In ancient Greece people believed that you have to care for the 3 most important self the Body, the Mind and the Soul. What are your daily habits to support and evolve yourself?
I was listening to my father saying this ancient Greek quote “νους υγιής εν σώματί υγιεί” since I remember myself, which means “retain a healthy mind in a healthy body”. The most difficult thing in life in my opinion is to own the self-discipline in order to sustain the balance between what your heart and mind wants. I failed in this during my early 20s but throughout significant events I learned to evaluate my mental health more than anything else in everyday life. The most important lesson I received at this age is that you can do literally nothing if your mind is not in a healthy state. Therefore, you need to take good care of your body to prepare for the surprises – both good and bad – that life holds for you. Waking up and having a healthy breakfast is the first thing I do in order to keep my body fueled; as ancient Greeks used to say “in the morning eat like a king”. After breakfast I always read 10-20 pages of a book with a psychological content. This helps me organize things in my mind in order to focus on my daily goals that will keep me sharp and happy. Afterwards, I take my daily cross-fit workout, which keeps my body healthy and simultaneously strengthens my state of mind. It is scientifically proven that during workout the body produces endorphins and serotonin, which make you feel euphoria and help you see things from an optimistic perspective, thus making it easier to take the right decisions for your own good – always starting with “baby steps”. Imagine visiting a place that you love and makes you happy; isn’t everything much clearer then in order to take the right decision for your well-being? When I return at home I cook my lunch and my dinner, then I work on some projects that I am into and I usually hang out with friends after that. An alternative includes reading my book, watching a movie or trying to make plans for the next day/week/month in order to have a schedule, since I am the type of person that works better under healthy pressure. To conclude my response to this question, I think every person should be proud of themselves for trying to live their lives in the best possible way. It’s also OK if things do not work out that well, because every failure offers people a lesson for their next attempt to succeed and gain inner peace. In the end, this is the “holy grail” of human existence in my opinion: finding yourself in every turn of life – good or bad – without losing your integrity during the pursuit of happiness. As Kleovoulos, one of the Seven Sages of ancient Greece, used to say ‘’μέτρον άριστον’’, meaning “find the golden mean in anything, avoiding extremities”.
Do you believe people can change? Change their habits, physical appearance … what it takes?
I do not believe that people’s character can change, although they can adapt to what life holds for them. Taking this into consideration, we all have the potential to adapt and become the best version of ourselves. The harder life hits you, the stronger you become and the only skill necessary is to believe in yourself and have the courage to embrace changes.
What’s your favorite person of all times? Why he/she inspires you?
I do not have a favorite person to look up to, although I admire people that fall and get back up stronger than before. I will quote my father again (maybe I look up to him sometimes), who keeps saying that “if you fall ten times, you must get back on your feet eleven”.
Any causes you support? How people can help others?
It depends on what difference you would like to see in the world and how you would like to support people making that difference. What does really bother you? Environmental issues, poor access to education, children’s health, violation of human rights, treatment of the elderly, mental healthcare, women’s rights? My way of providing help is to support each and every person that would feel the need to talk to someone or requires someone to understand them, i.e. for mental health issues. I can spend hours having a conversation with people trying to overcome their psychological problems either minor like a breakup or major such as a huge episode of mental breakdown for example. When someone is sharing with me this kind of traumatic experience I feel like they are allowing me into the most sacred part of themselves. It requires vulnerability to have such conversations with a third party, vulnerability is the essence of connection and connection is the essence of existence. How would I not want to be part of this?
Have you changed your daily habits to support the environment?
I believe that I have made a minor change and this refers to discerning my garbage.
Are you currently in a relationship? What do you value in a person?
I think that I will never be in a relationship with someone else apart from myself. Throughout my health problem I really evaluated some things and reached this conclusion. It might sound selfish but it really is more than that. All my life I was afraid that people would vanish into time, either as part of a friendly or a love relationship. Unfortunately, I cannot change this perspective of mine, so in order to balance this fear I prefer having a real connection with someone by locating the most vulnerable part of their heart, understanding it and then offering first a piece of mine for the other person to express themselves more easily. Such connections forge moments that will always be remembered as special by both parts. If our will binds with destiny, together we may move on as partners in what is called life.
Favorite movies, books or music?
I have not seen many movies in my life in order to have a bigger picture but the first two that I can think of are ‘’Green Street Hooligans’’ and ‘’Dear John’’. Both movies have a deeper message to pass to the viewer. Regarding my favorite book now, it is a really deep one of complex psychological style called ‘’Askitiki’’ by Nikos Kazantzakis. To be honest, I have not read the whole book but every time I get back to it is like teleporting to another dimension of a world that we should live in. It provokes so many mixed feelings that in the end it makes the reader re-think whether they are the person they want to be or some other self of theirs.
Which are you passions in life?
My greatest passion is to exercise my body and mind. Training my body was my passion since I was a kid, as I was swimming literally day and night in order to reach my goals. My hard training was rewarded in the form of a gold medal back in 2008, when I won the National Champion in 400m freestyle. While getting older and wiser, I am strongly oriented towards working on a field that I am passionate for, making my parents proud through my happiness, finding someone who I deeply connect with, living a healthy life full of the best experiences and the most important, getting old with lots of memories.
What makes you happy?
Being surrounded by people that love me makes me feel comfortable. This feeling offers me that simply the greatest joy of all.
How covid19 did change you? Daily life, life perspective, priorities …
I can certainly say that the covid-19 pandemic has not affected significantly my daily routine. My everyday life still moves along the lines described in response number 1 above, more or less.