2016. The Tipping Point.

1659687-bigthumbnail

It is difficult to sum up what has certainly been a colorful year.

In a year plagued with tumultuous changes all over the world, and rarely for the better, we have seen escalation in war and hate crimes, racism and outright bigotry.

We have seen momentous changes in the political landscape with US electing Donald Trump and Euro grappling to maintain control with the break-off of UK.

Meanwhile the war in Syria rages, and war has penetrated the street of Philippines, Germany and a host of other nations.

And to top it off, 2016 has again been recorded as one of top ten hottest year on records. So yes, the global warming is real.

If there is anything we can learn from 2016, is that I believe the world is truly on a tipping point. If we do not change how we think, how we act, and how we lead our lives, these changes could become irreversible.

And as always change begin with oneself, reflect on your achievements, on your blessing, however small they may be, reflect on your mistake, and forgive your opponents, whose political views you do not share.

Be kinder to people, be mindful of our footprints on Earth, and strive to be more tolerant to people who are not like yourselves.

In the spirit of this Christmas, and at the end of the year, I still have hope that humanity have always found a way to get out of difficult situation, and hopefully 2017 isn’t as terrible as this one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

With much faith, hope and love,

Aries

 

Advertisements

The Hard Truth

“A guy came up to me at the gym and asked me what event I was training so hard for. Life, motherfucker” From @GSElevator Tweet.

Life. This thing that we all have to go through everyday is sometime so tiring you felt like you are suffocated.

I am probably a very fine example of somebody who has it relatively easy in the growing up years and then find the years after education unbelievably difficult.
I am not used to losing badly, i lose to some, and that was when the playground was quite even.

Life doesnt give you easy shit like that. It gives you unfair competitors, bitch customers, as well as shoddy bureaucrats who attempt to fleece you for as many bucks as they can. This is the real world. Suck it up and move on or so they said.

When in uni, you can create stellar business plan and so and so, but jumping into the real world you suddenly find everyone else can too, and then u slug it out to death. Its a never-ending chess game. This is where i guess ambition start to eat into you as you have an imagination in your head as how things will go and should go in the next 1, 5, 10 years, but the next week you find out that you have to redo your plan again because your competitor has cock-blocked your move and so on and on.

If i was playing a game, and somebody is blocking my move time after time after time, it would not take long for me to pull the plug. But this is life, i cant just pull the plug unless i want to die now. But seriously, it is fucking frustrating to have to stave off competition. Sometimes you really want to shout just get the fuck out of my way already.

I can understand why people who have decided to join the rat race find it difficult to quit even though by new-entrants judgment, they seem to have done well for themselves. Well the answer i think is relatively straightforward, people, especially ambitious ones, can never really rest until they are head and shoulders above the competition and no threats in the near future. Things however, are never like that in the business world. Your competitor gets bigger as grow bigger. Your seemingly increasing ammunition is also matched by theirs and what you end up with is a never-ending battle, a strategic one, and it creeps into your life, even to your dream. You go sleep at night everyday thinking how should i get rid of this guy, knowing your competitor is probably thinking of the same thing at night.

Seriously, if i could smash my keyboard now i probably would. WHY is life incredibly frustrating. You can never see a clear light at the end of the tunnel for even one day. There is always some hand messing with the light, like some minion who keeps putting things to hinder you.

Just fuck off already.

Sincerely,

-Aries

Twenty-thirteen Year in Review

Dieng MistEntering 2013 was not unlike entering the surreal gate to a geothermal plant above. It was dense with mist, and visibility was low. I wasn’t certain what i was about to find, or whether the things i was looking for was all that important, but as the clock ticks past midnight on December 31st, 2012, i knew i had to move forward anyway.

In 2013, i spent a substantial amount of time trying to build a new property development company on the back of rising boom in residential needs. My starting place in Jakarta couldn’t have been tougher. There were so many arcane and magical rules that you need to be careful not to trip or else there will be quite an economic catastrophe to bear. Even though a major part of my master degree was about entrepreneurship, nothing quite prepared me for the real challenge in building up a company from scratch. It was painful, it was difficult and it was wholly uncertain. It is certainly not for everybody, especially people with no alternative income source at that time.

Nevertheless, even the search for the one piece of land remain fruitless till year end, i have learnt a great deal about property and construction in this one year, a skill that i knew would be worth much more later on in life.

Fortunately although the property business was at best fledgling, our other two businesses was doing okay, demand was not as poor as all the gloomy news reported and this was a very welcomed news. In terms of financial goals, although i didnt meet my own goal, as a family, we have met and exceeded our productive investment target so i was more or less able to console myself about my lackluster performance.

In terms of social life, i spent half the time mostly by myself doing my own things, and discovering what is it that i really want to do in life seeing as I am not getting any younger. My time of wanton experimenting is probably soon to be over, and i need to focus my energy more on the things that will have a longer term effect.

My facebook wall is constantly bombarded by pictures of marriages, babies and kids in wonderful setting, although some of them does look extravagant. Sometimes when i happen to browse on these amazing pictures of my friends that have gotten married, i do harbor a sense of envy. But then again, i knew i had a lot of homework on myself to do, and i am probably not ready to marry at this age yet.

Relationship is a difficult, fickle thing and as mostly pragmatic person i sometimes find living the single life where i could do what i want, when i want it to be the easiest solution. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that i dont want to marry, i just feel that it will take a special kind of person to be able to live with me. I guess that will be the final piece of the puzzle i needed to find, where ever that person might be.

The relative high point of this year was spending time with family again, and enjoying the life in this small city where I came from. There aren’t much entertainment around, or cafe that i can hang out in, but then when you work monday to saturday, that kind of things doesn’t bother you that much anymore. Hanging out with people with lower socioeconomic capability also makes me appreciate the life that i have had. I am glad i dont have to budget in-between salary, I am glad I do not worry about having mortgages for life, and I am glad mostly because i can eat pretty much whatever i want and not worry about the bills. It is the kind of things that I have often ignored in my more priviledged life as an international student in Australia.

And comparing 2013 to 2012 was like comparing the very bottom of the mariana trench with somewhere around sea level. There wasn’t any great breakthrough, nor a sudden windfall or girl in my lap, but nonetheless having a relatively stable, steady year after the total calamity of 2012 was an extremely fortunate gift from above. I got to sang christmas songs in church with a lighthearted heart, knowing that my burden from 2012 has somewhat lifted and i can step forward into 2014 with relative confidence of greater things ahead.

With much faith, hope and love

-Aries

 

 

 

Entrepreneurship and the failure factory

The last two weeks has been tough, exceedingly tough. The indonesian rupiah is free-falling, the index down, and the interest rate has risen so fast. 

For my fledgling property start-up this is bleak news. Many of the partners are not feeling very confident about the future outlook, as am I. It is at this point that i started feeling rather sad about it. Although we are still running, i doubt we are going to take up any project this year. The risk is just too high. And in property you cant afford to fail.

So while my fellow partners has mostly quietly gone about doing their everyday business, i who is feeling a little unemployed, thought what could i do now, a million questions popping up in my head till the early hours of the moninrg, should i find a job, should i try to start another business, if its a job what job, is my skill suitable, is my skills enough and so on. 

I can finally realize the full impact of what my former lecturer said in entrepreneurship class. You have to be a crazy to venture down this path. The path is fraught with danger, abnormally high level of stresses and unknown traps that lies await. 

So as I ponder my decision to become an entrepreneur, and sometimes asking God if this is really my path, i read a magazine that was given to me, last weekend in a seminar. It was a motivation magazine, and in it, story after story of successful businessmen, who has a much much tougher start than I am continue to persevere. 

Then today, when i was in the taxi, back again when i was pondering, I saw a blue bird magazine in the back seat pocket, opened up to the first page and again i found encouraging words.

” Do not be afraid of failure, it is better for you to try and fail because at least you are making efforts towards your dream, rather than not try and sealing your dream to the boxes”.

I think the short quote above does encapsulates the essence of entrepreneurial endeavor. It was never going to be easy. Its never going the way you wanted it to be. Life will never be fair to you. There is always somebody better, faster, well-resourced and far more connected than you. 

Nevertheless, looking back at my decision now, i knew that deep down in my heart, starting and running a business was all i could ever think about. I thought about it day and night, in the restaurant, in the shower, in the cinema, at the mall, at the office, even while talking with people. I sometimes wonder whether it is a gift or a curse, that I am such a dreamer.

And i thought to myself, if i really only live once, it would be such a huge regret in my life if i stopped trying. In my old age, i can picture myself saying why didn’t I do this or that. And as much as an entrepreneurial endeavor is painful, i think living life full of regrets of not trying to fulfill my dream would be even worse.

And so, I will soldier on.

-Aries

Forever alone

Being back in semarang, and not knowing when i will leave this place again makes me lose quite a bit of my soul.

I have no friends, and doing work i dont see myself doing in the long-term, with people who misunderstood my skills and doesnt value what i do and what my ambitions are.

I have to get out of this situation with a plan B. I have to make that plan fast.

-Aries

Aries’ end of year entry 2011

Hey everyone,

As people bid each other christmas greetings and happy new year, I know that 2011 is finally drawing to a close.

2011 is a rather mixed bag for a lot of people around the world, rich and poor, weak and powerful alike. To recap some of the events in 2011.

-Uprising across the Middle East region against long-term dictator and despot specifically in country like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and finally Syria.

-Across the Mediterranean water, we seen old European masters in deep trouble following severe austerity plans in countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal with unemployment as high as 40%.

-USA is still having its enormous debt over its head and a relatively high unemployment although its corporation has done relatively well so far.

-Last but not least, lets not forget about the shockingly awful disasters and the sheer frequency by which they have hit this year, it is truly unprecedented. We have the Queensland flood the size of france and germany combined, followed by Cyclone Yasi, a Cat 5 cyclone. Then over the water Christchurch was hit by a powerful earthquake. A month later Japan had the double whammy of quake and tsunami, decimating many coastal towns in north-eastern Japan and a prolonged radiation problem. We also had the Thailand and Philippines flood that shut down industry and claimed many lives.

-We had riots everywhere across the world and in cyberspace, with Anonymous and the Occupy movement, as well as the London riot.

-Finally, for the rich of the world, the financial market has taken a serious beating this year after the strong recovery in 2010 with major blue chips down between 8-15%.

Personally for me, 2011 was still a relatively decent year, i did really well in university, and towards the end, got myself a Monash Marketing Excellence Award, which i am rather proud of. I have been in the care of truly inspirational university staff and i am eternally thankful for their help and contribution in my journey of learning.

I have also made some really wonderful friends and acquaintances along my journey in Monash, and i will strive to do my best to keep those friendship for as long as possible.

However, my performance at the university was somewhat shadowed by the fact that I once again graduated in a time where the economies around the world are showing lackluster performance, and may put off hiring as the forecast are not very bright for 2012.

Many people still said to me that i am still young. My advice to younger people though, being young is not a reason to be foolish and stupid. Even if you are young, take your early life seriously, as these are your shaping years and the decision you made today will be amplified in the future. If you make the right choices now, you will reap bountiful rewards in the future and if your choices are wrong, it would be very hard to come back up.

I have always dreamed of building an empire of my own someday, even though until today i have yet to attain the real world experience of how to run even one small business on my own. Nevertheless, i would rather die than commit to a life of endless 9-5 labor, unless the company i worked for are truly a great company that rewards well not only monetarily, but also through career advancement.

If anything, i know that dreaming up something big in my life is always going to be an uphill task. But life would be very sad for those who never dared to dream what they have always wanted. A word of advice from a fund manager i saw not too long ago is, take your risk, but manage it well. 

That in essence is how you should run your life, take risk, but diversify. Draft up a risk management plan for yourself, and take insurance wherever possible. In times of uncertainty, risk management has never been so important.

And of course, be daring to dream, take a leap of faith in yourself. Always.

-Aries

End of Year entry and reflection of past year events

To say that 2010 was massive for me would be a gross understatement. I have never in my life traveled more, learned more, or felt more confident in where i am going into the future. My list of of 2010 included Melbourne, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Fransisco, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and my hometown, Semarang. In all i traveled over 25000 km, not that much compared to some of you, but a milestone for me. This year, my decision to study Master of Business is probably my best decision about university courses ever, and i am able to not only depend on myself to do well but also carry some of the teams to do well. It has definitely come as a relief that I finally know what i am good at doing and give me a good clue of what i should do in the near future, as i make the transition to a fully-working adult.

In the same light, i have not tried to learn so much in a year before as this, where i tried my hands in pretty much everything i had wanted to try on to test where my strength and weaknesses lies. I have done good in my studies, learn plenty of things from travel experiences and the people I met along the way, done alright in the stock market thanks to my very own housemate and mentor, and finally i can say i am able to pay my own rent now (although living expenses will take some more time).

In terms of events, this year has truly been the one to remind me that i am not getting any younger. At least 7 of my friends finally graduated from their double-degree and long-ass single degree courses like med and law, some of them have chosen to return to their homeland, and it was sad bidding farewell to these old friends. 4 Others have gotten married, and i wish them the best in their married life, and may they have bountiful blessings in the year to come. Few others have secured job overseas, and they have left Melbourne. Although, my friends in Melbourne are dwindling, i take heart that many have moved on in their journey with life, and as i am getting ready for work, i can learn from the steps they took.

Truly i say, if i were to count my blessing this year, i have been really blessed in almost every sense of the word. My family is doing good, and the house that i am currently living in, is by far the best home i has lived in Melbourne, especially due to the 3 housemate im living with. Apart from the troubles that i brought upon myself, everything else has been as smooth sailing as it could ever be.

So as the new year dawns, i hope that this year may be better than the last, and that i can make worthwhile contributions to improve myself and others.

Lastly, thanks for all the friends and relatives that has made this year possible. For all those that have stayed with me along the way, and encourage me when the going gets tough, this is for you guys.

-acidz

Fate/Stay Night Movie

fate stay night

Hooo……i am excited about fate/stay night rumored movie. There is nothing up for the website for now other than the movie splash screen on the main page but i will be anxiously waiting.After all Fate/Stay Night is one of my favourite anime series of all time, and i watch tons of anime.

Contemporary Netbook power vs Desktop

I have been looking for a spare netbook to carry around, since i already have a decent desktop. I never really keep-up with the waves of Asus eees, Acer Aspire Ones, or whatever different-but the same-netbook from all major manufacturer, so i was quite shocked to note that Dell Latitude 2100 reviewed at Laptopmag here has a 3Dmark06 score of 122.

A freakin 122 score in this day and age is simply appaling.It would be totally unfair to put a 4.2 pounds netbook against a full-featured desktop, but i will just put it here for illustration. My desktop has over 10800 points in 3Dmark 06. This would be quite a low-end for desktop nowadays. A top of the line desktop would score somewhere north of 23000.

10000/100= 100 x the graphics power.

On another note, gaming laptop such as Gateway P-7807u FX scored 9636 points on 3dmark06, easily besting lots of desktop, and the list price is easy to chew as well, 1400 USD.

I hope with the Ion platform on the horizon, netbook would have a marked improvement in at least graphic capability. For now 122 points is just dissapointing.

At the Crossroads

The last 2 months or so of my life has been spent writing resumes, waiting for replies, catching up with old old friends, moving house and lastly, long and arduous thinking about where my life is going at this point.

Right after university ended my life went into nothing short of chaotic. I have no plans, no jobs, no clear residency status in Australia, and an uncertain future, in which my parents has decided that i have full authority to decide where my life is going.

Before i go into explaining why being at the crossroads is so hard, let me tell you a few background information into how this all came about.

When i was 12 years old, me and my father made a plan about myself, i would go overseas to singapore to study my secondary school, complete the secondary school there, go to foundation studies in australia and get into a respectable uni. That was my education plan and boy did i not miss a single step of it. I completed all my education fairly well, and the last few years before my uni life ended i have always been worrying about what will happen next.

I am the type of person who likes to plan out stuff and plan out well, and without a proper plan i was in chaos. Notwithstanding a significant chaos factor last year, which was my ex-gf, i am now back to where I was before, free to do what i wanted. I saw my friends applying for honours and masters, and in the end i didnt apply for either because i wanted to gain some real world work experience. I was of course naive but not stupid. I graduated in the middle of the worst economic crisis the world has seen in decades, and although i have only been looking for jobs for 3 weeks, i knew my chances at securing a full time science or research jobs was slim. But like i always do, I had to try. I never gave up unless I found my limits, when i found my face looking at a solid brick of wall in front of me. I gave myself until mid-june.

I was trying, even though not as hard as I could. I attended careers fair and information session and reviews session, but i still have not sent that many resumes out yet. I promised to myself that next week i would really try hard if this sunday interview didnt go well. That aside, i was also considering going back to uni to further my study or study something else that i would probably like.

And therein lies my problem. I dont really know which one of the multitudes of interest that i would like to do as a profession. Normal people call me nerds because indeed I am one of them. I build my own computers, tweak around OS settings, get stuff working for other people when it broke and so on. I do like doing that.

But equally well, i like reading economics books, i like to feel my heart pounding at making every quick decision to save money or make money in the market, i love thinking around business models and plans.

And lastly those who know me, knew that what i study in Uni was neither of the two, I am a Biochemist, something like a protein scientist to be exact. And i am pretty good at that as well.

But i think today after reading a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable book by Tim Harford called the undercover economist, I am confident and sure that my long term future is not going to be behind some chemistry labs, analyzing proteins quanta, and designing carbon chains to make them connect better with each other. From my previous conversation with 2 career advisors and another psychologist next week, i am pretty sure i would rather be a businessman, that perhaps could open a computer/software company or sell biochemistry product.

It is because of this reason, that with an almost heavy heart that i will tell you all who cared, that i will almost certainly leave this country eventually. I will return someday, and for those who are still around that day, we could have a meal or two.

Blog at WordPress.com.