Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I am poor, cruel, dirty, and fat...

I am rich
Compared to the old lady selling banana chips by the roadside at night

I am poor
Compared to my friends who drive Porches and live in huge mansions

I am smart
Compared to a normal 5 year-old who just starts reading

I am stupid
Compared to those with genius IQ

I am kind
Compared to the criminals in the prison

I am cruel
Compared to animal lovers who never kill a single living thing

I am a clean freak
Compared to hoarders who live in a dungeon

I am dirty
Compared to an OCB (Obsessive Compulsive Behavior) person

I am talkative
Compared to my husband

I am a quiet person
Compared to my friends doing sales for multi-level marketing

I am religious
Compared to an atheist

I am not pious
Compared to my friends who never miss praying 5 times a day and wear hijab

I am skinny
Compared to the 180-kg biggest loser contestants

I am fat
Compared to Victoria Secret models

I am remembering what my nanny told me when I was young : Di atas awan ada langit yang lebih tinggi dan di bawah pantai ada laut yang lebih dalam. In plain English : there is a higher sky above the clouds and there is a deeper ocean below the beach.

My nanny worked for our family since my father was 1 year old and stayed with us until I was 9 years old. She had always been a part of our family and I will always remember the kind words and advices she told me.

Though she didn't go to school, her wisdom can beat any Oxford graduates...

Today I got sentimental thinking about Nini Kimah, my late nanny... She assured me that I was not fat, I was smart, I was not naughty and I was not ugly by teaching me doing the comparisons above (of course she didn't compare me to Victoria Secret's models but to the Indonesian actress Titiek Puspa)

Today, when I felt down and thought that I was not slim enough (shocked looking at the scale..!) and not good enough (forgot to do a lot of things) her words came back to wake me up....

And I am fine....

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

God sent Mentor....

For the past 12 years, I kept hearing his voice in my mind. He was like talking to me in almost every major situation I faced. And yet.... I haven't met or talked to him again after I resigned from my first job in Jakarta.

I was so fortunate for having been trained and mentored by this fine gentleman when I was working in Indika. He was "on loan" from a reputable conglomerate company for 1 year. Although it's only 1 year, he made tremendous impact in our work ethics, discipline, integrity and company culture.

When he first came in, we feared him. He was very strict and discipline on the "Dos and Don'ts". But after a few months we totally understood him and grew enormous respect towards him.

Thing he said:

1. Do the best in whatever you do. In plain malaysian slang is "no Cinchai cinchai" in doing things. He told me, if one day I have to be a taxi driver, be the best taxi driver. If I have to be a housewife, do the best in that role. Don't be the best manager only (I was a manager at that time) because we hold a lot of roles in this world. Do the best in every role you hold and you will be happy and satisfied. Until now I still believe it and I swear he is right.

2. Everyone has a past "video" of his/ her life that makes him/her behave in certain way today. A grumpy person may had a very difficult life before. If we have a very difficult life, it is very difficult to be nice to other people. He asked me to imagine if I were abused, no money, no education and everybody told me I was stupid and useless. Would I be smiling and nice to everyone I meet? So when someone is giving us a sour face, he said, we should pity him/her instead of being angry at that person because he/she must have some bad moments. And if we still can smile, laugh, help people and give something to other people, we should be very thankful because it means we are better off from millions of other people in the world.

3. If you work in an office and you have subordinates, you have to come earlier than them. He really did what he said. I had to stay in the office until 6 am to finish a proposal. I went back home, had a nap, took shower and went back to office. He expected me to come at 8.15am before the office opened at 8.30am. He said, my staff wouldn't know that I stayed up late and I didn't need to explain to my staff about what I did. The only thing they needed to know was we all have to come on time. He let me go earlier that day after some meetings outside. Because of that everybody came on time to the office. Even all my big bosses...

4. Respect and trust are EARNED. Being a manager, a director, a boss, or a parent does not mean people will respect and trust us. Only fools and ass-kissers (literally what he said) respect and trust a person based on a person's title. Prove yourself first...

5. Don't ever join a NATO. Meaning No Action Talk Only. Once people associate us with NATO, nobody will trust us.

6. Listen. Most people talk and talk and talk trying to show off how smart they are without realizing that actually they are revealing their foolishness and stupidity. It's a simple thing that a lot of people fail to do : LISTENING.

7. We live our lives in a huge turning wheel. While everybody is trying to be on the top, the wheel keeps on turning. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are at the bottom. So treat everyone equally with respect because one day that person may be on the top and we are at the bottom.

8. When we climb a mountain, we get tired after we climb half way. We get even more tired after 3/4 way to the mountain. That's when a lot of people give up and turn back down. Most people give up when they are close to the top. Same thing with success. Most people give up without realizing how close they are to success.

9. Share your life with your loved ones but never give your life for anybody. He gave me an example: I made my friend her favorite cake. When I gave it to her, right away she gave the whole cake to her husband. To make it worse, the husband couldn't appreciate the cake and threwq it away. Will I be angry? Yes.
But if she eats the cake and share it with her friends and relatives, will I be angry? No. Same thing with life. God has created the beautiful world and life for us. Enjoy and share it with our loved ones. Don't simply give our lives for someone else... Worse, giving it to someone who can't appreciate it. The minute we give our lives to someone's else we will lose our identities and we'll die inside.

10. Be like water in the river. Water flows into a river, touches the soil and makes grass and flowers grow on its bank. The water gives life to the fish, insects, snakes and a lot of animals in the river. People can have fun swimming and cooling down from the hot sun. When small dirts drop into the river, the stream will wash them away. Let's use our body, mind and life like water in the river, giving meanings to lives. If we can't contribute in a big way, make someone smile, help someone alleviate his/her sorrow, clean the earth, plant a tree, etc... When bad things come, wash them away... Don't waste our lives making someone angry, miserable, or sad.... Life is too short to be wasted on unnecessary things.

While there are so many other things that he told me, those 10 things are still echoing in my mind until today, following me every where. I thank God for having a chance to be with him, even for a short one year. Like he said, it's not how long you live but how you live your life.

He may never read this blog but I want to say again and again, Thank you very very much.... I can't say thank you enough to Pak Djonny Wiguna, the President Director of PT Central Asia Raya (CAR).

Friday, 7 October 2011

Lessons from Steve Jobs

While most people are touched and amazed by Steve Jobs's genius and creative ways incorporating art and technology, Steve Jobs inspired me with his life story and how he lived his life.

I have to confess that I am not a gadget person. I didn't get excited when Apple released its first iPod, iPad, iphone or Apple TV. I even laughed when my brother-in-law queued for 10 hours to get his first IPhone. My gadgets are only laptop and blackberry. Yes, recently my husband got us an iPad2 which I now enjoy tremendously but I am not the type who would buy newer version of any gadget. If it ain't broken, I ain't gonna replace it..

Steve Jobs made my father, who doesn't even know how to type and switch on computer, addicted to iPad day and night.

My mom uses her blackberry only for making phone calls. We bought her blackberry to join bbm group of our family and relatives. But she just can't operate it.. And yet, now she does FaceTime almost everyday with me and my sister who lives in Japan. iPad has been the only gadget she has ever used.

My two daughters can never get enough of the hundreds apps to play with, giggling and fighting with each other.

As for me, what he said and thought were great example on how I want to live my life. Here's the list:

1. To live as if it's our last day on earth.
2. Do only things that we love and passionate about.
3. Death is inevitable. Nobody wants to die... Even those who want to go to heaven don't want to face death. This shows how people always want easy and comfortable ways to reach what they want.
4. He connected the dots of his unfortunate events in his life and saw that all those events contributed to the success of his life. If he hadn't dropped out of college, he wouldn't notice the calligraphy on the wall of his campus. The calligraphy contributed to the first ever nice fonts in Apple computer. Remember how fonts looked like in PC before Apple? Green and ugly? If he had not been fired by Apple in the 90's, he wouldn't have the time to create Toy Story
5. Like anybody else, he also experienced business failure. While it hurts, failure is not something we should be ashamed of because it teaches us valuable lessons about "what to do" and "what not to do"
6. Hiring the right person is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING in any organization. He was fired by the CEO that he hired..!! That is bizarre..!
7. Nobody knows what causes cancer..! So many people claim and testify that certain pills, diet patterns, food and theories can prevent cancer. Steve Jobs only ate organic food. He was a strict vegetarian. His food at home was raw vegetables and fruits. He still got the rare cancer..
8. Last but not least... Human can plan but only God decides. When it's your time to go, you have to go... Nothing and no one can interfere with God's plan.

As million others out there, I was sad with his passing. Since Einstein, Edison, and Graham Bell didn't live during our time, no doubt Steve Jobs is the greatest inventor during our time.

As much as I am saddened, I am also a bit relieved.... I can still eat my steaks and seafood and ducks and lambs and muttons and chickens without too much guilt. There is no guarantee that being a strict organic vegetarian prevents us of getting cancer. My theory remains : cancer is caused by a very complex combination of food, beverage, state of mind, life style, gene, and hundreds of other things...

So..... Bring me my juicy rib-eye steak...!!