My TedxAthens 2013 experience



Yannis Behrakis TedxAthens

Yannis Behrakis TedxAthens

Wisdom is not what we think, life is not what we think, Life and Wisdom is not what we write, LIfe and Wisdom is not what we say or do. Life is what we feel, Life is what we experience with our full mind, our full body, our full spirit.

We can say this using any terminology. The psychologists use the terms superego, subconsciousness, unconsciousness. The scientists use the terms energy, matter, dark matter/dark energy.We can use any words. Words are only a signpost, not the actual destination, not the actual life. Words are the menu in the restaurant, not the actual food. Words are only a representation, a concept, not the actual experience, not the actual life.Whatever your words, life is what you experience as a whole, as one, as connected with everybody and everything. When all becomes one entity and billion separate entities simultaneously. When you feel what all others feel and experience.

This is what I experienced in TedxAthens 2013. I had so much fun. I had a truly extraordinary experience. I laughed,I explored, I was inspired,I cried,I danced,I felt so much,I listened to marvellous sounds,voices,songs,fairy tales,speeches.

A thank you from my heart to all the people who contributed to TedxAthens 2013. Thank you to Kalavros and his team for all the dedication, all the work, all the talent, all the effort, they put into this. They are true authentic to what they do. Every year, they do not only talk about their main concept, they become their concept. This year their main concept was the “uncharted waters”. They actually sailed into uncharted waters instead of just discussing about it in theory. The main concept of 2012 was “ The ones who do”. Tedxathens 2012 was among the ones who do. They did the Grid/ TEdxSallon etc. They grow and become wiser as they go along. They actually re-create themselves every year.

You might say that it is an idealized image of the event. You are right. I personally didn’t learn anything new, didn’t see a truly mind-blowing speech ( however I saw extraordinary performances) . I have become extremely picky as far as speeches are concerned over the years. It may be very tiring to be in the same building for 15 hours. Some speakers were not so much prepared. One speaker thought that he was giving a lecture. Some might say that the ticket of 65 euros was high. Some others might say that enough is enough on talking about “Doers”. There are also issues in some areas of the organization. However these are just details and cannot spoil a bit the big picture.” IT WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE”.

Have you ever been confronted with a scene of such a spectacular beauty that you were astonished? The view of a mountain, or of a verdant valley, or of a rock formation or of a rainbow over the ocean. Have you ever experienced that feeling? The feeling of peace,of joy. You didn’t think, “if the boulder were hundred feet to the left it would be so much prettier” or “That tree is crooked. I need to do something about it “ or “How nice it would be if the rainbow wasn’t partially obscured by the clouds”. Oh no! Not really. You accepted the boulder exactly where it was and that the partially visible rainbow was still magnificent and that the tree was perfect in its crookedness. In fact, there was a rare beauty inherent in this very crookedness that you readily appreciated. Our life is equally wonderful not because of its perfection but because of its imperfection.
The same applies for every life, for every form of art, for every form of craftsmanship. The same applies for TedxAthens. Having some issues cannot change a bit what we experienced. This is what counts. This is the most important. After Knowing, comes experiencing. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
I was blessed to be there. Thank you very much.

Thales the first Greek Philosopher was also Entrepreneur


We are in 500 bc in Miletus which is an ancient city in the western coast of Anatolia . A man called Thales is a philosopher. Philosophy at these days is a very new area of knowledge. Every new knowledge area of these days has to be very practical. The practical impact of this new knowledge in the city-state was the main concern.

He was often walking in the city looking at the stars, at the planets and observing the sky in general because he was a mathematician interested in geometry and the movement of the stars and the planets.This habit sometimes had an undesirable result. He would often fall into potholes. These incidents became the anecdotes of his town and fellow citizens were thinking that philosophy was only good for reflection, thinking, contemplation and had no practical outcome.

Thales wanted to show to his fellow citizens that philosophy can change the way somebody lives. Philosophy is the way we choose to live our everyday life, philosophy is another level of consciousness. A consciousness that can help us live happier in the society. It was easy for Thales to find a practical solution to the problem.

Thales was a good meteorologist and was able to forecast the weather.  Taking advantage of this skill, he managed to gain some considerable profit. He invested in olive presses at low-cost when olive presses were out of season . However this was part of his plan, he forecast excellent weather and better than expected production. When the time came and the peasants needed to use the olive presses, they paid much more that Thales had paid for them, due to increased demand. His intention was to show to others that philosophy was as useful as any other skill and a good profit was the best way to have people’s attention.
Aristotle explains that Thales purpose by doing this was not to get rich but to prove to his fellow citizens that philosophy could be useful, contrary to what they believed. Thales proved that it was easy for philosophers to get rich if they chose so but this was not the point.

What can we learn from Thales?
As an entrepreneur I find this story very inspiring. I consider Thales to have a very creative and flexible mind. Not only he was a philosopher but also a brilliant mathematician, astronomer and generally a man who proved that circumstances don’t matter. The only thing that matters is state of being. This is the essence of philosophy for me. Life is meaningless, this means that every situation, every material, every second does not have any meaning, we provide it’s meaning. We used to borrow the meaning from our culture, society, family, friends, education etc. This is not our own life, this is not our own meaning of life, this is not our own way of life. So philosophy teach us to create our own meaning, our own way of looking life, our own way of experiencing and finally to become just ourselves and one with the rest of the universe. So Thales is a big inspiration because he was the example of man who has one foot in the sky but the other on earth and this is a practical example for everyone.