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Alex Pattakos
A proud Greek-American (of Cretan heritage), Alex Pattakos Ph.D., has been described as a “Modern-Day Greek Philosopher” and "Philosopher of Meaning." Also affectionately nicknamed "Dr. Meaning," he is focused on bringing meaning to work, the workplace, and into everyday life. A former president of Renaissance Business Associates, an international nonprofit association of people committed to elevating the human spirit in the workplace, he is the author of the international best-selling book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, currently available in 22 languages. Prisoners of Our Thoughts is based on the wisdom of his mentor, the world-renown psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl, who personally urged him to write it. A U.S Army veteran with expertise in both Political Science and Psychology, Alex has been privileged to have worked internationally with all levels of government, including service to the White House under three Presidents in the United States. Dr. Pattakos is the co-founder (with Elaine Dundon) of the GLOBAL MEANING INSTITUTE and co-creator of The OPA! Way®, a new paradigm, lifestyle brand, and formula for discovering Meaning inspired by Greek philosophy, mythology, and culture. In this connection, Alex and Elaine are the co-authors of a new, award-winning book, The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work, the first Greek-inspired "self-help" book. Released in English in hardcover, digital, and audiobook formats, The OPA! Way also will soon be released in the Greek language by Hestia (ΕΣΤΙΑ) Publishers & Booksellers, the oldest (1885) and most respected publisher in Greece!

Elaine Dundon, Philosopher of Meaning, is the co-founder of the GLOBAL MEANING INSTITUTE and co-creator of The OPA! Way®, a new paradigm, lifestyle brand, and formula for "Living & Working with Meaning" that is uniquely inspired by Greek philosophy, mythology, and culture. Following the completion of her MBA degree, Elaine spent 13 years in Brand Management, including at Procter & Gamble. Expanding her interest to Innovation Management, Elaine founded The Innovation Group Consulting Inc. (1996), designed and taught a groundbreaking course on Innovation Management at the University of Toronto (2000+), and authored an international best-selling book, The Seeds of Innovation. As her work in Innovation Management evolved, her focus shifted to the "Human Side of Innovation" and specifically, Meaning, which her experience and research have shown is the key source of success. Now in her role as Philosopher of Meaning at the GLOBAL MEANING INSTITUTE and co-author of The OPA! Way*, Elaine is leading the Meaning Movement and helping others truly "Live & Work with Joy & Meaning."

*The OPA! Way® is a unique mindset, lifestyle, and practical system for “Living & Working with Joy & Meaning.” It builds on the wisdom of Greek philosophy, mythology & traditional village life, along with the authors’ extensive experience in the emerging topic of Meaning. The OPA! Way is now available worldwide in hardcover, digital/ebook, and audiobook formats from your favorite bookseller.

For more information about the GLOBAL MEANING INSTITUTE and The OPA! Way®, visit:, as well as follow us on Twitter @TheOPAWay and "like" us on Facebook

Entries by Alex Pattakos

OPA! 'Swing Away' at Life!

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 3:53 PM

"The meaning of it all is that there is no meaning," said the golfer Walter Hagen in the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance. We quoted this line in our book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, because we believe just the opposite: The meaning of it all is that...

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Reject Rejection

(4) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 8:06 AM

One of the key elements of living a meaningful life, or as we call it, The OPA! Way life, is learning to be resilient. And one of the key elements of being resilient, as well as of building resilience, is knowing how to deal with rejection.

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Everybody Say 'OPA!'

(6) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Perhaps it is a "sign of the times," but more and more people have been telling us that they feel stressed, disengaged, disconnected, unfulfilled, fearful, and overwhelmed with too much to do. Sadly, in increasing numbers they've revealed to us that they want to feel inspired, and that they want...

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Boston Strong: The Athens of America

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 12:54 PM

The first shot fired by the patriots on the Concord North Bridge near Boston, Mass., in 1775 has been described as the "shot heard 'round the world" and the beginning of the American Revolution. This historic event also represents the birth of a fledgling Nnation, one driven soundly by the...

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Disarming America's Gun Culture

(28) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 12:21 PM

The horrific massacre of 26 people, including 20 young children, inside a Connecticut elementary school was an act so evil, so vile, so unconscionable, and so shocking, that it is hard to believe it could have happened. Coming less than two weeks before Christmas, the rampage is one of the...

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Revisiting the Meaning of the Statue of Responsibility

(2) Comments | Posted November 4, 2012 | 7:58 PM

Years ago, the world-renowned Viennese psychiatrist Viktor Frankl warned that "freedom threatens to degenerate into mere license and arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness." And while Dr. Frankl enjoyed his time spent in America and admired much about it, he was not shy about criticizing the popular...

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Government Service as a Noble Calling

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 4:33 PM

The deaths of four Americans -- U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and computer expert Sean Smith -- in the recent terrorist attack on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya, revealed that government service is not something that should be taken lightly. Yet,...

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Life and the Labyrinth of Meaning

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 7:30 AM

A labyrinth is not a maze or a puzzle to be solved but a path of meaning to be experienced. Its path is circular and convoluted, but it has no dead ends. A labyrinth has one entrance -- one way in and one way out. When we walk the path,...

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Rediscovering the Soul of Greece

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 7:45 AM

I recently returned from Las Vegas, Nevada, where I had been invited to speak on a panel, "Is Reorganization of the State the Answer to the Greek Crisis?" at an international conference for public administrators. Because of my longstanding work in both the fields of innovation and meaning I decided...

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'Opa!' We Are All Greek!

(2) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 9:27 AM

We bet most readers recall the 2002 sleeper hit film, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," written by and starring Nia Vardalos. The movie centered on Fotoula "Toula" Portokalou, a middle-class Greek American woman going through an early mid-life crisis because she had not yet married. As the story goes, Toula...

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'Opa!' Why Forgiveness is Good for Your Health

(5) Comments | Posted July 8, 2011 | 8:00 AM

One evening in Greece, over mezedes (appetizers) and, of course, red wine, we got into a conversation with several friends about the meaning of forgiveness and its effect on our attitude toward life (the "A" in The OPA! Way), lifestyle and overall state of well-being. After much-spirited conversation,...

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'Opa!' Celebrating CNN Sportscaster Nick Charles

(2) Comments | Posted July 1, 2011 | 8:38 AM

"The Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy but where are they."
--King Agis of Sparta, as quoted in Plutarch's Sayings of Spartans<

One of our dear friends and Santa Fe neighbors passed on this past week. Fellow Greek American, Nicholas Charles Nickeas, or "Nick...

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'Opa!' The Cathartic Value of Greek Dance

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2011 | 9:17 AM

In one of the most memorable and meaningful scenes from the Academy Award-winning movie, Zorba the Greek, the title character, Alexis Zorba, (played by Anthony Quinn), is asked by his uptight, existentially-challenged boss, Basil (played by Alan Bates) to teach him how to dance after their mining venture literally collapses...

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'Opa! Day' Celebrating All Things Greek!

(9) Comments | Posted June 17, 2011 | 9:33 AM

Every September 15th is OPA! Day.

As we thought about the Irish having an international holiday marking St. Patrick's Day on March 17th, we asked ourselves: "what day do we celebrate all the contributions of the Greek culture?" Yes, there's Independence Day on March 25th marking the day that...

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Opa! Why We Should Retire Retirement

(28) Comments | Posted June 10, 2011 | 8:18 AM

Retirement is a hot topic these days in just about every country! It is interesting to note that the idea of retirement as we now know it is of recent origin; it was only introduced during the 19th century. Maybe it's now time to reconsider our thoughts about retirement given...

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'Opa!' The Echo of Life!

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 9:00 AM

It was a typical sunny day on the island of Crete, Greece. Just on the outskirts of the small village of Thronos (θρόνος), a father, Lambros, and his young son, Andreas, stop to admire the breathtaking view. Before them lay the majestic peak of Crete's tallest mountain, Mt. Psiloritis (Ψηλορείτης...

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'Opa!' It's All Greek to Me!

(4) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 2:40 PM

Last week on HuffPost we mentioned that we had recently conducted some impromptu "jaywalking" interviews -- similar to those that you've probably seen onThe Tonight Show with Jay Leno-- to find out more about what people know about all things Greek, especially the many contributions that Greece and Greeks have...

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'Opa!' Choosing the Others in Your Life

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2011 | 8:34 AM

Dr. Alex Pattakos co-wrote this piece with his partner, Dr. Elaine Dundon.

Last week, we referenced one of Aesop's fables, "The Fox and the Grapes," as a way to call attention to how a very simple-sounding notion can get in the way, frequently on a subconscious level, of...

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'Opa!' More Than Sour Grapes!

(14) Comments | Posted May 13, 2011 | 7:24 AM

Did you know Aesop lived in Greece? According to legend, Aesop's Fables (Aesopica) was a collection of fables created by Aesop (Αίσωπος), a slave and storyteller in ancient Greece (620 to 560 B.C.). Throughout the ages, these fables have been translated and recreated in many forms. The fables are best...

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'Opa!' and King Midas's Greed

(34) Comments | Posted May 6, 2011 | 8:59 AM

A famous Greek myth highlights the consequences of excessive greed. King Midas (Μίδας) so worshipped gold that when granted a wish by the god Dionysus (Διόνυσος), he asked that everything he touched turn to gold. Midas' wish was granted.

Everything Midas touched did turn to gold, and he became...

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