Going Up The Mountain, Nissan Juke or Joke?

juke inge

Two weeks ago, my friends came from Jakarta to Solo for a short trip. Since one of them has never been to Tawangmangu before, so we stayed in Tawangmangu that weekend. We had a great time having a heart-to-heart sharing about life. It was an enlightening experience for me.

On Monday, before we went back to Solo, I offered to take them for a drive to Cemara Sewu on my Nissan Juke. I just got this car a few months ago and I hadn’t had the chance to try in on steep mountain road. I was curious to see how this good looking car would perform going up the mountain. I was pretty confident that I would be able to take my friends to see beautiful sceneries on top of Cemara Sewu.

After loading our luggage on the car, I took my friends for a scenic drive up the mountain. At the beginning the car rode smoothly, but when we got to the point where the road was very steep and long, no matter how deep I stepped on the accelerator, the Juke could not move forward. I put the car on power mode and pressed the gas pedal to the ground, but the car only moved forward in inches. After a few meters going on like this, we decided to turn back.

In my mind, I was furious. How could this new Nissan Juke not go up Cemara Sewu? It was embarrassing!

When I got back, I complained about this to my Dad. He told my uncle who was very knowledgeable about car to check it out.

Yesterday, my uncle and the mechanic from Nissan took the car for a test drive to Tawangmangu. When they arrived in Karanganyar, they tried to put the car into test and drove it faster. Although it was only a gentle slope, the car just would not run as fast as it should be. They stopped on the side of the road to check. There was no problem with the engine, so they checked the accelerator. When they saw the position of the accelerator, they finally figured it out why the car would not run faster. The accelerator was hindered by the double carpets! When they removed one of the carpets, the accelerator could be pressed down to the ground and the car just ran like the wind!

The carpet was the culprit!

When they told me about this, I was laughing out loud. I could imagine my uncle’s facial expression when they found the culprit! It was so funny!

What can I learn from this?

A trivial thing may cause a big problem, and a big problem may be solved with a simple solution.

In life we are often confronted with problems big or small. When we are faced with big problem, we often assume that we need complicated solutions to solve it…well, not necessarily! Sometimes a simple solution is all we need if we can find the true nature of our problem.

Finally, I need not go to Nissan to complain that their Juke is a joke!

Just like the song by Bee Gees “I Started a Joke”…Oh if I’d only seen that the joke was on me!

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B. Com

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Do Positive Feelings Improve Results?

Yesterday I was trying to help my university students to identify their feelings towards learning Chinese language. I asked them to write 10 different feelings they associated with learning Chinese as fast as they can. I also asked them to write two or three reasons for each feeling.

The three dominant feelings are proud, stressed and confused. Learning a second or third language, especially Chinese is not easy, so it is understandable that they often feel confused. Most of them feel stressed due to the number of Chinese characters that they have to memorize. Despite the difficulties in learning Chinese, they feel proud because they are seen as being able to take on a ‘hard’ subject. A lot of people perceive them as smart and they receive a lot of praise. 

One thing that drew my attention was how their feelings towards  learning Chinese influenced their performance in class.

There are two classes, Class A and B, with 17-18 students per class. When I tallied the feelings for each class, I found that in Class A, the students have more negative than positive feelings towards learning Chinese. While in Class B, they have more positive feelings than negative ones. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why Class B consistently outperforms Class A.

Does it mean that if we want to be better in something, then we need to have more positive feelings toward it?

Please share in the comments about what you think.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B. Com

My Meditation Journey Continues… Bali Usada Tapa Brata 2

TB2 Tawangmangu 2 

Happy faces after finishing Bali Usada Tapa Brata 2 in Tawangmangu. The course was held for 12 days from 30 March 2010 to 10 April 2010.

This 12 day Bali Usada Tapa Brata 2 course can really transform how you use your mind. The main objective is to train your mind to become a skillful harmonious mind that can be used to proactively heal and maintain good physical, mental and emotional health.

Before attending Tapa Brata 2, I’ve attended Bali Usada Tapa Brata 1 course twice in the last 9 months and I found them very beneficial for my health, especially for my emotional well being. After attending Tapa Brata 1, I feel more relaxed and calm. I become more aware of my feelings and emotions thus I am able to control my emotion better than before.

I used to struggle a lot with the feeling of anger. Before attending Bali Usada Tapa Brata 1, whenever I got angry, other people suffered. After attending Tapa Brata 1, whenever I got angry, I suffered the most. Why? Whenever I was angry, now I could feel my body was burning inside, it felt so hot. I could feel wild energy shooting here and there attacking my inner organs, very uncomfortable! No wonder wise people say that anger is harmful for your health. After that experience, whenever I feel the emotion of anger rising, I do my best to be aware of it, let it go and never let anger run its course.

I’ve been meditating every day since I attended Bali Usada Tapa Brata 1. I usually meditate 45-60 minutes a day. Sometimes I meditated for 90 minutes because I wanted to prepare myself to attend Tapa Brata 2. I heard from previous participants of Tapa Brata 2 that it was very challenging.

How did I feel about the course? It was tiring mentally, physically and emotionally. It was definitely a very demanding course in terms of mind training. I’ve never used my mind as intensive as this before. I’ve attended many seminars and programs by Anthony Robbins, T Harv Eker, Silva Method and many others and none of those programs can beat Bali Usada Tapa Brata 2 in terms of mind training.

I thought attending Anthony Robbins’ Date with Destiny was demanding because the seminars went well into the night and we jumped, we screamed, we danced, we did a lot of things there, yet I felt more tired just by sitting and concentrating my mind during TB2.

During the course, I felt many different kinds of sensations, feelings and emotions. Sometimes I remembered things in the past so clearly, I felt that I was there. Sometimes I was even astonished to discover my own subconscious thoughts. It was a very interesting experience!

Although I found the course to be very challenging, it was well worth it. I definitely recommend this course for anyone who wants to transform their mind and life to a whole new level. The transformation is not superficial as I have experienced after attending other courses, it is a real transformation. Once you’ve experienced it, you would know it in your heart.

A bit of warning:

I recommend for anyone who is interested in attending Tapa Brata 2 to at least attend Tapa Brata 1 twice and meditate regularly at home for about 60 minutes every day.

After finishing the course, sometimes there may be some bad reactions lingering for a few days. Do not worry, just keep meditating and it will balance itself.

Finally I want to thank Mr. Merta Ada and his assistants, Mr. Suardika, Mr. Budi Waluyo, Mr. Sutedjo who made the course possible. Thank you for your guidance and support. I also want to thank you my dear father, Mr. Djoko Santiko who allowed us to use the villa in Tawangmangu to hold the course. Last but not least, I want to thank you all my friends who attended the course together, Joseph, Hijau Berlian, Wulan, Tining, Jenny, Juniar, and Cha Cha. Thank you for the friendship, love, and support so that we could successfully finish the course. I hope we have an opportunity to attend another course together again.

May all beings be happy!

Learn and grow,

Inge Santoso, B. Com

Five Rules of Happiness

I got these five rules of happiness from a book by Jose Silva and Burt Goldman “Silva Mind Control Method of Mental Dynamics”.

Five rules of happiness:

  1. If you like a thing, enjoy it.
  2. If you don’t like a thing, avoid it.
  3. If you don’t like a thing and you cannot avoid it, change it.
  4. If you don’t like a thing, cannot avoid it, and cannot or will not change it, accept it.
  5. You accept a thing by changing your attitude towards it.

If you like a thing, enjoy it. It sounds simple, but sometimes it is one of the hardest things to do. I think it is about being present, fully aware about what you are doing and enjoy every moment of it. For me, it is enjoying a cup of coffee mocha in the morning, reading a good book or writing journal.

If you don’t like a thing, avoid it. If you don’t like a thing and you can avoid it, just avoid it. It is something under your control, but sometimes it also requires courage to say no. For example, if you do not like clubbing and your friends ask you to go, just say no.

If you don’t like a thing and you cannot avoid it, change it. If you do not like something and you are the one who needs to do it, then change it. For example, if someone is overweight and there is no one else who can shed the weight except that person, then change it through better eating habits and doing exercises.

If you don’t like a thing, cannot avoid it, and cannot or will not change it, accept it. You accept a thing by changing your attitude towards it. An excellent example for rule no 4 and 5 is my previous post The Value of Rp. 300,000. I didn’t like to pay that Rp300,000, I couldn’t avoid it because I’ve taken the test, I couldn’t change it, so I accepted it. I accepted it by changing my attitude and perception. Instead of looking at it as a loss, I am now able to see it as a valuable lesson and a great learning experience. By changing my attitude, my perception, I feel happier.

Learn and Grow!

The Value of Rp.300,000

On Saturday I was informed that there would be an examination entrance for Mandarin Course from a university in Guang Zhou, China on Sunday. Since I didn’t have time to prepare and I was not too interested in taking the course, I didn’t want to go but I also felt guilty if I didn’t show up. Finally I decided to go there just to say in person that I did not want to take the exam. When I got there, I met a friend and she asked me to take the exam. She also told me that it was not expensive, only Rp. 30,000 (USD 3). I thought, if it’s only USD 3, then I’d take the exam to accompany her.

There were three papers. The first paper was quite easy. It had some vocabulary, grammar and short answer. The second paper was mostly about geography, history and culture. I could not do the second paper at all because I knew almost nothing on these subjects. Apparently the other people who did the exam already had some material to study on these subjects so they were quite prepared. The third paper was writing composition. One of the topics was “My Unforgettable Friend” and we were supposed to write 500-800 words. I wrote about 200-300 words.

While I was writing the composition, the exam supervisor asked us to pay for the examination fee. She said it was Rp. 300,000 (USD 30)!!! My reaction was WHHHHAAAATTTTT?????? Three hundred thousand?? Not thirty thousand?? If I were to describe my feeling at that moment, it was anger, regret, guilt, all mixed together. The most dominant emotion was anger at myself! The little voice in my head kept saying, "Stupid! Why didn’t you just stick to your goal in the first place? Why did you do that exam? Why did you let your friend drag you into doing it? It was your fault! You brought this on yourself!”

At the height of my negative emotions, my intelligence started to drop. I said stupid things in that room that I later regret. I asked whether I could withdraw, but the supervisor said I already did the exam and there was no refund. Finally, I took Rp. 300,000 out of my wallet and put the money under the paper and I simply walked out of the room.

After those feelings subsided and my intelligence came back up, I was able to think more clearly. I started to have a feeling of regret for saying those stupid things in class. I also felt regret for being disrespectful to those older teachers in the classroom by walking out of the room like that. Then I started to ask myself better questions and I got better answers.

Question: What can I learn from this?

  • I learned that I value exchanging money for something of value and I do not like to waste it. Although Rp.300,000 was not a big amount for me, I felt I had wasted that money for nothing. I do not mind paying a high price for something that I value, but I do not want to waste even a small amount for nothing.
  • It is true that when emotion goes up, intelligence goes down. It’s better to say nothing and do nothing rather than regretting it later.
  • I learned that asking “What can I learn from this?” or “What good things come out of this?” really help me to feel better. The first time I learned to ask these questions was from Anthony Robbins, then from Blair Singer. I’ve taught this method to other people but I’ve never truly felt how effective it is until now. Now I am convinced that this method really helps me to get rid of those feelings of guilt/regret/hurt that I often feel. I also feel a sense of courage and optimism because I have a powerful weapon to face my fear of failure. It is not failure but a learning experience. I’ve heard a lot of people say those words in many books and seminars, but now I finally have it imprinted in my heart and mind.
  • I learned that I want to feel a sense of calm and peace no matter what happens. I believe that this feeling of peace can only come from faith in God and trust that everything happens for a reason and it is always for good.
  • I learned that when you choose and decide to do something, accept the consequences. If it is good, be glad. If it is not so good, learn from it.

At the end, I felt that I had not wasted Rp. 300,000 at all. I learned so many valuable lessons from this experience. Not only I have deeper understanding about myself, I also have a new conviction. It is really worth it!

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B.Com   

Afformations – Asking Empowering Questions to Change Your Life

I’ve been reading the book “The Secret Code of Success: 7 Hidden Steps to More Wealth and Happiness” by Noah St. John. I want to share with you the first step to success, that is using afformations instead of affirmations.

An affirmation is a statement of something you want to achieve or to be true in your life. For example: “I am rich”, “I am happy”, “I am smart”, etc.

As Noah did, I’ve also been doing affirmations, declarations, and autosuggestions for years. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work. After reading Noah’s book, I understand why sometimes the affirmations did not work, it was because I’d been saying those statements that I did not believe in. For example, when I affirm “I am thin, I am thin, I am thin” – inside my head there is a little voice saying: “Yeah, right!”, “B.S”, “When were you ever thin?”  Hahaha. No matter how many times I repeat the same statement, that little voice keeps me from believing that statement.

Fortunately there is a better way! Instead of using statements to change our lives, we can use QUESTIONS to do it.

We think by asking question and answering the questions. The way we think is like putting a question to a search engine in a computer and the computer gives us answer after searching its database. Whatever questions we ask, our mind will give us the answers. That’s why it is so important to ask empowering questions instead of disempowering questions.

Afformation is about asking empowering question instead of disempowering ones.

Four steps to create afformation that can change your life:

  1. Ask yourself what you want.
  2. Form a question that assumes that What You Want is already true
  3. Let your mind search for the answer
  4. Take new actions based on your new assumptions about life

Some examples of afformations:

  • Why am I so happy?
  • Why am I so wealthy and rich?
  • Why am I good enough?
  • Why am I so smart?
  • Why do I have the courage to do what I love?
  • Why do I enjoy so much success?
  • Why am I so blessed with such a wonderful and happy family?
  • Why am I so lucky to find my soul mate so quickly?
  • Why am I beautiful and attractive?
  • Why am I living a purpose-driven life?

How will you know when it’s working?  – Try it and see what happens!

I’ve been doing afformations for a week now, I feel happier and more grateful about many things in my life. I’ll share more after I do this for at least a month.

Since we are already asking questions to ourselves all the time anyway, I am asking you to try afformations (asking empowering questions) and share your experience in the comments.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B. Com

Earthrise on Earth Day

We’ve seen numerous sunrises and sunsets on Earth.

Today let’s see the Earth from a different perspective. The above video is earthrise seen from the moon.

How did you feel when you saw the video?

Looking at Earth from this perspective makes me realize how small, how tiny we are. We are all small dots. I am a tiny dot. Yet as small dots, we play a big role in our Earth’s survival. What have you done today to help our Earth?

In my opinion, before we are citizens of countries, we are citizens of the planet Earth. Just like President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country.” I would like to say, “Ask not what Earth can give you – ask what you can give to your Earth.”

Learn and Grow!