My Year in Review: 2018

"You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results." – James Clear

This blog post is a regular review of what happened in my life in 2018, what went well and what went wrong. I already started this year-in-review habit since 2011. Hope we can learn something from here.

Volunteering with RuBI Yapen

Intermezzo: For better year-in-review contents, maybe you should watch these two following videos and then just skip all the remaining article.

This was the first time I started a new year without any resolution. Instead, I committed to do new habits: making my bed every morning, meditation, exercise, drinking less sugar, daily reading, and weekly charity. I used Habit Tracker app to monitor the progress, and finally.. I made it partly. Some habits were still lack of consistency. However, at least I made good progress.

At work, we went through 2017 with ups and downs. After working with more than a hundred projects, we took a break to have company gathering for both Jakarta and Bandung team.

We had two-days trip in Lembang and visited Dusun Bambu, Farm House, Floating Market, Gracia Spa, Kawah Putih, and Glamping Lake Side. For some people it was their first experience visiting Bandung and meeting Bandung team in person. Everyone had fun, and hopefully I could bring them to some farther place next time.

I started my volunteering activities in 2018 by joining Kelas Inspirasi Lombok. It was my second time participating in Lombok. This time we went to Kabupaten Lombok Utara, one of the most under-developed areas in Nusa Tenggara Barat. Despite the school infrastructure that was not good, the kids were very enthusiastic to go to school to meet their friends and teachers.

There was one person that inspired me the most in KI Lombok. He was Pak Luji Hartono, former head of village (kepala dusun) in Selengen, who really cares about his citizens. Whenever people in Selengen had some challenges (for example, it used to be very hard to find clean water there), Pak Luji worked hard to find the way either seeking government support or organizing local communities to work together to solve the problems. He was really the inspiring man in his village.

This month I read again Marie Kondo's books and decided to declutter all my stuffs, starting from my apartment to my office. I even put Marie Kondo's video about tidying up office desk on the dashboard of our project management tool at Suitmedia, so everyone in my team noticed about this. I hope everyone joined this tidying up movement and had their productivity improved. 😏

One thing that I re-learned this time was about first things first.

Since works got busier I almost ignored the invitation to participate in Kelas Inspirasi Bandung for the fourth time. However, I changed my mind in the last minutes, and chose to be facilitator / companion volunteer in this program. It was a new challenge to organize more than 30 volunteers in different city.

We got school in SDN 1 Jambudipa, Cisarua, Kabupaten Bandung Barat. It was just 25 minutes from my parent's house in Cimahi. The kids were nice and the teachers were motivated. It was all good experience.

Moving on to to my second loveliest city in Indonesia.. Joel and I gave a guest lecture at PKM Center, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). We shared about web development trend in the industry and career development in a tech consulting firm.

Knowledge Sharing @ PKM Center UGM, 2018

I also participated in Kelas Inspirasi Yogyakarta for the third time. I met some new friends and we shared our profession in SDN Randusari, in the city of Yogyakarta. As always, kids in Yogyakarta were all nice, and it always makes me want to return to Yogyakarta for a reminiscence.

From Yogyakarta, I visited my grandma in Solo (for the last time when she was alive), then took flight to Bali for family trip. It was the second time we had family trip in the last few years, and the first time for my parents to visit Bali in the last three decades. We spent good four days and visited the most popular places in Bali. It always feels good to make our parents happy 💕

I started this month by attending Indra's wedding at Siborong-Borong, North Sumatra. It was very interesting because it was my first time attending a traditional Batak wedding ceremony. After that, I flew to Medan for campus recruitment while delivering guest lecture at Universitas Sumatera Utara. After taking one week off in the previous month, now it was time for work, work, and work all month.

After reading some articles from independent financial advisors, I did my research and compared the performance of my own stock portfolio and some mutual funds that I invested. Surprisingly my own portfolio was better than my investments in mutual funds managed by big names like Schroder, BNP Paribas, Danareksa, Eastspring, Mandiri, Batavia, and First State. Thus, I decided to reallocate all my mutual funds investments to stock directly. Well, don't get me wrong, I like the idea of investing in mutual funds since it's more suitable for the beginners in capital market. However, once you understand how to pick the right stock to invest, it is better to create your own portfolio.

This month I was invited by Mas Sonny, my friend who's a lecturer at Jakarta State Polytechnic, to share about entrepreneurship to his design students. I shared about how to manage our career as if it were a start-up business, which I learned from Reid Hoffman's The Start-Up of You.

This month I learned a new mental model, Inversion Thinking, which is the art of avoiding mistakes. It is said that avoiding stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance. Some people said that success is overvalued while avoiding failure matters more.

This month I also learned new things from an animated video series of The Minimalists about Simplicity. Misguided urgency is often the enemy of progress.

Well.. June was the most stressful month in 2018 because there were so many holidays. In total, we only worked for 9 days in a month, but we had to spend money almost twice due to religous holiday allowance policy. Thank God, we survived.. 🙏

I did several things to reduce my stress, and one of them was applying Konmari method and Fumio Sasaki's minimalism in my life. Well, it's still work in progress until now, but it helped make me feel better..

I continued decluttering, not only in physical area like house and office, but also in digital area. I started digital decluttering from my digital documents, emails, harddisk, photos, online accounts, to my social media.

This month I joined Kelas Inspirasi Bali for the second time. We got school in SDN 8 Sakti, Nusa Penida. The kids and the teachers were all nice. However, the school infrastructure was not good (common issue in remote area). There was no proper library at school. Even since it was dry season when we went there, there was no clean water at school. It was very hard to find water in Sakti village. We even had to stay in different village in Nusa Penida, so that we could get clean water easily. Beside sharing about our profession to kids in SDN 8 Sakti, we also held games with those happy kids to celebrate independence day of Indonesia.

The perk of volunteering in Bali was the beautiful nature of the surrounding. During our 3D2N stay in Nusa Penida we had traveled around the island for more almost 100km by motorbike. The distance between our homestay and the school was quite far (more than 30 minutes), so was the distance between our homestay to the reflection basecamp (almost an hour). After teaching at school, we managed to visit Kelingking Beach, Pasih Uug Beach, Angel's Billabong, and Atuh Beach during our free time. I'll go back there for sure!

This year was the sixth time I volunteered in Kelas Inspirasi Jakarta, and the third time I contributed as facilitator. This time I was honored to help the biggest group ever in Kelas Inspirasi. There were more than 60 volunteers in a group, and we had a big challenge that was to share our profession to kids with special needs. We got to share our stories to SLB Negeri 7 Jakarta. It was the most exciting Kelas Inspirasi I ever had.

This year Suitmedia was invited to be judge in a web & mobile app competition held by Universitas Padjajaran. We met some young students with bright ideas. I hope they really implemented their ideas for real, not just for competition.

This year our country had several natural disasters, and the most severe was Palu earthquake (and tsunami). Kelas Inspirasi volunteers across all cities worked together to help as much as we could, from offline & online crowdfunding to giving a hand and coming to the disaster area to be volunteers there. And there was Pak Luji, the inspiring person from Selengen village, North Lombok, whose village was hit by earthquake few months earlier, joined the crowdfunding with volunteers from Kelas Inspirasi. In the midst of all the limitiations he had (since he got to recover his village from Lombok earthquake), he still wanted to help other people who were affected by Palu earthquake. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 🙏

This year I also learned a new concept about finding more than passion, that was ikigai. Ikigai is the intersection between what you love, what you're good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. Once you find your Ikigai, your life will be more fulfilling.

This month I had my best traveling experience in 2018. I visited Papua, the easternmost island of Indonesia, for the first time. Firstly I visited my former teacher who is currently serving in Jayapura as the founder of a Christian school there. I shared about my life journey and profession at school, and I hope those nice kids will grow up to be the history makers for Papua.

From Jayapura, I flew to Biak and then to Serui, where I was with friends from Jakarta and other cities volunteered in Ruang Berbagi Ilmu (RuBI). It was probably one my most awesome volunteering experiences I ever had. I met new people who are really care about education in Indonesia. In total I spent more than a week in Papua and I hope I'll be back again.

It was the month of self-restropection. At work, we helped 30+ clients through 100+ projects in 2018, where most of them were loyal clients with repeat orders. Although there was still room for improvement in several areas, we should be proud of this achievement. Not many digital agencies are still growing strong in their ninth year. Be grateful, always.. 😊

"There's so much stuff that has yet to be invented. There's so much new that's going to happen." – Jeff Bezos

I like the idea of "Day One" spirit in Amazon that everyday is a new day to invent something better, including our better self. Keep moving forward! Good luck in 2019!

PS: Bonus playlist of my top songs 2018 😝

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