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Monday, April 16, 2012

This is My Trade (and Success Story). What is Yours?

A conversation with a friend makes me think, what is "enough"? And how do you measure "success"? My other friend, an American, jokingly told me that American like things big and fast. All wealth symbol. I found this funny because America is also home of countless self-motivation authors and guru that encourge people to see beyond wealth.

And what about Indonesia? I find Indonesian have varied opinion on "success" and "enough". To some the definition is exactly like their modern country counterparts: prestigious job, high salary, cool items. Yet to some, to be able to feed their children and give them education or even pay their way (honestly) through college is a huge success. So what is success? And when is enough?

I use to think that prestigious job is success, a double digit salary (in Indonesian million) is success, driving in fancy car is success. Then I went broke. And it force me to appreciate what I have just to be sane, and what I'm most appreciative of all are not measurable. It's not the money or the food or the fancy items, it's the love and kindness that people show me when I'm at my worst. Somehow it becomes my currency.

I bounced back, but I never see the world in the same light again, as most other people do. I see people's kind smile, not their fancy Hermes bag; I see their loving gaze, not their expensive YSL sunglasses; I see their honest laughter, not their Ferrari key that lay on the table. And those positive outlook has become my currency. I cant buy my friends lavish drinks in fancy club, but I can make them laugh and smile, and feel good about themselves. No amount of money can buy them that feeling as it was given to them with all earnesty, and my friends are ludicrously worldly successful (i.e. they are rolling in cash). That's my trade.

Some would think it's a poor trade. Smile and kindness can't buy food or get you a good shelter far from the ghetto. But awkwardly, I find that it can. My trade ensures me that I always have someone to help me in everything, from a simple drink to a place to crash in or even a plane ticket to pursue my crazy dream. And what mortals can't do, God lends a hand. Expensive dinner, rafting trip, even my favorite snack when I'm too broke to buy some. God provide me with little (or should I say adequate) money, but He gave me everything else without me needing to purchase them. I found this an amazing and gracious arrangement. It's like being pampered and cared without the frustration of handling the money. It's always enough.

It's a sick sick world that we're living in. I find that for sensitive people checking the news daily can lead to severe deppresion as bad news sell, but take a toll on our mental health. Negativity pulls and infected people stronger than positivity. That's why I smile all the time, I want to infect people with happiness. No need to share them my sorrow. For this reason, and for how I see and act towards the world, I know I will never be as rich as Donald Trump or as successful as Kim K (if that is counted as success). But I believe I will have a better quality of life, and so will people around me, especially those whom I love most.

People have different opinion about success, and I honestly don't mind to be successful/wealthy enough to afford a trip to South Africa to visit my dearest friends. But I am not worry. If the big Guy wants we to go there, I will be shown a way and be there in no time at all. That's how my trade works. That's how my life is. Haters will condemn me and called me un-ambitious lazy bitch, I called myself grateful for what I have and enjoying Life. And I think that what He wants in Humans, for us to learn and enjoy life instead of toiling in it. That will be heaven on earth indeed. I just hope whoever my life partner is will understand this skewed point of view and not run the other way for a [normal] "successful" woman ;).

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