Are you Inge, the Photographer?

photographer

This morning I received a call and she asked, “Are you Inge, the photographer?”

Since I have never considered myself as a photographer, I said no, thinking she might have mistaken me for someone else. Then she asked again whether I was the one who often took photos at Vihara Dhamma Sundara. It was not a mistake, so I said yes.
She asked whether I could take photos of her child’s engagement party. I told her that I was not a professional photographer, so I declined.

She was quite insistent. She said that I had good camera equipment and surely I could take a simple assignment like taking photos of engagement party at home. Once again, I felt that I was not good enough to be called a professional photographer, I declined for the second time.

Somehow she believed that I could do the job and kept asking me, explaining that it was a simple engagement and she only needed 30-40 photos printed for the occasion. For the third time, I declined because I did not good enough editing skills for post-production.
Finally, she took ‘no’ for an answer.

After saying ‘no’, I could not get this incident out of my head. I wonder why I declined this opportunity.
First, I feel that I am not good enough to be called a professional photographer. I have never been paid for my photos or services. Did I refuse because I was just too afraid? Did I refuse because I felt unworthy?

Second, I have expectations regarding the role of professional photographers. A real professional photographer has the ability of editing in post-production and will produce good results. I have no editing skill other than cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast.

Third, I consider whether this assignment is worth my time and effort. It may be an experience but I do want to be compensated for my effort. It is called professional service and not volunteering to help anymore.

Last, if I want to be a professional photographer of my choice, I want to be a travel photographer.

What do you think? Should I have said ‘yes’?

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Does Honesty Pay?

50000_rupiah_bill,_2016_series_(2016_date),_processed,_obverse+reverse

Does Honesty Pay?

Last night our family had dinner at Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant, Rimba, Jimbaran Bali. We went back to our hotel, Movenpick Resort & Spa, Jimbaran by Blue Bird Taxi. Our taxi cost Rp 50,000, so I took out my wallet and gave the money to the driver. When I was walking away from the car, the driver called and he returned Rp 50,000 to me because I gave him two notes of Rp 50,000. I thanked him for his honesty. Then I had an idea and I gave the note back to him and wished him a happy new year!

Honesty pays because he feels good and I feel good too.

#honesty #learnandgrow #lifelessons #virtue

 

Credit Card Fraud

 

bill itunes

Yesterday a friend shared a story with me how her credit card was fraudulently used for online purchases. She always tracks her credit card transactions, so when some unknown charges came up, she could act fast and block the card before further damages were done.

When she called the bank to ask about the charges, she was told that they were apps purchases at iTunes store. She started to get suspicious because the only time she used it was buying an app for her niece a few months ago. Her niece might have purchased apps without knowing that these purchases would be charged to her aunt’s credit card account. 

After checking with her niece, her suspicion was confirmed. She had bought some apps from iTunes store thinking that they were free because they were featured in Apps Gone Free. Well, they were only free for a day, not forever!

Since the amount of credit card charges were not too big, my friend paid the credit card charges in full and asked the bank to replace her card, instead of disputing the charge. Sometimes disputing the charge can cost more than simply paying the balance. (You can read my story here)   

What can we learn from this incident?

  • Track your credit card expenses 
  • Get your bank to notify you for any credit card expenses above a certain amount (you can set the amount yourself). The notification is usually sent by SMS just a few seconds after the transaction occurs.
  • Do not leave your credit card detail saved on website or online store. It may be inconvenient to enter your credit card detail for every transaction, but it is definitely safer, especially if you have youngsters using your gadgets. 

Do you have any similar experience or want to give more tips? Please share in the comments.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

What Can An Old Childhood Toy Teach Us?

2

Yesterday while shifting stuff at family storage, I found this driving simulation toy from my childhood. I did not quite remember whether I got this for my 11th or 12th birthday, but I remembered the process before getting this toy.

The toy was displayed in a toy store just opposite our old house. I regularly came to the toy store just to see what was new and interesting. When I saw it, I really wanted to have it. In the 80s, something like this was already a very technologically advance toy. The screen on the right displayed the road and when you turned the steering wheel, the car moved from left to right. I could not remember whether the speed changed by shifting the gear. Anyway I was quite obsessed in getting this particular toy.

I told my parents that I wanted this toy for my birthday. They tried to persuade me not to buy it because it was quite expensive. I said I wanted it and I gave them several reasons why I wanted to get it. One of the reasons that I told them was that I could use it to practice my driving skill so I would be ready to drive by the time I reached the age of 17. When I think about it now, I realize how ridiculous the reasons and excuses that I gave to my parents. Yet they still bought me the toy.

I played with it for about a week or so, and I just got bored with it. I did not think that I would lose interest that fast, but it happened. It went to the storage and I just found it again after more than 20 years. I showed it to my 3 year old nephew and he was not even interested in it, the iPad certainly had more appeal to him than something like this.

What can we learn from this?

Sometimes we are still like little kids. We want something so bad and we start making up reasons why we need it. We build a strong case about why we need and have to buy it now. Even the most ridiculous reason seems reasonable and acceptable.

We can be so stubborn and do not want to hear other people’s advice or recommendation although they can see it more clearly than us. Sometimes they just keep quiet after a while because they can’t be bothered speaking to closed ears and mind. So if you still have friends who are honest with you about your silly purchases, be glad you have them around.

Remember that the excitement often occurs during the wait, and we simply lose interest after we have it. Why not just keep waiting to keep the excitement going on and on? Hahahaha In a few months, we will be enchanted by different or newer toys anyway. At the moment, I am excited thinking about getting a MacBook Pro in December…I’ve been waiting for more than two years…perhaps I will buy, perhaps I will wait for the next and more advanced MacBook Pro.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

Don’t Rely on Numbers to Determine Your Happiness

sage of happiness

I just read an article at BBC “Why Money Can’t Buy You Happiness

BBC points to a study by Christopher Hsee of the Chicago School of Business:

[P]articipants were offered the option of working at a 6-minute task for a gallon of vanilla ice cream reward, or a 7-minute task for a gallon of pistachio ice cream. Under normal conditions, less than 30% of people chose the 7-minute task, mainly because they liked pistachio ice cream more than vanilla. For happiness scholars, this isn’t hard to interpret –those who preferred pistachio ice cream had enough motivation to choose the longer task. But the experiment had a vital extra comparison. Another group of participants were offered the same choice, but with an intervening points system: the choice was between working for 6 minutes to earn 60 points, or 7 minutes to earn 100 points. With 50-99 points, participants were told they could receive a gallon of vanilla ice cream. For 100 points they could receive a gallon of pistachio ice cream. Although the actions and the effects are the same, introducing the points system dramatically affected the choices people made. Now, the majority chose the longer task and earn the 100 points, which they could spend on the pistachio reward—even though the same proportion (about 70%) still said they preferred vanilla.

The participants in the study were focusing on getting the most points although it does not maximize their happiness.

How often do we make the same mistake?

  • We want the highest number of salary possible although it comes from the job that we hate
  • We want the latest and most expensive gadget although using it frustrates us
  • We eat at an expensive restaurant, order the most exquisite cuisine that we do not like at all

We often think that the higher the number, the happier we become…well, it does not work that way. So what should we do?

So next time you are buying a lottery ticket because of the amount it is paying out, or choosing wine by looking at the price, or comparing jobs by looking at the salaries, you might do well to remember to think hard about how much the bet, wine, or job will really promote your happiness, rather than simply relying on the numbers to do the comparison. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, and part of the reason for that might be that money itself distracts us from what we really enjoy.

If you have the money, use it wisely to promote your happiness.

More often, the things that make us happy do not involve money all all, like:

  • spending time with your friends at home,
  • listening to your music collection, watching DVDs, reading books
  • enjoying the quietness and solitude at home
  • watching endless waves breaking at the beach (I really miss Cottesloe beach, WA)

Choose your own happiness! Do not let the numbers dictate you!

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

In Crisis, We Learn Our True Nature

accident

My Nissan Juke after an accident this afternoon.

At 4.20PM I left the office to go to Vihara Dhamma Sundara for an interfaith tree planting ceremony. While I was waiting for the light to go green next to Centre Point, Purwosari, there were two motorcycles colliding with each other next to my car. I saw the collision and it seemed to be in slow motion until one of the motorcycles fell to left hitting the right side of my car. I did not dare to move because I might drag the motorcycle and injure the rider. I waited until people came out to help the two riders and told me to move to the side of the road.

After I parked on the side of the road, I went out to check the damage. I saw black streak on my right doors. One of the security guard that helped the rider came up to see the damage too. The black streak was just paint from the motorcycle and my car was not scratched nor dented. I sighed with relief.

The security guard asked me whether I wanted to pursue the case with the motorcycle riders. I told him that I wanted to get their details because I might need it for insurance. He persuaded me not to pursue the case, but I said I needed to do it.

I walked with the security guard to meet one of the riders, he was not injured physically, however his motor did have some damage. He was cooperative when I asked him about his detail and phone number. I told him that I might not pursue this matter because there was only superficial damage. 

The rider whose motorcycle fell on my car ran away. Perhaps he was afraid and he chose to run away, instead of taking responsibility for his action.

How did I feel? After the initial little shock, I was a bit worried about extent of damage to the car. After I saw that there was no real damage, I felt relief. Even if there was a real damage, the insurance would have covered it.

It was after I went back into the car and continued driving that I realized that I did not even ask whether the motorcycle rider was hurt from the accident. It did not even cross my mind to ask for his well- being. Suddenly I realized how I had put things above people. It was all business for me…no financial loss…no worries. I discovered something about myself today. I thought I had enough compassion towards people but when the real thing happened, it was evident that I did not really have it.

Lesson:

In crisis, we learn our true nature.

Anything that happens in our life can help us discover an aspect within ourselves. Either we like it or not, the simple acknowledgement that we have it inside of us hopefully helps us to learn, grow and be better human beings.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP

Love – A Delicious Poison

It has been years…since I fell in love

Have I forgotten how it feels like?

The delight, excitement, happiness…when I am with you

The longing, anxiety, restlessness…when I am away from you

Just being there with you…No words need to be spoken, yet I know how you feel

When our eyes meet…I see the whole world inside you

Our hearts beat together in harmony…through space…through time

Not even distance can keep us apart, not even in my sleep I feel alone…

Every fibre of my being vibrates with yours

 

Aaah

this feeling of love…like a delicious poison

intoxicating me with delights while it lasts

shattering my world when it is gone

 

this feeling of love…a poison I gladly drink

to make my life worth living