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!