The Self Changes

“Change won’t come
if we wait for some other person or some other time,

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,
We are the change that we seek..”(~ Barack Obama)

Everything changes and that includes ourselves. We are not what we were five years ago. We have learned; we have changed; we have grown. Especially when I’m consciously molding myself with self-reflection. I mean, the change on the inside, the change of me.

If I think back through my own life, I notice the change about myself as I grow-up, and below are the list:

  • I find it hard to spend money “just like that” as I know that earning money is not that easy.
  • Realize that time, knowledge, and experienced are really, really, really precious.
  • Get the idea that things I’ve done a few years ago, feel extremely retarded to me now.
  • Aware of personal insecurities, personal fears, self-esteem, jealousy & feelings of envy. It’s just part of life, after all.
  • Asking much to myself about “What is really the meaning / purpose of life”.
  • Gained ability to evaluate the viewpoints of others, not just see things merely from my point of view.
  • Accepts the fact that I can’t always win, and “learns from mistakes instead of just whining about the outcome” are truly necessary.
  • Able to differentiate between rational decision making & emotional impulse.
  • Being able to distinguish between “needs” and “wants”, that makes me more able to take ownership and responsibility of personal actions.
  • Able to see the various shades of grey between the extremes of black & white, and understanding that open communication is the key.

The thing is, there are many aspects of my life that I have made very deliberate effort to change, and writing this is part of the process in order to make it happen. Surely, this is not something that can happen overnight.

And like most human beings on this planet, most of our lives are spent trying to improve, to move forward & evolving, and ultimately that’s all we are meant to do, and I’m no different…

Passion, It is..

“Your time is limited,
so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma,
which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions,
drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”

(~Steve Jobs)

I do understand a lot about the quote above. You see, we all have these dreams, and somehow, reality of life pushes us in another direction, and next thing we know, we are far from those dreams we used to have.

Clearly, I’ve met a lot of people that seems not be doing what they were meant to do, or not doing what their knowledge meant to do. And, most of these people, are not happy at all with their life. This is an eye-opener for me.

You see, perhaps this is why there is so much unhappiness going on in our society, people just aren’t doing what they are here on Earth for. Maybe, that’s why passion is needed.

The question is, how do you know your passion?

You see, for me, peace is happiness, and happiness is passion. Think about something that you do or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to you when you do it. Sometimes, it can come from the topics of conversation we have. The topics that makes our eyes brighten up, and changes our entire behavior.

Or, think about something that you feel you must do and that failure is not even a concern of yours, because the mere act of doing it is like the journey and the destination all wrapped up in one. The thing is, as long as you remain true to yourself and follow your own interests, values and dreams, you will understand what passion is.

Perhaps most importantly, you won’t wake up a few years from now working in a career field you despise, wondering “How the heck am I going to do this for the next 30 years?”. So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop, that’s passion.  You’re on to something big. Because, in that way, by your own definitions (not others), you’re already success.

Honest to yourself, and go after your passion, and you’ll see what enjoying life mean..

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..

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..

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..

The Overwhelmed Part

Life Crisis

At some stages of our life,
We will deal with things We are overwhelmed with misery and anxiety…

2 months ago, at the end of day, I’ve got formal feedback from my boss. In one side, I felt grateful for being labeled an excellent performance. On the other side, I felt so worried to maintain this, to maintain the perfect “season”..

I think that’s where everything start. More and more responsibility, with more complex technical-based of task comes to my desk. I do know that these responsibilities reflect their trust on me. But, it left me with a huge burden to finish it in perfect way.

And finally, today is the point of my life where I’ve really got caught with tired, stress, and simply couldn’t keep up with the pace of progress. More and more problems are showing up on my daily job, uncontrollable. All of dreams for my future-living, just to be replaced by exhausted reality, attacked day by day..

It’s just, I’m finding every little step is a struggle, like I’m carrying too heavy a load, that as I walked, it seemed to grow heavier and heavier. Sometimes, “tiny” things can be surprisingly significant weighing me down. I’m not strolling along easily any more. I’m not enjoying the journey. Every step feels like a big effort – and I just can’t understand why..

I felt that I’ve got caught up in a relentless downwards spiral. Guilt-trip on telling myself that I shouldn’t feel this way. I’m angry to myself, and frustrated with my performance, felt lonely somehow, felt upset and scared with my expectations..

It wasn’t like the old time, where I was just happy and thriving despite everything the world threw at me. And the worst part, I really felt so alone to face it..

I know – I know – I’m telling myself, over and over again, that this feelings are all just in my head and I’ve got the power to choose them. But, that doesn’t make it a lot easier. It just makes me beat myself up. “Why can’t I cheer up? I should pull myself together. I need to be stronger. There must be something wrong with me”. Whatever it is, I feel like I’m being slowly crushed..

I don’t like how my feeling. I know when we’re overwhelmed, it’s easy to end up going in circles. But, I really don’t know where to begin sorting through all the stuff that makes up my life. I’m afraid that if I stop, I’ll be left behind..

And, it is hard to take a break too. There is always “deadlines” everyday, a lot of commitments which I just can’t get away from. I’m really confused with the next steps, which’ll get me closer to where I want to go..?? I really just hope to overcome the overwhelmed quickly..

The 2010 Journey..

It feels like it was just yesterday that 2010 year was beginning, and now it’s all over. Time flies fast, doesn’t it?

It’s just like driving. When you’re driving in a car, it can be hard to see where you are and where you’re heading to. On the other hand, pausing for a short moment to look at “the map” can be amazingly helpful. Doing so helps to regain focus.

2010 will be remembered as the year that pushing me towards an adulthood life. Today, I looked at back with anything that I’ve done, even I couldn’t believe with what I’ve achieved.

2010 was begin with lots of feelings of under-achievements in almost every aspect of my life. While some of my friends had already established their career path, me on another side, was back to “square one” after resigned and become unemployed. Then, I was facing a daring adventure month on “selling” my resume, going from one opportunity to another opportunity and from one city to another city.

My own small business hit the lowest point where I didn’t have any clients at all, that was leaning to a self-doubt. “Maybe I’m in the wrong business, or ” maybe I’m a total idiot for thinking this would ever work out at all,” I was wondering..

And with those kind of event in my life, it really made me far far away to think about those love stuff, such as dating or serious relationship.

Then, after long dark “road”, then, I jumped to the ship in one of big worldwide company that served Oil & Gas Industry. A job that provide me an opportunity to have a real career path, to grow, to learn, and also going overseas. The opportunity to completely change my whole life to walk in a new direction.

But, the job turns out that I have to work in a way that I couldn’t imagine. Workload that makes me have to sacrifice my personal life, the stress when I felt stuck with the analysis, and also being a multitasker junkie, but surprisingly been trusted to be an interviewer.

Then, near end of the year, clients suddenly coming in, and my own business back again to the game. Eventually, It forced me to hire a few staff.

What about love area? Well, I looked at some of my friends that getting married, that honestly presents a strange moment of self-evaluation, especially when wedding invitation came. But, in 2010, my main focus was to prepare myself in terms of religion, mentality, attitude, financial, etc. But, I’ve done nothing for chasing or trying to built “connection”. Yep, I know that odds are, She’s not gonna magically walk through that door, but it seems as nice a spot as any to just, sit and wait for a while, preparing myself on any side.

So, 2010..?? I learned that “timing” is so important in any area of life, experienced times to be underrated & unappreciated, felt too old for some stuff, experienced the period where I felt lost control over my path, and therefore also felt anxiety about my decisions, confused about what I’m sacrificing or compromising..But there was also a moment when I realize I can’t just skip ahead to where I think my life should be..

Yep, Tomorrow had arrived..Welcome 2011..