Journey

No-Buy List

If you have to make a list of no-buy stuff this year what would be in your list?

Just before the year 2022 ended, I made a no-buy list for 2023. A quite long list. Almost 50 items in the list. These are all items I do not want to buy in 2023. I said to my self ‘I have it enough. I do not need anything extra’.

And it included footwear, shirt, jeans, bags, luggage, some cosmetic items and also utensils.

No buy challenge

This is what a minimalist advises to simplify life, to give your resources including time, energy and money only to what matters.

I told my friend about my list. It was like a commitment to myself. When I shared it to someone, I feel like I declared it.

Only a few days before new year, I and my friend went to a shopping mall. My friend wanted to buy sneakers. We went to two different shops and she bought 2 pairs of shoes from these shops. She took a while to choose the shoes for her. While she was giving a try some shoes, I was also giving a try to a new released one. It looked very pretty on my feet and super comfortable. I liked it.

An inner battle was happening whether I should buy that shoes or not. I knew it was a very tough battle. Because they were just new released, probably somebody would purchase that shoes very soon if I did not buy that shoes right away and next time I would not be able to find that same shoes again with my size.

I told myself that I have got 2 pairs already. One pair is actually running shoes and the other pair is the casual one and they were enough.

To be honest, I forgot my no-buy list at that time, until my friend reminded me about the promise I made with a reasoning ‘It has not been 2023 yet!’ She said. I won the battle that day. I kept telling my self that 2 pairs  were enough.

Another advice says if you are conflicting inside whether to purchase something or not, pause for a few days, think it again. If after a few days the urge is still very strong, you can go back to the shop and buy that item you like. You might need it. Very often I don’t want it anymore after a few days for thinking about it again. It works.

This last few weeks I have been thinking about buying footware that more water resistant and comfortable for traveling  during the wet weather.

The urge is getting stronger. And I know I still need this kind of footware. So I plan to break one promise.

Journey

My to do list

How do you manage your time? Time is one of our resources in our lives. A very important resource. Other resources would be health, wealth, talents, thoughts, network, relationship etc.

I am going to talk about time here. Time is life itself. To be living means to have time.

A big different between a successful person and unsuccessful one is on how they manage their time. There is a difference between these two.

Successful ones ussually manage their time well, because they value their time, their every second. They know how to use it in a worthwhile way. An important person ussually has a to-do list. It is actually a list of tasks to do. They schedule everything and make sure their priorities are carried out and no task is missed.

Why do we need to do the scheduling? Each one of us has tasks to do everyday, personally and professionally. Our time is limited. When we put them written we tend to do it well because we make time, put our attention and energy there. We keep our focus. We won’t miss it. The schedule will remind us to any task needs to be completed.

How do you make your daily schedule? Do you make it on a digital device? on your smartphone or laptop? This device is really smart, and it will remind you on timely basis with no fail if you are on screen most of the time. But for those who consider themselves need to reduce their screen time, it might not be the best way. The screen will pull your attention. It might become a distraction of your focus instead.

And I realized I am on this second category. I prefer to make my to-do list on my book. I write them down. I bought a very nice book for this. Its pages are blank, no lines and also no dates printed, so I can freely write anything, draw anything too. Ussually I write the list only for that particular day. I put some on a little sticky colored paper if the schedule is still a few days ahead or not yet fixed. Then I stick it on the following blank page.

Every time I put a sign to a completed task written, it gives me a feeling of an accomplishment. A very good feeling. This feeling gives me a direct impact on my life.

I said to a friend that this book was my self-reward for the new year. Probably you also do not need a fancy self-reward, but something that practically change your life though in a small amount.

Journey

A Gift Exchange


When you go to someone’s event or your friend’s like a wedding, birthday party or any other event probably they give you a gift or souvenir. This souvenir is a token for you.

Many people are so creative with interesting ideas for souvenir and gift. I remembered long time ago a friend who had her wedding party gave a souvenir for each guest a little fruit plant. I think it was a brilliant idea. It gave people idea to plant a tree. It encouraged people to take care of the environment.

But most of the time, people do not really care when they give souvenirs for their programs. Many many times I brought home a mug or a glass, a folding cloth bag, folding fan, lunch box and many more.

When you get these souvenirs what do you do then with those stuff? Do you use it? Do you keep it and collect it? Do you give it to someone else? Do you donate it? Or do you throw it away?

A gift exhange

Rarely I got a souvenir that I really need it. To be honest I would be happy if I get a souvenir or a gift something I really need. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I do not care whether it is just a simple stuff or something very cheap.

I remembered a few years ago we had a gift exchange in the office. Each one had to write a gift she wanted to have and also write their names in a little folding paper. Those who got that little folding paper should prepare the gift as written inside. I wrote a little knife for cutting fruit. My colleague happily gave me that gift. I was so thankful to her. Another time I wrote to have a gift of pen refill. I also remembered a colleague wrote to have a gift for her a baby turtle. It sounds unussual, anti-mainstream. Luckily I didn’t get her request. 😊

The gifts from each one for our gift exchange recently.

I hate collecting souvenirs. They just clutter my space.

Journey

My Capsule Wardrobe

How many pieces of clothes do you have in your wardrobe? Do you often have a problem in choosing what to wear every morning?  How long do you take to choose what to wear? Have you experienced choosing a wrong costume and how did you feel during that day?

If you are a female and you are a working person, you might relate to these questions. Probably not for a male.

To choose what to wear needs a decision making. I hated spending time in this. The more pieces of clothes you have, the more difficult for you to decide and more time you take. The less, the easier.

I heard an idea of a capsule wardrobe from a minimalist quite long time ago. But I did not really practise it. A capsule wardrobe means a mini wardrobe, very limited space to store the clothes. I made a list of clothes to wear for the whole week. It includes the tops, the buttom, the inner, the outers and also the dresses. The list also includes what to wear to the office, at home, for night clothes and also for going out during weekends. The list did not long. Less than 25 pieces! I made in my list what to wear for each day from Monday to Sunday.

Less clothes means less hustle!

Only those clothes in the list that I hang in my capsule wadrobe.
I decided to wear only those selected clothes for the next 100 days and I will see what I feel. It have been a month and I have managed myself wearing these clothes from my little wadrobe only. I will make a new list and change the clothes to wear for another  following 100 days when I complete it. It gives me a very nice feeling and also saves my time to get ready in the morning. I didn’t really care when a colleague noticed me wearing same costume every Tuesday. 😊

It can help me for a less morning hustle.

It happens also in deciding what to eat for lunch. I have noticed this in my colleagues. They toke a bit of time before they decide what to order for their lunch. Ussually they use the good delivery service. I have no issue with my lunch, cause  I always pack one from home.

Journey

A failure is not fatal

If you want to have one life skill to develop at the moment what would be that life skill?

If someone asks me this question, I would be able to quickly answer it. It would be a decision making. This skill is really essential in life. We make decisions everyday. We live from one decision to another decision. From the time we wake up till the time we go to bed. From the unimportant decision like what to have for breakfast till decision to invest our money or probably to marry someone.

Have you ever made a wrong decision that made you regret afterwards? Are you able to make a decision very quickly or do you make a decision after so much consideration?

I really want to be able to make a quick decision and not have any regret even after a wrong decision is made. I never like the feeling of a regret. This is what I see from a friend.

Many times I made a decision and after actions were taken based on the decision I made, the output was not satisfactory. It was not an accurate decision.

Many times I also made decision with too much consideration. Sometimes too much consideration also made me confused and doubt started creeping in. It takes a bit of time for me to take a decision. I am not considered to be a high risk taker type.

I have a friend who is very quick in decision making including in invesment. A few years ago she decided to buy a unit of an apartment where she lives in now and she made that decision relatively quickly. Sometimes to have less consideration is better. The property developer was credible, and this was the only thing she considered.

She has been living in the apartment for 3 years. The property is well maintained,  facilities are also good. She likes living there. I think she has a very good intuition. I never heard from her regreting something due to wrong decisions she made. I think she could easily move on.

Once a decision is made after a consideration, do not attach yourself to the outcomes. Be detached. Be ready for any outcomes. It if fails, be ready to learn to make a better decision. Failure is not fatal.

Journey

A big project

I remembered how I had the idea of 100-day project. I was with some friends after doing a work together. Each one of us had our duty in that work. I was not quite happy with how I completed my duty. Some even critisized me and it led me feel a bit down. I was feeling so uncomfortable.

One of my friends said to me ‘You need a healing.’ I know he was not really seriously saying it to me but I took it seriously. Yes, I need a healing, I said to myself.

Any emotional discomfort sometimes has led me to process it and finish it.  Very often I could finish it through journaling. I ussually take only a few days to finish it and many times I also could finish very quickly. Journaling really helps in processing my feelings.

For this healing, I planned to make it in a project. It was a big one. A few days would not be enough to complete, so I made it in a 100 day project.

How did I work on this project?
I worked on it through reflection, meditation and also through journaling.

I told them (my friends) about this plan. Another friend asked me: ‘Why do you not make it in 21 days instead of 100 days?’

It is said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit or a change. She refered to this idea. I said to her ‘21 days won’t be enough. 100 days is more remarkable than 21 days’.

I religiously worked on this project on healing my heart for 100 days and it was completed a few weeks ago. I was feeling so happy.

The habit of working one thing for 100 days has imprinted in the my ‘internal system’. When this project was completed, I did not take time to make another 100 day project. Now I have 3 different projects for 3 different areas of life going on, spirituality, health and finance.

When I shared it to a friend about this 100-day project, he said ‘This is a big project.’ Not sure if he was saying this to me seriously or just to please me.

Journey

The hidden talent

I was so frustrated with my hairfall problem. It had created a mess on my pillow, bedsheet and also floor. Everytime I brush my hair, I had it stuck on the brush.

One evening after doing my exercise and I got my head and hair wet due to sweat and what I needed to do was to wash my hair. I dried my hair using a small sized towel. And suddenly I got an idea of cutting my hair. I never thought to cut my hair by myself before and I also have not even a bit of knowledge or theory of hair cutting. I took a scissor and cut it. It was very easy. I realized why if you go to a salon to get your hair cut, the hairdresser will wash it first and then do the cutting. It is very easy to cut it and perhaps also to style it.

I found out it was to short for the front part and not short enough for the back part. So I trimmed a little bit. My hair is bit weavy and curly at the end part, so it gives some volumes in styling. It turned out to be a completely new look. Someone said to me that it suits to my face shape. I felt good about it. And I didn’t think I need to go to the salon.

When I was in office the following day, everyone was supprissed to my new look. Noone knew that I have cut it by myself. During the first several days, noone expressed any disagrement to my new hairstyle. Till one morning, I had no time to wash my hair and rushed to the office. My hair looked a bit messy. For the whole morning my colleagues were so noisy talking about my hair. They bullied me. One of them asked me to go and find a professional hairdresser soon to fix my hair style. Most of the time I could manage myself to be relaxed while being bullied. Morever it was only about my hair style. Not something really serious.

I said to them ‘I think I have a hidden talent in hair cutting and haie styling. So let me just explore it for myself.’

We have been so open and sometimea also too honest to one another.

Journey

Money Management

For some people discussing about money makes them feel uncomfortable. But these days I think people are more concerned about money management and many start to be open discussing it.

Financial problem may cause other problems in life, like relationship problem and problems in family. All the resources we have should be managed well. Including money.

Almost everyone have money, either from our income or from any family member who support us financially. We have some money to be managed.

Money in, money spent, money saved and invested.

In my opinion money management is very much on how we spend the money. It says ‘use everything you have in a worthwhile way.’ It means don’t spend it unnecessarily. Do not waste it. Be mindful in spending.

The question is then, how to become a mindful spender? What should we do with our money in our day-to-day ? What should we do before spending, when spending and after spending? What inspired actions should we take?

Before spending – make budgets. At least there are 4 categories based on financial purpose. Essential (for living), Optional (for shopping), Leisure (for playing) and for Saving.

We also need to be aware of the daily, weekly, monthly and also yearly expenses when we are budgeting.

When spending – spend according to the budget made. Make a proper record of every spending.

After spending – analyze your spending! Only if you record your spending, you can make an analysis. If you make a proper record, at the end you will know whether you are over budget or under budget. It gives you a good feeling about yourself, because you are being clear with yourself.

Only when it is recorded then an analysis can be made.

Each one of us is playing a role as a finance manager. We are responsible for every single spending we make. We are responsible for each penny we spend.

If you can do it, you will have a sense of being a responsible individual. It gives you sense of trust in yourself.

Journey

Don’t wait till perfect

When you are building a habit, a good habit of course, you need to be ready to accept imperfection.

I have been starting a new habit of recording my expenses since 3 years ago. And I have made it into a habit now. I can do it consistently without feeling burdened.

I have made an analysis and used it as a consideration when I make a financial decision. I become my own financial controller. I am fully aware of each and every expense. I become more mindful in shopping. I give more value into what I spent. And it works!

When I shared it to a friend, he asked in which category I put the toll fee and parking fee. I realized that I had not put these expenses into my list. The reason is, I always made the payment through electronic money, so I do not take the receipt after making the payment. So I have missed these expenses. Little amount though, but frequent.

Less emotion is involved in e-payment

I don’t need to feel bad or not perfect about this missing. I accept any room for my improvement. I accept my imperfection.

When things get easier bacause of technology, in this case using an e-payment or a payment card then emotion is less involved. Then it also means less self-controlled.

Journey

Mevlana Rumi

I don’t know if you know Mevlana Rumi or not. Rumi was a Persian philosopher and also a poet in the 13th century. He was a prolific poet. His poetries are very popular especially among those who are interested in sufism.

He lived in Konya. I agree a lot with his thoughts. I read many his beautiful quotes to uplift my soul and also others.

A few years ago I read a blog post written by a blogger in his blog in this WordPress who was on his trip in Turkey. He is actually a journalist. I liked the way he wrote the story. It was very descriptive, direct, honest and also fun.

One of his agenda of his trip was to go to Konya, to visit the graveyard or museum of Rumi. It was during winter season. He planned to read one of his favourite poetries written by Rumi under the snow and got it filmed. I could not stop smiling while reading his post. He wore head cap covering his ears and also gloves due to a very cold weather at that time. He decided to choose a short one. It sounds very sweet.

He went inside the museum and saw a woman sitting in one corner of the room for so long. She was in silence and having her eyes closed. She seemed to be in a very deep meditation while soft musical instrument was being played in the room. He was waiting for her opening her eyes, finishing her meditation.

When he saw her opening her eyes, he approched her and asked “are you a Hindu or a Moslem?”. This is the most interesting part of the post for me. The woman looked down and remained silent. He started to feel uncomfortable and said to him self “I should not have asked this question.”

He realized that he should not have carried his spirit of a journalist in such a place.

For those who have learned to go beyond labels for their spirits will understand that no label is required for the souls. Not label of religion, belief, race, nationality nor whatever label. All of these labels is for the body. And this is what Rumi had taught. He did not say that he belonged to such and such religion.

The woman was a business woman in Dubai, she left her business and moved to Konya after the death of her son. She went to that place everyday because she found peace there.

The spirit is beyond any labels

So when I was in Konya, visiting the place of Rumi a few weeks ago, I carried this story with me in my head. I really wanted to see and feel where the woman was sitting, the music, the peace and the sacred feeling.

Your spirit uplifts so many.

It was a bit crowded with visitors. Of course I could not spot the exact place where the woman was sitting. I enjoyed the music being played there.

Deep down in my heart I was thankful to Rumi for his beautiful thoughts that uplifted my soul. Your body is finished but your spirit is eternaly alive in the universe, tiredlessly inspiring and uplifting many souls.