The Power of “No”

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Is it hard to say “No” when others asking you for doing something that harms you?

Imagine a fresh graduate has just secured a job. With his salary, he could barely survive with a decent lifestyle. One day after his tiring work, his friend called him to ask for a meet up on the weekend. Subsequently, this guy was meeting his friend in a café in a shopping district. After chit-chatting for a while, his friend was suddenly recommending insurance for him.

Initially, he was trying to reject him because he knows that insurance does not apply to him. Moreover, based on his income, paying insurance is definitely will increase the financial burden. However, his friend is begging him and finally threaten him on their friendship. Finally, he signed his insurance contact hesitantly and making him unable to save money. Would he sign the contract if the one who offers is a stranger?

One may be more reluctant to say “No” to the person that one closes with, such as friends and families. It is due to fear and guiltiness to people around us. On the other hand, it will be easier for one to ignore some strangers and acquaintances. The less emotional burden and courage are required to reject them compare to someone close with you.

Close friends and families definitely have a more significant effect on oneself than acquaintances and strangers. The paradox arises when one is more reluctant to say ‘No’ to close friends and families. One is more likely to be harmed seriously because of the reluctance of saying ‘No’.

There are a lot of things that in our real life that need us to say ‘No’. There are some benefits by saying ‘No’ at the right moment . One is not only benefitted in the long run but also able to keep your dignity and integrity. An official initially will enjoy the bribery that other gives. After several years, people will see him/her as a corruptor and believe this person is controllable by money.

It requires strength for one to disagree to the person with a higher social status than us, such as parents, teachers, and bosses. Sometimes it is shown a sign of disobedience, but appropriately saying ‘No’ will make them have respect on oneself.

To sum up, people will tend to think that agreeing to other people will improve the relationship for one another. However, sometimes by agreeing on something that will harm you, it will not benefit yourself and will ruin your relationship. Hence, one needs to disagree appropriately to protect oneself.

The ability to disagree is an essential element for one to take control of oneself.

How to balance your agreeable and disagreeable traits?


Embracing Yourself

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Are you grateful for being yourself?

As a human, every person is possessed with strengths and weaknesses. One enjoys being a great chef that could simply make any dishes, another don’t even know how to use a rice cooker. One could energetically run 10km every day, while another is struggling to do any type of workout. Hence, there is always something that we are excel at, while it is impossible to be better at everything than another.

In this competitive world, society implicitly establishing a scorecard for everyone where every aspect can be measured by numbers. For instance, the salary that you get, IQ and EQ results, certificates that prove one’s skills, etc. This scorecard has been implanted into our minds since we are young subconsciously. This scorecard is mainly formed based on a person’s social upbringing, that leads to different assessment to another.

The application of this inherent scorecard is not only used for assessing others but also applies to ourselves. If a person is confident, he/she may give a relatively higher score to him/herself. Conversely, one with low confidence will likely to give a relatively low score to oneself. The low score is due to the lack of self-understanding and self-acknowledgement, that leads one to not believing oneself.

The lack of self-understanding is formed due to over-focus on other people achievements. It leads to one not focusing on one own’s life. To counter it, find something that one wants to improve. Constant improvement will lead one to highlight the strength. Another solution is to find an activity that one enjoys doing. Usually, a person will enjoy the task that he/she good at and vice versa.

Another reason is due to the lack of self-acknowledgement. As everyone has their weaknesses, it is essential to embrace every part of ourselves. One may try to hide what they cannot do, another may be bragging over the mistake that has been done before. These actions are the example of lack of self-acknowledgement. When one has self-acknowledgement, one would happily accept whatever one has, including the weakness.

Last but not least, nobody is born perfect. Moreover, although someone may be better in certain things compared to you, you are also better than certain things compared to other people. In other words, everyone is unique ,and it is necessary to have faith in ourselves. We need to embrace our strength and weakness to be happy in any situation of life.

“The moment one embraces oneself, the moment one has a peaceful life.”

Are you embracing yourself in any situation?

“Real” Connection

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Do you feel that your connection to people is “real”?

Unprecedently, we are living in an era that is most connected in entire mankind history. In this digital era, social media plays a notable role in our daily lives. One after wake up is opening social media, one may subconsciously open Instagram or Facebook when one is bored. One plays an online game with friends while commuting. Social media seems like the only leisure option for most people until it seizes most people’s time without realizing. What causes people enticed to it?

After one open his/her phone, One may effortlessly know what his/her buddies doing at the moment by just clicking several buttons. Moreover, one may imply the relationship of one with another easily by just opening a social media platform. Because of one’s curiosity, one may open a search engine to find something that one curious. The convenience that social media bring sometimes makes one ignore the interaction with real people.

The ignorance is due to the comfort that social media offers. When one meet new people and could not have a common topic, one may be tempted to play phone to reduce one’s boredom. When one is stressed out to the task given, one may open Facebook to see what others currently doing. It indirectly results in people become more reluctant to know each other in real life. However, the comfort zone itself is not enough for people to stick into social media.

In human interaction, human needs social validation that nowadays is shown vividly in social media. In the human evolutionary point of view, human needs to help each other to survive. In the modern world, this needs has shifted towards social media, where it becomes the center of attention and validation. Social media could also validate one faster than in the real world. Where the validation comes faster and easier, will it result in any inherent consequences?

People are perceived based on the image on social media, that sometimes differs from the real world. Additionally, it will make people pursue “fake” connection, where one interacts with others is only based on the “social media” basis. Occasionally, one will sacrifice things in the real life such as money and relationship to beautify the image in social media. The connection that one acquires is also based on the “fake” image that one presents in the social media. People will care more about their social media identity than their real identity.

Social media undeniably provides comforts and validation to people. However, one should not show something that is not authentic to other people. If one hopes to make a meaningful relationship, one should control one’s reliance on it. By controlling one reliance of it, one will be more contented in life with the presence of social media.

“With the right attitude, social media definitely bring a constructive impact on people.”

How do you build a “real” connection by using social media?

Learning, Key to A Better Yourself

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Do you continue to learn new things after your education?

“Yay! Finally, I have graduated… I have overcome challenges in these years, it’s time for me to enjoy my life, I will never study anymore.” could be one’s thought after completing the study and looking forward to the next life phase. Eventually, one will find a job and will eventually forget what one learned in college/school. Therefore, is it important for one to attend school/college?

Despite the fact, some people are still studying hard since young for several reasons. Some put their endeavor for getting a ticket to some renowned high schools and universities, some are passionate about certain subjects, while some are because of family or peer pressure. Regardless of what are the reasons, these people will be well-educated and well-prepared to become future working forces in a certain field.

After one has graduated, one will hustle from 9 to 5. After coming back, one is too tired to learn while one may still need to do house chores. After 5 years has passed, one will most likely forget what he/she learned in college/university. If the situation keeps going on, one will likely to remain in the same life quality if there is no significant change for the rest of one’s life. Among these people, some are able to distinguish themselves from others. What makes the differences?

From my personal view, there are two causes why some people could excel in their fields: a greater aim or ambition and keep-learning mentality. To achieve something great, one normally put more effort and time on doing their task. To keep doing something productive, regardless one has the passion or not, one needs to have a motivation or goal to sustain to do the task in a long term. At the moment one is doing something productive for oneself, one will learn something new. Nevertheless, how people will have an ambition or have keep-learn mentality?

As having an aim, it means one has something to achieve. It could be having a new house, it could be getting a promotion, it could be having a good relationship, etc. To achieve it, one needs to set a long term goal. To sustain, one can divide the goal into multiple short term goals. People brains are keen on to the reward system. When one constantly success, one will have a motivation to keep doing things one like and vice versa.

Knowledge is an essential element for increasing our understanding in this world. As knowledge in this world is infinity, one is impossible to understand everything. Keep-learning mentality is important to make one realize that one has insufficient knowledge. When one enjoys learning new things, one will be constantly improving, rather than just meeting up with friends or playing games. In reality, the hardest thing is to start to have the action. If one could execute the action effectively, one will make a difference in oneself life.

Aim and Learn is the key to change yourself in a better way.”

How do you make a difference?

Pursue A Life With Options

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Are you able to choose what kind of life you want to live?

In this world, everyone is born and raised up in different situations. One could enjoy their time in a café sitting and reading a novel peacefully, yet another is struggling in the workplace to rush for their deadlines. One could merrily gather with their families every week. At the same time, another hardly spend his/her night with other people because of living far from home. Some people believe that one is live in better conditions than the others, but what makes them think like that?

Wealth may significantly improve one’s lifestyle. As one could obtain things one craves without considering money, one enjoys a lifestyle that let other people envy. One could have social status with the wealth one owns. However, it would come with a trade-off. One needs to sacrifice his time to gain wealth. In reality, most of us spend many years to achieve that. The moment one become rich, one may not have time to enjoy his/her wealth. Do become wealthy make people live happily?

Abundance time should be the answer to have a good life quality. That’s maybe the reason why people urge of craving for holidays and early retirement. One could travel around the world, one can enjoy doing the thing one likes, one could having fun and don’t need to think about school and work. While we sacrifice our times, do we get the life that we wish for?

The emergence of these questions has let one contemplates whether time and money is the essential factor to have a good life. I believe the majority of people is either having one of them, and it is challenging to have both of them. Despite having both of them, does it guarantee that one is happy with it? What makes people have a fulfilling life?

To live a fulfilling life, a person needs to take control of his/her own life. It means that one could choose what kind of life one wants. Sad to say, most people are unable to have options in their lives. In other words, they are unable to choose what kind of life they want to live. One may not stop working because of living expenses, one has to do something that one doesn’t like to survive. It leads to thinking, how to make a life with options?

While we are given opportunities to choose the way of living, try to be decisive. As we have determined what kind of life we want, we will focus our energy towards our ideal lifestyles. Moreover, do not take for granted for any lifestyle that one has currently, as one may not know what downfall one will encounter in the future. The moment that we believe that we are in control of our lives, the moment that we have a more fulfilling life.

“The more options you can choose, the more fulfilling your life is.”

What kind of action you will do to create a fulfilling life?

8-to-5, Effective?

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Do you feel you use your time effectively?

On a weekday, wake up at six and come back home at seven seems like a mundane routine for everyone. Unfortunately, it is a task that is done by everyone once one starts to work. It is because of the social norm that is adopted by companies that people need to work from 8 to 5 on a typical weekday, regardless of one has tasks to do or not.

Imagine one day that you need to wake up early to rush into your workplace. After that, you could not focus on doing your tasks because of not enough sleep. Subsequently, you are doing the job slowly, and the task is completed slower than expected. After 5 o’clock, when you are going back to your house, you are contemplating why you are not doing anything and feel you waste your life.

After reaching your home, you are too tired to do anything and finally watching Netflix and not going to do anything other than working. It sounds like a typical working day. If it occurs for an extended period, it will lead to an unattractive and meaningless life, where working is merely for passing the time only. Doesn’t it sound boring? Exactly, but how to solve this problem while one still need to work for survival?

One solution is to reduce the working time and to add the flexibility of working time. One could argue that it may reduce work productivity. However, it will lead to a better result. But how is that possible?

Based on Parkinson’s Law, “Work expands so as to fill the time which is available for its completion.”, it means that most people do their tasks on the given time. Let’s say you are given 5 hours to write a report, most probably you will finish it in 4-5 hours. But if you are given 2 hours to complete a report, you will rush to accmomplish it on time. One could do things faster by setting a deadline for every task that you have done.

To create a win-win solution, an employer should set tasks at the beginning of the day. Meanwhile, an employee will be motivated to do their job as soon as possible, so he/she will finish it faster and go back earlier. It shows that productivity is the same within a shorter working time. Using the additional time, an employee could develop other hobbies, meeting friends, doing sports, etc. It will lead to a happier working life and making life more meaningful.

Yet, this solution doesn’t apply to every single profession. For instance, a waiter that need to serve customers whenever they visit the restaurant, or teacher that need to teach students on the specific time slot, etc.. Therefore, one needs to find an interim solution to increase effectivity. With the solution, the employee will have a wonderful life, and the employer will satisfy with the result.

“Monday will not be boring anymore if you are motivated by what you do .”

What will you do make your work more effective?