Reflection

Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom. It sounds really cool. The definition of financial freedom is to have a lifestyle that you desire without having to work or rely on anyone else for money. It is so cool, isn’t it?

Your money works hard for you that all your expenses is covered by your passive income. You don’t need to worry about money. You may spend your whole day, whole week doing something you love. You are carefree.

How much money do you need for your financial freedom?

I remembered when I was in my early 30s, I often discussed with a friend on idea of early retirement. My friend kept saying it to me “Are we going to work like this till the rest of our lives? I think we need to have a courage to resign and do what we love.” The idea also sounded really cool.

By the way we did not work for the same company. She was working for a bank at that time. I am not sure what she was doing exactly. She was only in her late 20s. So she is younger than me. To follow the passion is cool. It definitely needs some preparation and calculation.

I didn’t know about financial freedom at that time. You need to make some preparation for your financial freedom. It takes some works, also some disciplines.

Looking back to that time and today with the financial crisis in front us, if I took the decision to retire early, it was going to be the decision I would regret. Taking a really big risk in life without thinking it really deeply.

How much money do you need to have your financial freedom? Eveybody would have a different amount. Freedom is more a feeling, something non-physical. When you have to put a number to something feeling-based, then it will be quite different from one person to another. And there is nothing wrong with any number someone puts. It very much depends on the readiness of the heart in each one.

What sounds cool is not always cool.

Journal of the day

Feeling wealthy

Are you wealthy? What comes into your mind when you hear this word, wealth?

Only a few weeks ago, I had to talk about being wealthy and staying wealthy. I made a disclaimer that I am not wealthy in a sense of having a lot of wealth like properties, money, stocks, bonds, crypto etc. I still have a morgage to pay, car loan and also credit card to settle. So I don’t consider myself to be wealthy in this sense.

Am I feeling wealthy? I can quickly answer this question and my answer is ‘yes’. I know my feeling. Probably I am the best person in the world who know what is in my heart (my feeling). I think noone is better than me in this.

Feeling is generated by the heart. It is firstly generated in the mind in the form of thought. So to feel wealthy, actually you do not need anything from outside. You can create any thought you want, and your heart will follow. The heart will create the feeling accordingly. When the mind and the heart are not conflicting, they will work together. They seem to trust to each other.

The hardest task for each one of us is probably to make the head and the heart coherent or not conflicting. It is to make them trust each other. When it happens, then whatever thoughts you create, you will feel it accordingly.

Can you recall any moment when you try really hard in your head to convince yourself, yet your heart doesn’t get conviced? Or do you always find it vwry easy to convince yourself?

When your mind says ‘I am wealthy’, your heart quickly agrees and creates a feeling of having enough or fulfilled.

Reflection

Don’t get caught up.

It is serious! If you have a problem in your life and it is really a very big problem, I tell you “Dont get caught up in that particular problem!”

And it means you should not only think that one problem day and night, for several days or weeks. No! It is not worth it.

If you are in a relationship with someone, I tell you the same “Don’t get caught up in that one relationship!”

Many people get caught up in their committed relationships.

You might be inspired by one particular person. You might like him or her so much. And it is OK to get inspired, it is good. You then decide to do something in your life, probably to make some changes. That inspiration might become a little push for you. And many times you might need it. But then realize, that’s enough. You have to carry on with your own life. You can not become dependent all the time to whoever give you inspiration or support. Don’t become his or her devotee. I observed this devotion feeling in a comitted relationship¬† and I found it ended up unhealthy for one party or even for both.

Company colors the soul. It is the right expression for this. You probably don’t want to get coloured by one company, you might want to have your own colour. For this, make sure that you are not caught up in one relationship.

If you find yourself caught up in one problem, get something to distract your attention. Get your mind distrancted. Read a book or go for a walk for example. It helps your mind refreshed. It doesn’t mean that you don’t try to solve it, not at all. Sometimes because the problem is so complicated, you can see its root cause really clearly and you can’t see any clear solution. You need to pause yourself for some times.

Your life is not only about one problem or one person you have a relationship with. Make your life as colorful as you want it to be. Make friends with as many people as possible. When you are making friends with them, become one who brings a positive influence. Become one who colors your companies.

Reflection

Living with inspirations

When you need an inspiration, what do you ussually do? Or where do you go?

Do you need an inspiration in your day to day life or not?

Where do you go for an inspuration?

In my case,  I have several targets to achieve that definitely need some fresh inspirations. Firstly I have to give a public talk or workshop to serve community once a month. It is always a free topic. No one gives me a particular topic. This is a monthly target. Secondly  I have to write a weekly post for this blog. Thirdly I have to write at least four journals every morning. These are my personal targets.

The third one is very easy. This is about my daily reflection. It is based on my experience, observation, what I read or what I listen in a class. To achieve this target, I just need to make time in the morning and a solitude. That’s it! Ideas seem to freely flow. I do not experience any pressure doing this because basically I am just expressing what is in my head.

The first and second ones are not always easy. Sometimes I feel stuck. I need some inspirations. Sometimes I need a different atmosphere also.

Today I decided to go out for an inspiration. Today is a weekend. I carried my laptop and books in a tote bag (a shopping bag). When I was just getting ready, my neighbour who was happenly in his garage asked me “Where are you going?” Our houses are just across to each other.  “Just looking for an inspiration.” I replied, leaving him with a smile. He knows me and understands what I meant with that answer.

I went to the nearest Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks ussually does not fail for this purpose. When I got there, I saw some people were busy with their laptops. This coffee shop is located in separated building, sharing space with a marketing gallery for property. It is suitable for a working space during weekend. I spent three hours there. I found it was a quite productive weekend!

Happy weekend everyone!

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

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.

Journal of the day

A very heart-warming movie

Do you like watching movies? What movie genre do you like most? Have you gone to cinema recently?

I am not really a big fan of movies. I only watched a movie after a review from friends. If they said it was a good movie then I would consider to watch it. Unless I would not watch it. I am so fortunate that I have friends around me who love watching movies. Any kind of movie, including horror, documentary, detective, comedy and also drama.

Very recently a friend told me a movie she just watched in cinema. It was a drama movie. Drama of a family life. She said it was a good one. Other friends were also telling me the same. So I was so encouraged to watch that movie. I asked her if she would like to watch the same movie with me in the coming weekend. She said that she wanted to watch Minion 2 instead of watching the same movie again. So the deal was made. I would watch the movie and she would watch Minion 2 which was scheduled to be played half an hour earlier that the movie I was going to watch.

The movie was about conflict between a father and his three sons. The father held the belief and the tradition very strongly. He wanted to apply it to his children. He wanted her first son to marry a girl from the same clan only, because he has to carry the family name. He wanted his second son to become a judge, instead of a comedian. A comedian is not considered to be valued more than a judge in the society (in his village). And he expected the youngest son to come back and live with him. All the 3 sons have moved to Java island for their study. It was about father and son relationship that did not work well in the family.

The family was from North Sumatera. A simple family in a village in Samosir island in the middle of Toba lake. A very beautiful island. I have been there 6 years ago. So I could relate a bit, but not to the culture. Anyway it was a happy ending one. The conflict was resolved with the father’s open mind.

A friend said: “It was a very heart warming movie.”

I think I agree with her.

Reflection

Temporary Beauty vs. Permanent Beauty

You might agree with me that cosmetic does an amazing thing, if not called a magic. It can change somebody’s appearance dramatically. Someone may look so beautiful having a make-up. Though someone may look so pretty with a make-up, she doesn’t want to have it for the whole time. When she arrives home or when she is going to bed, she will definitely clean her face from the cosmetic product she has applied on her face. A make-up remover is applied.

A friend asked me to buy a cosmetic product for her. It was a pencil for eyebrow. Dark brown colored. She also mentioned the brand in her message. I read her message very quickly and I replied OK.

I went to the nearest store, not a big store to get the stuff. I was so sure without asking the sales counter, I went to the cosmetic section. I knew what I wanted to buy. I looked at the whole section where different brands of cosmetic products displayed but I couldn’t find the pencil I wanted. Then I told the sales counter about it. She asked me the brand I was looking for. I said with so much confidence: “Vivo.”

She looked a bit confused and said: “There is no such brand for cosmetics. We have Viva, not Vivo.”

I became confused and to make sure I checked what my friend had written to me. It said Viva. Later I remembered that Vivo is a brand for electronic products.

Inner beauty is beauty from the heart.

You might also agree with me that make-up can only give a temporary beauty not a permanent one, an external beauty. While inner beauty is from the heart. You don’t need to apply any make-up to have inner beauty. What you need is a kind, gentle, strong and big heart. You can have it for the whole time. You don’t need any remover for this.

Reflection

Boredom

I like putting ideas in my head in writing. If someone asks me why, my answer would be in the sake of clarity. Yes, when it is put in writing, it becomes clear to me. I like writing everything, an idea or an issue that is occupying my head.

If it is an idea, it allows me to see how much I have understood. If it is an issue or a problem, it allows me to see the root cause of it and what possible solution or probably just a way to deal with it.

Long time ago a friend asked me if I have written a topic on boredom. I think she was feeling bored at that time. Another time she said to me that she was feeling overwhelmed. I then tried to recall if I had written one. I didn’t remember. I think I never write about this topic. It doesn’t mean that I never feel bored. Sometimes I also feel it, but it never becomes an issue that I have to really pay attention and seek a remedy.

I like to put myself as a learner. I see life around me and also nature as an opportunity to learn something. There is always something new that I can explore. The world around us is like a very big school and all of us are students. There is always enthusiasm in being a student. You will always find it as a life long learning process.

The exam would not be fixed in timing. The question would be different for each one. We can not copy it from other students. The good thing in this process is that we are still allowed to fail. We are given a chance to learn again.

How do you deal with boredom?

Reflection

Dealing with loss

Last week was probably the hardest week for my friend. She just lost her husband after being hospitalized for almost a week. He left his body at the age of 41. A quite sudden loss. He was hospitalized due to dengue fever. Since he was admitted at the hospital, he was treated in the intensive care unit due to low oxygen saturation.

She is actually my colleague. We could feel her feeling from day one of the hospitalization, from emotion to emotion, fear to fear. We went to the hospital to give her support. We also went to his funeral.  We understand it was not easy for her. We wanted to see her strong. I think without saying it, she knows that we care for her so much. I am also sure that she has the strength to carry her life ahead.

Each and everyone of us might have experienced loss, if not yet we surely will. Death is something certain to come to every living being on earth. Dare to live and also dare to die. These two come as couple. We just don’t know the timing.

This loss has reminded me that actually we can not possess anything nor anyone in this world. Everything we can see through our eyes is temporary. To be temporary means there will come the time to leave or be left. Till the time comes, it is better to prepare it. Keep reminding not to attach your heart to anything that is temporary. If you need attach your heart, then attach it to something permanent, something that won’t leave you, something that makes you strong.