He was born and raised in Greece. His upbringing was a simple one, to quote Yanni, "though our family life was simple, I wasn't aware that we were poor. Maybe we didn't have many possessions, but we never went hungry, were cold, or lacked love."
He Believed Anything Was Possible
At age 14 he set a national record for breaking the fifty-meter freestyle swim. However, you should be aware that he never had a coach nor did he have any formal personal training. He beat swimmers that had coaches and trained every day for many years. How did he do it? In his book he states, "I believed that anything was possible, or at least because I didn't put together everyone else's 'facts' and believe that winning was impossible."
His parents wanted their children to receive an education in the United States. They sold their house and moved into a rental apartment in order to come up with the money to send their children to get a better education. So at 18 years old, Yanni found himself on a plane to the United States. He arrived speaking very little English. He got a part time job as a dishwasher. In university he struggled as he states in his book, "Every fifth word was unfamiliar. I'd never been so frustrated, but as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I studied with the book, a notebook, and a Greek/English dictionary".
He persevered. He received a psychology diploma in 1976 on his graduation.
But he then his passion for music took over. While he had his ups and downs, worked with different bands, he had a desire to create his own music. But it was a music that was unlike others. Throughout the book you will read about the challenges he faced. But you will also see his determination. He put it all on the line. One of my favorite quotations
from the book is, "We are all capable if we have faith and passion." While he did have faith and passion he had many challenges to overcome. It was not an easy ride to success, but his through his faith and a passion he did make it.
A happy ending, not exactly! When he reached success,
he had a setback. One, which he overcame, but one which made him look at life and all he had accomplished and made him realize he had to take care of himself.
The story of Yanni and his success is one, which is motivational and inspiring.
Thank you Yanni for putting your experiences "in words" so many of us can
learn and be motivated by your experiences!
If you haven't read his book,
"Yanni In Words", I would
recommend it highly! Available at Amazon