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The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work


The muses dance today for the release of The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work by Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon. The OPA! Way is a modern day classic. It reveals the secret to finding meaning, purpose and ultimately, joy in life by following the wisdom of ancient Greeks, their mythology, philosophy and traditions.

The OPA! Way is a gem for anyone searching for meaning in their life, work, retirement, career change, during health challenges or simply wondering what they want to be when they grow up.

The authors beautifully catapult the voices of the ancients into the 21st century to speak directly with millions in the western world, desperate for answers why their lives are filled with so much stress, disease, and unhappiness.

The reality of modern day suffering and angst is evidenced by the millions of people seeking help on how to improve their lives, health and individual position in society. Many are seeking answers on how to be happy, de-stress, weigh less, balance work and family, and, even develop spiritually. Society struggles with the billions of dollars in attributed costs for treatments for psychological well-being, substance abuse, constant sick care, obesity, endlessly frustrated employees conceded for their own welfare and future earnings, and, even those searching for meaningful work.

The authors of The OPA! Way know the value of living a meaning life, rich with influences of Greek heritage. Alex Pattakos, Ph.D., is a Greek-American leader in philosophy, former therapist and mental health administrator, co-founder of The Meaning Group ( and author of the best-selling book Prisoners of Our Thoughts based on the wisdom of his mentor, the world-renowned psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl. Elaine Dundon is the co-founder and CEO of The Meaning Group following a career in business strategy and marketing and also a thought leader in the area of innovation management. She authored the best-selling book The Seeds of Innovation. Together they frequently return to Greece to visit family and journey through the villages having coffee and dancing.

The OPA! Way is about the pursuit of meaning in our lives. Having deep meaning in our lives helps us enjoy life despite the ups and downs, the joys and difficulties, we may experience. Meaning gives us a sense of fulfillment and a passion for life. Meaning helps us build resilience.

The OPA! Way contributes to the greater good of humanity by sharing in a practical, relevant, and direct way critical words of wisdom from Aristotle, Plato, Xenophon, Sophocles, and Menander. They also weave in experiences from their journeys through Greece the wisdom of the village elders on what is important in life. Together, the ancient philosophers and the village elders teach how to change one’s own actions and perspectives to discover that inner voice demanding to be heard to live a more meaningful purposeful life.

Do individuals need to move to the island of Ikaria in Greece to live to be 100 years of age? Or, have millions of dollars to be validated?

Each page of The OPA! Way reveals the secret to discovering:

  • the essence of resilience;
  • how to find meaning in your own life at any age;
  • who makes up a “community”;
  • how a vibrant village supports the blossoming of an individual;
  • what is true philanthropy; and,
  • a healthy mind, body and spirit is nourished, first, by connecting with others, and, then, with wholesome, nutritious food from the land.

One may provocatively ask how it is even possible a thinker or tradition formed centuries ago during a time when life was so simple could even be relevant to today.

Pattakos and Dundon point out key lessons from Aesop’s Fables  (Greece, ca 620-560 BC) that are universal life lessons. Remember the story about an old man asking his sons to break a stick, which can be done so easily and then asking them to try the impossible task of breaking all of the sticks at the same time. Fables are not just for children. People, a community, are much stronger when acting together.

Even though today many are more globally connected through social media than ever before, nothing replaces the strength and value of a simple moment between two people honestly sharing directly with another over coffee or a meal.

Pattakos and Dundon write,

“Socrates believed that there is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.”


“Aristotle believed that good friends were superior to any material possessions one might have.”

How often do simple explanations actually reflect a powerful truth? Pattakos and Dundon explain,

Life cannot be preprogrammed, for it flows like a river, twisting and turning, changing at different rates, sometimes appearing more stable, while at other times, tossing us around in the turbulent rapids. We can try our best to hold onto the sides of the river of life to resist the flow, dreading or fearing change but, in the end, we know that life requires us to surrender to the forward motion and “go with the flow” of the river.

The OPA! Way is a gift of knowledge that has survived centuries in traditional villages, the diaspora and countless societies influenced and built on the very principles of ancient Greek wisdom. In the rush and transient nature of modern life, the very principles many societies have prided themselves on have been forgotten or diminished by those seeking the perception of a self-sufficiency and superficial quick fixes to society’s malaise.

“Instead of focusing on what we don’t have in our lives – what is missing – it is best to be grateful for what we do have. Indeed, it’s all about perspective.

Imagine the potential, if leaders in business, politics, society, and families embraced the very wisdom offered in The OPA! Way. Perhaps society would advance in ways not imagined, innovation at all levels would flourish, conflicts would dissolve into manageable peace, and, people would live longer, healthier more fulfilling lives. Read, share and discuss The OPA! Way within your business, community, family and with your loved ones.

The nine muses – Kalliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania – praise the release of The OPA! Way into the modern world and appreciate the hope it offers to millions. Ola einai kala!

The OPA! Way is a gift for the soul.


By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, DC. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

Elaine & Alex at OPA! Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico


3 thoughts on “The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work

  1. I could not wait for this book! Keri, you have done an amazing job sharing its insights. Congratulations Dr. Pattakos and Dr. Dundon! Looking forward to learning from your wisdom!!!!!!!

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