Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Courage and Fear

Courage or foolishness?

In my seminar, I often ask the audience what the definition of courage is. The answer is usually COURAGE = NO FEAR, which means that you are courageous when you don't feel any fear whatsoever. I believe that this is a poor definition of courage because it makes you feel that you don't have the courage to face new challenges in life that often come with fear of the unknown.

I think Mark Twain's description of courage - Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear - is more empowering. It is about understanding and accepting that a fear exists, yet you are willing to take action despite it. Susan Jeffers said "Feel the fear and do it anyway."

1. It is natural to feel fear when you are about to do something new. The feeling of fear is not meant to paralyse you but it is to prepare you.
2. Courage is not the absence of fear, but feeling the fear and do it anyway

Learn and Grow!
Inge Santoso

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dr. Stephen R. Covey - The 8th Habit

From left to right: Jakoeb Oetama, President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Last Wednesday I fulfilled one of my lifetime goals. It is to attend a seminar by Dr. Stephen R. Covey's seminar. The title of the seminar was "Achieving Greatness in a Turbulent World".

Not only I could listen to Dr. Stephen R Covey in person, I also listened to a speech by the President, Mr. Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself. The President encouraged every one of us to cultivate a 'Culture of Excellence' in every fabric of our lives. He also said that although he preferred the world 'greatness' to 'turbulent', the two often went hand in hand. It is absolutely true in his case. Since he becomes a president, Indonesia has gone through turbulent times - tsunami, earthquake, rising oil prices, economic crisis, and many more. I hope the president can rise to the challenge of turbulent world and Indonesia can achieve greatness under his leadership.

Dr. Covey inspired us to develop the 8th Habit: "Find Your Voice; Inspire Others to Find Theirs". Voice has to do with:
  • Talent (Mind) - What are you good at?
  • Need (Body) - What need does it serve?
  • Passion (Heart) - What do you love doing?
  • Conscience (Spirit) - What is life asking of me? What should I contribute in this situation? (sense of calling)
He also motivated us to be A Trim Tab - a catalyst for change. By definition a trim tab is the small rudder that turns the big rudder that turns the ship. Everyone can be a trim tab. It is about deciding to be a trim tab and start to make a difference. He showed us a video about one high school principal who has made a big difference in her school by doing one small act, cleaning the school toilet, scrubbing the floor by herself. After that, everybody started to get involved and the school got better and better.

1. Choose to be a trim tab
2. Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs
3. Develop a culture of excellence

Learn and Grow!
Inge Santoso

Monday, November 21, 2005

We Take More Than We Give

I recently stumbled into Rustle the Leaf Environmental Comic. I think it is an interesting and fun way to educate people about the importance of saving our environment. We take so much from the Earth and what do we give back? Sadly we often give back rubbish, pollution, and other harmful things to the environment. I believe if each one of us can contribute a little to take simple steps to save our environment, it will make a big difference.

Remember these three simple steps to help saving our environment:

Learn and Grow!
Inge Santoso

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Fly Story

A Fly in the Sky

This is one of the most interesting photos I took during my stay in Tawangmangu last weekend. This picture reminds me of a story I often tell in my Comfort Zone Seminar. It's a story about a fly that could see the vast sky but it couldn't fly there because it was confined by a glass window. The fly kept trying to fly through the glass but ended dying there because it never realized that there was a glass between where the fly was and where it wanted to go.

Sometimes the same thing happens to people. We may be able to see the opportunities out there, yet we are unable to get them. We often wonder why we are stuck in a rut despite our hard work. The key is to realize and be aware of the 'unseen glass', our comfort zone, that keeps us confined. We are frequently held back by our fear, guilt, anger, hurt, and negative beliefs that act as the boundary of our comfort zone. It's only after we break through these negative beliefs and feelings that we can expand our comfort zone and achieve the results we want.

What are the things that hold you back from attaining what you want?
Reach deep within yourself and find the real reason. Remember to be true to yourself and let the truth sets you free.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Journey to the Summit

The view from a plane's window during my last trip

I've been looking at my recent photo collection when this photo gave me an inspiration about a goal and the journey towards it.

Let's say that your goal is the mountain. It is far from where you are now and it will take time for you to get there. When you have a big vision, remember to keep your eyes on it and start to chart the terrain and plot your course towards it.

You may notice that the terrain is clearer and better charted within a short distance, but the further you see, the landscape is covered with fog. It means that sometimes you may be afraid of the unknown, of what lies beyond the fog, that it paralyses you and refrains you from taking short-term actions. It is natural that you may feel this way, but you need to face the fear and simply take the steps to move forward. You'll see much better once you are closer.

Sometimes the straight line from where you are now to your goal is not the easiest nor the fastest way. You must prepare yourself to navigate the terrains with its ups and downs, its twists and turns. Be flexible and adapt quickly to the situation.

Remember to keep your eyes on the mountain, focus on your goal along the journey so that you won't get lost. You'll get there sooner or later. Never give up! The journey may be the hardest when you are climbing the mountain. Don't quit until you reach the peak of the mountain!

When you arrive on the summit and see the breathtaking view, you'll simply forget about your tiredness, your mental and emotional exhaustion. You'll feel glad, excited, and fantastic. You'll be grateful and appreciative of what you have become because of the journey.

At the end, what really matters is not the goal nor the achievement, but it is discovering who you really are and what you are capable of.

Finally, I'd like to invite you to set your goal, start your journey, see the view from the summit and discover your true potential!

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Warning: Disgusting Intestinal Worm

Warning: Please do not read this post any further if you can't stand disgusting things

Since I live in a country which is considered to be high population density with low sanitation, I am recommended to have a bi-annual treatment, so two days ago I took Combantrin. Combantrin is said to be effective against threadworm, roundworm and hookworm. It contains pyrantel embonate that works as a "neuro-muscular blocking agent" - effectively paralysing worms. When worms are unable to move, they are passed out in the faeces.

Yesterday morning, I saw one pink roundworm as thick as LAN cable, about 25cm long being passed out in a stool. Here is an illustration of a roundworm:

It was a shockingly disgusting sight. I still haven't been able to get the picture out of my mind. The more I search about roundworm on the internet, the scarier it becomes. It's said that up to approximately one hundred roundworms can infect a single human host! One is scary enough, imagine 100. Eugh!

According to WHO, about 25% of the world's population are infected with roundworm...that's one in four people. The question is: have you taken steps to ensure that you are free of intestinal parasites?

Learn and Grow!

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Mother and Her Mobile Headset

Last Friday morning, my mother borrowed my Nokia headset because she'd like to try using it to make and receive phone calls. Just before she left the house, she plugged-in the headset and put the mobile phone in her bag.

At about 9AM, I got a phone call from her. When I picked up the phone, I could hear only crackling noise and she didn't seem to hear me saying, "Hello...hello...." I thought perhaps she accidentally pressed the call button on her mobile, so I put down my phone. In less than 5 minutes, my phone rang again and the same thing happened, only this time I could hear her saying, "Hello...." but the voice was distant and she still couldn't hear my voice. At last, I realised that my mother used her mobile as usual (pressing the mobile to her ear) and the connected headset was in her bag. No wonder she couldn't hear a thing!

I tried to call and tell her that she had to use the headset to listen to my voice, but it was to no avail because she couldn't hear me. Finally I sent a text message telling her that while the headset was connected to the phone, she needed to use it to listen and talk.

In a short while, she called me again and this time I could hear her voice loud and clear. When I talked to her, I could hear that she was a bit embarrased by the whole affair. It was that "how silly of me...bla bla bla" thing. At the end, we just laughed about the whole thing...HA HA HA.

My beloved mother has finally learned to use the mobile headset :) Well done Mum!

1. Learn a bit about a new gadget you are going to use.
2. You seldom do something perfectly on the first try. It is perfectly natural to make a few mistakes.
3. Don't be afraid to make a few mistakes and learn from them.
4. It's never too late to learn something new.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A False Sense of Security

On 1st October 2005, the company I worked for announced that it was operationally non-active. All of its employees and distributors were quite shocked by this surprising news. All of a sudden, we were forced out of our safe haven of comfortable and secure employment...out of our comfort zone.

How do we react to this news? There are all sorts of reactions but this time I'm going to blog one interesting phenomenon.

At first, most of the employees were afraid of losing steady source of income. Therefore, some quickly scoured the newspaper looking for job opportunities and started sending out resumes. A few others began looking for new entrepreneurial business opportunities. Basically, the majority of people took rapid actions to replace their income. However, this phenomenon of taking actions did not last long! After they received their sizeable retrenchment benefits, the majority did not feel the rush to get a new source of income anymore. Some of them even stopped looking for a new job and decided to take a long vacation instead.

Are they falling into a false sense of security?

Have you ever observed this kind of behaviour in people around you? What do you think about this kind of behaviour?

These are some lessons I've learned from this event:
1. Be aware of falling into a false sense of security
2. Expect changes to happen as a wise man once said "Change is the only constant"
3. Be prepared and adapt quickly to changes
4. When people are out of their comfort zone, they start taking action to get back into their comfort zone. Once they think that they are back inside, they stop taking action.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Legacy of Tanah Lot

Panoramic View of Tanah Lot (Earth From Sea), Bali, Indonesia

During Entrepreneur Business School in Bali, Roger Hamilton told us the story about the 500 year legacy of Tanah Lot.

The questions for you and I:
  • What kind of legacy are we leaving for the next generations?
  • How are we going to be remembered by our descendants?
  • Are we making a positive difference in life?
  • What are we going to do to ensure that we will leave a lasting legacy?
When you focus on leaving a legacy, you'll see a lot of your actions in new and proper perspectives. We often see our problems today to be very big and we tend to over-react, but when we view them from a longer and bigger perspective, these problems may be just small stuff. We need to focus on the important things...things that really matter.

What would you do differently today if you are going to leave a lasting legacy?

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Friday, September 30, 2005

Roger Hamilton's EBS Bali 2005

Roger Hamilton's EBS Bali 2005

I attended Roger Hamilton's Entrepreneur Business School in Bali last weekend. It was great. I met a lot of interesting people and learned a lot in four days.

Lessons that I've learned:
1. When a team is going through a storm, the way out is to fully support the leader with the vision regardless how imperfect the vision is. When all the team member can accept the leadership, the teamwork improves considerably.
2. Everything happens for a reason. There is no coincidence. You are here for a reason.
3. When a situation seems bad, do not lose sight of the big picture. Persevere with your vision.
4. Sometimes you may feel guilty when you have to fire someone, but it may be the best thing that can happen to that person. The people voted out of our team turned out to be winners in their new teams.
5. If something good happens, go straight to gratitude. If something bad happens, go straight to acceptance.
6. You can have your defining moments anytime in your life. It is usually when you least expect it to happen.

Learn and Grow!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Google Earth

Google Earth - Perth

Have you tried Google Earth? I think it is truly amazing. I've never thought that I would be able to see our former houses in Perth from this perspective. I could see that our old neighborhood has developed. What a progress!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Family Vacation

Sunset - Phuket, Thailand

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

I am on a vacation with my family in Phuket, Thailand.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

R&R and The Adventure of Sparky

The Adventure of Sparky

Today is my R & R day. I spent my morning taking pictures around our backyard. I was shooting lotus flowers when I noticed Sparky happily feasting on our lotus leaves. I took this opportunity to observe and take shots of Sparky's adventures around the flower pot. I've never had so much fun taking pictures before. It surely has been amusing and refreshing! Sparky, thank you for making my R & R day so interesting!

Allocating time for R & R is important because we need to recharge and regain a positive perspective in life. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed with what is happening in our work and relationship. There are times when everything seems to fall apart, when we see problems everywhere and we feel hopeless. During these times, it often pays to step back and try to see it from a different perspective. It's like being in a traffic jam. When you are caught in a traffic jam, you see a lot of irritated drivers cutting lanes, honking endlessly...a complete chaos. However, when you change your perspective and see the traffic jam from high above, there is order and it even looks beautiful. It's a matter of changing your perspective!

1. The world around us is full of surprises and miracles...if only we take the time to observe it.
2. Take time to rest and relax, step back and see things from a new perspective

Learn and Grow!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Customer is Always Right...BUT...

Ziggy 22 August 2005

As the competition in the market place gets fiercer, the role of customer service is becoming more important everyday. Customer service often becomes the distinguishing point between one business and its competitors. Companies compete on giving the customers the best experience and satisfaction, starting from pre-sales until after-sales service. They spend a lot of money for customer service trainings, CRM system, and so on to ensure that they can be the foremost in service.

One of the tools that some companies use to ensure high quality of customer service is to enforce the following rules:


Rule no 1: The customer is always right
Rule no 2: If the customer is ever wrong, see Rule no 1

These rules are intended for customer service personnel, reminding them on the importance of listening to their customers' problems and helping customers to solve those problems.

Imposing these rules is not without risk because there are customers who would abuse the system. Companies should be aware of this risk and strive to keep the balance between providing excellent service and its cost. In my opinion, one of the most successful companies in keeping this balance is Nordstrom. Nordstrom is famous for its customer service and customers are willing to spend more because of it.

As companies compete to provide distinguished customer service, we as customers benefit the most by getting better service everyday. One thing to remember: We can demand the best service but we need to keep in mind not to abuse it, thus bear in mind the notice in the cartoon above "The customer is always right...but don't get cocky!"

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fiery Lotus

This is one of the best photo I took during my trip to Puncak and Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia yesterday. This photo was taken using my Canon IXUS 50.

Since I bought a Canon IXUS 50 in June 2005, I've taken more than 700 pictures. Out of those 700, I have a handful of great pictures but these few great shots make everything worthwhile.

When I think about those photos, it is in a way similar to our lives. There are a few moments in the course of our lives that make everything worthwhile. Some of those moments could be when we make a positive difference, experience love and joy, rise up to the challenge, beat incredible odds or leave a legacy. Those are the moments we relish and savor in life.

Another thing that I learned is that if you want to succeed, you just have to take the shots. How can you get a great shot if you never use the camera? Just Shoot It! (ehem Nike: Just Do It!)
The key is taking action...taking massive action! Decide on what you want and take the necessary actions to bring you closer to your goals.

Learn and Grow!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Strengths Finder

Last week I read a book by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton entitled "Now, Discover Your Strengths, How to Develop Your Talents and Those of the People You Manage". This book is based on a Gallup's study on excellence on the workplace. The study finds that the world's best managers have two basic assumptions that guide them:
  1. Each person's talent are enduring and unique (NOT that each person can learn to be competent in almost anything)
  2. Each person's greatest room for growth is in the area of his or her greatest strength (NOT that each person's greatest room for growth is in his or her areas of greatest weakness)
It is therefore more important to discover and develop your strengths instead of working on your weaknesses.

Focusing on your weaknesses often makes you feel frustrated because no matter how hard you work at it, the result is still ordinary. You also tend to lose self-confidence when you realise that you can't be really good at it.

On the other hand, focusing on your strengths will help you increase your self-confidence because you know that you are good at what you do. It will make you happier because you do what you love to do. It will also help you to achieve your goals because you know what really motivates you.

If you want to be extraordinary, focus on your strengths!

If you are interested in finding your strengths, buy any one of the Gallup strengths publications, each of which provide an ID code that will allow you to take Clifton StrengthsFinder, and will help you think about how to best leverage your talents.

This is an example of a summary version of my StrengthsFinder Profile.


  • Significance: People strong in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized.
  • Competition: People strong in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
  • Belief: People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.
  • Focus: People strong in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
  • Activator: People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
1. Start discovering your strengths today!
2. Focus on your strengths by managing your life around your strengths!
3. Strive to be the best in what you love to do.

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Journey


The journey towards our goals is seldom a straight and smooth path. The road to our destination may be full of ups and downs. The journey takes us through high hills and deep valleys. We may need to go through a long and dark tunnel. Sometimes we even have to take a detour.

When the road is steep and we don't seem to have the strength to go on, do we just give up? NO! Our inspiring goals will renew our strength to continue the journey!

When we are in a long and dark tunnel, do we lose hope? NO! Our goals will serve as the light at the end of the tunnel where we hope and look forward to.

When the road is blocked and we have to take a detour, do we get frustrated? NO! Taking a detour does not mean that we have failed. Sometimes, it's just a delay because the best time has yet to come. Sometimes, a detour forces us to re-evaluate whether our goals are really something that we want. Sometimes what we perceive as a detour is actually the right path after all.

If you are on the detour in your journey towards your goals,
  • explore the path
  • enjoy the scenery
  • take time to think and reflect
Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Goal Setting

Garfield - 20 February 2003

"I think setting goals is very important"
"Good idea"
"Without a goal, how would you know when you failed?"

I agree that setting goals is very important but the most important thing is what we eventually become in the process of achieving our goals. We may have failed in achieving our goals, but we have moved forward in life. We learn a lot in the process and we may grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I'd like to add another panel to this cartoon. (permission to edit the cartoon, please)

"Garfield, arriving at the destination is not as important as the process of going there."

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Limiting Beliefs in Goal Setting

"Do not set your goals based on what you've done in the past, but set your goals based on what you can ultimately become!"
We are often afraid to set big goals and achieve extraordinary results because we often assume that the future will be similar to our past. We believe that our chance for achieving our future goals is determined by our successes and failures in the past. We limit our abilities to be somewhat we were capable of in our past endeavors. These limiting beliefs prevent us from being what we can ultimately become, the best version of ourselves!

What should we do?
1. Believe that your future ≠ your past! You have TODAY to create the future you desire.
2. Break free from your limiting beliefs by identifying them and do the four-step process I described in my last post.
3. Do not let that little negative voice in your head stop you from setting big goals and achieving outstanding results!

This is a quotation from Todd Skinner in his book Beyond the Summit: Setting and Surpassing Extraordinary Business Goals :

First the dream

Who you are is not nearly as important as who you aspire to become. It is critical for the dream to come first before you are daunted before the analysis of what it will take to achieve your end, before you decide whether it can be done, because the dream itself has so much power to pull you beyond where you think you can go do not limit your future by basing it on the past projecting what you can do based on what you have done. Your goal is to be not just better than you were but as good as you can ultimately become.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Limiting Belief

Recently I read a book by Jack Canfield, "The Success Principles". One of the things he wrote is about Limiting Beliefs. We often suffer from limiting beliefs such as
  • I'm not (smart, attractive, rich, old or creative) enough
  • I don't deserve to be this successful
  • Even if I don't like my job, I need the money to live
We often develop these limiting beliefs about ourselves very early in life. It may come from what our family, teachers or friends say to us when we are still very young. We do not yet have the capacity to distinguish whether their statements are true or accurate, we simply accept them to be true. Statements by parents or teachers often have huge impact in our lives, simply because they are the authority figures in our younger years and we trust and believe them.

How do we overcome this negative/limiting beliefs? Jack Canfield gave a simple four-step process to overcome any limiting belief:
  1. Identify any limiting belief that you want to change
  2. Determine how the belief limits you
  3. Decide how you want to be, act or feel
  4. Create a turnaround statement that affirms or gives you permission to be, act or feel this new way
He even provided a template for this process.
  1. My negative/limiting belief is __________.
  2. The way it limits me is __________.
  3. The way I want to be, act or feel is __________.
  4. My turnaround statement that affirms or gives me permission to do this is __________.
When read about these limiting beliefs, I remember about an incident in my life. I have a limiting belief that I am not a creative person. It's because in my kindergarten years, one of the teacher wrote in my report card : Creativity - Inadequate. Why do I still remember this remark? It's because other qualities such as Intelligence, Discipline, Neatness, and many more were give Excellent mark...such a contrast with my Creativity! From then on, I just belief that I'm everything but creative.

Going to the four-step process:
1. My negative/limiting belief is that I am not creative.
2. The way it limits me is that I avoid any task that need some creativity and that's a lot of tasks to avoid! I am also feeling inadequate and afraid when given such tasks.
3. The way I want to be, act or feel is that I am creative and I am excited when given a task that needs creativity. I feel confident that I can generate a lot of great ideas.
4. My turnaround statement is I am a creative person and I am becoming more creative and innovative everyday.

I think I will do more of this four-step process for any limiting beliefs in my life since it's been very helpful to my personal growth :)

I'd suggest that if you have any limiting beliefs, just do this four-step process and see how it can make a difference in your quality of life.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Success - Knowing Your Purpose In Life

I would like to share what I've learned from Dr. John C. Maxwell about SUCCESS.

What is success? Success is:
  1. Knowing your purpose in life
  2. Growing to your maximum potential
  3. Sowing seeds in others
How can you discover your purpose in life?
  • PASSION. What are you passionate about? What is it that you do that make you feel alive and full of energy?
  • AREA OF STRENGTH. What do you do well? What are your strengths?
I've been asking myself these questions in the last two weeks. I discover that I am truly passionate about learning and sharing what I know with others. I love teaching. I feel most satisfied when I help others to learn, grow and discover their potentials. It's only now that I finally realise how important it is for me. When I give a training, I feel happy and so much alive. On the other hand, it is painful and distressing when I do not have the opportunity to train others. From this moment on, I will not run away from my calling. I will be faithful to my purpose in life and live with passion.

What about you? Have you found your purpose in life? What are you passionate about? What do you love to do? What are your strengths?

My friends, I'd suggest that you take the time to discover your purpose in life because it will change your life forever. It will be the turning point in your life. It will give you success, joy and happiness.

"There are two great days in life, the day you are born and the day when you know why" - John C. Maxwell

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Saturday, July 30, 2005

John C. Maxwell - Maximum Impact

I have subscribed to Dr. John C. Maxwell's Maximum Impact, a monthly lesson about leadership for more than two years. Every month I received one audio lesson and its accompanying notes. Although I've always enjoyed listening to those audio lessons, I've never had a special attachment to it. But it all changed when I attended Dr. John C. Maxwell' s seminar in Jakarta on 18 July 2005. During the third session of the seminar, he did a recording of one Maximum Impact lesson. A few days ago, when I listened to this month lesson, I could visualise myself being there and be a part of it. Suddenly listening to Maximum Impact lesson has a special meaning for me.

From this experience, I also learn the importance of recognising our learning style and how it helps us to learn faster. I am a visual person and being able to visualise myself in the seminar room listening to this lesson helps me learn better. I usually find it hard to understand a lesson just by listening. This experience gave me a new dimension. I am glad that I attended that seminar.

1. It is important to know whether you are a visual, audio or kinesthetic person because it will help you identify your learning style. The appropriate style will help you learn better, faster and more effective.
2. A personal experience has a profound impact.
3. Personalise your service to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Choices We Have To Make

We are faced with choices every single moment of our lives. We can't avoid making choices. Even when we choose not to choose, we've already chosen. Letting other people to choose for us is also a choice. Can you ever think of a moment in life where we do not make any choice?

There are so many different choices, hard ones, important ones, life-changing ones, trivial ones, minor ones, etc. I'd like to show you one example of a trivial choice yet needed to be made. A few days ago, I went to a restroom in a restaurant. I was surprised to see two toilet bowls and a urinal in one room. I had three choices. I could choose either to sit, squat or stand (if I'm a guy). I chose the one most convenient to me :) Anyway, I had to make a choice, no matter how petty or unimportant it was.

1. Life is full of choices.
2. Faced with choices everytime, we need to learn to make the right choices in life.
3. Since we are the ones who make all the choices, we are responsible for our lives.
4. Even when we think that we have no choice in a given situation, we still have to choose how we respond to that situation.

Learn and Grow

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ouch! Wrong seat!

On Monday, I attended John C. Maxwell's seminar, Developing The Leader Within, in Jakarta, Indonesia. There were about 1000 people attended the seminar. The atmosphere was highly-charged and simply fantastic. Although I've read almost all of John C. Maxwell's books, I still found this seminar to be very inspiring. I learned a lot that day.

There was one classic and funny incident involving the guy who sat 2-seat next to me. After the morning break, I saw that guy was having an argument with a few people sitting 3 row behind me. I overheard he said that people shouldn't have moved to other seats during break. He said that he's sat on that seat the whole morning and told those people to move their seminar kits from his place. He also arrogantly sat on that chair, lifting his leg up. His gesture suggested 'this is my seat! Do not mess with me!' attitude. I didn't follow what happened next, but I was sure that he finally realised that he was one who got it wrong!!! OUCH! It was so embarrassing!

Have you ever had this kind of experience? I haven't and I don't want it happening to me. If it ever happens, at least I'll check first before arguing.

1. Remember where you sit if the seats are not numbered.
2. If you find someone sitting on your seat, remain calm and check whether it is really your seat. If you are sure, then ask that person politely.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Cover of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Yesterday I got my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I've waited for this moment for two months since I pre-ordered it on 16 May 2005. I expected a queue picking up the book from TGA bookstore. I even prepared the correct change to speed up the process. Yet when I got there, there wasn't even a queue. HAHAHAHA. I suppose Harry Potter's fans in Indonesia want to wait for the translated version.

I started reading the book straight away and finished reading it this morning at about 6AM. It took me about 7 hours to read the whole 607 pages of it. I won't say anything about the content because I don't want to be a spoiler.

No lesson for today...Just read the book and enjoy the adventure!

Learn and Grow!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Keeping A Safe Distance On The Road

Yesterday on the way to work, my friend and I saw that the car in front of ours was carrying large wooden crates and one of the top panel was flapping. We were worried that it might came off and flew right into our car. We decided to keep a safe distance from that car. In less than 5 minutes, the cover did come off and flew to the right lane. We were so glad that we didn't tailgate or try to take over from the right, otherwise we could've had an accident.

I don't know whether that wooden panel would cause an accident afterwards. The risk was there because that wooden panel was full of long nails and cars travel above 80 km/h on that highway. I hope no one got hurt because of it.

1. Do not tailgate. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in from of you
2. Be alert and anticipate different scenarios when you drive. Think "what ifs". What if that person suddenly crosses the road? What if that car brakes abruptly?
3. If you are carrying anything on an open trunk, please make sure that they are fastened properly.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Art of Delegation

Ziggy 9 July 2005

The original quote: "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today!"

The original quote focuses on avoiding procrastination and doing what you can do now. Although this quote still focuses on avoiding procrastination, the difference is in getting someone else to do it for you. Is this an art of delegation?

In any organisation, managers or leaders often need to learn the art of delegation. Delegation does not mean that you dump all your work to your subordinates and you do nothing at all. Delegation means entrusting your subordinates to do some of your work so that you can do what you do best, thus achieving the organisation's goals and outcomes.

Some managers are often afraid to delegate their works because they feel insecure and they fear that their subordinates may be able to perform the task better than them. These insecure managers tend to insist to do everything themselves or just give menial tasks to their subordinates. At the end, the whole team suffers. Even worse, these insecure managers often complain that they are overwhelmed by their works, while the subordinates complain that they are not given a room to grow.

What would you do if you have an insecure manager in your organisation? I'd love to hear your comments on this one.

Learn and Grow!

Being Creative

I received this card from my friend today. I've never received a card with so many personal touch before. I think she is very creative in making this card. I am truly impressed by her attention to details. This card is really outstanding! (Dd, extraordinaire!)

1. Being creative makes a big difference
2. Attention to details leaves a great impression

Learn and Grow!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Doing Something or Nothing With Life

Garfield, July 7, 2005
Garfield, I'm worried about you
How long do you think you can go on doing nothing with your life?
He's just jealous that I have a life to do nothing with
When I saw the above cartoon this morning, I started to think about the meaning and purpose in life. There are those who strive to make a difference every single day of their lives, yet there are many who seem to do nothing with theirs. As for me, I yearn to make a difference and strive to do something meaningful in life. I would like to leave a legacy, something positive to be remembered. Life is short and I'll never know when it will end, so I'd better do something with it while I can.

Some questions to ponder:
  • What about you? What kind of life you do want?
  • Can we afford to be like Garfield, having a life to do nothing with ? Do we even want a life to do nothing with?
Learn and Grow!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Solo Palace, Central Java - Indonesia

Corridors of Solo Palace

Palace Tower - until recently, this is the tallest building in Solo. According to legend, it is where the King of Solo meets with the mystical Queen of the South Sea.

Royal Horse Carriage

Last week, I took my guests from overseas to visit the Solo Palace for the first time. The palace was quiet and peaceful because there weren't many tourists. I imagined the tour would be boring and dull, but it turned out to be very interesting. We really enjoyed our time there.

It was funny in a sense that I've travelled to so many countries, visited many foreign palaces from Forbidden City in Beijing, Potala Palace in Tibet to Versailles in France, yet this was the first time in my life to visit my hometown's palace. I've never taken the trip because I thought I could visit it at anytime. I suppose I've taken it for granted.

The most important thing that I learned from this trip is to remember not to take things for granted. I also learned that I do not have to go to far away and exotic places to seek beauty because it may be available next door.

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Changi Airport, Singapore

Do you know that you can make free calls from any public phones at Singapore Airport? You can call to any number in Singapore, even to mobile phones, for FREE.

This is one of the great things that Changi Airport offers to visitors from around the world. I always take full advantage of it, calling my friends and business partners to inform them that I am in Singapore.

Changi Airport also provides free internet access, duty free shopping for a great range of products, cafes, bookshops, darkened area for sleeping and resting. It offers not only a great service but a wonderful experience. It is also getting better everytime...absolutely fantastic!

Providing a great service and experience is very important for any organisations wanting to build customer loyalty.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, June 26, 2005


A few days ago, I saw some people were throwing things out of a car. I thought they were throwing rubbish but when I looked closely, they threw new kitchen napkin, a plastic bucket, clothings, etc. It was for CHARITY!

It was a good thing that people give out for charity, yet a friend commented that this kind of charity is ineffective because it was not properly directed to the people who really need it. What do you think?

I think it was a very interesting experience to observe. In my opinion, it would be better to donate through a proper charity channel rather than randomly tossing things out of a car. I saw a puzzled look on the face of who retrieved the stuff. It was a feeling of confusion instead of gratefulness. Some even eyed the package with suspicion.

Learn and Grow

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Cheapest Fare, Longest Delay

Yesterday, my flight from Jogjakarta to Jakarta was delayed for more than 2.5 hours. It was the longest delay I've ever experienced in domestic flight. Was it a coincidence that this was also the cheapest fare I've paid for an airline ticket? The usual fare is about USD 40, but the price for this budget airline was only USD19.

I've tried many budget airlines, the better ones and the lesser ones. The biggest advantage is of course the cheap fare.
The drawbacks:
  • problems with punctuality
  • inflexibility in terms of changing flight (The total cost may be higher than buying a standard airline ticket)
  • cramped seat and limited leg room (These depend on the type of aircraft)
  • extremely cold air conditioning (I still wonder why...is it a perception in our country that cold means luxury?)
If you are travelling using budget airlines, please consider these few things:
  1. The importance of punctuality in your trip. If you are on a business trip, you may consider taking other carrier
  2. The flexibility of your schedule. If your schedule is not fixed, do not take a budget airline.
  3. The length of your flight. If your flight is longer than 3 hours, do you mind discomfort and fatigued ?
  4. Bring a jacket or sweater, a bottle of water and some food
Learn and Grow!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Books and Reading

I believe that having a reading habit is essential for your personal growth and development.

It is very important to choose what kind of books you read. Reading a lot of positive, inspirational books will get you motivated and inspired, while reading newspaper may get you paranoid and worried.

One of the major benefits of reading is learning from other people's experience. If they have made mistakes, you learn how to avoid making the same mistakes. If they share how they become successful, you can follow their success path.

If you are young and may not have a lot of experience under your belt, my advice is to learn as fast as you can, as much as you can from books. Use the knowledge you learn from books as a foundation, then build upon it through practical experiences.

I would like to share with you some of books that I've read in the last few months.

The book that I am reading now:
  • Customer Centered Selling by Robert L. Jolles
The last five books that I read:
  1. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
  2. Carolyn 101 by Carolyn Kepcher, Stephen Fenichell
  3. The One Thing You Need to Know by Marcus Buckingham
  4. Difficult Conversation: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
  5. Deception Point by Dan Brown
Books that I have bought yet not read:
  1. The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey
  2. How to Build A Multi-Level Money Machine by Randy Gage
My favourite business book at the moment:
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins
My favourite inspirational book at the moment:
  • The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
My favourite marketing book at the moment:
  • Kotler On Marketing by Philip Kotler
1. Have a good reading habit
2. Choose wisely the books you read

Learn and Grow!

Some of my collections

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How Do You See Yourself?

This morning I created a South Park version of myself being angry.

If you want to learn more about yourself, you can try to create a cartoon version of yourself. It may help you to understand how you see and perceive yourself.

Try this exercise:
  1. Create a cartoon version of yourself. It will show how you see yourself.
  2. Let a family member create one for you. It will show how your family member perceives you.
  3. Let a friend or collegue create one for you. You'll see how your friends and collegues see you.
  4. Compare those images and see whether they are the same or different. If those pictures are the same or similar, then you have an accurate perception of yourself. If they are different, then it may be time for you to know yourself more.
For creating a South Park version of yourself, click here

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, May 21, 2005


"You know, Garfield. Sometimes I feel like a failure.
Maybe I could have made better decisions in my life."

Have you ever felt this way?
Do you often wonder whether you could have made better decisions in your life?

When I saw this Garfield cartoon on My Yahoo page last Sunday, I could identify with it. A lot of events in the last two years made me question my decisions. Have I made the right choices? Given the circumstances, could I have made better decisions?

When we weigh our choices and make a decision, we obviously take a risk. We do not know what is really going to happen. We cannot ascertain what the result is going to be. Can we know for certain that our decision would be a good one? No! It is only after we make our decisions that we know whether things would turn out the way we want them to be.

In a hindsight, it is easier to see whether we have made the right decisions. Yet we often doubt whether things could have been better if we chose the alternative. If we choose to dwell on these thoughts, we will never be happy nor fulfilled.

A friend, PCHI once told me: "If you make a decision, be ready to accept the consequences whatever they may be. Do not look back. If you know that you have made a wrong decision, learn from it and make a better decision in the future."

I think we should learn and listen to PCHI's wise advise.

(PCHI, if you happen to read this blog...thank you!)

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Happy Little Girl and Growing Up

I was looking through my old photo album and I found this picture. The first thought was: What a happy little girl I used to be!

When I think back over my childhood...I used to be this little princess living in a fairy land, so happy and there was nothing to worry about. Sometimes I wish I still can sing Toys 'R' Us song - I don't want a grow up...I'm a Toys 'R' Us kid...HAHAHA

I suppose we must strive to grow up and not just growing old everyday. Nature helps us to grow old easily every second of our lives, while growing up can be a long, difficult and painful process.

My personal experiences in the last two years have forced me to grow up quite a bit. Frankly, it has not been a pleasing experience. I've felt hurt, disappointment, anger, and confusion. I could say that the last two years have been the most turbulent times in my whole life. Often I just want to cry and I did cry quite a lot lately.

Anyway, life beckons me to grow up and learn as much as I can from all these experiences. This I will do...Learn and Grow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Advertisement Banner "1/2 Price 50%"

Yesterday I saw a banner "1/2 PRICE 50%". I wonder what it means.

Is the price reduced by 50%? Is the price halved? (Both mean the same thing!)
Is the price halved, then reduced again by 50%? The price is 1/4 of the original price?

Anyway, the advertisement banner caught my attention and perhaps a lot of other people's too.
It has achieved its purpose to draw attention and make people curious.

I notice that Sampoerna A Mild also use this method of advertisement. Since the ads are often confusing, they make people think about the intended meaning. People talk about it...discuss it among friends and family...ponder about it. People remember A Mild!

1. If you want to advertise something, the first step is to get noticed.
2. Dare to be bold and different.

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Taxi in Bali

During my trip from Jimbaran to Grand Mirage Hotel in Bali, I learnt a lot about taxi in Bali from a taxi driver. He mostly spoke about the difference between Bali Taxi and Kowinu Taxi.
  • Bali Taxi : You must use Argo meter
  • Kowinu Taxi : You can choose whether you want to use Argo meter or negotiate a cheaper rate with the driver
  • Bali Taxi : The waiting rate is Rp. 32.000,- per hour
  • Kowinu Taxi : The waiting rate is Rp. 20.000,- per hour
  • Bali Taxi : Owned by a corporation
  • Kowinu Taxi : Owned by Nusa Dua Village Community
Although Bali Taxi has a stronger brand name, Kowinu Taxi is gaining ground due to its flexibility and cheaper rates.

Now come to the most interesting part of the conversation. The taxi driver told us about illegal taxis and how they manipulated Argo meter. During the day, the Argo meter is connected to the honk. Therefore, whenever they sound the horn, the Argo meter moves faster without the passenger noticing. During night time, the Argo meter is connected to head lamp. So whenever they use the head light, the Argo meter turns faster. Hmmm...very smart indeed.

In my 20-minute journey, I have learnt a lot just by listening to a taxi driver. It is interesting to see that when we open our mind, we can learn from anyone anywhere anytime.

I also think that the taxi driver is very proactive in promoting Kowinu Taxi. I wish our people can be more proactive like him :)

1. Be aware when using illegal taxi.
2. We can learn from anyone anywhere anytime.
3. Competition is everywhere. If you want to have a competitive edge then you must focus on your frontlines because they are the ones who have the most impact on the customers.

Learn and Grow!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

ATM Card and Honesty

On the way to work, my friend and I decided to withdraw some money through ATM. After queuing for a few minutes, I went to one of the ATM machines. When I was going to insert my card, I saw a message on the screen "Do you want to continue for another transaction?" I suddenly realised that the person before me has left her ATM card. I hurriedly pressed 'NO', took the card and ran outside shouting "Has anybody left his/her ATM card?". One person told me that the card owner just went inside her car and started to drive away. I ran chasing the car, waving the ATM card. I managed to return the ATM card to its owner who was definitely too glad and relieved to get her card back until she forgot to say anything and just drove away.

It was only after I walked back to ATM stations that I noticed how people were looking at me with puzzled look on their faces. I wonder what they were thinking at that time. Perhaps they were thinking about how stupid I was to pass such a good opportunity for an easy money. Perhaps they were thinking that there are still honest people around these days. Perhaps they were just stunned to see me chasing a car in the parking lot, waving a card.

After the whole episode, I started to think about what had just happened. I felt good about myself and was able to see myself in a better light. I supposed it was because the good inside me has prevailed! Although I did feel a tiny stint of regret for passing an opportunity during my reflection of the incident, indeed I was pleased with myself that I didn't even think of doing that when I realised someone has left his/her ATM card.

These kinds of incidents sometimes make me wonder whether I was tested for something. I wonder whether my choices and decisions under these circumstances would determine the course and direction of my life. I often ask myself, "Did I pass the test?" or "Have I made the right decision?" In this case, I believed that I have passed the test and made the right decision!

1. Life presents a lot of opportunity to do good or evil, you have the freedom to chose either good or evil. Let the good inside you prevails and build your character around it.
2. You will feel better about yourself when you do the right things. Although doing the right thing may not be easy, it will enable you to stand tall and proud in front of the mirror.
3. Honesty is a virtue.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Right Tool For A Task

Last week, my friend and I went to buy those blue saw. They cost around 15 cent each, definitely cheaper than a big saw that cost more than 3 dollars.

This morning I used those blue saw to saw a plywood. It was a nightmare. It took me 45 minutes of hardwork to cut 1.2 m long. Not only it cost me a sore arm, I was also troubled when one of them broke before I finished the task.

If I ever do this again, I'll make sure that I get a proper saw.

1. Get the right tool to get the task done.
2. Although it may be cheaper in term of price, it may actually cost more in terms of time, health or emotional state.

Learn and Grow!

Mr. Mogul and Car Key

Last Wednesday, Mr. Mogul was assigned to chauffeur my sister for a day. There was no problem during the time when he picked up my sister from the airport until sending her to the buyer's office. It was only after he went back and parked the car, the incident occurred.

After parking the car, Mr. Mogul started to wash it. When he opened the luggage to get his bucket of washing kit, he absentmindedly put the car key in the luggage and closed the door. It should've been alright had he not locked the doors as well!

When he reported this incident to the office, he was told to go home because he was not allowed to drive without a driver licence which he also left inside the car.

It was not the first time he forgot about things. He often forgets where he put the car key, where he parks the car, where he keeps his wallet...the list goes on and on :)

1. Never leave a car key inside the car, take it with you all the time.
2. If you know that you often misplaces things, have a discipline in putting things back to its original place.

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope John Paul II

Picture - courtesy of MSNBC

After a few days in critical condition, Pope John Paul II died last Saturday. I mourn for him.

I consider myself as one of the lucky ones who have seen him in person. I didn't just see him from the window of his apartment but I was standing within 2 meters from him, inside St. Peter Basilica on November 27, 2000 during the year of Jubilee.

I wouldn't forget the day I saw the Pope. My sister and I were visiting Vatican on holiday. After touring the St. Peter Basilica we went to the post office to get some postcards and stamps. When I saw a picture of the Pieta by Bernini on one of the postcards, I remembered that I hadn't taken a picture of it. Therefore again I went inside to find and take picture of it. Once I was inside, the main door was closed and nobody was allowed to go in or out. I wondered what happened. Then suddenly the whole place seemed to explode with excitement, people started clapping and finally I realised what was going on. The Pope was there and I finally saw him in person!

When I saw him, I was overwhelmed by the experience. Words couldn't describe my feelings. I felt excited, elated and touched by the experience. My knees also felt very weak. I thank God for this wonderful and grand experience.

I consider myself very fortunate. First, that day was not his scheduled appearance, but I was there. Second, My sister and I went together to St. Peter Basilica, yet only I had the chance to see the Pope. Third, I already went outside but because I hadn't taken a picture of the Pieta, I went back and was able to take picture of the Pope. You can call it a coincidence, but for me it was a special gift from God.

There is no coincidence. All of your experiences have meanings. You may not realise the meaning at the time, but it will be revealed to you at the appropriate time.

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Doctors' Hippocratic Oath

I always think that medical doctors are special people who are committed to help others. They help others to live better physically, mentally and emotionally. I know a lot of great doctors who take the Hippocratic Oath very seriously and practice medicine with a lot of dedication. I have a great respect towards them.

Recently I had a bad experience with one doctor. He was very cunning and deceitful. Instead of making things easier for others, he created problems and made people very upset. I've never thought that a doctor could do something like that. Does he not remember his Hippocratic oath? Does he think that taking the oath is just a meaningless ritual? I wonder what would become of him in the future. May God have mercy on him!

I believe that integrity is very important. Integrity is about walking the talk. In this case, it is about living according to the oath taken. Only by living with integrity that other people will trust you. Once you violate that trust, it is hard to regain it.

1. Live with integrity, especially the integrity of your profession.
2. It is not the profession that defines a person, it is the character that defines a man.

Learn and Grow!

Friday, March 25, 2005

ID Theft Risk at Carrefour

Continuing from my previous post about Carrefour Shopping Card, I would like to warn you that there is a HIGH RISK of ID theft and Credit Card fraud when you apply for a Carrefour Shopping Card.

I noticed that when you apply for a card, they will ask you to fill an application form. That application form requires you to write your birth date, birth place and your mother's maiden name (often used as security checks for your credit card account). They would also photocopy your ID card and Credit Card front and back. As you probably know, at the back of a credit card, the last three-digit number is often required as a verification for a credit card transaction on the internet. By having your credit card number, your verification number as well as your mother's maiden name, someone could easily use your credit card for an illegal transaction on the internet.

You may trust Carrefour that they would not use this information illegally, but can you trust the person handling the application?

1. Protect yourself from ID theft or internet fraud by safe-guarding your personal data.
2. You may be able to trust the system, but can you trust the person?

Learn and Grow

Carrefour Lied!

Monday, 14 March 2005
My friend and I went to Carrefour M2. We were looking for a Samsung Hi-Fi. We found one (Samsung DS-720) for a special price of Rp. 2,299,000 and 12-month credit was available if we had a Carrefour Shopping Card. The store assistant offered us to apply for a Carrefour Shopping Card and it would be a four-day instant approval instead of the regular two-week period.

My friend hesitated to apply for the card because she had a bad experience with the card previously. She did apply for the card after the store assistant assured her that the price of Samsung DS-720 would still be Rp. 2,299,000 and the product would be available after four-day approval period. He even stated that the promotion would not be over until the end of the month!

Saturday, 19 March 2005
After receiving a call from Carrefour M2 that the card was approved and ready for collection, we went there to get our Samsung DS-720. When we got there, we saw the price had been increased to Rp. 2,599,000. When we complained to the store assistant, he said that the sale price of Rp. 2,299,000 was not available anymore. We were outraged. We told him to ask the store manager because on the application form, it was clearly written that we would only agree to buy the Samsung DS-720 if the price was Rp. 2,299,000. When he got back to us, he said that the product was out-of-stock, therefore we should consider other models.

We were outraged!
We were very disappointed!

Carrefour lied to us!

Did Carrefour think we were so naive and stupid? I am sure that if we didn't complain about the price increase, the product would not be out-of-stock!

Finally, we cancelled our application for Shopping Card and we decided that we would not go to Carrefour M2 again.

1. Ask for a written statement when someone promises you a deal that is too good to be true.
2. A small disappointment of a customer may cost you a lot of lost sales

Learn and Grow!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Mr. Mogul and The Car Battery

When we were ready to go back home from the office three nights ago, we had a difficulty starting the car engine. According to the indicators, it was because of the battery. It failed to recharge. We thought it was odd because the car worked just fine in the afternoon. After asking around, the security told us that one of the drivers , Mr. Mogul pour some liquid, presumably distilled water, into the car battery because it was running dry. He however failed to check to see whether the car worked perfectly afterwards. Since there was no other cars around to help us jumping start the car, we took a taxi home.

About 10 minutes after we rode in the taxi, the security guy called whether we would like to go back and get the car because he succeeded in starting the engine. We thought it was too late, so we told him that we would get it the next day.

The following day, Mr. Mogul picked us up to go to the office. He said that the car was fine that morning. My friend gently reminded Mr. Mogul to check the car whenever he did something with it.

Later that night, the car once again failed to start. It was only after trying for 5-10 minutes that she was able to start the engine. The problem was definitely the car battery!

Yesterday morning, we still had problems starting the engine. We decided to get one of the other drivers to check what seemed to be the problem. That driver told us that Mr. Mogul often bought distilled water in a big container for a very cheap price. He suspected that it could be the cause of our problem.

My friend and I knew that Mr. Mogul often did this kind of things. He always tries to get the cheapest alternative to almost anything in order to save money. We appreciate his frugality but sometimes the cheapest alternative is not the most economical. He might think that he saved us some money by buying cheap distilled water, but he could not foresee the consequences. We ended up spending more money on taxi, service charge, and replacing the damaged car battery.

This is not the first time he did this kind of things. There were a lot of similar incidents. I simply lost count on how many times he did something like this. Most of the time, we were just too kind and simply reminded him but I think it is time he learns a lesson and not repeat the same mistake over and over again. Perhaps, we will make him pay and reimburse all the cost so that he would finally feel the consequences of his action. I wonder whether he would finally learn from his mistakes...I certainly hope he would!

If you are interested to hear more stories about Mr. Mogul. I may write a series on his stories and we can learn a lot of lessons.

1. The cheapest alternative is not always the most economical.
2. Sometimes a gentle reminder or reprimand is not enough. Sometimes a person needs a shock therapy to learn a lesson.

Learn and Grow!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Idol Phenomenon

For the last few years, we've been bombarded with reality shows such as American Idol, Indonesian Idol, and AFI where the audience votes for their idol. It seems that they are bigger than life and a lot of people want to be just like them, they really idolise those idols.

This phenomenon raises questions. Is it wise to idolise someone? What are the effects?

Since I was 15 years old, I have a role model that I always look up to. I've always wanted to be like him. In my mind, he is a gentle, kind, and successful person with integrity. He helps me a lot, especially in the area of personal development. As a leader, he loves and cares about his people. I trust him completely and I listen to his advice on almost anything. I really admire and adore him.

In the last few months, I finally realise that it is unwise to idolise someone or to expect too much from a person. The higher you see that person, the harder the fall when you finally realise that he is not what he seems to be to you. The more you expect from a person, the deeper the disappoitnment when he fails to meet your expectations. Nobody is perfect. Sooner or later, you will see the other side, the question is what are you going to do about it?

As for me, I truly appreciate that he has shaped my life for the better and I thank him for it. I am grateful for his leadership, guidance, generosity and support for all these years. I will not however blindly follow him nor simply agree to whatever he says and does.

(If you happened to read this blog, I am truly sorry if I disappoint you. I apologise.)

My friends, I hope you can learn from my experience and decide for yourself what you are going to do if you have a similar incident.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso

Sunday, March 13, 2005


This morning I woke up at 4.30AM. There is nothing unusual for me to wake up this early in the morning because I usually wake up between 4-5AM everyday.

The extraordinary thing is that I slept for 11 hours! Yesterday I took a nap at around 5PM. I thought I would wake up at 6 or 7PM, just in time for dinner, instead I got up at 11PM. It was too late for anything other than sleeping, so I slept on until this morning.

I woke up feeling very refreshed and rested. I think it could be because I haven't had enough rest and sleep since last week.

1. If you want to take a nap in the afternoon for only a few hours, set an alarm.
2. It's perfectly fine to overslept once in a while, especially during weekends when you need to recharge your body, mind and spirit :)

Learn and Grow

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Oops! He Missed The Plane!

Yesterday my friend was supposed to go back to Solo by taking the first flight at 6.20AM. When I woke up at 5.15AM, he was still having a shower. I was worried that he'd be late because going to the airport usually takes around 30-45 minutes and he should've left the house at 5AM. Despite the possibility of being late, he was still very calm. He told us that once he arrived at the airport 5 minutes before departure time and still could get onto the plane. Finally he left the house at 5.30AM.

At 6.30, my friend called me and said that he had missed the flight. He arrived at the airport at 6 AM while the counter was closed 30 minutes before departure. Finally, the driver had to drive back to the airport to pick him up and took him back to our place.

Because of him missing the plane, my sister's schedule for the day was ruined. She had a lot of appointments and had to re-schedule them because my friend used the car.

1. It's better to go to the airport earlier rather than missing your flight. Be there at least 45 minutes before departure.
2. Remember to set an alarm if you have an important appointment.
3. There are consequences and repercussions to your action or your failure to act.

Learn and Grow!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Hard Disk and Fever

On Monday I went to HP service centre to get a hard disk replacement. They told me to call after three days because they usually had it replaced in three, four days.

Yesterday I gave them a call and they said that they needed to order the hard disk replacement from Singapore and it would take about two weeks. AAARRRHHH two weeks??! How am I going to work without my notebook for two weeks?

What am I going to do for these two weeks? REST! REST! REST!

Remember my previous entry about fever? It turned out that I had typhoid and the doctor had ordered me to have a five-day bed rest. He really meant it literally...no walking unless going to the toilet :P

Somehow there seems to be a "conspiracy" to make sure that I do rest for a few days. HAHAHA

1. Sometimes seemingly unrelated events are connected to each other in a divine way
2. Be patient - waiting for hard disk replacement and being confined to bed :)

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Another Hard Disk Failure

On Monday, I noticed that my notebook computer displayed a message "Non system disk. Please replace disk". I thought it was because I had a floppy disk in my drive A:\ and my computer was booting up from the floppy disk. When I restarted the notebook, there seemed to be no problem. After a few minutes however, the screen went black and the message "Non system disk. Please replace disk" came up again. I started to panic because I haven't backed up my notebook for a week.

That night I stayed up until midnight doing whatever I could to repair the computer. First, I ran Norton Disk Doctor, it turned out fine. Second, I ran all virus and spyware scan, there was no problem there either.

Anyway, that night I was able to save and back up my recent files. That was good enough for me.

On Tuesday morning, I could start my notebook but it kept re-booting after a few minutes. I was quite upset because I knew that I wouldn't be able to get it repaired until next week due to holidays.

On Wednesday morning, I remembered that I haven't backed up my voice-date file. When I started my notebook, the first thing that came out on the screen was : "HARD DISK FAILURE."

"AAAAAARRRHHHHH. What am I going to do now??"

My good friend suggested that I booted up the computer using a floppy disk and bypassed the system. It worked! I was able to save my voice-data file as well as those I didn't get the first time. I was just so glad and happy. (Thank you mate!)

This morning, although my notebook still showed "HARD DISK FAILURE", I managed to read my e-mails, write this blog and print important documents. HAHAHA :)

First thing on Monday, I will take my notebook to HP Service Centre and have it repaired.

1. Once again, remember to back up your data!
2. Make a list of important folders and files so you won't forget to save them.
3. Organise your folders and files to make the back-up process easier and simpler. Don't let your important data scattered all over the place.
4. Get proper software to help you protect your computer such as Norton SystemWorks, Norton GoBack, etc. These software may be expensive, but it costs you less than losing all your work. (Symantec, do you give commission to people who recommend your software? HAHAHA)

Learn and Grow my friends!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

High Fever On The Eve Of Chinese New Year

Last Tuesday, I had a very high fever in the afternoon. I felt so cold although I had a warm blanket covering me from head to toe. I was sleeping from noon until around 5PM.

At around 6PM, my parents took me to see a doctor. The doctor said the fever was caused by inflammation. He also said that I didn't drink enough water, so the fever was not coming down. He gave me a prescription and told me to drink at least 2 litre of water everyday.

After getting home, I slept again until Wednesday morning. Fortunately, I felt so much better that day.

Imagine being sick during a Chinese New Year celebration...
Everybody was eating delicious food...I was sleeping
Everybody was having a good time partying...I was sleeping
Everybody was celebrating with other family members...I was sleeping

1. Drink water!
2. Do not fall sick during a festive season :)


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

My flight with Air Asia was delayed for more than two hours. I got bored and started to take pictures using my T610. I chose the signs because there were so many of them scattered around the waiting hall.

While I was hunting for good shots, I was approached by a security guard. I thought he was going to stop me from taking pictures, but he walked passed me without saying anything. Perhaps it was because he saw me taking pictures of the toilet sign...definitely harmless HAHAHAHA

Even a Dead Chicken Needs a Rest!

Would anyone help me to give a title to this picture please?

I love this picture. I wish I had a better camera with me :)

Two Chickens

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Yesterday I saw a sign on the side of the road in Kuala Lumpur:
In Malaysia, it means "sorry for your inconvenience"
In Indonesia, it means "sorry, difficulties are hated very much"

When I read the sign, the first thought that came into my head was nobody liked difficulties, no wonder they were hated :)
Nobody likes difficult situations
Nobody likes difficult people
Nobody likes difficult problems

But when I think more about this, I realise that even though we do not like difficulties, these difficulties are the ones who help us to learn and grow. When we encounter difficulties, we are challenged to think, to be creative, to ask questions, to find answers, and to search for meaning. We need difficulties and problems to help us to move forward, improve and become better.

1. See difficulties in a positive way. Like and not hate them :)
2. Embrace difficulties to help us learn and grow
3. Malaysian and Indonesian languages may be similar but they are not the same. The same sentence can give different meanings :)

Learn and Grow

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

IQ Test

I did a Tickle's IQ Test today because I was curious about the score.

The results:

IQ 135
You are a Visual Mathematician.

This means you are gifted at spotting patterns. This and your overall high intelligence make you good at understanding the big picture.

When I finished doing the test, I was wondering what the number really means to me. It's good to know that IQ 135 is considered to be Gifted (2.3%) but then it was just a number and it didn't determine my destiny, success or happiness in life. A wise friend once told me that no matter how high my IQ is, it's nothing without discipline, responsibility, perseverance and love.

1. Be curious about yourself. Get to know and understand yourself even more.
2. Never let a number or score define your life or destiny.

Learn and Grow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Yellow Car and Yellow Water

On the way to work this morning, I saw a yellow car in front of me opened its right back door. I thought it had hit the curb and the passenger wanted to have a look. After a while, instead of somebody actually coming out, I saw a stream of yellow water…. I recognised it instantly! Urine! Somebody actually urinated from inside the car! HA HA HA HA! I assumed that it was a boy who just couldn'’t hold it any longer because of the long traffic jam on the way.

1. If you bring a child in the car, remember to bring a plastic bag. Just in case, you are stuck in the traffic and your child need to relieve himself/herself.
2. Funny things can happen anytime anywhere…...Seize the moment! Laugh! Smile!

The Mystery of a Wooden Box

What's inside the box?

Yesterday I saw this small wooden package sitting on my desk. I was curious to know who sent me this mysterious looking package. The sender was my mum!!

I called my mum asking what's inside the box. She said that it was just a small gift. Then I asked her the reason for securing it with wood and nails? Mum: "Wood?? Nails?? I didn't ask them to use any wood or nails."

It turned out that the wooden panel was the courier's initiative because my mum said that the content was fragile. My mum was afraid that if she didn't emphasis it was fragile, the package would be thrown and tossed around.

I really appreciate their initiative and customer service, as well as for having the customer's need in mind. Thank you!

1. Take the initiative to give the best service to customers
2. Walk the extra mile to help your customers
3. It is better to take the extra precaution rather than regretting it later

Learn and Grow!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta

I haven't organised my computer files for weeks and they are all over the place. Sometimes I just can't remember where I have saved a file and I need to open a lot of folders to find it, thus wasting my precious time. I think I need to get a software like Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta to find my files. At the moment, I am still downloading the program. I will see whether it would meet or even exceed my expectation after installing it.

1. Organise your computer files at least monthly. Have a system for naming and categorising your files.
2. If you can't be bothered with organising your files, then get a desktop search program to help you find your files.
3. Try different programs and see which one suits your needs

Learn and Grow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oops! I Drove Past the Parking Ticket Box.

Yesterday I drove to the airport to pick up some business collegues. Since I was emotionally distracted, when I entered into the parking lot, I just drove past the box where I was supposed to collect the parking ticket. I actually stopped at the parking ticket booth and was going to ask the lady who was sitting in the booth to give me the parking ticket. Then I realised that I was mistaken and I reversed back to collect the ticket from the box.

At that time I felt so silly to make a mistake like that. I definitely learnt some lessons from this incident.

1. Do not drive if you are emotionally distracted, for example when you are angry or upset. It influences your judgement and it may endanger your live and the lives of others.
2. I would like to apologise for my reckless driving to a friend of mine. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Nokia 6585 and StarOne

In December, I applied for a Star One number because they had a special offer with free registration and other things. I received the RUIM card on 30th December 2004 but I couldn't use it because I haven't got a handset.

I went looking for a suitable handset that could accomodate my needs. I browsed the Nokia Asia-Pasific website to see all available models. I set my eyes on Nokia 6255, a full-feature flip phone. Unfortunately, it was not available in Indonesia yet. Finally I chose Nokia 6585 because it was great for texting.

When I wanted to buy the Nokia 6585 handset in early January, all the stores didn't have any stock...all sold out.

Last Sunday I went to the mall to see whether it was available. I went from one store to another and it was either sold out or offered at relatively a higher price. Finally when I found that one store had two handsets available, I just bought one. I was able to get it at a reasonable price too.

I think the increase of price could be the result of higher demands or stores waiting for a price increase in near future. I believe it is latter.

Anyway I got my phone already. The next few days, I will be customising it to suit my preferences.

1. Do your research before buying anything.
2. Seize the opportunity when you see it. Don't let it pass by.
3. Sometimes you need to make a decision fast.

Learn and Grow!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Computer Virus and Spyware

A friend of mine asked me to have a look at her niece's computer because it crashes quite often. I suspected that it was infected by computer viruses and spywares.

When we went to her house to check on the computer, we brought a full arsenal of anti-virus and spyware removal software, as well as other utilities. We thought we'd find a couple of viruses and spywares. When I booted up the system and tried to install the antivirus software, it started scanning all drives for virus infection that might hinder the installation. When we saw the scan, we were shocked by the outcome. Personally I've never encountered more than 5 viruses in my own computer. This time it was different. The scan actually FOUND 1500 VIRUSES. After the virus scan, we installed the spyware detection and removal software. A full system scan found at least 225 SPYWARES! I just deleted them all.

This was a record breaking for me...more than 1500 viruses and 225 spywares. No wonder the computer crashes all the time.

After we clean all the infected files, we installed antivirus and spyware immunisation programs. We could only hope it would protect the computer adequately. I also told my friend's niece to be careful when downloading software from the internet because it could be infected with virus and spyware.

1. Always install antivirus and spyware removal programs to protect your computer.
2. Don't forget to update your virus or spyware definition files.
3. Be careful downloading anything from the web. Only install if you trust the source.
4. Learn to protect your children from negative or offensive websites by installing child control software.

Learn and Grow!

Another Mixed Up

The story about liquid soap reminded me of another incident that happened to my sister.

A few months ago my mum received a Mark&Spencer gift set from a friend. It was a personal care set with Rose fragrance. My mum gave the body lotion to my sister. After using it for one week, my sister complained that the body lotion was not very good, her skin still seemed dry, even itchy sometimes. My sister stopped using the body lotion and returned it to mum.

When our family went to Singapore for a few days, my mum brought the Rose body lotion with her. After my sister had a bath, she asked whether mum had any body lotion to use. My mum gave her the Rose body lotion again. When she started to use it, she noticed her skin foaming. Alas, it was not a body lotion! It was liquid soap! My sister started screaming and calling us to see what happened.

When we saw what had happened, we just started laughing so loud, we just couldn't stop laughing. My sister who was shouting and blaming mum started to laugh too. It was so funny! I think it was our family's most hilarious moment of the year!

No wonder my sister got dry and itchy skin, she had "moisturised" her skin with liquid soap for a week.

As for me, I was wondering how my mum and sister didn't realise that it was liquid soap before. My mum thought it was a moisturiser because on the bottle it was written "moisturizing your skin". My sister also didn't check because mum said it was a body lotion.

1. Always read the label carefully before eating, drinking or even using something
2. Be curious even suspicious if you get an opposite result to what is supposed to happen
3. Have laughing moments with your family. Those are the best in life.

Learn and Grow!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Liquid soap?? Not shampoo?

Two weeks ago, my housemate's brother and sister in law came from overseas and they were staying in the house. In the bathroom, there were two bottles of shampoo, one for normal hair and one for fine hair. Since we used the same bathroom, we just shared those bathroom amenities.

I noticed that only in a few days, my liquid soap was diminishing so fast. I started to wonder whether they were using it for washing their hair because I put my liquid soap in a shampoo bottle for normal hair. I poured the liquid soap to a herbal essence shampoo bottle because the original bottle was not very good. Not only it looked nice, I could also see how much I was using over time.

One day I asked them which shampoo they have been using during their stay. They told me that they have been using the herbal essence shampoo for normal hair which unbeknown to them was MY LIQUID SOAP! Oh la la...no wonder!!

Finally, I told them that it was liquid soap and not shampoo. Fortunately, there was no problem with their hair.

1. Make sure that you notify others if you change the content of a bottle. In this case, it is quite harmless because it's only soap and shampoo. Imagine if it was harmful or poisonous liquid, the result could be catastrophic.
2. If you are unsure about anything, please ask!

Learn and Grow!