Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Whew-Two Birthday (and a Retirement)

THIS blog turns two today! Whew! Bisa melewati setahun pertama semenjak awal kemunculannya saja sudah termasuk luar biasa. Lebih luar biasa lagi bisa sampai di usia kedua tahun, mengingat banyaknya hiatus di blog ini, termasuk hiatus terakhir yang terhitung hampir tiga bulan lamanya -- simply because serangan malas dan mual-mual (yes, I'm pregnant again!). Whew!

But this post actually brings kind of bad news: saya memutuskan untuk berhenti blogging starts from here. Not necessarily karena mengingat saya akan segera melahirkan bla bla bla, tapi semata karena saya ingin berhenti. Blogging doesn't seem to be a priority to me, at least sampai sejauh ini. Jadi untuk menghemat waktu dan tenaga (yang sebenarnya pun terbatas untuk aktivitas blogging), saya merasa ini keputusan yang tepat. Mengingat keterbatasan yang saya miliki, microblogging via Twitter dan Instagram terasa lebih mudah dan juga jauh lebih praktis.

Blog ini akan saya biarkan aktif untuk sementara, sampai sekitar awal tahun depan. Kalau ternyata di kemudian hari saya berubah pikiran dan lalu memutuskan untuk 'melahirkan another new baby' alias membuat blog baru lagi (it's been like a 'habit' of mine, sarcastically speaking), I will definitely tell you all. But in the mean time, I only desire a simpler and more practical online life.

Thank you for being with me for the past two years. Thank you for all the virtual support. Thank you for having the chance to inspire you, however little it was. Here's for a better and organized and meaningful (online) life :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

When MFA is the New MBA

THIS is still a re-post from my now-closed old blog. And still intended to infuse some spirits in running whatever career you have chosen :)
"Financial firms are sending their back-office jobs overseas. But what do fine artists do? They create something new, unexpected, and delightful that changes the world. MFA abilities are harder to outsource and more important in an abundant world."
-- Daniel H. Pink
What is it actually that Mr. Pink is talking about? He's suggesting you to develop your right-brain skills, so that they can complement your left-brain skills. Believe it or not, we've all been too often using our left brain in doing even the smallest task. But for the future, Mr. Pink has faith that right-brained people will be world leaders.

Isn't it comforting to know that there's an appreciation for the artist inside you? Whether you're a writer/painter/musician/etc. at heart, appreciate your right brain and all that it is able to do.

Below are the six right-brain skills, based on Mr. Pink's book, A Whole New Mind, summed up from his interview with Oprah:

1. Design
"[N]early everything is the product of a design decision. The type of lid you put on the cup of coffee you bought this morning was a design decision. So were the shoes you're wearing."
2. Story
"What matters more now is the ability to put facts into context and deliver them with emotional impact."
3. Symphony
"Symphony is the ability to see the big picture, connect the dots, combine disparate things into something new."
4. Play
"One aspect of play is the importance of laughter, which has physiological and psychological benefits."
5. Empathy
"Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate but it makes the world a better place."
6. Meaning
"'When am I going to live my best life? What kind of imprint am I going to leave on the world?'"
Do you really believe that the right brain is THAT significant? Have you been feeding your right brain as just as your left one? How?
"[I]n a world of abundance, our new job is to give people something they didn't know they were missing. What do artists do? Artists give people something they didn't know they were missing: a dance, a piece of music, a painting, a piece of sculpture. Catering to that need is the best business strategy."
-- Daniel H. Pink

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Success Starts from Your (Home) Office

THIS writing is taken from one of my old blogs that was written around three years ago. I re-post it to lift my spirit in being a newbie entrepreneur. Hopefully it can lift your spirit as well in working, whatever profession you choose :)

Whether you work in a cubicle at a skyscraper building or at a home office, what philosophy do the clock, calendar and window at your office have?

Dr. Prithika Chary, the first Indian woman neurologist, believes that women can start their success by first paying attention to eight things at their working area (men can apply the same thing, as well):
1. The roof says, "I am high."

2. The fan says, "I am cool."

3. The clock says, "Every minute is precious."

4. The mirror says, "Reflect before you act."

5. The window says, "See the world."

6. The calendar says, "Be up to date."

7. The door says, "Push hard to achieve."

8. The floor says, "Be grounded as you do all this."
I love revealing the philosophy of dead stuff around me. It gives me another reason to stop taking everything for granted. What about you, dear readers? Have you paid enough attention to things around you (around your working area, in particular)?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review: Quiet by Susan Cain

BUKU ini saya beli dalam versi bahasa aslinya, yaitu bahasa Inggris. Walaupun saya sudah belajar bahasa Inggris semenjak TK dan juga belajar di program studi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris semasa kuliah, tetap saja ada rasa 'kewalahan' dalam membaca buku berbahasa asing setebal 300+ halaman. Belum lagi ditambah dengan topiknya yang agak serius. Karenanya, saya membutuhkan lebih-kurang empat bulan dalam menyelesaikannya.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking karya Susan Cain ini membahas dua karakter manusia yang sudah didefinisikan dan dikenal sejak lama oleh masyarakat kita pada umumnya sebagai introvert (yang biasanya pemalu, pendiam, lebih menyukai memiliki dan bergabung bersama sedikit teman dekat yang bisa diajak berdiskusi mendalam daripada bergabung dengan banyak orang hanya untuk 'sekadar' bersosialisasi) dan extrovert (yang biasanya ceria, supel, dan selalu ada hal-hal yang bisa diceritakan). Namun setiap bab pun menguraikan beberapa penelitian ilmiah yang telah dilakukan ahli-ahli di bidang psikologi sejak dahulu yang berkaitan dengan dua karakter ini.

Bagian pertama Quiet dimulai dengan Susan Cain memaparkan kenyataan dunia kita bahwa pada umumnya, semenjak kita masih kecil, kita 'diharapkan' untuk menjadi seorang extrovert. Masyarakat cenderung lebih menyukai orang-orang extrovert. Namun siapa sangka bahwa bahkan orang-orang besar dalam sejarah banyak yang berkarakter introvert, mulai dari Rosa Parks (yang pernah dengan berani melawan diskriminasi terhadap kulit hitam yang dia terima dari seorang supir bus kulit putih), sampai Lewis Carroll (penulis buku cerita Alice in Wonderland).
Without introverts, the world would be devoid of:

the theory of gravity [Sir Isaac Newton]
the theory of relativity [Albert Einstein]
W. B. Yeats's "The Second Coming"
Chopin's nocturnes [Frederic Chopin]
Proust's In Search of Lost Time [Marcel Proust]
Peter Pan [J. M. Barrie]
Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm [George Orwell]
The Cat in the Hat [Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)]
Schindler's List, E.T., and Close Encounters of the Third Kind [Steven Spielberg]
Google [Larry Page]
Harry Potter [J. K. Rowling]

(Quiet, p. 5)
Di bab-bab berikutnya, Susan Cain memperlihatkan pada pembaca -- baik melalui wawancaranya dengan banyak narasumber, pengalaman pribadinya sebagai seorang introvert, maupun penelitian-penelitian oleh para ahli -- bagaimana orang-orang introvert berpikir dan bertindak (dan mengapa), perbedaan antara introvert dan extrovert dalam berbagai situasi, perbandingan karakter orang-orang Asia (yang cenderung introvert) dengan orang-orang Eropa/Amerika (yang cenderung extrovert) serta kelebihan masing-masing, bagaimana orang-orang introvert juga bisa berlaku extrovert di situasi-situasi yang melibatkan hal-hal yang mereka cintai/junjung tinggi, hingga bagaimana cara menghadapi pasangan dan anak introvert (atau extrovert) apabila kita seorang extrovert (atau introvert).

Di bagian Conclusion sebanyak tiga halaman, Susan Cain memberikan blueprint 'panduan' yang isinya begitu membesarkan hati bagi para introvert dalam menjalani hidup (seriously, sometimes it's kind of 'hard' being an introvert), salah satunya seperti di bawah ini:
We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard's education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of available power, but to use well the kind you've been granted. Introverts are offered keys to private gardens full of riches. To possess such a key is to tumble like Alice down her rabbit hole. She didn't choose to go to Wonderland -- but she made of it an adventure that was fresh and fantastic and very much her own.
(Quiet, p. 266)
Saya sangat merekomendasikan buku ini bagi para introvert karena, really, ini buku khusus untuk introvert yang dengan membacanya bisa membuat kita merasa bersyukur menjadi seorang introvert. Juga saya rekomendasikan bagi para extrovert, agar mereka bisa lebih memahami (dan mengurangi kesalahpahaman terhadap stereotipe) kami, para introvert.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”
-- Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking