The Naked Mind Series: Multiple Perceptions of Happiness

No one can makes us happy. Our own happiness is subjective to our own definition and perception of happiness. This personal definition is shaped and affected by various things but not limited to: our environment growing up, our parents, expectation, society, thought process, etc.

I think that is why there are some of my attempts in making people happy are never really successful. From my perspective, I often tried to impose my perception of  ‘happiness’ to others when I tried to make people happy. I didn’t realize I unconsciously disregarded the consideration of others and what they think happiness is for them.

Still, what we do will eventually become happiness to others if the ‘other’ perceives it as happiness according to their our definitions and terms. That ‘other’ perception is out of our control.

The next time I ty to make someone happy, I will remind myself that what matters is my intention to do good and try my best to make someone happy and to practice empathy – the things that are in my control. The way people will perceive it is completely out of our control. And maybe, the unwanted responds – such as being ignored and not appreciated are not because they dislike us as a person, it may be just our different perceptions in happiness.

This is the perspective of my naked mind.

The Naked Mind Series : Doing What Feels Good or Right

My friend just came back from her travel and she told me she met a girl that really inspires her. This girl she met doesn’t really have any plan in life she said. She will continue to do the things she is currently doing as long as it still feels “right” to her (my friend literally put the quotation mark). She wants to be able to exit if something doesn’t feel good to her anymore. It sounds like such a great idea, living life with the flow. I imagine myself constantly feeling happy and content doing what she is doing at the moment. As much as I want my life to be always rainbows and butterflies, the reality is not always the case. However, this conversation sparks an interesting thought in my mind.

 I made a promise with myself 2 years go (2018) that I would do all the things I ‘want’ within the next 5 years so my future self wont regret anything from my past. I want to be able to say “I have done all the things I wanted to do”. I imagine it would make me feel good fulfilling the things that feels good to me and it felt so right to at that time. Nonetheless, 1.5 years forwards, if there is any takeaway from my life so far is decisions based only on emotions doesn’t really do me any good or take me to forward in my life. I personally think the emotion or “feeling” good or right  is based on a perception in our mind and thoughts, that are already influenced with biases from other people thoughts, past experiences and even the content we consume. Based on that, we build our idealistic concept of ‘what is right’ according to our thought process. In fact, that concept also has input in our decision making process.

Instead of purely taking the feeling good or right as the primary decision maker, I have learnt to take it as a signal for me to investigate further of why is a particular thing feels right to me. The reason why I don’t want to decide solely based on emotion is because emotion and what I feel changes all the time. In fact, I don’t think at this point in my life I would consider my emotion is stable enough to be the decision maker. This might be different with you though.

On the other hand, having assessment about what we want to do gives us a more logical perspective and understanding of ourselves. For me, just solely decide on what feels right without any understanding what is the definition of “right” for me can lead me into the wrong direction.  In fact, the idea of what is right for you and for me are different. I personally believe that the idea of what is right doesn’t come from our feeling but from a long thought process. It takes system 2 or a longer and more hardworking thought process to process and probably justify the inputs in your mind. Eventually, that becomes what I consider as what feels right on my thought process. The template becomes the system 1 or the simpler thought process on my thought process when I am faced with decisions and the output is “I feel this is right for me”.  

PS: The term System 1 and System 2 on thought process is based on Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”

This might or might not be relatable to you. We have our own values and thought process that affect our own decision making. We might agree or disagree on each other about this but that’s completely okay! I think that is the beauty of being human, the diversity in interpreting the world around us. I never intend this post to be a recommendation or self-development related or even how-to-do-life kind of thing. I just want to convey another perspective on this specific topic based on my own thought process along with all its biases and influences.

This is my Naked Mind

I Began Writing with Self Doubt and Ended Up With Winning the Fight

I didn’t think this what will come out in today’s post.

I have noticed I haven’t been consistent posing here despite the fact that blogging is probably my most favorite online platform compare to the others (talking about Instagram and facebook here)

I was dealing with a great self-doubt (cliché). And I don’t think she is going anywhere anytime soon. She’s planning on staying in my head for a long time. That granules of self doubt were built overtime and the cup is now overflowed. That is why I know that everyday I am not in a battle with anyone else but myself. Everything around me can be chaotic but the thing that determine my inner-peace is my respond to the situation. It’s still baby steps for me but I has changed my perspective in life.

Even now I am actively battling my own self-doubt. Questioning myself if what I want to say matter or even if I even matter? I am pretty sure that all of us in the same battle of our own self-doubt. I have been rejected and failed too many and I am still going through my rejections and failures. However, from that experiences I have learnt that rejections mean we haven’t found the right people, platform or place yet and failure mean we haven’t found what is right and worked for us yet. Notice the word ‘haven’t’ and ‘yet’? Whatever you and me are facing right now is not the end destination.

It feels crazy I was so full with inspiration at the beginning of my writing and now it is all gone. I think it will make a great writing prompts, just write anything that comes up in my head, even if it’s a writer’s block.

Anyways, I want to start being responsible with my life again while pursuing what I want. Constantly exploring new things while having a strong integrity with my values. Marrying the idea of survival, idealistic and realistic thinking into some sort of threesome. Weird? I know, I think so too. In fact, I was completely sober writing this out but it makes a perfect sense in my weird and sober mind. Back into blogging style when it was first born. Spilling the true and honest self out into words without having to worry about SEO, followers or any kind of bullshit.

And thank you for stopping by, I hope to see you soon. And please let me know how you think about anything in the comment below! It’s your space pipool!!!

PS: notice the shift in writing style? That’s the difference when you just let your true creativity pour out without thinking about any potential judgement that are mostly just happen in your head (and my head too)

it can get hard: here are 10 quotes that kept me going today

As expected, most of these quotes come from writers.

“be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

William James, Psychologist / Philosopher

“nothing that comes easy is a worth a dime. As a matter of fact, i never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never”

Woody Hayes, College Football Coach

“stick to your own story. It is the most important subject in history but it is one about which you are uniquely qualified to speak”

Evelyn Waugh, Writer

“don’t worry about people stealing your idea. If it’s original, you’ll have to ram it down their throats”

Howard Aiken, Computer Scientist

“keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that too, can become great”

Mark Twain, Writer

“do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion accepted was once eccentric.”

Betrand Russell, Mathematician / Philosopher

“laugh at yourself first before anyone else can.”

Elsa Maxwell, Socialite

“read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goes out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.”

Marcus Tullius, Roman Philosopher/ Statesman

“gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being.”

Rumi, Persian Poet / Mystic

“the important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery everyday. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

Albert Einstein, Physicist

Quoted from the book “Dance First Think Later” by Kathryn & Ross Petras

Before you want to stop doing what you do now, can i say something?

Talking about my entrepreneurial journey is not always rainbows and butterflies. Often, in fact, most of the times I feel like wherever I go, we always hit myself to walls. There’s no way getting in through. I am stuck. That’s exactly what I feel now. My creativity hits to the dead ends, no new ideas are coming. Have you ever felt the same way?

Enjoy the process they say, I do enjoy the process but sometimes my human-self wants to convert back to feel human. The one that able to feel frustrated. I have been committed and would love to keep doing so but there’s no more ideas coming out of my brain. What should I do? When the deadlines is right in front of my eyes, I feel handcuffed, unable to create.

So I kept pushing those walls. In hopes that my ordinary strength will eventually break those walls. Then I think again about the power of water drops. They are ordinary nor that we think have some supernatural power to break anything solid. Yet their persistence eventually break solid rock into halves.

No one is starting out right or strong yet the persistency and the intention of not giving up will be eventually paid off. You and I are not too late. We are in our own journey walking in our own pace. Fuck the world that always asks us to rush things, they don’t even know us.

For those who are in the midst of struggle and giving up, you hold the power to remain going or to stop. It’s completely up to you. You know your values, strength and weakness. But I want to tell you that the path you choose now is hard but it’s worth every sweat and tears. No one can do this better than you. Take a rest if you need one, it’s okay to feel not okay for the moment. Then when you recover, let the your strong-self to take over. She will take you to places you have never been before.

I’m Not Enough.

I just came back from a night out with my friends. Slightly intoxicated, I decided to go to the room where I know you were already there. Thank God the alcohol overcame my fear of walking up those stairs. I was worried that you would forget how it feels between us. I knew it was only a month we were a part but that was more than enough to make us into ‘almost strangers’. At least that was what I thought. I quietly opened the door and saw you sleeping on the other side of the bed. I tipped toe to the shower, quickly washed off the cigarette smell or maybe a few spills of someone else’s drink. I didn’t quite remember. I kept the room dark. Not that I didn’t want to wake you up but I didn’t want you to see me. Somehow I felt so insecure. I still feel I wasn’t enough for anyone, not even for you to keep.

Teaser – Chapter Finale

…..

The reality of our own tangible world has become what matter to us more. We are already at the end of the candle wick. We talked only about what is necessary then it is no longer necessary for us to talk.

The fire has died and the room becomes dark again. What goes around comes back around, they say. Those who were once strangers now have become strangers again.

A Visit to Coconut Sugar Home Industry, Yogyakarta

Written by Gita Natalia, Travel Designer at SloMo Travel Indonesia

Travel Story Highlights: Borobudur Sunrise, Pawon Luwak Coffee, Coconut Sugar Home Industry, Yogyakarta


It was during the rainy season in Indonesia but my friend and I decided to gamble and went for the Borobudur Sunrise trip. We had to be ready at 3.30 in the morning to be picked up by our tour guide to go to Borobudur. We were lucky. The sky was clear and it was definitely one of the best sunrises I have ever seen.

Borobudur Sunrise View with Mt. Merapi at the background


After the trip, we went to Pawon Luwak Coffee, located not far from Borobudur Temple. Here, they show us briefly about the Luwak coffee beans, and the animal Luwak itself and we then had Luwak coffee in that small and intimate shop. However, the experience in Pawon Coffee is a little bit touristy (they only show us the beans and the animals that are caged and they don’t grow or roast the coffee there).

Pawon Luwak Coffee, Yogyakarta


Our tour guide, Wahyu and I were having conversations about the huge tourism potential in Yogyakarta (Wahyu ended up being our partner in crime at SloMo Travel Indonesia for Yogyakarta trips) from adventure, heritage and culture and also culinary. Then, he suddenly remembered there is a lady who makes coconut sugar at her house and she lives only 5 minutes away. Without any further due, we went straight to her house.


Her house is located in a small village, just opposite the Pawon Temple. Most of it is still made from bamboo and plain bricks, something that is rare or expensive to be constructed nowadays. At the front of her house, there is an old traditional water well. Wahyu demonstrated how to draw water from the well, which seemed really deep. A bucket attached to a rope that was dropped into the well and Wahyu had to manually pull the rope to get the water out of it. Simple but it is already rare even in Yogyakarta. The lady, that I didn’t remember her name, saw us coming and welcomed us to her humble abode.

She was very welcoming and let us explore her interesting house and kitchen


Wahyu already knew one of her sons so it didn’t seem like we just invaded someone else’s house. Although conversation could get a little difficult (considering I am Indonesian and speak Bahasa Indonesia), Wahyu who speaks the local Javanese language is such a great interpreter. The language barrier wasn’t an issue for us to get to know each other. Fun fact, Indonesia has more than 300 languages and it is possible for fellow Indonesians not to understand each other unless they speak Bahasa Indonesia. Although I came from a Javanese family, I only speak limited Javanese and I didn’t understand 90% of the words Wahyu and the lady were saying.
She explained how she makes the coconut sugar from the back part of her house. I call it the Javanese version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She first collects the sap from coconut trees and boiled it until it turns into a caramel consistency. Then, she pours the liquid into molds made from the actual coconut shells. She sells a kilo for IDR 20,000 or around USD 1.5.

Her handmade coconut sugar! She even gave us lots of coconut sugar to try!


I also find out that coconut sugar and red or brown sugar (we call it gula Merah) are different. They all come in blocks when traditionally made but coconut sugar has a distinct flavor. Almost tastes like caramel coconut fudge. On the other hand, red or brown sugar is made from coconut or palm but mixed with additional granulated sugar in it.


When we were at her house, she also told us a lot of stories about her life. One of her stories is when she was younger, she used to sell her coconut sugar in a local market. On some occasions, tourists came to see her coconut sugar but often didn’t end up buying. However, the local gangster in the area thought she must have got a lot of money so they asked her for money. It happens more than once so she got an idea. Apparently, she found out that the leader of the gang used to like this lady and asked her to marry him, but she said no. So, the lady said to those gangsters, “let him (I forget what his name) know that I’m (the lady) looking for him.” Since then all the gangsters in the market area stopped bothering her. What a bad-ass lady.

That’s her when she was featured in a local magazine in 2005


Her house is very simple. One huge room (more like a living room) where she sleeps, cooks. Watches tv and eats. I think there were a few small rooms as well for her children. That living part of the house is made from brick and bamboo. The home factory, which is located at the back of the house is made fully from bamboo and a little bit of plastic roof in case of rain. Here’s a glimpse of her coconut sugar home industry.


She also preserves a collection of postcards and photographs from many years ago, including a postcard of the previous king and queen from the Netherlands (and she has a big one framed on her wall too). She said she got it from a Dutch tour guide a long time ago. When we came she wasn’t cooking sugar but we were so privileged that she explained to us how to make the real coconut sugar from her kitchen.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” her Javanese version


Before we left she said something in Javanese to me but I didn’t understand and my face kind of said it all. “Selamat Jalan!” she said (or “Farewell” in English). I promised the lady that I will come back soon to get a private Javanese language lesson from her. I want to get to know my cultural roots and understand Indonesia’s diversity.

This story is also featured on https://www.slomotravelindonesia.com/

The Courage to Grab the Wheel

I love the environment that forces me to challenge myself, defying all the odds. When I used to work, there were times when I didn’t feel like I wasn’t growing or challenged. I then decided to leave. It happened several times that there was a period of time where I changed 3 jobs within 2 months.

I was a total failure. It was even proven by my failed business and I decided to let it go. After a few conversations and several google searches, I found out I wasn’t committed. But what if deep down I know it’s not something that I want? They said you’re not there long enough to know. Maybe it’s true I just wasn’t committed.

I saw on social media about Meghan Markle exiting the Royal Family. And I was like whoa!! I knew about the bullies towards the young family of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. As much as I wanted to spill my rage, it won’t change the fact that the unpleasant statements are already out and seen. It won’t make what so-called the ‘criticisms’ disappear from the face on the everlasting internet platforms until Facebook or Instagram or any other platforms decided to go out of business.

Meghan found courage. People see it as stepping down while what she is actually doing is stepping out from what doesn’t belong to her and forward to the life that she and her family deserve. It’s not even a year, it’s only a short period of time! Then I was like, wait a minute… she did it because she knows her worth.

Time is the most expensive thing that we have. Once it’s gone it’s gone. The price Meghan needed to pay an expensive price to claim her precious time in the future with courage. Despite all the odds, she entered the Royal Family and against all the odds too she left what was ‘thought’ to be where she should be for the rest of her life. She knows who is she and what she worth.

Each of us holds the steer to navigate the course of our lives. The road to your purpose might not as smooth as you thought, but focus on driving to your purpose. Don’t let anyone grab the wheel

Writing as a Form of Travel

Writing I think is one of the best forms to express myself with less bias around, especially in terms of physical attractiveness.

I can contribute without worrying about my nationalities, how do I look or even without worrying to act or dress a certain way to show confidence. No one knows who I am nor that I know you but I have never felt so connected. I never knew I matter.

Writing gives me a sense of travel although my physical body is strapped within space and time. I thought I have traveled far but my writing travels beyond countries’ borders. It doesn’t matter anymore if I am from a developed country or a developing country, that kind of system doesn’t define me as an individual. It doesn’t define me intellectually

I can’t thank you enough and I am so honored to be a part of this community. The only thing I regret is I didn’t start earlier