I want my daughter to be a doctor. She is smart and loves people. No, on a second thought she would better as a lawyer. I am so happy for my kids. They are already professionals and earn lots of money (but they don’t know how much money they have spent on underressant pills). Then I look at the kids’ faces with a weird face and start thinking again: “Don’t I prefer she becomes a doctor?” I don’t care if l earn millions of dollars. Funny thing, but deep inside she started believing that she wanted to be a doctor. Then my daughter grows up, she is a doctor because someone else decided for that and in this case, I am the one who planted this idea in her head. Then at the age of 45, she realizes she is not happy, she feels drained and tired and spends money to doctors in order to get over her depression. The question that arises is: How can we know if our expectations are our own expectations? If our expectations were not planted in our minds? We grow up, tending to believe what other people are saying and we fight for years against ourselves in order to break through that and be able to get to know our real self. Expectations! A great and important word these days. Everybody have great expectations and we run after success in order to reach our final destination: Happiness. As I have written in previous articles, many times I was trying to understand how our mind works, what success is and how we can control time. Well, speaking of success and happiness in this article, I realize daily that it has a lot of faces. Yesterday, we were having a coffee with a friend in a traditional Cypriot coffee shop in a village, always visit these places when I return from New York. It was so peaceful, tourists were visiting the castle next to us, birds were singing, sun was warming our face and it suddenly hit us! That was paradise, that moment we had everything! That moment was a successful, happy moment. We were in a great scenery, feeling peaceful and talking with a bright young woman about religion, politics, geopolitics, money and success! After many hours of thinking, I concluded that most of us are chasing something, and on the way to get there we forget why we have started at the first place. We don’t enjoy the process, we just want to get the result. Is the result the most important though? I remember myself getting always what I wanted and even if this sounds too much, it’s the total truth. I am a go getter, so when I say I will have it or I will win, it just happens because I want it and I work on it until I get it. It’s just like a game and I like to win. But the funny thing is that after winning, I wasn’t just resting there. I wanted to move on and get my next target. Does this ever stop? Is this the success game? Is this my journey? Is this YOUR journey? What are we looking for? Take for example that little lady who became a doctor. She wanted to be the best doctor, but is it what she really wanted? Or was it just something that was “planted” in her head? When we reach the moment we are truthful to our inner self and realize our true expectations based on our true intentions, then this is what I call SUCCESS! When I was a kid, I was studying hard for a test. I got 17, but it felt like I won a big prize. I was so tired from all the effort and then my Mum said: “Well done, but I am sure you could do better if you were trying more”. Well that was the “planted” success in my head. Now at the age of 40, I’m still trying to investigate the form of success that leads to happiness, based on talks I have done with many people and my own personal experiences on the way of finding my own success! My friend yesterday asked me (since she already knows my go getter phase and the numerous struggles I had in my life): “You are working hard for years, you have succeeded so many things in your life but which is your biggest success until now? Are you feeling happy?” I looked at her smile, took a sip from my Cypriot coffee and asked her what she thinks I have succeeded in so many years. She said: “First of all, you have survived your health issues, you are ALIVE and many other things… Yet I’m asking you, what was the most important achievement?” It took me 10 minutes to think about it…. I must admit that in order to decide, I tried to think which moment made me feel really happy. The words of a client came in my mind: “Thank you Nadia, you made me want to live again, I don’t feel desperate anymore….” And the next second, the faces of Elias and Ellie came in my mind and moments that the three of us were playing games and laughing. Does this sound cliché to you? My kids were my success. I can’t give you a perfect description on how I feel when I assist other people to feel good with themselves and keep moving forward, when they achieve their goals, or how I feel when I’m the reason that puts a smile on children’s face. Or the feeling I get when I see other kids smiling because I was lucky enough to meet them and work with them. I didn’t thought at all my house, clothes, boats, or ANY other materials. That was my realization this summer. This is where Meliselli Foundation’s mission is based as well: To make people happy, motivated, living an organic life, feel relieved and accept who they really are, without chasing the perfection based on others point of view. Then I think about expectations. Are my expectations MY truly expectations or were they “planted” there as well just like the example of the 17 grade I got when I was a kid? How many times have you tried to define what is happiness? Well, the first step is to reflect and be aware of our truly expectations from our self and then we build on that. But we need to be honest and brave. Be brave and go after your expectations but make sure they are YOURS. ONLY then you will feel truly happy. That was my breakthrough, when I realized and embraced my own real expectations. Simply because my life is no one else’s business but mine. I run after my dreams and I like winning, as long as I win my OWN REAL GOALS, not my parents goals or the society’s goals., that should be our own path.

Nadia Themis