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Happiness in life. Do it your way.

Happiness in life won`t come with money. Do it your way. 

My experiences may help one of you to make the right decision and find happiness in life. I will talk a lot for myself but don`t rush to conclude that i am a stuffed shirt.

It`s been a while since the last time i wrote something here. I have been busy, nervous, confused. But it`s all gone now. Looking back to my life i realise one thing. I should by a very  grateful person because i have happiness in life. I realise that going into forties – i am exactly forty years old – i have made my craziest dreams come true.

Ok I am broke but who cares about money after all!

Our existence is much more valuable than money hunting. Our soul is too strong to lock it up with materials and small thinking. Think big, think divine!

Not all hours of the day can be creative and spiritual. But when the unique moment comes, grab it. Don`t let it pass no matter what.

My best scores up to now:

Rock and Roll!

When i was a kid, i was looking at the rock idols such Scorpions, Bruce Springsteen, Deep Purple, Guns and Roses, U2 and i felt i could be one of them. It would be great to become a rock star. So i bought a guitar and start writing my songs. What more natural than that for a fourteen years old guy! The journey in music had just began. The first step to bring me happiness in life was achieved.

Creating music is like making love with the person of your dreams. And even more. When i recorded my first song could n`t sleep for several nights. I only wanted to make my song better. I played it to friends and listened to their opinions. Year by year i was becoming better. At my eighteen i had already played to 3 bands, recorded several good songs, played on TV and radio and jammed to several stages playing from very hard rock to ethnic. And there was the black period of drugs. Not hard drugs but frequently enough to make your brain numb. “Comfortably numb”… Guys don`t use that shit. Drugs won`t bring happiness instead they will destroy all your creative thinking and make you feel like someone you are not.

We got very close to sign a contract but we kicked it. Chances don`t come every day in life. You must be ready to take advantage of it when it comes.

Anyway, i gathered a lot of experience and fun, i saw the good and the bad side of publicity in my small cycle of people, girlfriends etc. and i am sure that if i had gone the rock way i would be a destroyed creep now spending money on drugs and fucking every conceited bitch out there.

Web Design!

Somewhere between the rock fantasy and the after army hard landing to reality i met my woman. Crazier than myself, she made feel i was the best music talent of the century. After a period of serious self experimenting in music and mature song writing and recording i realised that i did n`t want to make music my job. I would n`t sacrifice something so pure for the shake of money. Not me.

So i learned how to design for the web. Don`t ask how, i was computer freak since my thirteen. Commodore, Amiga, first multimedia PCs etc. And then i got a job. Web design and multimedia was a job i was happy to do, i did n`t have to sacrifice anything and i had fun with it. Actually i still make a living out of it.

Independence!

One day i got crazy! I decided to run free and make my own web services company. That is to say “insert.gr”. More self employed kind of business, i worked with the best in my country and some quite serious around the world and i managed to make a descent living. And then family comes. This was the second most important step to bring me closer to happiness in life.

Family!

This surely brought me happiness in life.
Two wonderful boys and two lovely little girls is the best payment in my boring life. This is my wealth and my legacy. We will make it through no matter what.

And one thing is sure, money will not make us happier and won`t make us better persons.

My own arcade game!

I managed to create an iOs game. A quite successful game according to global press and the experienced gamers out there. During its development with my “Legal Radiation” partner i had the best days of my life. It was a dream come true and when we ended and sent it on the app store, i must admit it was better that jamming!

Did it make me rich? Absolutely not. But it made me feel blessed that i managed to live this exciting experience. By the way, search this on google: “develop succesful ios game” and see what is in the first place! Such google results bring real happiness in life!

Super Company!

Then Zen Group arrived. Together with some very interested and talented guys we decided to create a technological company and make some serious money. We had the appropriate receipt to achieve it. After some great deals with the elite of Greek companies and abroad, top notch offices in the most expensive business area of Athens and future brighter than the sun, i got crazy once again and had to run away from the chains… once again. I left the company, gave away all my shares just to breath again in my own way of breathing.

From scratch!

And now again i live inside a dream! My wife had this weird idea to design clothing for burly women. Happy Monday Fashion  “Ρούχα για εύσωμες”. She created a quite impressive collection and i created an e-shop for her to sell the products. Then i started to communicate it and spread the word from within the web. And it goes well. Better than expected!

And i wonder. Am i a successful human being? Do i have happiness in life? Broke or not, i have conquered castles that other people can`t even dream of. I am full of happiness in life and my experiences are more than enough already. Sure i need to make some money to raise my kids with dignity but money making was never my main target. I won`t miss them and they will definitely not miss me.

My advice if a can give one to younger people is to always go after their dreams. Don`t live other people`s wishes but hunt down yours. Life is too simple to make it complicated and compulsive. Doing it their way equals problems. DO it your way equals happiness. As long as you hunt the money it will run away from you. When you start living your life doing things you love, money will follow. You may never become rich and famous but who cares if you breath deep and clear.

P.S.

i write a fiction nowadays. This was one of the things i never had the time to do. Luckily some day i will finish it. It may become Harry Potter it may become a novel that will be read from ten people. WHO THE FUCK CARES! The matter is that in this journey i will live inside a world of fantasy and adventure where every character will do it my way! And this i will bring with me forever. And this is what i call happiness in life.

Image makers achieving miracles

When you start a career, the key element for your success is to prove that you are a phenomenon. Or at least that you are better than the rest. There are two routes to follow.
The road of virtue (that is to say be the best and let the others know about it) or the easy (and expensive) way: Personal marketing / image building by professionals. If you are very good, you may have a chance (i question this but i must leave a small crack of hope for the dreamers) some time in your life, but if not then you need an image maker and plenty of money to prepare the world for your uniqueness.

Lets take a theoretical example and add some humor in it so we don`t get bored.
Lets say you are a new knife thrower.
You must let the universe know that you are accurate and steady, your view is better than the eagle`s, you are healthy and you don`t drink or smoke.
That is to say build an image of a super hero of knives. That`s the easy part.
Stories about your father that was a hitman of the CIA during the cold war and your mother (half American half Japanese), daughter of a legendary Samurai and swords constructor see the light of publicity. As a kid you were lonely but strong and trusty, a mystery for schoolmates and teachers until you entered Army and disapeared for several years while rumors of a young American, expert with blades say that murdered the son of Bin Laden and his 12 special trained bodyguards.

Then you must create a sexy legend around your name like saving a girl from a certain cobra bite and ofcourse you married her after that (the girl, not the cobra), but she divorced you when she found out that you were in a secret relationship with Jeni Lo who couldn`t sleep without your presence as her no1 bodyguard and could n`t avoid falling in love with you in the end and so on.

Who will invent all the scenary, move the strings and pay the bills for you?
That`s right. The image maker.
He is more expensive than the best lawyer (he might be one though), more unknown than yourself (though he might have houses in London, Miami, Bora Bora and Tokyo) and he knows who to call and when. If he is not a fraud, the more money you give the more reputation you are going to earn. You will wake up and see yourself covering the Time Mag as “the Knife thrower of the century”, or top story at the People magazine as “the dangerous man that threw a knife at Britney`s heart”. Everything is possible if someone pays. And that someone is you.

Noone will care if you don`t even know how to cut your steak with a knife as long as some celebrities claim that wathced your private dangerous shows and still can`t forget that glow of your eyes and your sharp glipmse while you threw the knives one by one around the juicy body of Monica Bellucci as you were cutting one by one the fabricks that connected her nudity with her underwears.

Exaggeration you might say.
Just look around you and count those that matter and those that don`t. If you conclude that the useless but well known are hundreds while the real valuable people are some dozens do the math. They are treated by pros and here they are. Earning thousands of dollars every day doing nothing, producting nothing but gossips, selling nothing.
Of course the same image makers treat presidents, artists, terrorists etc.
It`s all about the image, about the power on the public opinion, about the money.

If you wish to create a legend around your name as the most deadly knife thrower ever, here is a start offered by me for free. Your first hit stabing a wasp 20 meters away. Pay a large scale blog to publish and there you are. So simple.

Olympians against racism

Every once and a while something happens to remind the world that some people treat bad to other races (racism) while others are sensitive and caring (?).

An incident that happened to a young female athlete from Greece during the Olympic Games offered me food for thought.

It goes like this:
This summer in Greece we had some cases with the mosquito of West Nile virus. So you may say that this fact itself generates news (and exaggerations), gossip, tweets. And the  23-year-old committed an inelegant tweet.
She wrote:

“With so many Africans living in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes must feel like dining at home”.

The result of this tweet was the expulsion of the athlete from the Olympic team by the Greek committee because “she showed no respect for the basic Olympian value“.

If we face this as a unique incident i will say that personally i am against the expulsion of the athlete. I believe that the racist in this case is not the athlete but the decision of the expulsion itself. If the West Nile was located in Sweden and the comment was about the Swedish, not even a nostril wood bleed as they say in my country.
That is to say no committee would punish the athlete for racism.
We are trained to face Africans like aliens and when someone happens to speak with some kind of humor about the “black” color, every sensitive organization plays chess with impressive press releases.

A friend on twitter, with tones of humor, tweeted after the incident: “With so many Romanians in Greece, the vampires will feel like dining at home“.
That`s how we should face the doomed tweet. As a pure joke.

THE BACKSTAGE STORY:

Ok. We are used to committees behaviors like this.
But what about the twitter community?
Web is supposed to be a healthy and democratic environment where racism and violence have no place. Something looks strange here.
I have searched and think i found it.

500.000 among about 5.500.000 Greek voters supported the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party (Chrisi Avgi) and they entered the parliament for the first time in their history. The Olympic committee chief leads a left-winged party so he and his team had an “official” chance to express their feelings – and the feelings of a large part of the Greeks i must say- against Nazism and racism and be heard outside the country. The athlete has shown support to the specific extreme party with recent  tweets so the social community knows better of her political beliefs.

I conclude with this as a verdict:
It does n`t matter what someone says but who says it. You can share jokes for Africans, Chinese or Greeks unless you are a fascist, even if you don`t always have offending purposes. Then your opinions adopts racist perfume.

My advice: Keep your political beliefs inside your head, especially if you are a “celebrity” because you never know the time they will get back at you. The athlete paid a heavy price of supporting fascists even if she has no idea what fascism means. She is a 23-year-old Olympic (blonde) athlete that just executed her dream. The Olympic games.

 

Branding like living

What is branding? And how it hooks up with living?

I will tell you a true story.
I have a country house in a lovely island in Greece. I use it to spend summer holidays with my family. The house is near the sea and it is surrounded by a beautiful rich forest. The perfect place to escape city stress .

So, in a place like this, a normal guy would go swimming, climbing, easy living as long as he had the time to enjoy staying in Paradise. Not branding. But branding is actually living.

It was about 3 years ago, that i needed a name for a blog i was going to start with some friends. My brain was a mess. I hated every idea i heard or thought of.
One morning i woke up from the yelling of my wife. She shouted “O gosh, there are ants inside the sugar pot“. My first response was to shout back and say “C`mon, they won`t kill you. Just throw the bloody sugar and you will get rid of them!
That was it. I came up with a cool brand name for our news blog.
ANTS IN THE SUGAR “annoying but not deadly”. Just like writing the truth in a blog site. It will annoy some people but writing never killed anyone. You want to make people think, disagree, or even get annoyed by an article you write but you don`t want to hurt anyone. And you make this statement inside the title of your blog.

You don`t have to squeeze your brains to come up with a great idea. The idea will find you at the right moment. Whether on vacation, or in the toilet, riding your bike or having sex. The best things in life come when we don`t expect them. So act natural and you`ll be OK.
I am sure you would expect more blah blah for a such important subject as finding a perfect brand name but after reading tones of articles, that`s my true personal opinion.
Read a tone or just do it (like Nike says – and Nike knows!)

I will come with more examples. I must go swimming now and come with some ideas :)

Greece survival benefits world

This post will prove that Greece’s survival from crisis will benefit the whole world.
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Poem about redefining our purpose

A Poem about redefining our purpose

August 2008. North Evoia Island, Greece. 01:30

 

Or am I at fault for living so wrong?

Clear Sky.
Smooth dew takes the place of an intolerable hot and tough day.
A tiny cricket sings close enough to be heard but far enough not to get annoying.
Every time I raise my eyes to the sky staring, I am rewarded as I witness the tail of a falling star slowly fading in the atmosphere.

“I am rewarded”…
As if it were owed to me.
As if it were owed to us.
How giving Nature is.
How tiny and greedy are we.
How much so generously are we given and how much more do we demand.
But we will leave… Vainglorious, tiny, tainted.
But She will remain. Glorious, giving and forgiving.

What if we were living simple?
What if we were simply living?
Might our evolution be accompanied by a negative sign?

I cannot help but ask myself once again…
Is it the suns fault that burns me? Or should I blame myself for wanting wealth, industry and greed?
Is it the rains fault that now I am drowning? Or should I blame myself for burning the wood?
Is it the fault of the end that’s near? Or am I at fault for living so wrong?

Photo credits: vicky [blur.gr].
Black & white film natural shots no digital manipulation included. Self printed.
Theme: A small village by the sea, in (North) Evoia island in Greece.
Best friends true moments. 

——————————————————————————————————

Original script in Greek:

 

Αύγουστος 2008. Βόρεια Εύβοια. 01:30

Ξαστεριά.
Δρόσισε επιτέλους ύστερα από την αφόρητη ζέστη μιας ιδιαίτερα δύσκολης μέρας.
Ένα τριζόνι, αρκετά κοντά ώστε να ακούγεται αλλά αρκετά μακρυά ώστε να μην είναι ενοχλητικό.
Κάθε φορά που σηκώνω τα μάτια μου στον ουρανό και τα κρατάω εκεί για λίγο, αποζημιώνομαι με την φωτισμένη ουρά κάποιου διάτοντα αστέρα που σβήνει απαλά έξω από την ατμόσφαιρα.

“Αποζημιώνομαι”…
Λες και μου το χρώσταγε.
Λες και μας το χρώσταγε.
Πόσο απλόχερη είναι η Φύση.
Πόσο μικροί και αχόρταγοι εμείς.
Πόσα σε αυθονία μας χαρίζονται και πόσα ακόμα απαιτούμε.
Εμείς όμως θα φύγουμε… Ματαιόδοξοι, μικροί, αγκαθωτοί.
Αλλά Αυτή θα μείνει. Μεγαλόπρεπη, απλόχερη, συγχωρητική.

Κι αν ζούσαμε πιο απλά ?
Κι αν απλά ζούσαμε ?
Μήπως η εξέλιξή μας έχει αρνητικό πρόσημο ?

Και δεν μπορώ παρά να αναρωτηθώ ξανά…
Φταίει ο ήλιος που με καίει ? Ή φταίω εγώ που ήθελα πλούτη, βιομηχανία, απληστία ?
Φταίει η βροχή που τώρα με πνίγει ? Ή φταίω εγώ που έκαψα το δάσος ?
Φταίει το τέλος που θα έρθει? Ή φταίω εγώ που έζησα λάθος ?

This is the actual place [ Europe / Greece / North Evoia island ] the pictures were taken and these thoughts were written:


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Game Design Document in public

An original Game Design Document in public.

Usually developers don`t expose their Game Design Document ideas and keep it sealed until some fund finally involves. Anyway, we act different.

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Original greek salad recipe

I introduce you the most known Greek appetizer and one of the most famous summer delicacy around the world. The original recipe of the ancient, divine, tasteful, one and only Greek Salad. The Original greek salad recipe.
A simple and inexpensive healthy dish for your family and friends.

Warning
Don’t eat this salad in the winter. You spoil the mood! And the tomatoes and cucumbers are not winter vegetables. Eat every food at its season.

I have seen many online “Original greek salad recipes” but none was the original.
The one you eat in Greek houses within Greece.
The best, the original (not chef mush), the special salad that you want a tone of fresh bread to dive into.

You will need.
– A half cup of tea virgin olive oil.
Any top quality Mediterranean olive oil will do but the best is from a city called Kalamata very close to Sparta. So special you can actually drink it!
– 6 to 10 olives (same quality as your oil – I suggest “throumba” kind of olives).
– 2 organic tomatoes (in Greek “ntomates”)
– 1 organic cucumber (in Greek “agouri”)
– The half of a fresh green pepper  (in Greek “pipergia”)
– A brave piece of feta cheese.
– An onion (find one that is a bit sweet, not very intense at its smell and taste)
– About a large spoon of grated oregano (fresh or dry). In Greek it is called “rigani”.
– Some salt (not much, less than a small spoon)

The best products you use the best salad you will create.

Wash the vegetables perfectly.
Cut the tomatoes into vertical slices. Not very thin, not very thick. About the thickness of a man’s finger.
Cut the cucumber in slices. Thick as half a man’s finger.
Cut the onion to washers or slices. Whatever.
Put everything in a deep plate including the vegetables, the salt and most of the oil.
Mix very gently. Don’t destroy the vegetables!
Put the piece of the cheese above everything.
Throw the rest of the oil on the feta cheese.
Put the olives around the plate (inside the plate though).
With your three fingers, rub the oregano on the salad.

There you are. Eat it fresh. Or drop it. Don’t keep it in the freeze. It gets wasted.
You made for you and your company a perfect original Greek salad.
Directly from Mykonos island straight to your table.
Accompany it with fresh bread or quality rusk.
And a good “ouzo” or Cretan “raki” or Thessaly “tsipouro” for drink.

Feel free to experiment with quantities and find what suits you.
Practice makes perfect.
Enjoy and let me know if you liked it!

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How i managed to quit smoking

How I managed to quit smoking watching a TV show.

First things first. 39YKR38Z49YJ
I don’t promote or support with any means the show man / mentalist / or whatever his job is / mentioned in this post. I am not a fun or a follower.
But I feel I ought big thanks because he helped me. I don’t care how he managed to do it, or if I did it myself. The fact is that before his show ended, I had quit smoking for good.
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Create non ordinary greetings Christmas card

I wanted to create non ordinary greetings Christmas card to send to my clients and friends.
I needed this card to make a statement.
Not just another funny print but a card with a deeper meaning.

So I decided to include a message about the protection of the environment.
Actually I wanted to mention that sending printed cards is a bad thing to do.
It is surreal to send wishes written / printed on a piece of a dead tree.
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