Updated: Feb 16, 2021
When life feels a little drab it’s important to find a lifestyle pick me up to replenish our values, health, and wellbeing. The Greeks have a saying, Filotimo, which translates directly to honor. Filtotimo may seem like a simple word, but it is the foundation of the wholesome Greek lifestyle. Maybe you could use a little Filotimo right now.
Filotimo is the national character of the Greeks. It combines hard work with style, honor, gratitude, and hospitality. Here are three ways you can incorporate Filotimo into your lifestyle to restore inner joy.
1. One of the most notable practices of Filotimo in the Greek culture is the act of giving. It is not uncommon for the Greeks to give spare change or to buy an extra cup of coffee for someone on the street.
Try this: One of the best ways to practice giving is to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals help you embrace the world in a more positive and grateful light. Through a gratitude journal you are able to see what you take for granted. This allows for reflective thinking of others.
Try this: Starting small is a great way to support charities and other causes. Find a group within your passion area and give $1 dollar. You can always donate more, but $1 is a great way to get into the giving habit.
Charitable acts boost morale and have positive effects on your health creating opportunities for a happier healthier lifestyle.
2. Another important mentality the Greeks share is working to live. In contrast, in the U.S. work is often our lives. We go, go, go, and spend every waking moment trying to scale up on the competitive chain. The Greeks value their “play” and find joy in spending time at the beach on the weekends and spending time with family.
Try this: Instead of sitting down and turning on Netflix during dinner, switch to the kitchen table with the rest of the people you are living with. Evoke deep conversation and skip the small talk. Talking about the weather is nice and all, but the Greek way of conversation is straight to the heart. Turning off your electronics and making the setting just about your loved ones facilitates a great time for connection. If your phones are distracting, try stacking them on top of the table and whoever picks up their phone first gets to pay for the next meal.
Try this: Often we are taught that our job should be something we enjoy and are passionate about, but some days this is just not the case. Instead of making your job your life, look forward to and plan other things in your life to be excited about. It's not realistic for everyone to spend their weekends in leisure on the beach, but try to cut out some time for unrelated work activities. Plan a movie night, a hike, or even getting coffee with a friend. A small slot of play to break up your stress cycles promotes good health.
3. A great attribute of filotimo is the connection and support the Greeks seek through their families and social groups. The Greeks follow this principle by supporting their local businesses and living with their families for much longer than other cultures. Don’t worry, you don’t have to live at home with your parents forever if that’s not your style. There are other ways to keep close with your community and social groups.
Try this: Ever heard of the term, think globally, shop locally? A great way to connect with your community is to seek out local shops, farmers, and stop by your local Famer’s Market. Instead of doing all of your shopping on Amazon, branch out closer to home. Shopping locally boosts the prosperity of your immediate community and is also better for the environment. A simple way to add good to your life, your communities life, and the life of the planet.
Try this: Phone calls can be a great way to connect with loved ones that you can’t see all the time. A quick check-in with ones you love keeps those ties strong. If a call seems daunting send a nice text, or go old school and mail a note. Think of the last time your family reached out to you. It’s a small but important pick me up for the sender and the receiver.
Embracing the Greek concept of filotimo can be a small and simple change that you make in your life. Here at buonaforma we value pursuing quality in all aspects of life. Our company’s name, buonaforma, translates to “good form” in Latin. Similar to filotimo, living with buonaforma gives you the opportunity to pursue your goals and wellness while being a steward for the planet and humankind.
Let us know how you practice filotimo or buonaforma in the comments below.
For weekly buonaforma blogs, early access to our founders series, and more, join our newsletter by clicking here.