Price of Passion.

I still vividly remember my parents’ disappointed face when I told them I wanted to pursue my passion in writing for my college major instead of business major.

It was not a pretty sight.

The loneliness of being the only Asian among Australians in the class because Art degree, let alone Creative Writing major, was far from popular among my peers. Oh the frustration, when I had to quit my writing job in a magazine that I actually loved doing because the paycheque was far from ideal and had to look for other career opportunity instead.

I buried my writing dream since then for five years, as I started to work purely for good money by running my own business in fashion.

I thought I was fine living with a dead dream.

Until not too long ago I found myself completely, utterly, broken.
I was hopeless.  I was helpless.
My soul was weary.
The future is nothing but a fog.
Unfathomable dead of night that this small mind failed to comprehend.

Pursuing a passion has its price to pay.

As for me, it was depression.
Not the “OMG my boyfriend broke up with me, I feel sooo depressed” kind, but diagnosed-by-psychiatrist-and-she-prescribed-me-with-an anti-depressants-so-I-won’t-turn-suicidal-kind.

There were days when I had to swallow that tiny pill just to give me the strength, to get me out of the bed and go to work. When I woke up I wished the day would end already, so tomorrow will come and I will finally be done feeling this empty.

In that state of mind, I kept telling the universe,

“I know I’m not a child anymore and I need to grow up,
but don’t make me a dreamer if you’re just gonna crush it with harsh reality.”

I was artistically heart broken, because the creator in me wasn’t able to create.
I had some success in my business, but I was far from being genuinely happy.
People who just knew me recently, would never know the wordsmith side of me.
Because I never show them.

Now more than ever, the world tells you to pursue your passion.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life,” they said.

But guess what, you actually have to.

Maybe your true passion isn’t making a lot of money, but the bill needs to be paid.
Last time I checked, groceries can’t be exchanged by passion nor big dreams.
Traveling and taking Insta-worthy pictures costs you.

Pursuing a passion is hard work.

Working your arse off day and night, doing everything you can, chasing every opportunities like you chase the wind, while waiting, for that door to finally come bursting open, for your teenage dream to finally come true, it can get mind-numbingly discouraging.

But after being molded for so long in darkness, imprisoned by the uncertainty, when the time is right, the light in you will shine bright.

If you prove yourself to be FAITHFUL in LOVING what you were entrusted to DO, even if it wasn’t the ideal job that you had in mind growing up, soon enough the universe will reward you with

the right people, 
right place, 
right time,

and you will be able to DO what you LOVE.

Start with a small step.
Start with what you currently have in your hands.
Dare to hope again.
Dare to feel again.
If you’re like me, dare to write again.

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Dream on my dearest,

S. (@sashatjie)

 

 

An Interview With Greys Polii: The Admirable Story of Pursuing Passion with Perseverance.

The girl who will be leaving 20something season in the next few weeks have been a friend of mine probably since 2009 or 2010. Sharing the same pride of being heirs of Minahasan (one of the tribes in Indonesia, located in North Sulawesi) blood, was one of the things that made our friendship flows quite naturally.

Greys Polii (Gel) has always been kind-hearted, easy going and very humble person, even though she was already a star in the national sports field, when we first became friends. From the first hang out to following each other on Twitter, and even until she finally won her first Gold Medal and ranked Number 2 in the Badminton Women’s Doubles World Rank, Gel remains as humble as ever. Nothing has changed except now that she is more mature and wise in handling challenges. That is why I decided to feature her and get some worth-sharing insights that hopefully could enrich your twenty-something journey.

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TPOB20: Who is Greys Polii in your own eyes?
Gel: 
Greys Polii career-wise she is a very ambitious and strong-willed woman who will give 200% focus and energy to make sure she got what she wants. But at the same time, she knows when and how to rest. For her, working and resting  must go hand-in-hand. In daily life, she’s a very sociable person, easy to make new friends and have high level of curiosity. She loves to learn from other people’s stories.

TPOB20: The question “What do you do” would be irrelevant to you, as most people, especially Indonesians must have heard about your astonishing achievements in Badminton. So, why don’t you share the story of how did you get into this career path.
Gel: 
Haha.. yea, there’s nothing interesting about “What I do” because I spend my days practicing and traveling for championship. I don’t have much time flexibility to do anything else outside of badminton. I’ve spent my whole life living at the dormitory with other badminton athletes, and only got to meet my family and friends during weekend or holiday.

I started playing badminton since I was only a 5-year-old kid. My mom, who was a tennis player, started to introduce me to both sports, but then I loved badminton more than tennis. We even moved from Manado (the capital city of North Sulawesi) to Jakarta when I was 8 to join a club. I remember she challenged the 8-year-old me whether I want to be a badminton player or not, if yes then we have to move to Jakarta so that I can get more serious in preparing myself to be an athlete.

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Three years later, when I was 11, I decided to get more serious in badminton and started to live in the dormitory. It was a total game-changer for me when I got separated from my Mom, which forced me to grow up independently. For me it was like the real moment where I said to myself, “This is it…” When I was 14, I started to wonder about my true calling and purpose. I realized that my life and talent is not only about being a world champion, but there’s gotta be something bigger, which is to be the best at what I do in order to inspire and bless other people.

At that moment I also had to choose which category (Singles, Doubles, or Mixed Doubles) of badminton that I want to focus on. Everyone I know (friends, family, coach) encouraged me to play in Singles or Mixed Doubles category, yet I was so convinced that I’m meant for Women’s Doubles category. When I told them that I chose to focus on Women’s Doubles, they considered my decision as foolish because Indonesia’s Women’s Doubles team haven’t won anything. China have been dominating the Women’s Doubles category for 20 to 30 years. It would be a lot easier and faster for me to become successful to play at Singles or Mixed Doubles. Although everyone I know was against my decision, I decided to continue and believed that I could make a history in this particular category.

TPOB20: How did it go? Did you ever change your mind or regret your decision?
Gel: Although the process and journey was really tough and challenging, I had never regretted or changed my mind about it.

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TPOB20: Tell us more about it. What was your biggest challenge, or your lowest point in pursuing your dream?
Gel: 
Well, 2012 was the lowest point in my life. I was 25 at that time. After 11 years of working hard and longing for a breakthrough, which is to be the first in Women’s Doubles, life decided to turn its back on me. I was disqualified at the Olympic Games for something that my partner and I didn’t do. We were accused of playing dirty in the Olympic Games and the saddest part was that we had to submit to the International Olympic Committee. The government apologized to us for not being able to help us out of the situation despite of the fact that we were not guilty. The IOC insisted that we had to bear the consequences otherwise Indonesia, particularly Badminton won’t be included in the next Olympic Games.

It was an utterly devastating experience. I felt like I’ve climbed way too high for 11 years only to be dragged down and hit the solid bottom. Somehow I lost focus and felt like the dream that I’ve been pursuing with high hopes and perseverance was totally unreachable. As disappointed as it was, I decided to quickly move on. I refused to give up and lose hope, and kept on trying until the promotion finally came in 2014, which has changed my life forever. Together with my partner, Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, won the Gold Medal at Asian Games in Korea, and we ranked number two in World Women’s Double.

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TPOB20: What are your work values that brought you here?
Gel: Perseverance and strong determination. I’ve made so many mistakes, but that shouldn’t stop me from getting back up every time I stumbled.

TPOB20: What kind of thing disturbs or angers you the most?
Gel: Dishonesty. Every one has a problem and past that they have to deal with, but as humans we need to learn how to be bold. Once we live freely in the open, being honest and transparent about our lives we gain freedom. Fear could not conquer us. People who are dishonest can’t enjoy a free live, because fear will sooner or later haunt them.

TPOB20: What kind of activity do you do to refuel your creative tanks?
Gel: 
Uhmm.. I do a lot of stuff in my spare time because I have high level of curiosity so I keep wanting to try new things: reading books, learning how to play a guitar, keyboards, taking a diving lesson, mount climbing, learning about public speaking, and other languages like English and Mandarin.

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TPOB20: What would you do when you stop playing badminton? 
Gel: Being an athlete in Indonesia is not easy. Even though we have sacrificed and gave everything for our country, once we stop our duty we are on our own. We need to plan for our lives if we want to live a life with financial freedom once we retired. That’s where I want to involve myself in after retirement. I want to help educate the next generation of athletes how crucial it is for them to manage their income, to challenge their way of thinking so that they could plan ahead, and not only live for the moment.

TPOB20: Now that you have won a gold medal, what would be your next big dream to pursue?
Gel: Definitely winning gold medal on a higher level, for example at the Olympic and becoming a world champion. Or, perhaps getting the first rank, because currently my partner and I are in number 2 of world rank.

TPOB20: Lastly, now that you are about to leave 20s, what is the perks of being 20 to you?
Gel: Hmm.. what we do in our twenties will affect our lives in our thirties. What we do in our thirties will affect us in our forties. And so on… That’s why it’s important for us not to live carelessly, because what we do today will determine the quality of our lives in the next season. I’m grateful that I have found my purpose and passion long way before I hit 20. By discovering my purpose, I now have a fulfilled life and clear direction of where I’m going.

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She closed our conversation with a simple encouragement for you who is on the run of pursuing your passion, particularly in sports: “Give the best of you in every thing that you do, especially in sports. Give 1000% focus and energy. Don’t pursue your passion and dreams half-heartedly because you will never be able to achieve it.”

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

Postcard from Sumba: Keeping the Child-like Wonder Alive

What is growing up?

Really, what is it? Nobody really knows what it means and school does not really mention anything about it in the curriculum.

Is it about making more money? Is it about being responsible? Is it about getting married and having kids?

Everyone is entitled to his or her own definition of growing up. I happen to find my own definition during my recent trips to Aussie and Sumba. Without trying to disrespect anyone’s definition, this post is made for the sole purpose of cognitive sharing and discussion.

To me, growing up means taking more adult responsibilities without losing your child-like wonder.

Read that line one more time before we move on to the discussion.

You’ve seen it all the time, everywhere. Kids who just wanted to be kids but end up losing themselves in the process to adulthood. Is growing up really that mundane? I believe in working hard, getting recognition and earning money for my future family. I call that being responsible. But IMHO, the biggest challenge is not about getting all of those. The biggest challenge is keeping your child-like wonder alive in the midst of growing up.

That’s why I travel out to the wild and to the outdoors. Where my inner child could run free and breathe without being suffocated by the air conditioner in my office cubicle.

That was why HG and I created this blog anyway.

I guess my challenge to you today is pretty much the same. Will you be willing to get out of your seat and explore the wild to keep your child-like wonder alive? I hope these photos of kids from Sumba will help you remember how much alive we used to be when we were kids. But hey, it’s never too late to live the life you always wanted.

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

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Arrival.

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Playground.

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Met these two girls on the top of Bukit Wairinding.

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They were so playful.

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A little too playful until one of them got hurt.

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Bukit Wairinding on a golden hour.

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No gadgets, just whatever the found on the field.

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Walakiri Beach, a playground for all.

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Crystal clear water.

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The softest sand I’ve ever stepped on.

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She was so passionate in what she created.

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He was just playing while waiting for his dad, a fisherman, to come back to the shore.

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Chilling by the beach.

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Sunset view from Walakiri.

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One out of many pre-wedding photoshoot sessions that I encountered.

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Into the wilderness.

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A school in the wilderness.

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Rayhan who bit my finger.

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The fourth generation of Sumba. He wasn’t even sure of his own age.

 

A Heart-Warming Lesson From Going Solo to Ijen Crater

Just like the famous and phenomenal Star Wars franchise, which has a prequel to its first original 3 episodes, this post would be the prequel to my last post. Before the 12 hours I spent in Surabaya, I got to spend two days in Banyuwangi. It’s a small city located in East Java (about 6 hours of train ride from Surabaya) for a hike to Ijen Crater and a motor ride to Baluran National Park (will share about this in other post).

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Back in February I was having two weeks off as I was in between job. Being a real millennial that I am, of course staying in Jakarta and doing nothing would be my last option. With limited budget yet limitless curiosity to explore new places, after a little bit of web-hopping and trackpad-clicking, I was already sitting in a train to Banyuwangi.

I arrived in Banyuwangi at 3pm in the afternoon, and directly headed to a homestay, which was located right in front of the train station. After settling in and cleaning up, I rented a motorcycle and went out to explore the city. But, right now I’m not gonna go into details about Banyuwangi. Let’s save it for another post.

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The Sulphur Mining.

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Don’t I look like a ninja? Pardon the bad quality photo.

To catch sunrise at the summit of Ijen Mountain, I had to wake up at midnight, and leave before 12am because the homestay’s front door will be locked afterwards. However, because I was probably too tired, I overslept and didn’t hear my alarm when it went off. I jumped out of bed at almost 1AM thinking I’ve missed my only chance to hike Ijen Mountain. Thank God, I haven’t.

The front door was already locked, thank God the owner was kind enough to wake up and open it for me. Next thing I knew, I was already on the road using a motorcycle, feeling very much alive. The cold wind kept on slapping my face. The streets were mostly dark and deserted. The locals were already dreaming their way to La la Land. Google Maps told me that it would take me about 1 hour of motor ride. So I put my earphone and sang along to any song that Spotify shuffled for me.

About one hour later, I finally arrived at the entrance of Patulding (the basecamp of Ijen Mountain). I had to pay IDR 5K (if I’m not mistaken) to go in, and also bought a pair of gloves, since the guard was warning me that it might be very cold up there due to the rainy season.

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Waiting for the sunrise

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The road to Patulding was narrow and COMPLETELY DARK. There were neither houses nor streetlights. My only source of light came from the headlight of my motorcycle, and there were also no other vehicles. I was completely alone in the middle of what seemed to be a concrete jungle. After gathering every little bit of courage I could find within me, off into the wood I went! Secretly wishing that I would encounter a car, or other fellow motor rider, or at least a human being walking. There was none.

“No turning back, Bro,” I said to myself. I just gotta continue the ride until I find the Patulding basecamp, which was about 20 minutes later. Traveling alone in the dark at midnight, in the middle of a forest was scary enough. At least, for me. But it didn’t stop there. It started to rain. Not a drizzle. Heavy rain.

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The cartwheel that miners use to carry the sulphur.

The road became slippery and I remember feeling utterly worried that the machine would just give up on me and I had to continue the rest of the trip walking to Patulding. Thank God the motorcycle was tough enough. To make myself feel better, I sang some worship songs out loud (LOL). It was dramatic.

Long story short, after a wonderful (not) trip, I arrived at Patulding Basecamp. Parked my motorcycle, while still shivering, because it was super cold. Gratefully, my camera and iPhone were okay, even though my hip pack was drenched.

Feeling a bit traumatized, my guts level decreased immediately from 100 to almost minus. I was intently planning to hike alone, but after what I had to go through, I buried that plan, and hired a local guide, Mas Yono, instead to accompany me. At first, I thought hiking to Ijen would be a smooth sailing. The pride in me, kept on telling me that since I’ve conquered Rinjani, which is 3726 meters above sea level, going to Ijen (2799 meters above sea level) would be nothing.

I was wrong. You really can’t act cocky towards Mother Nature.

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My signature yellow jacket.

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These cartwheels are used to carry people. Yeap, that explains the pillow haha.

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Breakfast with the locals.

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See? I told you.

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The guides.

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Sulphur as souvenirs.

The hiking itself was easy, but since it was drizzling and foggy, the crater has the potential to release toxic gas that could be dangerous to you, and would make your breathing difficult. Unlike Rinjani that made me walk about 6 hours to reach its summit, Ijen was kind enough to let me walk for about 40-ish minutes.

Sadly, the wind was very strong, and the fog was thick, I couldn’t see the blue fire with my own eyes. I had to be content to see the sulphur miner who were busy extracting one of nature’s precious gems to be sold as souvenir or soaps that could make your skin smooth and clean.

Around 6PM, the sky gets brighter. Sadly, there was no hint of a sunrise at all. It was all clouds and fogs instead. There was a bit of discontentment within me, because I felt like I deserved to witness a clear, mesmerizing view, after such scary trip. So, I waited for another hour. But instead of giving me the glorified sunrays, the sky decided to unleash raindrops.

I sighed. And told myself to be grateful. Because even without the sunrise, the whole trip to Ijen Crater has left quite a memorable story.

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Act like a tourist.

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Meet, Mas Yono.

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The sun started to appear when I was already on my way back.

At 7.30-ish I’m already back at the Patulding basecampe and decided to stay for a while to have a bowl of noodles and hot milk as breakfast. The kind-hearted guide, Mas Yono, waved his goodbye. Before he left, I asked him, whether he’s going to accompany another guest. He shook his head, and replied, “One guest per day is enough. I shall let the other guides to have more guests than me, because unlike the others I have a rice field at home that can be my other source of income.”

I was so inspired by his answer and literally felt something within me got warmer. Probably it’s a gentle knock to my conscience, a reminder not to get greedy with what I have in my hands. There’s better fulfillment in sharing. Sometimes we forget that, especially if we’ve been living in a big city, which has a strong ME-FIRST culture.

There might not be a sunrise for me to watch that morning. But there was something more beautiful to witness. A sincere heart.

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Imagine going through this narrow road at midnight, in total darkness and heavy rain.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Postcard from Beijing: People Are All the Same

After a day of strolling around Beijing’s street market, I came back to my apartment only to find my phone being filled with a ridiculous 2 years prison sentence for Ahok, a Christian governor in Indonesia, the most muslim populated country in the world, for an act of blasphemy. I am a firm believer that religion is not the main topic, but power play is. Ahok has been known for his honesty and performance against corruption that the corrupted rich are panicking over future illegal assets and income. Since power was at stake, religion and ethnicity differences was used as the weapon, thus the people were manipulated and made against each other.

To me, the solution is too simple to be true: people need to travel more often.

Those who don’t travel think that the neighbourhood is the entire world. As much as they can google and search about the other side of the world, the experience is a much different thing.

People are all the same and we will only understand this concept if we meet different people from all over the world. Race and religion differences are not something to be quarrelled about, it is something to be appreciated and accepted.

So I won’t ever be tired of encouraging people to see the world. It is the kind of education that people need and it is as important as a doctoral degree in a top university.  Even those with degrees can have zero tolerance towards people when it comes to money.

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People rushing towards Tian An Men.

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You will see these policemen standing straight for hours in the capital city of China.

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Cleaning the temples.

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The Forbidden City is not a bad place for millennials to hangout.

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3 hours walk and my parents’ feet gave up. It dawned on me that seeing the world is best executed as young as possible.

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I want to grow as healthy looking as this old men. 
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Wangfujing Street Market.

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If you are ever in Beijing, Nanluoguxiang is a must visit!

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A book shop on the street of Nanluoguxiang.

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Pretty dress, pretty flowers.

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If everything made in China easily breaks, why has the Great Wall stood for more than 2,000 years?

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Gubei, the water town.

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Such a scenic town for the tourists.

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These two lovebirds rubbing it all on my face.

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Good bye Beijing!

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

A Postcard from Bali: Life Lessons from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”

New year, new resolutions and new expectations. What kind of greatness do you seek to achieve this year?

To me, I was only looking for a peaceful state of mind. To be honest, I didn’t end 2016 exactly in a place that I want to be. In fact, I was quite far from my personal targets and goals. A little speed bumps and a few road blocks here and there got me super exhausted by the end of the year. I didn’t even start 2017 all excited. The first of January was just another day to me.

That was why I needed Bali so much. When I got a call to host an event in Bali, I quickly said yes in one term, which is for my client to extend my flight for almost 2 weeks. That way, I can have my most needed vacation in Bali.

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Girls just want to have fun.
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Beautiful sunset view from the Potato Head Beach Club.

In search of peace and tranquility, I bought a book at the airport by Robin Sharma titled “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”. I’m not much of a fiction fan, but I wasn’t in the mood for some self development book. I was just in a mood to get lost and find myself again. When it comes to finding your true self, nobody does it better than monks, right?

The book caught my attention since the very first chapter. It tells a story about a very successful corporate lawyer who sold everything in order to find himself again. To do that, he used his hard earned money to travel to India in search of wisdom from the wisest guru to learn about the art of living.

 I’m not going to spoil it for you. Read the rest of the book yourself.

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Diving in USS Shipwreck, Tulamben.

But here’s what I can tell you. I learn that the chase of money, fame and power is like the chase of the wind. It is futile. Even worse, it leads to destruction of morale and self identity.

The world relates success to something big. A big fat bank account, a big number of followers on Instagram or a big leadership and influence over a group of people. In this modern world, we tend to measure success, while it is actually more qualitative than quantitative.

 It is not much about number. It is more about quality.

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“The moment I stopped spending so much time chasing the big pleasure of life. I began to enjoy the little ones, like watching the stars dancing in moonlit sky or soaking in the sunbeams of a glorious summer morning.” – Robin S. Sharma

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“Never underestimate the power of simplicity.” – Robin S. Sharma

If qualitative success is what we want to achieve, then qualitative ways must be done to reach that kind of success. One of it that is explained in the book is about guarding your own thoughts.

A lot of people have learned and mastered the art of securing their investments and household, but few have actually mastered the art of guarding their own mind. That is why monks (from the books) punish themselves by meditating under the waterfall every time they let a tiny seed of worry enters their mind. They can’t let even the tiniest bit of worry grow inside and takes over their peace of mind.

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“Worry drains the mind of its power and, sooner or later, it injures the soul.” – Robin S. Sharma

I for one, am not a master of my own thoughts. My thoughts have took away my sleep and, sometimes, sanity. I guess I have to add that to my priority list on top of “making money”.

With all that written, I am determined to make this year all about self study. Instagram and the internet is the perfect tool to learn more about others. All the while, we tend to forgot that it is us that needs mending and fixing. While we focus so much on others and achieving what they have achieved, we forgot that the main character in our life is us. We are not just watchers and observers of life.

 That is why, studying ourselves is important. To know where we are and to know where we should be is one of the key to qualitative success.

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“I once read that people who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened.” – Robin S. Sharma

What a perspective to start the year! Thank you Bali. Thank you Robin S. Sharma. You can continue scrolling down and look at more of my stories from Bali.

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

 

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Thousands of tiny fishes spotted.

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Colourful corals.

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The Lady Gaga of fish.

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My lunch date at Da Maria, @inesaryaniputri.

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Took a quick visit to Taman Ujung, Karangasem. I rode for 2 hours to get to this place.

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One of the best wedding photography sites in Bali.

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When you travel alone, but clever enough to utilize the self timer feature.

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Kali Unda was lit. I loved every minute I spent watching these kids play in the water.

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These four kids kept on jumping just to be in the photo.

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Simplicity.

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Dab for the camera!

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Definitely a rare candid moment.

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Bumped into @martinalvin and @crystiarden. This couple would kill their pre wedding photos.

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These tacos I tried at Panama are definitely not the best taco in Bali.
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Chilling by the pool.

So, Life Is Tough. Srsly? Think Again.

This is not one of our regular “coffee-shop-review” post, just in case the title is bugging you. Here’s a post that is inspired by the current train of thoughts I’ve been having these past few weeks.

As I sat down, waiting for my friends to come, in SRSLY Coffee, I can’t help but having a little discussion with my own thoughts about the particular statement I used in the title. “Life is tough,” we secretly uttered this sentence, almost automatically, when life doesn’t happen the way we expect it to be. There are times when I’m still guilty of subconsciously letting this thought popped up on the surface. Even when facing mere temporary problems as simple as being stuck in the traffic.

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Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7C, Cilandak

In a world that (not only offers, but also) praises instant and immediate results, it’s very easy for us to forget and undermine the value of process. We forget to learn the art of cultivating patience. The society is no longer able to see the importance of waiting. We see waiting as a loss, a damage or a waste of our “oh-so-valuable” time.

When we want something, we want it right away, we want it our way. If things don’t happen according to our timeline and expectation, we easily conclude that life happens. Reality bites. And then, we post it on our social media, expecting attention and empathy from others to help us feel good about ourselves again.

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I have a thing for white decoration.

If only we can stop for a while before we let our emotions take control of everything and lead us into a conclusion that life is tough, probably we’ll be able to see that life is not really that tough. Especially when you still have a fine working smartphone to read this post.

That was when I looked up and chuckled. Because, it seemed like the big signage before me was laughing at the conversation that happened in my mind. SRSLY? One fine coffee shop to sit and unwind. One person with one busy thought. One question, seriously?

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SRSLY?

People use speed as a benchmark of achievement. No wonder we love those singing contest reality show. No wonder some people love to have instant followers and likes. And so we are trapped in an endless competition of being the fastest.

The fastest to be in a relationship, even after one suffered a painful break up. The fastest to have a date, thanks to Tinder. The fastest to purchase the newest gadget. The fastest to watch the newest movie. The fastest to quit a job and hop on to a new job in the name of pursuing passion. The fastest to get married, even when we still carry unresolved issues from the past.

People love to be on the fast lane as it comes with an adrenaline rush. But we often forget, that moving in a high speed can cause us a serious damage. That is why the art of pausing, or even stopping and taking a break need to be mastered.

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Have you ever tried putting yourself in other people’s shoes?

When you are moving too fast, you have the potential to end up in a huge crash, right? What if those unanswered prayers, or unmet wants and needs are actually a form of divine protection that have been actually saving you, preventing you from a major crash? Try see it from a different angle. Have you tried to see “not getting what you want” as a blessing in disguise?

A blessing that prevent you from stepping into a mess.
A blessing that prevent you from marrying the wrong person.
A blessing that prevent you from taking the wrong career path.

A blessing that prevent you from another heart break.

One sad news that literally tore my heart apart and made me cry arrived during the drafting of this post. The pretty little warrior, Daphne (the baby girl that we visited during our last visit to Singapore), passed away (on Wednesday morning). His dad replied my text still being all-inspiring, believing that Daphne is now in a better condition, playing happily in heaven. Even when I visited them at the funeral, they both welcomed me still with the warm smiles I saw when we came visited them in the hospital.

Through Daphne’s life, and the uncommon great faith of her parents, I’m being reminded again about all this. From them, I learn the true meaning of giving my best in dealing with problems that come into my life. From them, I learn the true meaning of being strong. From them, I learn to have a bigger faith, the kind of faith that refuse to give up.

When you think that your life is tough, stop, pause, and ask this to yourself: “Is it really? Have I tried my best? How long have I been praying and fighting for miracles to come? Have I failed to see other options? Have I tried putting myself in other people’s shoes?”

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Busy. Busy. Busy. Hail to the fast lane society!

Before we get too fast in concluding that life is tough, why don’t we stop and start to look at the blessing that we have? Why don’t we start being grateful instead?

Let’s make this as part of our lifestyle. Lifestyle is not only about spending what you have on what would make you look cool. It can be a way of living that would add value and give good influence to those around you. That’s what lifestyle is. At least, that’s how we see it.

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Lifestyle is more than just purchasing a cup of coffee.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)