You Are Not What You Think You Are

One of my guru once said, that “You are what you think”, if what you have in mind is a tangling complicated piece of turd, then you are a tangling complicated piece of turd. If you keep a lot of butterflies in your daily thoughts then you are a combinations of butterflies. Of course it’s a metaphor because by being a tangling complicated piece of turd doesn’t mean that you’re actually a disgusting pile of crap lying on the floor, as much as that being a butterfly doesn’t mean that you were once a caterpillar which transformed to a chrysalis then sleeps for a couple of weeks in order to fly and start making wild tornados in another part of the earth with your tiny insignificant wing.

My guru is one of the smartest and wise man I’ve ever known, but I have to disagree with him this time. Leaning our identity solely on what we think about doesn’t sound right to me. Let put it this way, if you keep thinking that you are a smart man without actually making the effort on being one, then you are a NOT smart man, hence you are not what you think you are. On the other side, if you keep thinking that you are a stupid man and because of that you keep learning and asking questions to people who knows better than you, I’m sure not many people would dare to call you stupid. Ironic? I know. Then again, you are not what you think you are.

I personally like the manifesto “You are what you think”. I find it beautiful and motivating. Unfortunately, it’s not. Our true self, our identity, our humanity and our individuality pretty much relies on what we do consistently, on hourly basis, on daily basis, on monthly basis, or on yearly basis. We called it a habit. Without neglecting the importance of necessary and logical thought processing, what formed us–as a human being, as an individual–actually is our habit.

If you consistently wake up in the morning, you are a morning person. If you write in a daily basis for years, then you are a writer–regardless anyone publishes it or not. If you keep quitting your job when everything gets though then you are a quitter. If you keep doing amazing things and create something awesome persistently, then you are an awesomer. I you keep loving everyone surrounds you and keep their heart warm then you are nothing but a lover.

If you are a pessimist and hate being one, don’t sulk and rot in the dark corner of your room, start and keep doing anything that would make you feel good about yourself, your work and your dreams. If you are an insecure kinda guy, start and keep building a strong mental shield by embracing yourself, salvage your strength and accept your flaws. Do that consistently, you probably would metamorphose from an ugly ticklish and greedy caterpillar who eats its own egg to a gorgeous butterfly capable of making tornado thousand miles away.

You are what you keep on doing.


Malas Bikin Judul

Hi, there.

Hari ini entah kenapa sisi malas menguasai saya. Sisi yang tidak begitu saya sukai karena katanya masa depan tak akan pernah berpihak pada orang malas. Saya kadang setuju, kadang tidak. Tergantung sisi apa yang menguasai. Hari ini, jelas saya tidak setuju, meski malas menawarkan argumen bantahan.

Sebenarnya hari ini saya sudah mencoba untuk tidak dikuasai oleh rasa malas. Saya bangun pagi, membersihkan dan merapikan  kantor berukuran 24 meter persegi, membuang sampah, kemudian mandi. Fyi, sudah bertahun-tahun saya tidak memelihara kebiasaan mandi pagi, ternyata menyegarkan.

Setelah mandi, saya tetap membaca beberapa tulisan/artikel di internet meski tidak sebanyak biasanya. Revisi desain dua poster berbeda untuk dua sahabat saya yang juga berbeda, Buyung dan Nunu, pun sudah saya selesaikan di pagi yang sama.

Saya kemudian teringat kalau sudah beberapa hari tidak menonton film. Saya pun membongkar folder “Movies” di komputer kesayangan saya. Pilihan jatuh pada The Man Who Fell To Earth yang dibintangi oleh David Bowie. Tapi, minat untuk menyelesaikan film ini hilang di menit ke-20, saya rasa kisah film ini terlalu surreal untuk bisa saya nikmati pada jam 10 pagi di hari sabtu.

Tapi, saya masih ingin menonton film, sesuatu untuk membangun mood positif sekaligus menantang pikiran saya untuk bekerja lebih. Beberapa menit mencari film hasil unduhan torrent, saya meminta VLC untuk memainkan film Stanley Kubrick, The Clockwork Orange. Seperti film sebelumnya, saya berhenti, meski kali ini saya membutuhkan waktu 30 menit untuk kembali menyadari bahwa film ini terlalu absurd untuk bisa memancing mood positif. Niat untuk menonton film hingga selesai akhirnya ditunda sampai nanti.

You might think, kalau yang tadi itu bukan aktifitas yang dilakukan oleh pemalas, dan tidak seharusnya saya merasa malas. Yah, saya pikir wajar kau berpikir seperti itu. Tapi tetap saja saya merasa sedang dilanda kemalasan. Saya merasa tidak melakukan apa-apa. Saya merasa kembali lagi di jaman saya masih kerja kantoran dulu, di mana saya selalu sibuk dengan pekerjaan ini dan itu, laporan ini dan laporan itu. Sibuk, tapi merasa tidak melakukan apa-apa. You know, that kind of feeling sucks, and God knows how much I don’t want to get back to that situation.

I’m sorry, I don’t know why I told you this. I hope I don’t make you feel sad. I’m fine really, just a little bit bored. Hope you’re having a more exciting day than I am.

I’m off to take a nap now.


Just Another Test of Faith

Last night, I got a text message from a good friend of mine. He, who lives 800+ miles from my hometown, asked me to apply for a vacant position in his workplace. He said he recommended my name to his superior while telling me a little secret about the interesting amount of money I would earn if I would work there.

I wouldn’t say that I was not tempted by the numbers, also by the prospect of working in a different environment where I could settle down. It was tempting and for a second I almost lost my mind. Fortunately, I could put myself together.

I remember who I am, what I’m trying to do, who I’m working with, what’s my responsibility, what’s my promise(s), who needs my help and whose helps I need, what kinds of challenge need to be addressed and to be dealt with. For a second I remember all those stuffs and helped me get a grip, a solid one.

I politely declined the opportunity and promised to that good friend of mine to help finding the right guy, because it won’t be me.

He said, just think about it. I didn’t respond to that, because I knew I don’t need to. I can’t be anywhere than where I am know. There’s no place I want to be other than here, right now.

Maybe I just wasted a good chance to build a better long term career. Maybe I’m being too naive. Maybe I’m just an idiot. Maybe this and maybe that. But I don’t live in this world to cling on the word “maybe”.

What I have right now is too precious to be left behind. The ideas, the dreams and, of course, the people. I would be an idiot if I’m abandoning that blessed life just for a little more amount of money.

What a man possess right now is the only thing a man can rely on, and he should be grateful about it. Whether It’s his emotional maturity, his physical endurance, his desire to strive, his dry sense of humour, his kindness, his little money, his creativity, his discipline, his mind management, his attitude, his decision making, his flair, his level of empathy, his impulsivity, his hunger for knowledge, his intuition, etc. All of those assets formed him, possessed him into one a persona he calls ‘I’.

Thank you for a good friend of mine who texted me last night. For the test of commitment he gave me, for the test of faith he did to me. Because of that, I know more about the “I” in me.

The Art of Waiting

People tends to believe that waiting is a waste of time, boring and mind-numbing. Holding to that consensus, people usually would loathe people or things that let them wait.

Maybe they are right, but because there is no absolution in anything, especially in common beliefs, so they could be wrong too.

Waiting is boring not because waiting is boring. It is boring because when waiting (we think) we don’t have interesting things to do, to talk about or to think about. When we are waiting, our focus are highly concentrated on things that make us feel bored, in this case, on feeling the boredom in waiting. 

Let’s see our mind as a powerful machine that control how we react to any given situations. Like any machine in this world, we, human, could set our machine up however we like it. Let’s call it self-awareness. It is, of course, not easy to be self-aware, because it takes a lot of practice to take control of our mind, but once the code is cracked, once the powerful machine works our way, the agony of boredom or anxiety in waiting will always be easier to deal with.

I’m not saying we should imagine things that are not there, that would make us delusional bunch. What I’m saying is, that we should see things with higher attention, with better understanding, from closer angle, with more optimistic point of view.

When we’re waiting for someone to come, why not do something different to kill time? By killing time we’re actually setting up our mind to kill the the boredom we usually feel when waiting. When our mind successfully set that up, waiting will be a lot less boring. How? The options are limitless; we could draw something in our sketchbook, who knows it could help us find a new idea for the project we’re working on; we could listen to music in our phone and sing along, who knows someone would like the song we’re singing to and that makes them happy; we could also make small talk to stranger sitting next to us, who knows we could make new friend; etcetera, etcetera.

Our options are limitless.

While we’re waiting for answers, we should keep asking the questions until we’re getting the answers we’re looking for. If the answer seems too far away from our reach, we should take our time and ponder, are we asking the right questions? Are we asking the questions to the right person? Is the question worthy of an answer?

Oftenly, we are focusing too much on things that will hold our back. Making us so helplessly believe that waiting is boring, whereas actually it is us who didn’t try hard enough to overcome the misery of waiting.

One thing we tend to forget is that life is merely a long wait anyway. We spend our entire life waiting for the day we die. We tend to forget that, because our mind magnificently set us up to focus on things that will make the waiting less depressing, by living the life.

The Importance of Taking Time

If there’s one thing I learned lately, it would be the “importance of taking time”. It is a really hard lesson to master, indeed. Especially when everything around you keeps running in such pace your mind can’t keep up anymore.

We drive our cars so fast, we can’t see the smiles of Gods through the beautiful afternoon sky.

We talk so fast, we forgot the most important words we ought to say.

We judge so quick, we forgot that we’re organisms with such sophisticated psychological system. We forgot that everyone needs to be listened to.

We make love to fast, as if the world is not overpopulated already.

We drink instant coffee too much, we forgot the taste of real one.

We are so afraid to missed the appointment, we forgot to kiss our loved ones when they’re still sleeping.

We are in a such hurry, we have no more time to say sincere “thank you” to the lady who served our delicious dinner.

We are extremely terrified of the possibility of being left behind, we never look back anymore, unaware that it’s us who left others behind.

When we’re living in a rush mode, we missed the beauty of the moment, unconsciously neglecting the small things that excite us, the tiny priceless moment that will make us feel alive.

We forgot that the only way to feel alive is to enjoy the now moment.

When we’re sad, we should relax and enjoy being sad. Sadness is a necessary and powerful emotion when utilized wisely.

When we’re happy, we shouldn’t ruin it by keeping the anger and discontentment. We should learn how to let go, we should remember that nothing stays forever.

When we’re bored, we should learn to sit back and look around, deeper, closer, and if needed, with different angle. If we’re still bored we should remember that only boring people get bored.

To remember all these things, all we need to do is to take our time.

Good night

It’s 3.30 way past midnight,
everything’s as silent as they might.
Here I am, trying to write,
don’t expect something bright.

Day and night we’re facing endless fight.
Win or lose, everything’s gonna be alright.

You wonder why you feel sad,
is the radio plays too much ballad?
did someone make you feel bad?
Or did you lose something you had?

I wish you’re not mad,
and soon be glad.

Wonder why you’re feeling blue.
Is it about me and you?
Why don’t you give me a clue?
I got an idea to take you to the zoo,
Let’s get rid all of the burden away to the loo.

Tentang Akbar dan Reza: Tulisan Lebay buat si Birthday Guy

23 tahun lalu, belum ada Abe dan Echa, hanya Akbar dan Reza. Anak nomor tiga dan nomor empat yang sangat berbeza.  Memang rimanya makza, biarkan saza.

Satunya pendiam cenderung pemurung, lainnya periang suka bersepeda gunung. Satu-satunya kesamaan, bila ada, mereka berdua suka nonton emtivi tiap kala.

Bertengkar dan berebut nintendo acap terjadi pasca makan siang. Lebih muda, rewa dan lantang, Reza selalu buat Akbar menyerah, kalah atau mengalah. Akbar yang pemalas dan jarang tertawa, hanya bisa pasrah dan istikharah.

13 tahun lalu, Akbar cuma tau main bola dan basket di Smaga, sedang Reza punya geng bernama “Katak” dan aktif di Paskibra Smansa. Keduanya sudah jarang saling bantah, tapi juga saling menyapa. “Saya adalah saya”.

3 tahun lalu, Akbar dan Reza selain bersaudara karena darah, juga adalah sahabat berbagi duka lara. Mereka paham, beda adalah harta. Mereka saling membangga dan dibangga.

3 hari lalu, Reza memarahi Akbar yang pelupa, akibat menghilangkan benda kesayangan. “Saya tidak ingat” kata Akbar, “Saya ingat, Barzak!” bentak Reza. Akbar terperangah, coba mengingat-ingat, mungkin memang benda tidak dijaga sempurna, lengah. Reza menyimpan kekesalan, sesekali mendongkol “dasar pelupa, sialan!”

3 jam lalu, Reza berulang tahun dan mendapat kejutan dari teman-teman. Akbar datang 30 menit kemudian. Mengucapkan “selamat ulang tahun” dan coba tiga kali berpelukan. “jangan lebay” kata yang kini berusia dua puluh delapan. Enggan diejek di depan handai taulan, Akbar hanya membatin dan mendoakan… 

Muhammad Reza, selamat ulang tahun ke-dua puluh delapan, semoga hidupmu selalu berbahagia hingga jauh di masa depan.