Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Five Rules of Happiness

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

Five rules of happiness:

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

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

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

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

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

Learn and Grow!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Value of Rp.300,000

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

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

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

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

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

Question: What can I learn from this?

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

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

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B.Com   

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Some Lessons from My Car’s Dead Battery Incident

Last night I went to attend Mandiri Prioritas Customer Gathering. I learned a lot from the market update and asset allocation presentation. I really enjoyed the chance to network and meet new people yesterday. Everything was great until it was time to go home.

When I got into my car and started the engine…Aaaah I could not get it to start. The battery was completely dead! There was no warning whatsoever because when I started the car a few hours before, there was no sign that the battery had weakened. There I was, in the dark parking lot by myself.

I called home and dad came to pick me up (thank you my dear dad). He also called two drivers from the factory to bring another car and jumper cables. When they arrived 15 minutes later, everything went smoothly. We jumped start the car and the driver brought it back to the factory, while I came home with dad.

Today I have the battery replaced and life should be back to normal.


  • Sometimes there is no warning so always be prepared for emergency. Today I’ll buy jumper cables and put them in my trunk.
  • Do not panic. It helps in finding a solution to your problem. I did not panic because I knew that help was near.
  • It’s wonderful to have friends who care. When I posted my car trouble in Facebook, a lot of friends expressed their concerns and even offered to help.

PS. I dreamed of having a car accident a few days ago, but I was alright. I don’t know whether the dream was a warning for me or because I thought about the dream, then it came true. What do you think?

Learn and Grow!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pay Insurance Premium Monthly and Get Double Protection

A few days ago I attended an interesting presentation from an insurance company (Sequislife Indonesia). Some details of the illustration:

  • The sum assured for life insurance is Rp.100,000,000 (USD 10,000) and there is an additional investment in mutual fund managed by Schroder. It is assumed that the return of the investment is around 17% a year.
  • There is also a health coverage for critical illness, hospital expenses up to Rp.220,000,000 per year.
  • The annual premium is Rp.15,000,000 (around USD 1,500)
  • The payment premium period is 8 years

Although it is a very good program, the considerably high annual premium payment may deter some people to take this program. The insurance company offers a monthly payment program but there is better alternative.

The solution is to use an automatic saving plan offered by some banks. In this case, I’ll use Mandiri Tabungan Rencana (MTR) offered by Bank Mandiri. Some details of MTR:

  • The minimum term is one year (it can be up to 20 years)
  • The minimum monthly saving is Rp.100,000 (USD 10)
  • The interest is 0.5% higher than the bank saving rate. At the time of writing, the interest is 4.25% p.a
  • There is an insurance coverage from PT AJ Manulife up to Rp.5,000,000 (USD 500) per month in case of death or total permanent disability. The insurance premium is basically free because it is paid by the Bank.

How can you use this?

  1. If you decide to take the program illustrated above this month, you need to pay the first annual payment, Rp.15,000,000 in full.
  2. In the same month, open an account in Bank Mandiri and start an MTR program.
  3. Choose one year term and monthly saving of Rp.1,250,000. It will be automatically debited from your account every month so you do not need to worry about missing any payments.
  4. At the end of the one year term, use the collected amount of Rp.15,000,000 to pay for the insurance premium.
  5. Repeat Step 3

What are the benefits of using this method?

  • Pay monthly instead of annually
  • Get additional protection for free
  • Earn interest on your monthly saving that’s even higher than the interest in regular saving account

You may be able to use this method with any insurance company or banks of your choosing that may offer similar programs. Please check thoroughly with your insurance company or bank before making any decision.

Learn and Grow!


All information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. This blog post is not meant as a financial advice. I’m only sharing my experience.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Afformations – Asking Empowering Questions to Change Your Life

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

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

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

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

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

Afformation is about asking empowering question instead of disempowering ones.

Four steps to create afformation that can change your life:

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

Some examples of afformations:

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

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

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

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

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B. Com

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958-2009

After watching Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris spoke at the memorial, I felt so touched. It was very moving.

I’ve been listening to his music in the last few days. My favorite songs are:

  • Heal the World
  • We Are the World
  • You Are Not Alone
  • I’ll Be There
  • One Day in Your Life
  • Childhood
  • Will You Be There
  • Ben
  • Gone Too Soon
  • Man in The Mirror
  • Black or White

Although he had his weaknesses, we can’t deny his impact in this world. His music, his songs, his moves have inspired numerous people all over the world. Michael Jackson was definitely one of the best entertainers, performers in the world. Michael Jackson always gave his best when it came to his performance on stage. I felt grief and loss…I’ve never felt this way with any other celebrities.

I remembered when I attended his HIStory concert in Perth. It was awesome! I’ll never forget that experience. The effects was awesome and his attention to details made all the difference.

What resonates with me is how he had made a huge difference in the world through his music. He left a legacy, something to remember even after his death. When he died, the world cried. How can I live my life so that I have even just a fraction of that kind of impact?

Friends, you are not alone because I’ll be there. Remember that we are the world! Let’s heal the world and make it a better place. Let’s hope that one day in your life, you’ll face the man in the mirror with smile knowing that you’ve made a difference.

Michael Jackson – thank you for the inspiration and may you Rest in Peace.