OPA!: A Celebration Of The Search For Meaning with Alex Pattakos, Ph.D. & Elaine Dundon

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This husband and wife team teaches us that the age-old search for the meaning of life can be lightened up using an age-old expression. They’ve found that using the ancient Greek celebratory word “OPA!” makes it easy to apply their principles to everyday life: connecting with others, finding purpose, and maintaining an embracing attitude can help us enjoy the process of searching for meaning in life. From small villages in Greece, they learned that seeking meaning is more fulfilling than seeking happiness. They believe that authentic happiness comes from a life lived with purpose, connection, and the right attitude. The trouble comes when we lack these elements and an understanding of the self. In our frustration, we become “prisoners of our thoughts.” Dundon explains that “one of the reasons we lack meaning in our lives is…we don’t know what we really want.” Pattakos says that, in a counterintuitive way, paying attention to what we consider meaningless can push us closer the joy we seek. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Alex Pattakos, Ph.D. is a political scientist and internationally-recognized leader of the "Meaning Movement." His focus is on bringing meaning to work, the workplace, and into everyday life.

He's the author of:

Elaine Dundon, MBA is a philosopher of meaning, a meaning strategist, and keynote speaker.

She is the author of:

They are co-founders of The Opa Way!®, an approach to living and working with meaning that is inspired by and based on Greek philosophy and culture. They are co-authors of:

To learn more about the work of Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon go to www.globalmeaninginstitute.com.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What does OPA! mean
  • How do we apply OPA!
  • What is the village concept
  • Why do we become prisoners of our thoughts
  • What does it mean to “know thyself”
  • How do you find meaning in everyday life
  • What is the difference between happiness and meaning

Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 12/9/2014       Program Number: 3529

Music Playlist

From Album: Zorba the Greek
Artist: Mikis Theodorakis
FM Records #B004GNEICS

Opening Essay: Track 05 Chasapikos / Questions Without Answers
Music Break 1: Track 06 Horos Tou Zorba (I) / Zorba's Dance
Music Break 2: Track 06 Horos Tou Zorba (I) / Zorba's Dance (reprise)
Music Break 3: Track 02 Sirtos Chaniotikos (I) / The Full Catastrophe