Responsibility of Tomorrow


“We can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow
by evading it today,

Because the future is only, partly,
in our hands…”

(~Abraham Lincoln)

You see, in my opinion, when we try to divine the future, I think we’re really looking for hope. Or some peace inside, knowing everything is going to be okay, or reassurance that what we are doing is the right thing to do.

So, have you ever done this exercise: not daydreaming, but closing your eyes and really visualizing where you want your life to be in the future? What do you see?

For sure, all of us, We always want to get from here to there, because there’s something over there we really want. You do know that after this “Lebaran” / “Idul Fitri”, we have to go back to our “routine” city and leave our families, even with a very sad heart, right? Or, in another day, We’re counting minutes on deadline work, we’re watching & monitoring our bank accounts. The question here, what is it really? Why do we did that?

I think, because, all of us want to succeed in life. We want to accomplish something – to feel that in some way, we’ve “won”. Success or won by our own definition, not by others “standard”.

And the main thing that I’ve realized, the goals we set, and where we want to be in our future life, only can be achieved if that’s in line with the type of person who we are today. I mean, we  can’t accomplish every single thing we want in life, because some of the actions We’d have to take aren’t consistent with the type of person we want to be.

I look back, any of the biggest moments in my life did not come out of nowhere – they were the result of tiny moments of choice. I imagine all the little decisions I’ve made and how those seemingly insignificant choices have turned me into the person who I am today. The chances I took, the different paths I could have taken, if I had done things just a little differently, or the things I may have missed out on. I give myself some perspective, and realize that this single action I take will today will affect all of my tomorrows.

So, the main questions, are you willing to be the type of person you need to be in order to get the results you want? YES, I DO…!!! Because, I’m the one who’s responsible for my own future.

And that it isn’t just about trying hard – it’s about trying harder and pushing yourself, wanting to win so badly. Things, circumstances, and people come and go, and the only thing that remains constant is ME, witnessing it all from the present moment.

Maybe, Life is like a book, that everyday has a new page with adventures to tell, things to learn, and tales to remember. However, people are made wise not by the recollection of their past, but by the responsibility for their future…

Melewati Ramadhan di Project

(~Foto : Pertamina RU III, Plaju, Palembang)

Apa kabar wahai sang hati?
Semoga, seiring tak mengeringnya usaha untuk mengejar dunia,
tak mengering pula ibadah ini menghadap-Nya..

Alhamdulillah, Allah masih memberikan umur yang panjang hingga aku telah sampai pada pekan detik-detik akhir Ramadhan. Hati pun bertanya-tanya, apakah yang sudah berubah pada diri ini? Seperti apakah kualitas Ramadhan ku tahun ini dalam pandangan-Nya?

Ya Allah, aku takut, bahwa puasaku ini hanya “omong kosong” dalam pandangan-Mu. Puasa yang hanya semacam festival menunda selera menjelang waktu berbuka. Puasa yang dipersiapkan dengan sahur agar tidak tumbang di siang hari. Puasa yang dilakukan cuma karena takut ancaman-Mu. Dan, lebih-lebih karena takut ancaman sosial karena dinilai sebagai orang yang tidak bermoral dan tidak beriman. Astaghfirullah..

Tahun ini, kali kedua bagiku menjalani Ramadhan di tengah “hiruk-pikuknya” Project Oil & Gas di Field (Prabumulih & Palembang / Plaju). Ada tantangan tersendiri dalam memimpin subcont-subcont dan Vendor di saat puasa. Tetap kritis namun tidak “menggurui”, tetap disiplin walaupun ngantuk berat, tetap sabar walaupun lagi kesal. Ya begitulah, dengan segala kesibukan duniawi, tetap harus diimbangi dengan beribadah khusyu’.

Ada satu pengalaman menarik yang akan selalu ku ingat, yaitu ketika mencari makanan sahur. Di dekat mess, ada Ibu pedagang nasi (yang kebetulan juga orang Minang), dimana setiap kali belanja makanan sahur di sana, si Ibu akan selalu berkata, “Alhamdullillah Allah membagi rezeki, Semoga rezekinya bertambah-tambah, agar Ibu juga kebagian”.

Kata-katanya sangat sederhana, tapi selalu membuat hati ini merenung. Dan begitulah setiap saat ada orang datang membeli, lisannya tulus mengucapkan syukur dan doa buat mereka. Ucapan syukur yang tulus, ucapan do’a yang ikhlas, yang seakan-akan mereka berada pada posisi yang sangat bahagia. Yang memang selalu merasa cukup atas apa yang Allah berikan pada mereka.

Astagfirullah ya Allah, bagaimana dengan aku? Apakah aku masih terlalu sering mengeluh merasa kurang cukup juga atas pemberianmu? Ya Allah, aku malu..

Ya Allah, Ya Rahman, terimalah taubat tengadahnya jemari dalam penatnya kaki melangkah. Berikanlah aku kemampuan untuk melihat tirai hikmah hidup yang dilalui, agar hati dan lidah ini mampu selalu berujar, ”Terima kasih atas semua ini, wahai Yang Maha Sayang!”

Self Honesty

“The best years of your life are the ones
in which you decide your problems are your own.
You do not blame them on anyone, the ecology,
the environment, or even the president.
You realize that you’re responsible for your own life.”

(~ Albert Ellis)

As I am growing up, I’m slowly gaining consciousness through random encounters in my life. And, during this holiday (Field Break), it reached the peak point. I spent my time analyzed what I had done in my life, what I had achieved – and what was it worth? Am I the person who I want to be? Am I living my own value?

I’m trying to take a good hard look at myself, and I understand that It can be hard to just honest, to look ourselves in the eye and see what’s really there. Because, so often we see ourselves as something we’re not. And so often, we want others to see something different as well.

But, I’m now much more willing to do this. I’m not sure what has changed. Perhaps I’ve stopped judging myself so harshly, or maybe that I didn’t try to “justify” my actions anymore. Or maybe I’ve just experienced enough to know now that it’s the right thing to do.

Because, when I’m honest with myself, it means that I wasn’t afraid to confront my own imperfections anymore. I realize also, that I’m the one who’s responsible about my own life, whether it’s good or bad, ordinary or extraordinary, interesting or boring, happy or sad, etc.

You see, I’ve been waiting for this phase in my life to begin for a long time, a phase where I can be myself and not worry about editing my attitude or my behavior just to “fit-in”. It is the most liberating feeling, indeed. Nothing beats being really honest about who you are and what you need. All the rest just works itself out.

Above all else, I always want to walk the walk, not just to stand aside and watch, no matter what people say or think, in both my personal & professional life.

But, in truth, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that we may think we know what the future will hold and we can plan down to the most minute detail, but really, when it comes down to it, nothing is for certain, and nothing is completely predictable. Sometimes, things just happen the way they happen. We cannot know what the future holds for us in exact way, right?

When I really sit down and think about it, I don’t need to know what the future brings. The thing is, as long as I keep trying as best as I can, then I’m sure that I can gain more and more clarity about the right path of success.

I hope that no matter what I do from here on, all pieces of puzzle will fall right into place, and my journey continues..

Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Pipeline

The art of living draws no sharp distinction between his labor & his leisure, his work & his play, his education & his recreation. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he’s doing, and leaves others to determine whether he’s working or playing. To himself, he is always doing both.

(~James A. Michener)

You see, I’ve been moving to new city since last month, it’s related with my Job Assignment for Oil & Gas Project. Currently, I’ve been involved on Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Commissioning (EPCC) of Oil & Gas Project for NGL (Natural Gas Liquids) Pipeline, that will be used to transport an extracted NGL from Prabumulih to Palembang.

As you know, a pipeline is a complex transportation system, that is intended for transporting a fluid (liquid or gas), from plant to other plant that have long distance. Pipelines perform vital functions. They serve as arteries, bringing natural gas through a dense underground network of distribution lines, that have facility such as Pig Launcher, Pig Receiver, Metering Stations, SCADA System, Valve Stations, etc.

As Pipeline Engineer, I have to know about specification, criteria, and requirement. It will be useful on route selection, wall thickness analysis, flexibility stress analysis, stability analysis, corrosion protection, installation analysis, etc. And surely, to ensure the constructability of pipeline design, both on “paper” and also on the field.

The Dynamism Part – Living The Life

The Dynamism Part is coming when I have to go to Field. As Field Pipeline Engineer, I have a role to ensure construction works will be perfoming as per engineering design & specifications. Also to lead all activities regarding any field adjusment.

Just like any Oil & Gas projects, working on the field have dynamism & flexibility. It is the best part, indeed. Because I’m not like “robots” anymore, It’s a lot of traveling & and mobile during the work. It feels that my life aren’t running on “auto-pilot”. I’m far away from life that caught in the loop of “going through the motions” in automated mode (repeating the same activities day by day).

You see, lots of people are drone through the weekdays, looking forward to Fridays and weekends, where they recharge themselves for yet another dead week ahead. This cycle continues week after week, with no end until they’re retired. They are too comfortably snuggled in the cycle, convincing themselves that their current life is the best one.

Because, as far as I concerned, the truth is, ”Death isn’t sad. The sad thing is: most people don’t live at all. “

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..

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?