Four Things I Learned

Four Things I lived and learned on my Vacation in Greece

Statue of Alexander The Great in Thessaloniki, Greece

In September I had a beautiful, one-month long vacation in Greece, my home country. After an accident I had at the end of June, I used this time in Greece as therapy for my body and mind. I wanted to come back stronger and more focused on my goals in life. I did not write anything for the blog during that one month, but I still wrote down many things that I witnessed and experienced. Things that helped me understand life better and how to create a successful and happy life. Sometimes those things one already knows, but one has to witness them firsthand to copy and implement them into their own life. I will mention the four things I learned and lived in Greece. Some will be short as a reminder to myself to never forget, others I will spend more focus on.

God exists

The beauty of the nature, the special atmosphere in Greece and some special signs proved to me ultimately that God exists. The Christian faith is the one true faith and we can come to the truth through the Orthodox religion. I will not further elaborate on this because everyone has their own view on that topic. The opinions differ and it is of no value to argue the existence of God and through which religion one can recognize him. Whoever wants to believe, will believe.

Drastically change daily habits and routines

I learned this from my uncle in Greece who does everything at the same time every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, watching TV, showering, brushing teeth, shaving, all of that at the same time every day. My uncle served in the Greek military. We all know that the one thing that they learn in the military is to have discipline in your daily routines and get things done whenever there is the smallest amount of time to get them done.

Daily Routines

Daily routines are very important in everyday life. Creating daily routines and to-do lists will help manage our time better, and eventually help us save more time for the things we essentially enjoy doing the most. That is why we have to start with the tasks that have an anticipated amount of time to be finished. There are tasks that we know beforehand will take us approximately one hour, or two hours, or three hours. Reading a text and underlining the most important passages, vacuum cleaning, making a doctors appointment. Now there are tasks that we do not know how much they will take and they have to be pushed back to the end of our to-do list. Writing a blog post, fore example. We cannot really say how long it will take to finish a blog post. It may even take several hours a day for five days for the writer to be happy with the end result. That is why tasks that do not have an anticipated amount of time to be finished should not be the first tasks of the day because we will not be able to finish the other tasks on the list and that is when procrastinating comes into play. “I have been sitting here writing this blogpost for six hours, now I am too tired for more work, I will just do the rest tomorrow.”

Create smart daily routines. Order the tasks from least amount of time to finish to most amount of time to finish. The end of the list will contain the tasks with the unknown amount of time needed to be finished.

Morning Routine

Say to yourself first thing in the morning: today I shall meet people who are meddling, ungrateful, aggressive, treacherous, malicious, unsocial. {…} and I have reflected that the nature of the offender himself is akin to my own. Therefore I cannot be harmed by any of them {…}

Markus aurelius, meditations

The morning routine is essential for a peaceful and calibrated start into the day. The morning routine gives all the power to us. We can clean our mind and make it ready for the difficulties and stresses that will most probably appear in our day. How can we prepare ourselves for those difficulties? Meditating on our day and what it will probably have to offer us is one way of doing that. Imagine your day, like a movie playing in your mind. We mostly know how our day will go. In this play we should add irritations and how we are reacting to them in a calm way. Someone takes our right of way on our ride to work. We should accept it and calmly continue our ride and be happy that there was no accident. At work, the manager or a customer is impolite to us. So what? Stay calm and be polite. When we are impolite to somebody we often feel guilty when we think about it afterwards, so they will feel guilty about having been impolite to us. Continue meditating on your day up to the moment you come home, finish everything that needs to be done at home and start your evening routine.

Apart from meditating we can move and stretch our bodies a little bit. Maybe combine that with some music. A body that was lying in bed for (hopefully) 7-8 hours, needs some movement to get the blood flowing. The music will energize us mentally and psychologically.

Drinking coffee, juices or water and eating breakfast are also essential to a good morning routine.

Daily habits

Our daily habits make up the aesthetic of our everyday life. Daily habits are the foundation of a structured and aesthetically pleasing life and everything starts by making your bed in the morning, as Jordan B. Peterson and other intellectuals urge us to do. It is as simple as having already finished a task in the first minute of the day, even if we are not feeling like doing it.

The importance of daily habits got visible to me when I lived with my uncle for a week during my vacation in Greece. What really got to me was that every time he used some kind of crockery, plates or glasses he immediately washed them. Drinking one glass of water? Wash the glass directly afterwards. It will only stay there, used, with no particular use, just catching dust; until someone uses it to drink water again. During my student life I procrastinated this task every day. I ate breakfast and left my crockery in the sink to wash it in a couple of hours because university work is more important. That was my way of thinking. But it is not. Tasks of everyday life are the most important tasks that need to be finished right then and there. Making it a daily habit to tidy up and keep everything clean immediately will make our lives more structured and our homes more aesthetically pleasing. A place that we enjoy living in.

Quality time

Another thing that I learned is the importance of daily quality time. Quality time can be spent with others or our selves alone. A combination of both is important during the week. Quality time with friends and family is mostly done on the weekends and with ourselves alone during workdays. Nevertheless, one or the other needs to be done every day.

Quality time with friends and family is important for mental health. People get sick if they spend too much time on their own, without socializing on a regular basis. I have been guilty of that. Concentrating too much on my career, my writing, my workouts, my education and too little time on friends and family. Even though those other things were going well, I still felt like something was missing. Socialization. We do not consciously recognize it, but it leaves its marks in our psychological well being and our personality. Rarely say no to quality time.

Quality time with one’s self. I underestimated the quality, the worth of quality time with one’s own self. Being able to sit down, watch a movie/show or sports event, drink a beer or a glass of wine, read poetry and listen to classical music, or just read a book with only the presence of our own selves is the demonstration of a healthy and mature inner world. It is as important as quality time with friends and family. Enjoying quality time with one’s own self, indicates that we are spending the appropriate amount of quality time with others.

we do not need much for a happy life

The last thing that I not necessarily learned, but lived and recognized in Greece was that we do not need much for a happy life. Except for nutrition, shelter and clothes it is little that makes life worth living. A job, an occupation that we love doing, even if it pays us less money than a job that we would not enjoy doing. A small, but sufficient amount of good friends that we can spend quality time with regularly. Family, that gives us a feeling of belonging, no matter what happens. And at last, a good relationship with our self. Someone once told me, “if you want others to accept, love and want to spend time with you… you need to first accept, love and want to spend time with yourself.”

Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat

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