.

Work a second or even a third job.No excuses in this case.

But you should aim to get out of there as soon as possible.

Fuel your money and your energy to a side business,while your mind is free.

Escalate and when you can live off your business,when you are self employed,then go all in.

Again,you must have a base,a foundation before you build a house.

 

There you go.The 4 stages of your working life.

Unless you were born rich,you will have to go through them.

Many people won’t realize it until they get to the other side.


 

Have a great 2017,full of joy.

Assume this year as the best year of your life!

Only 2018 will top it!

 

That’s it folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas,Merry Yule,Merry Saturnalia

My lengthy title is obnoxious to say the least.

The reign of Christianity over the western world made us forget what our traditions are.

Truth is,the birth of Jesus took place in April.The church moved the celebration on the 25th of December to replace the pagan celebration of Saturnalia,the coming of the Sun.

A Roman/Byzantine holiday.

And before that it was Kronia and Dionysia in Greece and Yule in Norway etc.

We just gave the night and the God we worship a different name,but we kept celebrating the holidays in a very similar way.

The christmas tree,the jingle bells,Santa Claus,red clothes etc.

So regardless what you believe or don’t,be proud of your ancient traditions and claim your heritage!

Spend time with your loved ones,have a drink and celebrate the winter!

Merry Christmas!

 

That’s it folks!