I used to believe that I would figure out a specific meaning of my life and purpose.
I used to think that I was the one to have a big impact on this earth and change the world.
I can tell you that I used to be full of ambition and ego that I cringe when I look back on some of the thoughts that I used to have when I was in my early 20s.
I guess I was hoping that my life meant something, and I was desperately trying to find the meaning of life.
However, my issue was that my previous definition of meaningful life was driven only by how much money I would make and how much respect and fame I would earn from people by making big differences in society, in Indonesia specifically.
This is so embarrassing to tell you guys how some of my thoughts used to be like, but I was too ambitious and failed to see meaning in small things and small achievements.
I used to feel that I was pressured to live a meaningful life and focused on finding meaning and purpose as early as possible.
I would often find myself unhappy, although I was trying my best to change my life situation.
A lot of things happen around the world all the time.
For example, we're in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic, which has suddenly ripped our businesses, jobs, and relationships to shreds.
It makes us feel why anything we do even matters when the world appears to be coming apart.
The issue of climate change has been an extensive discussion for many, many years. Still, it feels like we haven't moved forward at all.
Jakarta is sinking every day due to water pumping.
Recently, I've been watching webinars about women in STEM and realized that we lacked women in many sectors. Hence, gender inequality is yet a huge problem.
Please take a look at my situation in Indonesia.
Come on, we still use plastic wrap on our produce in supermarkets, and it is 2021.
As examples, these social issues are enormous. I felt so insignificant for how small my influence was on what was happening around the world.
Then I came to a realization that what happens in life doesn't really matter.
But don't get me wrong, I'm not writing this to make you unhappy and ruin your day.
So that'll be great if you can read my perspectives on this until the end.
So the reason why I think what happens in life doesn't really matter is that I noticed the meaning of something is what we decide at the end of the day.
It's not decided by others but always by ourselves.
Say you plan to go out to a mall with your friends during the weekend, and on the day, it is PPKM, and you have to cancel your plan. You might get super disappointed, which is fair enough.
Some people would stay upset for the entire day. Still, others might think that it's good that they can stay home because they can chill and binge-watch Netflix shows that they want to see, relax for the day while helping the government to cut the spread of COVID-19.
All of them are experiencing the same situation, but how they perceive the same situation ultimately depends on each individual.
This explains how we are the ones who decide to create meanings in what happens in life and judge how we feel about what happens to us based on our perceptions.
Yet we often let others impose their ideas of meaning on us, telling us what to do, what we need, and how to live.
For example, I believed that my life purpose was to earn a lot of money and fame didn't originate from me. It was an idea embedded in my mind because of an external influence such as traditional and new media.
To name a few.
Many companies spend billions and billions of dollars trying to make us think that we need what they offer in many creative ways, and they tell us as if what they offer gives us a meaningful life.
Take a look at iPhone 13 now.
So just like everybody else, I was trapped into thinking that I needed to pursue the image of success that companies and others created instead of me identifying my version of success.
As a result, I ended up feeling lost, empty and unhappy with myself.
But after noticing that what happens in life doesn't really matter, this idea has given me new ways to look at my life, and I'm going to share some of my findings with you.
I used to think that everything mattered, so when I failed, I would always feel ashamed.
I was often worried about what would happen to me in the future, and I would feel pressured to live my life.
But in the last month, I feel calmer because I know that what happens in life doesn't really matter.
For example, when I decided to quit my first job, my second job, and finally landed my third job, I wasn't stressed about it as much as I would have if I hadn't known this new perspective.
I could think that changing jobs was not as much of a big deal as I imagined.
Sure, I was nervous about doing interviews for my next job at that moment.
I was worried about whether I would like the company that I was going to work for. But the bottom line was that I could think that no one knew what would happen in the future.
We can only predict.
So I was like...why would I be bothered worrying about these things because it just doesn't matter.
With the new idea, I started worrying less about the unknown future. I gained a lot of confidence when it comes to diving into uncertainties.
This month, I was officially promoted to a senior position at my company. And I just wanna take this opportunity not to talk about my perseverance and hard work but reflect on the privileges over my life that significantly contributed to where I am today:
1. I was born with parents that could afford to send me to school and make sure I get three meals every
day. (Imagine people born Africa or some parts of Indonesia where they cannot attend schools);
2. Because of this, I was able to focus on my studies in grade and high school, eventually getting into
university (Imagine working students who need to juggle their studies and job to support their
3. During the pandemic, my job allowed me to work from my hometown, therefore giving me the chance to
be further cultivated in a comfortable environment (Imagine people who live day by day or lost their
job over the pandemic, those street vendors who sell bakwan, cireng, tahu bulat);
4. I started my career from two different firms, not worrying about jumping from one to another where
I got a significant experience because I didn't feel financially pressured to support anyone in my
family (Imagine people who had to leave the firm life as breadwinners of their family);
5. I was assigned to a team that was very supportive of one another (I only realized this once I saw many
of my coworkers resigned and saying they were not compatible with their teams).
So yes, I'm currently living in my dream city, doing my dream job in my dream company primarily because of many, many opportunities granted to me (and unfortunately denied from many).
Recognizing these privileges does not mean I didn't work long and hard to get here today. Like many of us, it only means that I am in the perfect position to speak up for those deprived of these same opportunities because of their race, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds.
So if you see this today, I hope you also try to reflect on your privileges. You will then start seeing things differently.
As a result, I started enjoying my life more.
Even when I feel nervous about taking on new opportunities, challenges, or getting out of my comfort zone, I now know that it's not going to be the end of my life, even if I fail.
And knowing this made me get a lot of pressure off of my shoulders about how I live my life.
The possibility of what we can do is limitless.
So I have established that what happens in life doesn't really matter.
Let's look at this from a different angle.
When it comes to doing something new or taking challenges, any of us feels like we can't do it because we face the fear of failure.
For example, this month, I had a session with a psychologist to discuss my mental state.
I felt relieved, and I finally had some ideas about why I felt a certain way and how I thought and processed information.
Openness to experience, conscientiousness, and introversion are inborn traits, meaning I was born with these qualities.
It helps me understand better about myself.
I also consulted a nutritionist.
We discussed a lot. And I realized that I'd been eating wrong all this time.
I'm allergic to dairy products, eggs, and gluten.
That's why now, with my newly found knowledge, I started to change my diet by trying my best to be as plant-based as possible and reduce red meat.
It's natural to be scared of something uncertain, but how we perceive failure entirely depends on us.
No one decides what failure is and what isn't.
This is what we determine.
Even if we think we failed at something, whether that experience becomes positive or negative.
That said, I believe that the only limitation that I have is within myself.
What happens in life doesn't really matter, so this idea encourages me to continue trying and failing. This cycle lets me learn new things that I wouldn't know if I cared so much about what happens in life.
What happens in life doesn't really matter, but the amount of time we can live on this earth is limited.
I think a lot of us complain about what we can't control.
For instance, we might complain about how the Indonesian government is not doing anything for us, or we don't have time to learn something new because of our busy jobs.
Even if our complaints were entirely objective, unfortunately, it wouldn't help us at all.
It would just make us unhappy and feel invaluable in society.
If we think that other people might not be able to make our lives better, how about we try to become the change because we can decide what kind of world we would like to live in.
This means that we only focus on things that we can control.
For instance, I mentioned that gender inequality is a huge issue in Indonesia (probably worldwide).
The majority of my top partners are male-dominated, the pay gap between men and women is enormous, we have such a small percentage of female political leaders (although we had the first female president, Ibu Megawati, as the largest democratic country), even the US has not had any female president. And the list goes on.
The country that I would like to live in is where it is moving towards gender equality. Less poverty. Less rape culture. Less stupidity. And filled with more educated citizens, not some netizens complaining and posting hateful comments.
Man, I would love to see more Indonesian female CEOs, female partners, management people, and political leaders before leaving this earth.
Sorry, I went off track, but my point is that I don't wanna keep complaining about gender inequality and don't do anything about it.
I would like to contribute to the change and improve it.
At this point in my life, what I can do is so small such as proactively having discussions with my friends or even on a microscopic scale to encourage my female staff to be the best of themselves and help them nurture confidence in themselves.
Just to spread the awareness of this issue among us.
I've brought this topic up in my blog to let you know how I'm feeling about gender inequality in Indonesia.
These actions seem so insignificant, but for me, I believe that if I can inspire a few people or even just one person. They encourage this situation to be improved in their social circles or internally as a living individual, then that's a massive win for me.
The important thing is to do what we like and believe in because life is too short.
I just wanna make the most of it while I'm alive.
How can we decide what is meaningful and what is meaningless?
The beauty of this concept that what happens in life doesn't matter is that all definitions of meaning are subjective.
Therefore, the searching of meaning itself seems futile as we are the ones who decide what is meaningful and what is not because meaning is only to be found in our imagination.
When life feels meaningless, it's not because of life itself but because of the way we define meaning in the first place.
For example, my Android phone has become special if I think this is special. My personal website becomes something that I can't live without, if I think it is.
So I decided to believe that small and simple things are meaningful, like taking a walk outside, exercising, meditation, reading, and writing blog posts.
Let's face it.
One hundred years from now, we'll be dead.
This fact is neither sad nor happy.
It just is.
So I would like to treat life like a party.
Arrive, enjoy and depart.
Lastly, I would like to tell you that whatever I wrote about in this blog post is entirely my opinion about how I feel about my life.
You might believe in something different or something bigger than yourself, and I think it's lovely.
I hope that we find our own ways to feel fulfilled and enjoy our lives to the fullest.
That's the end of my post.
I hope you enjoyed this topic.
The following are my recent groceries.
Hope you can find your ideal set of diet that specifically caters to your body type and condition.
Source: Personal photo
Source: Personal photo
Source: Personal photo
Source: Personal photo
Source: Personal photo
Source: Personal photo