Five For Fighting – The Riddle

There are secrets that we still have left to find,
There have been mysteries from the beginning of time,
There are answers we’re not wise enough to see…

Well, you know I’m a big fan for this band, right? Yep, Five For Fighting is my all time favorite band. Mainly, because their song usually speak about deep things on life that usually cannot meet the eye. Beside, most of their lyrics are really reflect life in general.

“The Riddle”, from the “Two Light” 2006 album, is my “everyday” song. It’s like “the theme” song of my life. Because I can really “connect” with the meaning that is presented. It’s talking about the riddle that I found in my daily life. It also speak about “The Riddle” about my future because we don’t know what future holds, right?

It also “the reminder” for me about what I’ve done so far. I understand that, lots of thing that I have yet to learn, to be more wise towards what happened because there are answer we’re not wise enough to see, and at some point I realized how that I am so “naïve” to face the obstacle that life throw at me.

Then, for sure there is “dialogue” between father & son on the song. The simple & “innocent” question from the kid to his Dad, but really have deep meaning.

“Dad, I’m big but we’re smaller than small,
In the scheme of things, well we’re nothing at all..
And Hey Dad, here’s a riddle for you, find the Answer
There’s a reason for the world, You and I…

I said, “Son for all I’ve told you,
When you get right down to the reason for the world,
Who am I?”

(Check video “The Riddle, My Gift to You” & lyrics below)
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Ordinary Things That Remain Priceless

No matter what happened in your life,
don’t forget that there is beauty on little ordinary things,
because, little things means a lot if you look at it differently,
and somehow it remain priceless..

Yes, life is a series of ups and downs, and as I search for long-term job fulfillment, or soulmate, or house, or amount of money, I often forget the little things in life that can bring joy. And those are the things that help me through the hard times. The little things that makes me smiles, not the big events, not the big mannerisms, but the ordinary things that linger after those big things fade.

Here is the list, an ordinary things in my life that remain priceless :

  • Coffee in the morning.
  • Accidentally hearing other people say something nice about me.
  • Seeing little kids smile at me, asking for help.
  • Send money to my parents.
  • Preparing Job Report while Alt+Tab on website.
  • Just standing on the beach seeing the line on sea & sky.
  • Writing “Life Lesson” on weekend.
  • Watching AS Roma playing and win.
  • Playing futsal and sleep 12 hours after that.
  • Back to my hometown when “Lebaran” comes.
  • Playing guitar on song that at the time stuck in my head.
  • watching movie and felt relate with the story.
  • Hearing song and felt totally relate with it.
  • Laugh on intelligent joke.
  • Getting advice on the right moment and for the right cause.
  • Tahajjud and really feel “the silent” with God.
  • Walking into a restaurant and meeting an old friend.

After all, being happy is really about this quote :
“Now consider this: Life is the coffee. The jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups..

Perfectionism Trap

I’ve been there,
it’s exhausting having to try to be perfect all the time.
That’s how I held it together ever since I was a kid.
I figured nothing, nothing bad would happen if I was just,
One step ahead of everything and everybody, all the time..

First of all, I don’t believe perfectionism is bad character trait. In fact, I think it’s a sign of self-respect. As perfectionists, I know I have high standards about what I can do. That mean, I just want to demonstrate my best at all times. And sadly, it simply isn’t possible. That’s what drives me nuts. Because, in my experience, life, by its very nature, prevents this.

The desire to excel is usually a good thing, but when it spills over into perfectionism it can also cause a lot of trouble. Honestly, too often I put off turning in papers or projects, waiting to get them just right. Or, feel that I must give more than 100 percent on everything I do or else I’ll be mediocre or even a failure.

Until last year, I recognize this trait holds me back, and that’s the start for me to make real effort to overcome it. I changed my motto to “Progress, not perfection,” and to be honest, it served me well, and I’m proud of it. (You can check, that lots of my writing on this blog since last year, actually reflect on some of my efforts to overcome it).

It does, however, still trigger mild anxiety. But, I have it under control to a great extent. I won’t pretend to have all the answers. I can only share with you the things that work for me.

“Progress, not Perfection”

Sometimes, on my perfectionists mode, I used to think I’m not good enough. That makes me to constantly beat myself up for falling short. But, I realize, if the ultimate goal is perfection, I’ll always be disappointed. To overcome it, I’m learning to be grateful with progress, rather than a so called “amazing” result.

“To Prove ‘something’? It doesn’t Matters..”

Okay, here’s what I think. Who are you trying to be perfect for? Truth be told, no one notices you nearly as much as they notice themselves. That’s the nature of the world. So, I just letting it go my desire to impress others, or to prove “something”, that eventually trap me in perfectionism. How much others cares anyway? It just, doesn’t matters.

“Get Real, will you?”

By setting more realistic goals, I’m gradually realize that “imperfect” results do not lead to the punitive consequences I expect and fear. Otherwise, I enjoy process without too much anxiety. I don’t necessarily stop trying to improve, but I also doing it for fun and relaxation. Perfectionists often miss out on fun, relaxation and satisfaction, because it’s just not real.

Many of successful people are indeed accomplished while striving to perfect ourselves. Great achievers, like perfectionists, want to be and do better; but, they are also willing to admit to make mistakes and accept (learn) from failure, and general imperfection as part of the reality of being human..

The Sad Fact About Job

Since I’ve graduated, I’ve been constantly got this advice : “Do what you love, and you’ll never work”.. This advice actually kills me for few times. But now, I realized it’s so cliché that make me question its truth. Because the sad fact, based on my personal experienced, is this: “If I do what I love for a living, I’ll probably end up loving it a little bit less”..

Yes, it’s a wonderful goal to strive for finding work that we enjoy. In fact, it should be a goal for everyone. But this absurd axiom, suggests that we can simply take what we already love, turn it into something for which we get paid (meaning, have clients, bosses and deadlines and obligations, etc), and it won’t ever feel like anything other than that thing we love.

This is a blatant, hurtful lie that I fall for. And, in the beginning, I felt like something is wrong with me. But, then I can see that, when something I love becomes work, it fundamentally—and unavoidably—changes the way in which I interact with it.

“Work IS NOT Play, even the best job in the world [is] still just a job..”

Yep. Ain’t that the truth?

Work is called “work” because it’s not play. Once you depend on something to put food on your table, it becomes something different. It’s no longer “that thing you do for fun”; it’s “that thing you have to do for survival”.

Work isn’t the same as play, no matter how similar they might appear on the surface. Sometimes, when I do an activity all day long and depend on it for survival, the playfulness can disappear quickly.

That doesn’t mean you won’t end up enjoying or maybe even loving the work you do. But it will also be “work”. You probably won’t mistake it for anything else. Doing what you love can certainly make it a more enjoyable experience. But you’ll also experience a new side of that activity, and it won’t be comfortable.

Do I sound cynical? A little. But, lots of people sit around convinced that if only they could turn their hobby into a fulltime job, they’d finally be happy. Really?

Jodoh? Apakah Itu?

Seiring bertambahnya usia, keinginan untuk bertemu pasangan jiwa makin lama makin menguat, dan mulailah aku meraba bagian hidup yang satu ini. Walaupun, aku sendiri belum tahu sama sekali tentang kapan, dengan siapa, dan di mana.

Seorang kakak mengirimkanku artikel sederhana ini (Jazakillah Uni, saya edit yak, he3).. Sungguh, benar-benar membuatku merenung tentang keadaan diriku sendiri. Akankah aku kelak mampu membangun keluarga SaMaWa seperti yang sering didengung-dengungkan?

Ingin rasanya saya bertanya pada teman-teman seusia yang baru saja menikah. Bagaimana mereka mampu mengambil keputusan terbesar dalam hidup tsb? Karena ingin menggenapkan separuh agama? Karena perasaan cinta pada seseorangkah? Karena sudah punya penghasilan tetapkah? Karena sudah punya rumahkah? Karena jiwa yang memang sudah dewasakah? Atau, mungkin karena sudah sangat merasa kesepian? Atau karena memang sudah jodoh?

Jodoh…Serasa ringan diucap, tapi rumit dalam realita. Apalagi jika sudah berbicara tentang kriteria calon idaman. Pada awalnya, kriteria calon hanya menjadi ‘bagian masalah’, namun kemudian justru menjadi inti permasalahan itu sendiri.

“Met, banyak orang merintih, menghiba dalam doa, dan menuntut kemurahan Allah. Namun prestasi terbaik mereka hanya sebatas menuntut, tidak tampak bukti kesungguhan untuk menjemput kehidupan rumah tangga.”

“Kehidupan berkeluarga adalah arena perjuangan, penuh liku dan ujian, dibutuhkan napas kesabaran panjang, kadang kegetiran mampir susul-menyusul. Jangan hanya siap menjadi raja atau ratu, tapi tidak pernah menyiapkan diri untuk berjuang membina keluarga.” (Begitu nasehat yang ada di artikel tsb)

Kehidupan keluarga tidak berbeda dengan kehidupan individu, hanya dalam soal ujian dan beban jauh lebih berat. “Met, jika kamu sekarang masih single, lalu dibuai penyakit malas, mengeluh, nyantai, trus, keluarga seperti apa yang akan kamu bangun kelak?” Astaghfirullah, benar-benar tertusuk dalam rasanya hati ini disuguhi pertanyaan itu.

“Ketika sifat kedewasaan telah menjadi jiwa, jodoh itu akan datang tanpa harus dirintihkan. Kala itu hati seseorang telah bulat utuh, siap menerima realita kehidupan rumah tangga, manis atau getirnya, dengan lapang dada..”

Jangan lagi bertanya, “Mana jodohku?” Namun bertanyalah, “Sudah dewasakah aku?”

Untuk sekarang, aku menjawab belum. Masih banyak hal yang perlu diperbaiki. Masih perlu banyak ikhtiar yang harus gigih ku lakukan untuk berjuang mempersiapkan diri, memperbaiki hati, dan menggapai mimpi…” Ya Allah, kuatkan aku..

Reality and Perception

In order to survive, we cling to all we know & understand,
And we label it reality.
But, knowledge & understanding are ambiguous,
That reality could be an illusion.
All humans live with the wrong assumptions.
Isn’t that another way of looking at it..??
(~Uciha Itachi)

You see, since I was a kid, I’m always refining my understanding, and re-adjusting my actions. I understand the world based on what I observe, experience, or read, and take action accordingly. Taking action gives me more data to refine my understanding of reality. And the cycle continues.

Because, “reality” is the thing we seek to improve our lives, right? As far as I’ve concerned, as humans, what we know, understand, or what we believe in, are what we think is real, that we defined it as “reality”.

But, the problems are most likely to start, when I see what I understand is wrong. There are times when my observation lead me to form wrong conclusions about the nature of my environment and my life. It’s like, that, I think I’m living out one story, but the truth turns out to be something else entirely.

Then, everything on “my reality” just seems cruel to me. It felt like my expectations, are betrayed by the numbers of what happened. The “right thing” (as I knew) just doesn’t matter anymore. The “fair thing” (as I knew) doesn’t matter anymore. And worst part, I lost the sense which one is true or wrong, because both have strong logic “argument”.

Maybe, that reality, that which I believe is right once, is truly an illusion. It’s not real, it’s just in my head, and it’s simply that which I cling to, in order to survive. Or, in simple word, it’s just my wrong perception.

Then it made me realize, I think, I just have to letting it go of “what was” and “what should have been,” and focusing my energy on “what is” and “what could be possible”, to the positive realities unfolding in front of me.

Now, I got the perception (“new” reality) that “What will make me happy?” and “What will make me successful?” are maybe completely two different questions. I don’t know, let the time answer that…

Grass Always Look Greener on Other Side

We all take so much for granted.
It takes a lot of emotional stability to be content with what we have.
To be able to resist the temptation of thinking that other people have it better

It’s easy to look up at the people that we think are more “successful”, and believe that they’ve got it all together, right? It is funny how that everybody knows this, but still we have all of these issues in our lives.

As I’ve started climbing the ladder myself, I’ve realized, it because I never see the personal struggles that they go through, and the fears they have to deal with. That gives me enough common sense to recognize that there are people around me who are in far worse situations, and I have lot of thing to be thankful for.

For example? I thought becoming a manager in a big company is really great achievement, you got prestige, you got a car given by company, you can travel to far place for meeting, and also lots of money that can provide everything for your family. But, after I understand what they’ve been through, I can see that “Yep, the grass just look greener on other side”.

It always looks better. The other side, the grass on the other side. Not just the grass, also the friend’s wife / girlfriend, your friend’s sports car, your boss’s apartment, your colleague’s job and how ever many examples you want to hear.

I think, everyone always wishes for something they don’t have. Maybe we want to be like someone else in certain ways, maybe we want to live someone else’s life, because we think our life sucks. But truth is, we may not have an easy life, but it is our life.

So next time, if you think someone has it better than you, just stop and think about how others may think you have it better than them. The grass on your side may just be greener..

The Weekend Part – To Anyer Beach

Everyone need vacation to “renew” & refresh the mind.
Sometimes, when we feel overwhelmed & tired,
it’s cue for taking a break.
Just like a car with no fuel that needs to be refueled..

I was in a slump for this couple of months, and just realize it was because I didn’t take a break at all. I was just working day-after-day and my mind and soul rebelled by taking a hiatus. I couldn’t get new ideas for my improvement project, and items on my task list became “burden” rather than enjoyments.

So, after get caught physically and mentally, I decide to take a break and going for trips on the weekend. It’s just so I can relaxed and enjoyed the moment to be young, far away from job & work complex, and forgetting all problems for a while.

Yep, I was going weekend to Anyer beach..

It started with spend the night with some co-workers in a small but so comfortable villa near the beach. In the morning, I was enjoying the air on the sea. You see, when you look on the sea, then your eyes would meet to “the line” that divide the sky and earth, It felt like the world is so big. My mind just felt peace, free, so relieved, and all problems I had on the work just felt tiny little things. It really help to clear the mind, you know.

And, as I ride to go home on early evening, I can feel that my clear minds simply telling me that most obstacles are just temporary, even it felt though, they aren’t going to last forever. Just like seasons, bad times come and go.

Well, today, Monday has arrived. I felt fresh, and ready to continue..

Types of Women I Can’t Stand

First of all, it’s not exactly black & white. Keep in mind that many women may show some traits from more than one category listed below and still be great girlfriend material. After all, it’s not exactly news that women tend to be more emotional than men.

Here is the the personality types of woman that I can’t stand :

Agony “Aunt”
There are some women who constantly feel they are an ‘advisory person’. They feel it is their business to hear out the whines of everyone and suggest suitable solutions. They’re so deeply involved in this “part-time” job that they inadvertently sound like they are advising you as well. Nobody wants to date a mom, you know..

Miss “Sharp” Mouth
Any conversation will end-up with two or three words that “too mean”. Her manner is really frustrating. She isn’t concerned at all if they hurt you or anybody else. If you manage to make it through one hour of listening to her manner on talk, mean you can survive on anything.

Miss Needy / Miss Insecure
This woman seems great at the start, because she’s very nice. Then, soon, she’s calling you 10 times a day, asking to see “where the relationship is going,” or she’ll ask you if you still love her about a thousand times. She’s clingy, needy and compulsively agonizes that she thinks that you’re going to leave her at any moment for another girl.

Let’s face it: If you can’t have a little independence in relationship, it’s never going to last. Unless, of course, you’re also needy.

Drama Queen
In particular, her hobby is to dramatize about absolutely everything. Small things are easily been blown out of proportion. She talks like everything is “tragedy”. If you advise her, then she felt been judged. If you just silence, she thought you didn’t care. During her “drama movies”, you can see that her sense of logic is out of whack. Unless you’re into lots of drama and screaming.

Miss Elusive
She is usually one of the “walking wounded” — someone who has been hurt in past relationships and so subconsciously sabotages new relationships in the present. Your association with her will be one of utter frustration, she shows great interest in you, but very quickly runs away, then repeats this cycle over and over again.

Miss Desperate
Maybe because she felt really lonely. So, Miss Desperate wants to have boyfriend right now. She doesn’t care who the guy is, or what he does, didn’t need to go for “knowing each other” phase, as long as she can got boyfriend right now. It can be felt really creepy pretty fast.

Miss “Princess”
The Princess is high maintenance girl. She is entirely focused on herself. She needs to be the constant center of attention. She is a self-serving narcissist who was raised as “daddy’s little girl,” and expects the same from you. She will constantly keep you busy taking care of her every need. And Princess absolutely has no idea that real life consists of paying bills and cleaning toilets.

Miss Controlling
She is a subtly nasty one who will wind up directing every phase of your life. She will tell you what to wear, where to go, who to talk to, what friends you can have, what you can eat — everything. And if you try to stand up for yourself, she will cry, scream, pout, or use any other deceptive female “tactic” until you give in and succumb to her demands.

Miss Worker Bee
If you are buzzing nineteen to a dozen only about the presentations you have to make for the boss, deadlines, colleagues, HR head and the office janitor – it’s obvious you have nothing else to talk about. A man may want to know about your interests, your views on him, and more, but you prefer to hide behind ‘work’ all the time. If you want a man, any man actually, please get a life first.

The Destination?

Faith in Life

I’m just a man with something to prove,
slightly bored, & severely confused..
I hope, I can
manage to see the light on this “tunnel”..

You know, I always like to wake up in a late night, in time that morning will closely come. This kind of time really gives me a lot to think, surely, in a silence, which gives me sharp thought. In this kind of time, I usually doing some “dialogue” with my own mind. “Talking to myself”, if you prefer to put that way.

Right now, I’m thinking about Life Destination. I know, it will take a long “road” to arrive at the destination. Although, the destination itself maybe still exist on “fantasy”.  But, when I’ve tried to be honest to myself, it’s really give me some “pause” moment about the worthy on what I’m sacrificing. Because, I can’t even guess how often I believed the thoughts I was holding onto were true, only to find out otherwise.

I’m sure most of people keep hoping that one day we will find the man who really understands our experiences, the woman who will bring peace to our restless life, the job where we can fulfill our potential, the book which will explain everything, and the place where we can feel at home..

Such false help leads us to make exhausting demands and prepares us for bitterness and dangerous hostility when we start discovering that nobody, and nothing, can live up to our absolutistic expectations.

I do understand that Life is too short to feel sorry for yourself, to sit and do nothing. Because, I’m still believing that when I live an unconventional life, I’ll grow much faster than someone who’s looking for security, comfort and convenience..

It’s about faith for believing in a possibility, even when life gave all reasons not to believe..