Can This One Greek Word Improve Your Work And Life?



«Opa!» It’s actually more than a word–it’s a philosophy and a way of looking at the world. And it contains incredible implications.


«Opa!” is a Greek word that is heard often in the celebration of life. Most likely, you’ve heard the word at a restaurant (Greek or not) when someone broke a plate–on purpose or unintentionally. Or you’ve heard the word at a wedding or Greek festival when people are dancing. Or, perhaps you’ve watched a Greek-themed movie during which the word is used in some kind of enthusiastic celebration. You may have even been to Greece and heard the word at various times during your visit.

“Opa!” is a very interesting word; one that as we’ve mentioned has a very long history. Indeed, it is much more than simply a word per se. It also is a concept that carries with it deep and profound meaning. Meaning that can help all of us as we travel along life’s highway. So now we’d like to briefly introduce this underlying meaning of the Greek word “Opa!” and put it into a practical context so that you can use it for your own benefit–to build resilience, foster engagement, manage life transitions, enjoy life to the fullest–in your personal life and in your work.

From its ancient roots, the Greek word “Opa!” can be viewed as two sides of the same coin: one side (ΌΠΑ) refers to the uplifting, inspiring, enthusiastic expression that is often heard during some kind of celebration (a manifestation of “kefi” or spirit); the other (ΏΠΑ) refers very seriously to the human need to remain alert, warn ourselves and others, look out for any possible “danger” in one’s path, and be more awake to life’s potential, unlimited opportunities. Like the holistic concept of the yin and yang in Chinese philosophy, both sides of the Greek concept of Opa! are interdependent and are needed to achieve our highest potential.

We’ve built upon the ancient roots of this powerful, meaning-focused concept, along with our intimate and broad-based experience in Greece both before and during the country’s crisis and formed an acronym using the anglicized letters of the Greek word “Opa!” This acronym, as we mentioned above, provides a useful “mantra” (and formula) for living and working with meaning for everyone. In brief, the letter “O” refers to the basic human need to “Connect Meaningfully with Others”; the letter “P” refers to the basic human need to “Engage with Deeper Purpose”; and the letter “A” refers to the basic human need to “Embrace Life (all of life) with Attitude.” Others, Purpose, Attitude! O, P, A! “Opa!

Imagine if we really could live the “good” life, the happy, healthy, meaningful life. And imagine if organizations in all sectors and industries were focused on and authentically committed to leading with and to meaning. At the count of three, we’d like you, wherever you may be when you read this post, to say–with enthusiasm: “Opa!


Just look at

[Image: Flickr user Garlandcannon]


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