Journal of the day

A thousand years

Being a vegetarian for many years I have been asked by different people about the reason behind it many many times. My answers have been varied depending on who was asking and the situation. From a serious answer to a not serious one.

Not long ago I was in a tour group with new people for almost 10 days. Very often we sat on same table during our breakfast, lunch or dinner. And we talked. During this eating time ussually someone would ask me what I was eating on this diet. Usually different person because we sat randomly. And I gave a different answer too.

I remembered when someone asked me the same question, I replied “I want to live a thousand years.” It was a apontaneous answer, of course Everybody who was there laughing at me. To become a vegetarian means to take a lot of vegetable and fruits for daily intake. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be healthy food, containing high vibre, fresh, easy to be digested etc etc. If you are healthy then you are more likely having a long life span. Well, that is the simple logic.

Vegetable salad with olive dressing is my favourite menu during this trip.

He then said that if I live that long, I would be lonely because probably all my friends would have died.

But then someone said “Don’t worry, I will travel with you. I will become your travel buddy.”

Have you ever thought of having a long life span? What are you going to do with your life if you are given a long life span? Will you be feeling lonely?

If you have something to contribute to humanity or to people around you, you will experience your life so valuable. Your heart will be full and you won’t feel lonely. To feel lonely is to feel lacking of something in the heart. It is feel a bit empty in your heart. A lonely heart is an empty heart. It is by giving that your heart will become full.

Think of what you can contribute to people around you instead of what you can take from them. Be where you experience yourself having enough for yourself and for giving it to others, not be where you need to take.

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.

Reflection

Number doesn’t lie

How much do you really care of your spending? Or how well do you manage your money?

One of the aspects in money management is how to manage your spending. Are you a good spender?

After a meeting with a long time friend who had been so long not seeing each other for the last couple of years, I had a thought to make a proper analysis on my spending. I have recorded almost all my spendings for the last few years. I never thought that I could have become so discipline in keeping this for this long. I made the record manually. Every single receipt of any payment was recorded on a book. I have made a quick analysis on monthly basis. I knew whether the total expense was increasing or not, how much I spent on month-to-month basis. I didn’t make any proper analysis. No wonder that my expense was increasing for the last few months.

I decided to put all the records into a worksheet in my laptop. I am using Microsoft Excel for this. It makes everything so easier. In any data analysis, the more datas and the more detailed and accurate, the better. It will then speak something. It tells you everything accurately and honestly. Number doesn’t lie.

An accurate graph will speak the truth.

It says…

One. My year-to-date expense on Starbucks in 2022 increased more than 300% than it was in 2021.

Two. I have spent on Starbucks almost as much as on gasoline.

Three. A cup of hot chocolate is much more expensive than a litre of gasoline.

With this simple analysis, I know what I need to do or change in my spending. Gasoline is more essential than hot chocolate drink. Moreover the price of gasoline has just increased. I have to become more mindful on spending on what is less essential.

It also tells me the accurate number on groceries, house maintenance, meals, communication, insurance, fashion, leisure etc.

You will become more confident when you have to make any financial decision. You will also become more committed to what you are going to do with your money when you have this data-based analysis with you.

When I shared my charts and tables of this analysis to a colleague who is working in Finance Division, she said that she was amazed that I could make it so consistent. She tried to make same record of her spending, but then she did not like the feeling like being suffocated every time she was going to make one. Then she did not continue doing it. Actually I heard this from some other colleagues too.

I think the hardest part is to make something into a routine, then into a habit. To start something is easy. To continue doing it is always not easy. It really takes a commitment.

Journal of the day

Act like a boss

It is always interesting in making an interaction with children, especially those who are under 7. They are so genuine and spontaneous. I always enjoy it.

Some said that those period is the golden period for their growth especially mentally and emotionally. They pick up everything around them so easily and quickly. They also learn everything from what they see and hear. It very much depends on the adults around them who bring the influence into them. They get influenced. They get coloured because they still cannot colour themselves intentionally.

Today my nephew was taking me to airport. He brought along with us our cousins’boys. I think most of children like to be in a ‘new place’ like airport, especially to see aircrafts. Because it triggers their immaginations. Children tend to imagine a lot and they do it freely and also courageously.

Someone took this picture below for us. And I said spontaneously to them before the picture was taken “Act like a boss!”. So they were posing like a boss. Little children will quickly follow what you ask them to do with no judgment. Sometimes they just copy you. This is what I like from them.

My nephew said to me that on their way back home from the airport, one of the kids asked him “What is a boss?”

Obviously he never heard this word before, he couldn’t use his own imagination how to act like a boss.

Act like a boss!

I also remembered when I took my friend and her kids, little Joshua and Syaila to a museum many years ago. It was a museum of a palace where a throne of a king was displayed. It was not the historical one so actually the visitors may sit on it. I quickly got an idea and said to them “Sit on this throne like a king”. They then sat on it and posed like a king. They sat upright with their two arms on the arm rest and showed their faces royal like kings.

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?

Journal of the day

Stop Comparing

I think many of us have got used to comparing. We compare our achievement to others’. We compare our success to others’. We compare our life to others’. We also compare our failure to others’.

To compare is to see the differences. Seeing the differences, we may feel better or insecured.

Very recently in a discussion someone asked me a question. At the moment we hear and see people who are in war are suffering. Many lives have changed completely at a sudden.

They lost their homes, suddenly they became refugees. They lost their loved ones, they lost everything. Thinking about this, is it okay to compare their condition and ours? I am grateful that we are not suffering like them. I can lead a life I want. He said.

I don’t think that we should compare in this way either. Seeing their suffering, we develop compassion for them. We bring them in our prayers. We send them good wishes. We support them. But we should not be influenced. We need to stay strong ourselves only then we can keep our compassion for them.

Each one of us will also have our own challenge, struggle and battle in life, probably not in exact the same situation. If not in war, natural calamity, accident, death or in so many different situations. If not now, probably later. You have to make sure that you will win your own battle.

We will never become great because others are suffering. We never become happy because others are in pain. We will never look successful because others are not.

See their suffering as a reality in life. Stay strong and not influenced. When you have to deal your own struggle, you will remain very strong.

I don’t think that we need to compare our life to anyone’s. Each one life is a different one. Each one of us have our own journey, we have our own struggle, our own failure and also success.

In life we are not in a race with anyone.

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.

Reflection

The 3 steps to experience love

If relationship with others can not give me love that is permanent then I need to work on the other sources of love, having relationship with God and with the self.

To have a relationship with God, firstly we need to know and secondly we need to believe in Him.

Everyone of us might know God. At least religion has taught us this. We could understand God quite quickly. It doesn’t take time. Perhaps we also believe in Him. It is also very easy.

But that is not enough. To know and to believe is not enough. It doesn’t guarantee you to experience a relationship with Him. It doesn’t guarantee you to experience love from Him. The process of knowing and believing takes place in our head. It is very often so theoritical. God as a concept. While to experience love is practical. The feeling is real. God is not a concept. He is a Spiritual Being like us.

So the third step is to experience Him in a relationship. This step probably takes a long time. It requires so much patience.

How to really have this feeling of love? Put what you have understood about Him into your practical life, on your day-to-day basis. Keep experimenting on this. Only through an experiment by experiment you can really experience God’s love. Challenge yourself by asking provocative questions on what you have understood about God, what you have believed in Him. Reflect those questions again and again.

Once you taste His love, it is fulfilling your heart’s desire for love. There is no better love than this love.

When you taste this true love, your search for temporary love from human being will end. You won’t depend on anyone for givibg you love. When you are in relationship with anyone, you are not seeking love but giving love.

Reflection

Why do we need a relationship?

Everyone needs a relationship. Is there anyone who doesn’t need a relationship? How is it like to have a life without any relationship? Probably lonely and so boring.

Why do we need a relationship? I think it is because we experience love through relationship. Everybody needs love. Everybody wants to be loved and also to love.

This need for love is probably the first need for each and every human soul. When this need is not fulfilled, the mind is restless, non-stop seeking and the heart is empty. And when this need is fulfilled, the mind stops searching and the heart is full.

How do you fulfill this desire? You probably also search through relationship with someone. Very often a relationship makes someone dependent on whom they have a relationship with. It is not liberating. It is an emotional attachment. When there is dependency, there is always a fear of losing. The desire for love is not fulfilled permanently.

There are 3 sources of love, from whom you can experience love. Firstly is from others and you know that it is not permanent. Secondly is from the self. This will not create dependency. It it fulfilling. It creates true self respect. It is more permanent. And thirdly is from God. It is very liberating. God’s love is liberating the soul, it doesn’t create any dependency.

You can make yourself full through experimenting the second and third sources of love.

What do you think how to experience this love from yourself and God practically in your life?