Journal of Contemplations (Part III)


In order to accomplish our goals, sometimes we need to face the prerequisite that might be challenging and makes us feel as if we want to skip it, yet it is inevitable.


Thus, it should be faced and we have to embrace the process as if we go through a tunnel to reach the other side of the road which holds our goals.


Revelations, clues, and solutions we search for with our efforts might instead come from exogenous factors – factors that are unexpectedly out of our control. It may be a matter of timing until the ‘eureka’ moment greets us.


Don’t give in and lose our faith and hope easily since we don’t know how close we are to the answer. Yearn for it like a watchman does for the morning.


A strong will triggers us to a start



A strong reason endures us to a finish.


Be aware and careful of who we surround ourselves with.


External social environment and network effect are just as important as internal motivation in enabling individuals to live with better well-being.


We need not know our calling in life instantly. And it does not need to be as massive as changing the world.


We need to find that thing we fight for, that disequilibrium we couldn’t live with, that forces that move us, or that emotion that overwhelms us and pursue it.


Take Your Time


Have we changed? Has the fire been extinguished and the warmth vanished?
Or is it just time that reveals the truth. The truth of the nature of our relationship. The truth of who we really are, and what we want.

Do this relationship that you really want? Is it just a phase of challenge that you need to endure and pass-through?
Or, do those signs are actually giving clues that you need to respond with some turns in the path.

As time goes by, pieces of information are gathered along the way.
Can you not still conclude the answer? How much evidence that you need to complete the puzzle and have your words?

If you are still processing everything, the best advice is to take your time.


Journal of Contemplations (Part II)

The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
The more you know, the more the tendency to say ‘it depends’ andprobably’.


A funny thing is that the same person could both get confused and comprehend a thing at separate times.


The same individual who denied could also accept an occurrence at a distinguished period. It is another example of the significant role of time, and timing.


Does ‘nothing to lose’ hold for real with no cost?


Every decision and action poses its consequence and cost. Even the hidden one is taken into account, such as time, relationship, etc.


Some things are probably better left unspoken.


Just like some things are maybe better left unknown.
Similarly, some notions are possibly better left untaken.


Certain people are strongly desired to control almost everything without realizing that self-control should have been imposed in the first place.


Govern the self before taking care of others.


Journal of Contemplations

There are checkpoints in individuals’ lives – the so-called milestones.

Make the most of our efforts and resources at each checkpoint.

Maintain focus on the step-by-step process.


The older people grow, the fewer existing choices/options (particularly to switch their careers), and the more specific actions plan and objectives.

On the other hand, it also means the broader and more strategic the tasks that individuals handle.


Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”, said one philosopher

In a similar way, equilibrium occurs when what we supply meets the demand.

This is to say that, we need to prepare the supply i.e. skill set, knowledge, capacity, etc. so that when the demand comes, it meets its supply.


As we reveal ourselves, we would be able to define ourselves, our worthiness, and the value that would help determine the appropriate position for ourselves.

Our tasks include discovering the right measurement to identify the classification or category to which we belong. That is, to define feasibility and places where we are supposed to be.


Know yourself and your potentials and develop them.

We need to be assertive and don’t be afraid to set a high target and objective.

Sometimes, we might need to be courageous to take a leap of faith when necessary, particularly for steps that are worth the fight – choices that take us closer to our goals.


Ode to Someone Missed

Dear Someone in my past, I miss you. Seriously.
I wonder if the things that remind me of you, remind you of me.

It may be true, that you could erase someone in your mind,
but eliminating her from your heart is another story.


Did you remember when you lent me that textbook, called me in an injury time to ensure we could take a class in common?
I thought no one would care enough to do such things. But you did.

Did you remember when you shared with me about your work, family, and personal stories?
I thought you would never share it. But you did.


Did you know that I fell in love with you?
I thought you would not recognize it nor feel the same way to me. But you did.

It may be true, that some people are meant to fall in love with each other,
but they are not meant to be together.


On Reminiscence and Nostalgia: Harnessing The Past


We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.
– Marthin Luther King, Jr. (1963)


There are days when individuals look back to the past, recall certain events, and experience nostalgia. Aside from explicit reminders of the past e.g. visiting momentous places or listening to songs associated with past events, nostalgia could be stimulated when individuals face struggling time, feel down or distressed in certain situations. Although some people view reminiscing the past as futile, reminiscing certain past moments might provide benefits through nostalgia.

Firstly, note that reminiscences of past events could result in a nostalgic moment, implying a close link between the two terms. Routledge (2021) explains nostalgia as a self-regulatory existential resource that is regularly utilized to manage stress and uncertainty and to bring together the motivation needed to forge ahead with focus and clear purposes. In specific, individuals are absorbed in nostalgic moments typically when they are feeling low to increase their mood and self-confidence. While nostalgia includes reflection on past experiences, on the other hand, it encourages mental states, behaviors, and purposes that could develop aspects of people’s future well-being. This is to say that when individuals reminisce events that make them nostalgic, they are rethinking personal meaningful, and valuable life events shared with significant others.

As a self-regulatory existential resource, nostalgia poses self-regulatory implications. Certain negative mental states such as sadness, loneliness, meaninglessness, and uncertainty might stimulate nostalgia. On the other side, nostalgia could improve positive outcomes worthwhile for individuals, connectedness to social life, and shape the perspective of meaning in life (Routledge et al., 2013). The effect of nostalgia on shaping the perspective of meaning in life is notably salient considering its substantial impacts on personal motivation to achieve certain goals. It is supported by a finding of Sedikides, et al. (2017) that suggests nostalgia motivates the pursuit of significant life goals by enhancing that sense of meaning.

Moreover, it is suggested that nostalgia helps individuals draw a clear line between their past experiences and present lives to obtain a greater sense of meaning. The connecting process of past events and current lives could elevate individuals’ moods and lower stress. Furthermore, Cheung et al. (2013) suggest that nostalgia could encourage optimism regarding the future through improved self-esteem, connectedness to others, and enhanced hope for the future. In addition to making individuals feel inspired, nostalgia also drives them to take novel actions based on their inspiration (Stephan et al., 2015). The channel through which individuals connect past experiences with current lives could appear in several ways. For instance, individuals may refer to their past experiences to remind themselves about the spirit when they were young (Abeyta and Routledge, 2016), the feeling of affection (Cheung et al., 2013), and life purposes, which in turn encourages future-oriented behavior e.g. networking with others (Abeyta et al., 2015), and achieving life goals (Sedikides et al., 2017).

Considering the aforementioned positive effects of nostalgia and reminiscing the past leads to another important question about how do people harness past experiences for the present and future. First, it should be noted that not all past experiences were meaningful, and therefore, individuals need to sort and filter which events brought valuable insights and lessons. Aside from gathering relevant and significant resources, sorting and filtering could prevent people from information overload. Second, if needed, take note of the lessons from meaningful experiences, and make them as an alarm, information, or motivation for future steps. Third, be attentive to certain experiences that may be connected and might produce discretion and prudence. Finally, apply strategic and necessary actions with information, motivation, and discretion. While there might be other methods to harness meaningful past events, at least, those steps could be a practical and simple way to apply.

In conclusion, when individuals are absorbed in nostalgic moments, it does not automatically mean that they are dwelling in the past and being reluctant to move forward. Reminiscing could be a moment of retrospection and contemplation to remind oneself of his life purpose, meaning, and motivation. It could open access to meaningful memories from the past to help an individual to face the future with a clear vision. Briefly, harnessing the past might be done by reflecting and learning from meaningful experiences to formulate and take impactful, necessary actions in the present and future.

References
Abeyta A., Routledge C. (2016). Fountain of youth: the impact of nostalgia on youthfulness and implications for health. Self Identity 15, 356–369

Abeyta A., Routledge C., Juhl J. (2015). Looking back to move forward: nostalgia as a psychological resource for promoting relationship goals and overcoming relationship challenges. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 109, 1029–1044. 

Cheung W., Wildschut T., Sedikides C., Hepper E., Arndt J., Vingerhoets A. (2013). Back to the future: nostalgia increases optimism. Personal. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 39, 1484–1496.

Embolden Psychology. (22 December 2020). The Psychology of Nostalgia. Embolden Psychology. Retrieved from https://embolden.world/the-psychology-of-nostalgia/

Ludden, D. (2 March 2020). The Psychology of Nostalgia. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-apes/202003/the-psychology-nostalgia

Routledge, C. (26 April 2021). The Surprising Power of Nostalgia at Work. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2021/04/the-surprising-power-of-nostalgia-at-work

Routledge C., Wildschut T., Sedikides C., Juhl J. (2013). Nostalgia as a resource for psychological health and well-being. Soc. Personal. Psychol. Compass 7, 808–818. 

Sedikides C., Cheung W.-Y., Wildschut T., Hepper E. G., Baldursson E., Pedersen B. (2017). Nostalgia motivates the pursuit of important goals by increasing meaning in life. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 48, 209–216.

Stephan E., Sedikides C., Wildschut T., Cheung W.-Y., Routledge C., Arndt J. (2015). Nostalgia-evoked inspiration. Personal. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 41, 1395–1410.


Thank You, 2021


This post serves as a summary and key takeaways from the author’s point of view based on reflections and contemplations over the year 2021. At least, there are five life lessons learned from what the author has been through this year.

First, we need to have the willingness to take responsibility. It is inevitable. A responsibility exists regardless of individuals choose to take it or not. It is just a matter of time, a matter of maturity that makes individuals recognize and raise their willingness to face any challenge. It is our decision of how to take the responsibility given to us. In facing those challenges in taking responsibilities, we need courage – which leads to the second takeaway.

Second, we have to keep the courage. An act of courage that is based on faith and accompanied by hope. The kind of courage that keeps our feet standing still and lets our hearts holdfast. It is because we know that fortune favors the brave. This message is both universal and specific at the same time, subject to circumstances faced by individuals.

Third, the right timing is significant, and therefore being patient plays a pivotal role. Once, the Indonesian Minister of Finance – when this post is made – highlighted two important yet relatable messages regarding policy-makers: the first is the significance of the right timing of a policy, and the second is the appropriate dose of the policy. In other words, a balance needs to be achieved in any aspect of institutions as well as individuals.

Fourth, to be steadfast during uncertainty. A period of uncertainty is arguably inevitable. Nevertheless, it is imperative to note that the tempting time poses an opportunity to grow and expand ourselves. The author’s someone special encouraged and gave a piece of advice that uncertainty and struggling time are indeed not easy, yet it expands our comfort zone. Problem and uncertainty do exist, but they shall pass anyway. Knowing that hard times will pass and overcoming struggles with responsibility might help in enduring steadfast and establishing hope for a better future.

Fifth, to be prepared, particularly for things we know we will face shortly. Being prepared in one area allows people to have confidence in their beliefs about something – setting a particular mindset. Moreover, preparedness is about knowing how to respond to future outcomes. Hence, we need to prepare ourselves as part of our efforts that help us organize our time and resources in the best possible way to achieve the best possible results.

In conclusion, based on what the author has learned, it is our willingness and decision that might open another world before us and lead us to another level in our life, which certainly requires greater responsibility. Our life is not static, yet on the contrary, it is stochastic and dynamic. It is our courage and willingness that might enable us to step forward and experience upward growth in our life. So, take what we need and be in our way. Thank you for the lessons, 2021.


Random Post: The Pain of Shallowness and Some Tips to Avoid Awkward Social Situation


If you had to stay the night with people who you just knew, how would you feel? Not to mention the absence of the internet which means you lose most entertainment and information that you could use to reward some space for yourself and kill the time synchronously.

For me, it is a kind of pain of shallowness arising from a kind of social situation. A chit-chat, a bull. Maybe other people can stand such a situation, but it is just not me, I guess. 

Next, if I were in a situation of being trapped at shallowness then how would I survive? 

I think that is one of the most important things I have to work with in order to survive, instead of merely ranting and complaining about the situation that I am not comfortable with, some kind of survival kit.

Yes, questioning something that attracts my attention and focus would help in relieving the nerve, ignoring the pain resulting from an uncomfortable and awkward social situation. A unique feeling, I would say, that only certain (mostly introvert) people could comprehend and relate with. That feeling of tiredness and pain is due to the requirement to get involved in primary social communication with many people at once. It wears a part of the self that has the necessary to be alone and have a me-time. It should be highlighted the difference between the term alone and lonely. Someone can comfortably stay alone for some time – in fact, it is good for someone to have a me-time to introspect his situation and reflect things to further get correction upon his life. Nevertheless, no matter what perspective that someone might take, feeling lonely is damaging.

I am not insulted by the crowd without reason. It is not uncommon for me to be in a situation where I feel uncomfortable with the surrounding people or a circumstance that I do not expect previously. Nevertheless, in a rare case, it is highly uncomfortable to feel stuck in a circumstance where I am surrounded by people who I just know, get intensely interacted with them on the first day I meet and know these people!

Getting back to the main question: how would I strive and survive this situation – at least until the next moment I could feel more comfortable or get busy with no internet? 

First, read an article or a book. That is a brilliant solution. Prepare some books to read on the main device so that in a boring situation that I could not play with your gadget, I would find it beneficial. It would also be better if the book is interesting enough to get me engaged with the discussion since it will have the sensation of traveling with the mind. Second, write anything, literally anything. Something in my mind, something that I feel, just write. It keeps the mind focused on what I am writing, and further encourages creative thinking. As a bonus, writing might bring an unexpected feeling of relief. It would make me feel better somehow, and surprisingly an hour has passed. Third, make a to-do list and a short-term plan. While this may only take a short time, it is still useful in harnessing the time when there is no internet and I am surrounded by people that leave me uncomfortable. A concise list and short-term plan would be beneficial not only in stimulating myself upon doing necessary actions but also keep the mind busy at least in a good way.

In summary, just in case that you might find yourself getting trapped in an awkward social situation for some time without the internet or any other entertainment on your main device, have a consideration on doing alternative things, including reading an article or a book, writing about anything, and arranging a to-do-list and short-term plan. Hopefully, it would work and help you avoid the pain due to shallowness from a kind of social situation.


The Messenger (Part 3)

A succinct summary of a week in photos and insightful quotes (according to the author’s opinion)

It is undeniably relaxing to spend some time in nature. Reflecting on how life has been going on, nature has brought luggage of lessons in a peculiar way. Being in nature might further reveal the true self of an individual which even himself had not recognized beforehand. In addition, observation regarding the contrast between urban and rural life has once again raised the importance of a balance in each aspect of life.


The battlefield is in thoughts and feelings



How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
Proverbs 16:16


The Significance of Having A Life Purpose


What is the purpose of your life? Together with other existential questions, this could be both easy and difficult questions to answer. While some might argue that people could live their life like flowing water, it is worth noting, however, that the answer one gives to this question – hence revealing his ultimate purpose – might influence the extent not only to which he could overcome struggles and challenges but also to the attainment of a meaningful and fulfilled life.

To begin, a life purpose needs to be defined, in which according to a publication by John Templeton Foundation, there are three important components that define a purpose in life, including a goal orientation, personal meaningfulness, and a focus on aims beyond the self. This means that a life purpose is an objective covering a distant, long-term horizon aims that guide the steps and actions needed. Further, a life purpose is most likely to be personally meaningful, and motivated, at least partly by a willingness to make an added value in the world beyond the self. This definition of purposeful objectives proposes goals are deliberately selected, and a study suggests individuals might have a motivational responsibility in choosing and paying attention toward particular goals, including their life purposes (Fishbach, 2014).

As a result of its aforementioned definition, a life purpose is essential and beneficial for individuals, particularly following its association with meaning. In relation to a meaningful life, a purpose in life reflects a subset of sources of meaning (Bronk & Dubon, 2016). This means that meaning is a broader and more inclusive concept than purpose. Having a life purpose, therefore, brings fundamental benefits since it would contribute to the fulfillment of meaningful life. The first benefit is that a life purpose promotes an individual to be adaptive, innovative, and enthusiastic with his life. For instance, Bronk (2012) found that deriving pleasure and a deep sense of meaningfulness from engagement in the research samples’ ultimate purposes complemented with the skill in utilizing useful strategies to cope with challenges such as maintaining confidence in a final settlement and using innovative ways to solve problems helped them sustain their commitments to the ultimate purposes.

Moreover, it is suggested that commitments to ultimate purposes might develop as time passes by. This means that while the ultimate purposes were remaining, the ways to accomplish those purposes were often altered, which implied that individuals might be adaptive and agile to achieve their life purposes. The certain focus of the samples’ actions shifted as they had new approaches concerning new resources and confronted stimulating experiences. Hence, it could be inferred that having a life purpose may encourage someone to keep up-to-date, develop acquired skills, and explore new abilities synchronously.

The second benefit comes from a broader context of young and adult people where it is obvious that a remarkable purpose in life contributes to a pivotal role in healthy identity development (Bronk, 2012). The figure that an individual hoped to become was hugely influenced by what he hoped to accomplish in his life. This is to say that the sense of self was complicatedly entwined with the sense of purpose. Albeit limitations are applied regarding the study, it is still worth noting the suggestion of the study to serve as an important guide. For instance, it is imperative to know that the presence of mentors and peers with similar minds establish positive developmental contexts that probably support not only the evolvement of a remarkable purpose but also the healthy growth of young people.

Meaningful Work

The third benefit appears in a more specific context, that is from the perspective of taking actions following one’s role, particularly in a work environment, in which someone could obtain life contentment from meaningful work or anything that he does by setting a notable purpose that aligns with his established values, interest as well as pertinent skills, and working towards that “dream job”. Every movement towards the dream job would bring satisfaction to an individual. Even if an individual has attained his dream job, it does not necessarily mean that it is terminal. Instead, it is actually an entrance to a new platform in which an individual could explore and contribute more to society and focus on aims beyond himself following his new role.

It is suggested that work has become a focal point in providing meaning, stability, and a sense of community and identity in individuals’ lives (Cartwright and Holmes, 2006). The importance of work is not only about the degree to which individuals could contribute to others but also about themselves, and how much they could be able to realize themselves since it is pivotal for individuals to feel that their existence and unique selves matter (George and Park, 2014). This means that individuals have to experience their work aligns with their self-image of who they are, their originality, values, and interests, which further could be called self-realization. Thus, self-realization is an inner value for individuals that might affect their ultimate purposes and how they could realize the purposes through meaningful work.

The question then, how could one know that the established ultimate purpose is meaningful and worth doing? Probably, the study of Martela and Pessi (2018) might help to answer such a question. They propose that meaningfulness in the broadest sense is about work importance as an overall assessment of work as regards whether it is naturally precious and worth doing. According to the study, it is suggested that the more employees feel that their work has benefited other people, the more they ought to feel that they are giving a higher purpose through their work. It could be inferred that if someone could provide individuals with work where they are allowed to realize themselves and where they feel they are given a wider purpose then he opens those individuals the chance to truly feel that their work is significant and worth doing.

Furthermore, the importance of meaningful work in serving an ultimate purpose is about finding some personal values and interests in one’s work-related activities that cause them worth doing, and further, it is a general assessment of the value or worth of one’s work (Lepisto and Pratt, 2017). The value and worthiness of an individual’s work could be evaluated by questioning the connectedness of individual personal values, interests, and abilities with his work, or the existence of uncertainty and isolation from any values that an individual feels regarding his job (Weber, 1958; Bellah et al., 1985). For those reasons, a notable life purpose could closely be attributed to a meaningful work, in which the latter could serve as an ultimate purpose but not automatically means that once an individual has reached it then it is finished. Instead, it is a good way to bring fulfillment and satisfaction to one’s life by serving a higher purpose through what he does and the value-added given to society.

After all, the significance of having a life purpose does not lie in the attainment of that purpose, but rather in the path and process of attaining the aim and moving towards it. An ultimate purpose helps someone mapping and draw the direction in his life to which he would further use his valuable resources, such as time and efforts, to produce significant steps that bring him closer to the purpose. In other words, having a noble purpose might convert one’s valuable endowment to other valuable things that result in an added value to bring him one step closer to his purpose which in turn would leave him satisfied. As Jordan Peterson – a renowned psychologist – once suggested that it is not attaining an aim that makes us happy, but having an aim and moving towards it.

In conclusion, discussion regarding the topic of a life purpose is a complex issue. While some people might think that having an ultimate purpose is too far away, nonetheless, individuals essentially need to possess ultimate life purposes to serve as guides that direct their steps, in addition to the benefits it brings for those who own it as some researchers have suggested. A purpose that does not need to be a perfect one since owning a direction is better than having no direction. Without a start and a purpose, an individual would remain stuck seeing the world pass him by. Someone might not even need a starting line to start taking an action. If we think what we are contending for is worth the contend then contend for it.


References
Adolescent Moral Development Lab at Claremont Graduate University. (February 2018). The Psychology of Purpose. John Templeton Foundation

Bellah, R. N., Sullivan, W. M., Tipton, S. M., Swidler, A., and Madsen, R. P. (1985).
Habits of the Heart. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Bronk, K. C. (2012). A Grounded Theory of the Development of Noble Youth Purpose. Journal of Adolescent Research, 27(1), 78–109. https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558411412958

Bronk, K. C., & Dubon, V. X. (2016). Approaches to fostering purpose among adolescents in
educational settings. The International Forum for Logotherapy

Cartwright, S., and Holmes, N. (2006). The meaning of work: the challenge of
regaining employee engagement and reducing cynicism. Hum. Resour. Manage.
Rev. 16, 199–208. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2006.03.012

Fishbach, A. (2014). The motivational self is more than the sum of its goals. Behavioral and Brain
Sciences, 37, 143-144.

George, L. S., and Park, C. L. (2014). “Existential mattering: bringing attention to a
neglected but central aspect of meaning?” in Meaning in Positive and Existential
Psychology, eds A. Batthyany and P. Russo-Netzer (New York, NY: Springer),
39–51.

Lepisto, D. A., and Pratt, M. G. (2017). Meaningful work as realization and
justification toward a dual conceptualization. Organ. Psychol. Rev. 7, 99–121.
doi: 10.1177/2041386616630039

Martela F and Pessi AB (2018). Significant Work Is About Self-Realization and Broader Purpose:
Defining the Key Dimensions of Meaningful Work. Frontiers in Psychology. 9:363. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00363

Weber, M. (1958). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, ed T. Parsons.
New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.


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