Sunday, December 14, 2014

End of Twenties Note: Evaluate Backward and Dream Forward

November and December are special months when many special occasions held. I got married on November. My wife birthday, my most special person, is also in November. And December is my birth month.

Yesterday was time when my age clock tick to another year and it remind me that I have stayed in this earth for another extra year. This year is my last twenties and next year my age second will be incremented too, that make me join thirties group. Before get too old and too lazy, like usual, this event is always a best time to do some reflections and evaluations. I want to move back a while with my imaginary time travel machine.

The Magical Time Travel Machine

I often feel that time flies. Sometime I still remember several old fragments, when first time I have memory that I can recall from my childhood. One of that I still can retain is, when one day I was play outside near my home. Then my dad fetched me to go home. I was around 4 years because I remember that my mom was expecting her second child, my first younger sister. I couldn't recall any memory older before that time.

We moved to different city shortly after my mom delivering my first younger sister. I was entering primary school when I was around 5 years old.  I couldn't remember most part of those times. Like I don't remember any name of my friends. I only can recall some of memory snapshots. I was schooled there only for one year because then we moved back again to another city again.

On second year of primary school I was staying with my uncle. I was with his family for 3 years from 2nd grade until 4th grade. I couldn't remember much thing around that time. However my memory was better because at least I can remember several of my friend name. Even I can found out them again in Facebook, some years later.

On 5th grade I return to stay with my own family. Then 2 years later, I entered junior high school. I can recall more and more. Sometime I wonder about how magical human memory is. It getting better and better when age increase and one time will decay again when we reach older time. 3 years in junior high school with important achievement of getting to know how to fall in love with girl, then I entered high school. Fast forward 3 years I entered university. More freedom, found more diverse people.

Four and half years in university is like a blink, then I graduated. Got a job luckily 3 months only after graduation day. Somehow destiny guided me suddenly to work as a programmer. I work in Jakarta for 3 and half years then destiny flew me to nearby country and has worked here in Singapore for another 3 years. So what I have achieved? Anything I can proud of?

Chasing The Achievement

Nope, I haven't help to resolve world hunger issue yet nor in near future could have capacity to win a noble prize. I am not so that impactful yet as an individual, although hope to be so sometime later. More or less I feel that I still about same with 4 years old of me. Except that I little bit taller and much more fatty. However, inside I still have the same soul with that little boy and hoping could be a better and better person as the time moving forward.

Getting older is a gift that not all people can attain. People life and dies every time. Be grateful if we still breath at this exact second, which mean we still have chance to make world a better place, said no startup founder ever in their pitch. I am serious in this point, as I believe there is no impossible thing to achieve and any damage that couldn't be recovered in this world  as long as we still live and have strong commitment to do so. Making world as a better place could be started just to make our self a better person. Hence I still disappointed to myself is I feel that I still haven't make any significant movement to make myself as a better person yet.

I always state my personal motto as "Life is to precious if just to be ordinary". Hence I feel that most of the time I still too much ordinary. No sin to be ordinary but most magnificent achievement in this world is done by extra ordinary person. To have just a standard life maybe we could just be ordinary. However to have a good life, a proper house, a nice vehicle, frequent travel to beautiful destination to enrich our soul, to have best health and education for our family then we have to be extra ordinary.

Best result comes from best effort. And I feel that I haven't presented best effort in my life yet. This is important thing that I remind in this event and I have to serious to start doing best for everything I do from now on. Let see following example: doing best job in my work, be a best husband for my wife, be a best father for my future children, be a best son for my parents, write a best software., write a best book, use every day time as its best, and so on. Hoping that by executing those best input to get best output. Let we say that best output as a thing called success. Everybody want to succeed, aren't they?

Success is something too abstract. To make it easier, let's define success as achieving something that we want. So from that we could list following steps to succeed:
  1. It started by knowing and define exactly what we want
  2. Prescribe the step to get what we want and break down it as specific as we could. 
  3. While have not succeed, do every step that will help we getting closer to what we want
It might be funny, but sometime people don't know what they want, which indicating that most people satisfy to be just ordinary. Some people know what they want, but they don't have exact step to get what they want. Whom that even not doing number 1 has messed up them self . Whom that execute only step 1 to 2 is a dreamer. Whom that execute all of those three will only be the person that could succeed. Ironically I rarely doing 3. Sometime I do step 1, sometime I do step 1 and 2. Less often do the whole steps 1,2 and 3. This have to be changed.

What I want?

This is standard bucket list that I often wrote. Hoping this year can put more full commitment to achieve these.
  • have a better personality so that I could be a best friend, near perfect husband, a superdad, a nice son for my parent
  • make more friends because the best source of life learning is from other humans
  • have children
  • have a house
  • have a car
  • have a sporty motorbike again
  • have best expertise in my professional field
  • work in awesome company to gather experience so that
  • I can build awesome company too
  • study post graduate 
  • improve my English
  • learn another foreign language (maybe start with German, wie gehts?)
  • have better skill in public speaking because
  • to speak in a software conference 
  • travel to awesome place
  • Learn to fly an airplane
  • and so on
How To Reach There

This morning my wife re-shared my Facebook status from few month back, that even I forgot from where I have it. But understand this steps will help a lot to achieve our "what we want list"
  1. No more zero days - do something towards whatever goal or want. (e.g. make time to study/research/learn/design/develop/create/build/launch)
  2. Be grateful to the 3 You's - The Past You, The Present You, and the Future You.
  3. Exercise - when you exercise, you are doing your future self a huge favor.
  4. Read Daily - almost everything we've ever thought of, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do or whatever has been already figured out by someone else. Reading will help you better understand.
  5. Have faith and follow through with action.
Special thanks to my wife that like always never stop giving me sweet surprise including giving some of my dream lego set in my birthday. Luckily some of my friends also  came and spent an awesome night to talk about life.

I just found out that for the last 4 years, every year I have tried to write my personal statement for my birthday that could be important reference for myself:

  1. 28 years old personal note
  2. 27 years old personal note
  3. 26 years old personal note
  4. 25 years old personal note

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How to Stay Competitive: A Self Reminder

If we drive our car every day, could we become a better driver? Not necessary. Daily driver of course will be good in driving compared to the new learner. He can act and respond promptly for some sudden event on the road. However, it will not make he can do more than mundane driver task as he do daily. There will be no way such ordinary driver could race in circuit just out of sudden. Racer is also a driver but not vice versa. Racer need enormous training to gain his expertise.

Today I am thinking about how we always have to improve our competitive advantage in this life so that we could be more than just "ordinary driver". After all, basically life is about competition, isn't it? Competition itself that bring our world as now. The good example of competition bring is advancement technology around us. There will be no major invention, airplane, transistor, computer or sophisticated gadget without driven by competition. At other side political competition by using unfair way is the negative example. 

In this note, I would like to elaborate my own view of how to be stay on the edge. The first step is to go outside our mundane life. I realized that sometime human trapped in a comfort zone when everything is just feel fit perfectly and the routine is just nice. However the comfort zone bring the stagnancy that will make we less competitive. When we arrived in such situation we should push the throttle hard so that wouldn't stuck too long.

The example of pushing the throttle act are as follow. Read a good book. With all of sophisticated invention in modern life, still book is one of most effective way to transfer information and knowledge that can stand against time and place. Book will bring a new information that we can learn and also good story that can inspire. Sometime I read a few books in one month but another time I even don't read any book in several months. As a rule of thumb, at least read one book every month should give us a great advantage in long run and will keep us ahead most of people.

Second important way of how to keep competitive is by make friend and meet awesome people. There will no more factual inspiration rather than actual story from the person itself. People can give inspiration and share useful experience. Which at the end could make us feel "envy" and motivate us to do better in life. Making friend with such good people also will bring so much benefit. Old idiom said bird of same feathers flock together. Making friend with awesome people definitely will help us to learn and adapt to be such awesome as them. 

The next important step that we need to do is patiently doing something to make us always on top. One day we might find an insight to improve our life by doing this or that. However, most of time motivation is fluctuate and easy to go up and down. One of the factor when sometime motivation is going down when we chase something is impatient. It is a nature that human often want instant result.

As an example, we cannot be rich just in short time except winning a lottery which is usually will not give long lasting result. Chasing a wealth need a hard effort and sometime a long process. We need to earn coin by coin, sometime push our self from wasting money unnecessary by not buying something that we don't need although we might want it so hard.

Another example is the effort of mastering something. There is no shortcut. There is maybe a crash course that will give us general knowledge about something that we would like to learn. But still mastering skill and knowledge will need long time and much patient. Malcolm Gladwell discussing this in his famous 10.000 hours rule. He said that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. Patient hold major role here. Without patient we can easily lost motivation. Patient is a virtue and impatient is a vice.

At the end this note is a reminder for myself so that I will be alarmed to do continuously improvement in daily life. 

This post is inspired from here

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

Stylus in smartphone is something that actually I rarely use but I can't live without. It was started almost 3 years ago when the first generation of Samsung Galaxy Note released. The main identity of this smartphone is the stylus as the Note name coming from. Other than that, this was one of early Android smartphone that offer very big screen. Galaxy Note was predicted to be fail in market. However it became very successful. Samsung even use that success by producing Samsung Galaxy Note II and the latest one Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Honestly, I was not thinking to purchase another smartphone while my Galaxy Note 1 is still usable. Indeed, there are some scratches around the handset and the hardware little bit behind recent application demand. Anyway, I was still enjoying the handset and not to attracted to take another one. Until one day when I open Singtel website and they announced some discount for device recontract. I supposed to pay $258 initial payment for recontract to Samsung Galaxy 3. But during that promotion, I only need to pay $158. Considering that with or without new device I still need to pay monthly subscription around $70, I am thinking recontracting will be better option. So I eat my own word by taking this new handset.

Here are some of opinion after about two weeks I am using the handset. First, the hourse power is excellent. I has quad core processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. Second, this the latest android smartphone that include stylus for whom that consider stylus is important such as myself. Third, the screen is quite large but still manageable. Fourth, the battery life is satisfactory. Five, several interesting accessory available. The notable one is Samsung Gear even though I don't have any interest yet to buy one. Beside that I am S View smart cover. With S View cover we can receive call and playing mp3 without opening the cover. Not so that important but the technology have their own use. Six, the phone faster data transfer by USB 3.0 cable although the transfer speed might be limited by storage speed. I respect backward compatibility of USB 2.0 by having new port but still accept old USB 2.0 connector. 

Overall, I quite enjoy this new handset. Let see what advancement in technology that will happen in upcoming two years after this device contract ended. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

After Six Months

Wow it has been six month again after my last post. And I will just jot down again some personal note this time.

I went to Europe from January until March earlier this year. I took a long leave from my job. I was visiting my wife in Germany, the place where she was taking master degree.

On end of January, my wife defending her thesis gracefully. The day after we went for awesome whole month euro trip until early March. We visited 12 countries and 15 cities. It was a great journey, hopefully I could share it in another post.

On end of March we returned to my wife town. It is Ilmenau, very beautiful city in East Germany. We spent the rest of the month enjoying free time. On weekend sometime we went for some short getaway to nearby city. Other time we just invited or friends near by. In the morning sometime I did jogging. In the afternoon, we went to swim. Until we finally realize that end of March has come. We need to go back to Asia.

We flew back to Asia on last day of March with short 24 hours stop by in Dubai. We drove around for few hours in very hot Dubai. At the end we landed in Jakarta. Going back to the real life. In Indonesia, we visit both of our parents.

Within one week I left my wife in her parent place while I going back to Singapore again to resume my job. Immediately after arrived in Singapore my main important task was to find apartment. It was not so easy task but luckily everything go so well. Now we are staying in cozy apartment in Northen part of Singapore. For the first time we feel complete as a married couple. After two years earlier spending life in a long distance relationship.

Now several we have several todos in this life. The first thing first to have baby very soon. Then hoping find more challenging job for both of us. Saving more money, especially to buy a house and a car. Find a scholarship for post graduate study. Find and execute business idea. Write books. And having happily ever after life.