Tag Archives: christianity

Average Person

I don’t know the exact definition of “average person”, but someone described it as a person who does not really excel at any particular thing, but ain’t the worst either. One who has an average rating in his/her skills. Not outstanding neither poor. Maybe it’s like the saying:

Jack of all trades, master of none.

So what makes a person average? One might say you can tell by the average academic achievement, average work performance, average income, or even average look.

Can all the average scores be improved? Absolutely. Got an average academic scores? Study harder. Average work performance and income? Work harder, or, smarter, or both. Average look? Work out, treat your body nicer, or you can use the abundant beauty products, makeups, and fashion.

It’s true that not everyone born as prodigy. Not everyone can compose music at the age of five like Mozart. Or graduated summa cum laude at 12 years old from a university like Sho Yano. Or started to play golf at 2 years old like Tiger Woods.

You don’t have to be a gifted prodigy to be successful. Even the famous successful inventor, Thomas Edison once wrote:

“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

So it’s obvious, even though you are not a prodigy, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean that all doors to success are closed for you.

I can’t say I’m a successful person since I still have a lot of things to achieve in my life. So I can’t really write a recipe for success. But recently, I heard a wonderful sermon from Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church at the Chinese New Year 2010 service. The sermon is much longer and a bit different to the following, because I’ll share and adapt to what I think is more relevant to the topic.

1. Sow and plant the seeds

Don’t just wait for miracles to happen. You can’t grow anything if you keep your seed in your pocket. Sow it! Plant it!

Money won’t fall down from the sky or grow on your back. If you think you are not a prodigy, then learn. You can’t expect to play musical instruments on concerts without learning. Don’t expect perfect academic scores without studying. If you’re not from a wealthy family like Paris Hilton or if you are not an ultra-lucky person like Gladstone Gander (Donald Duck‘s cousin) who won all the lotteries, don’t expect to get a lot of money without doing anything.

You have to invest your time, energy, mind, effort, and money to be able to produce something.

2. Maintain your seeds and plants

You can’t just sow the seeds and leave them. They may get dehydrated and die. Crows may come and eat them. Take care of them by watering regularly, fertilizing, and protecting them from pests and other threats.

After investing your money, you still have to manage it. If you’re not careful, your money value can grow insignificantly or may even diminish.
Same thing with skills. Once you start learning a skill, you have to keep learning until you master it. If you stop in the middle of the learning process, you will never be able to master it.

3. Wait for your seeds to grow

If you plant your seed tonight, you can’t expect it to fructify in the morning. You need to wait, give it enough time while maintain it so it will grow healthily.

You can’t expect to become a world-class cook overnight, or build a nuclear reactor tomorrow if you just started to learn physics today. Be patient and keep your determination to learn and train and surely you’ll get better in time.

Once again, not everyone is born prodigy. But you don’t have to be one to be successful. Some people became successful very late in their lives. Colonel Sanders started his franchise business in his sixties. Albert Einstein had a speech difficulties in his childhood.

4. Sow the right seed on the right ground

Don’t try to grow Durians in Chicago. Durian is a tropical fruit that will stop growing when the average daily temperatures drop below 22 °C. So if you really really need to grow it there, you’ll need extra efforts, like building a greenhouse. Or grow evergreen plants instead.

So if you’ve trying hard to learn and pick up some skills but you still feel that you’re not improving much, then maybe it’s not your ground. You’ve been learning cooking day and night for the past few years, but your cooking still taste bad. Then maybe you’re not born to cook. Try something else. Or if you really want to cook regardless the fact that you’re not talented, you can get more professional help such as taking cooking courses instead of just learning only from books.

Sometimes, you still want to be able to grow Durians although you live in Chicago. Although there are workarounds for this, you won’t get an optimal result. Just because some people regard Durians as the king of fruit, it doesn’t mean everyone will appreciate it. Some will even hate it, either the taste, the look, or the odor. So be creative and open-minded. You may have great potential talents deep inside you, waiting for you to uncover them.

Not everyone has to be a businessman, or a politician, or a musician, or a scientist. Just because some people think geniuses should be good at math, it doesn’t apply to everyone. Just because people think that medical career promises fame and wealth doesn’t mean that everyone should become a doctor.

There are a lot of geniuses. Some are geniuses in business, some in science, some in language, some in social skills, some in kindness, some in teaching, some in philanthropy, some in sincerity, some in honesty, some in relationship, some in intelligence, some in diligence, and a lot of other qualifications that people can be geniuses in.

Maybe not all kind of skills can make you rich. Being kind and philanthropist many times even cost you money. But successfulness is not only measured by how much money you can earn in life. You don’t have to be rich to become successful. But don’t ignore your potential just because you or others think that it’s not a money-making skill. Appreciate it, improve it, and maintain it. Sometimes you never know when you will need your hidden talents. And if you’ve neglected it, you can only regret when you realize that you actually need it.

5. Focus on certain types of plants instead of trying to plant all of the kind

Your ground and time are not limitless. You don’t have the time to plant all kind of seeds and your ground can only hold so much. So if you try to plant to many seeds, you will harvest a little of everything. It’s usually better to harvest a lot of one thing.

So if you want to pick up a lot of skills, you will end up learning those only on the surface. You will know a lot things but not actually understand them. It’s good to know a lot of things, but you still need to be very good at something — not only know — to be regarded as an outstanding (above average) person. Focus on one or two things you really like or you think you have a good potential in. Being a specialist can distinct you from others.

6. Ask for God’s guidance and blessing

You have planted all your seeds. You take care of them everyday. But it doesn’t rain for months. It’s so dry that you can water your seeds enough. The weather has been so bad, and pests are coming like flood. You can do anything to salvage your plants. You realize, a man can only do so much. You need the divine intervention.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t go against God’s purposes. No matter how hard you train your body, you can still get sick, grow old, and die. No matter how skillful you are, you can’t live without God’s blessing. You have to realize, that everything in the world is not eternal. And everything is in the mercy of the Lord. So not only you have to work hard, you have to maintain a good relationship with God to receive the divine guidance and blessing.

7. After harvesting, sow again

So your seeds have grown and fruitful. You happily enjoy your harvest. Then you stop working. Can you expect another harvest? You have to continue working, continue sowing, continue maintaining, in order for you to continue harvesting.

Even if you already master the skills you want. You will still need to continue sharpening and using it. Otherwise it will become dull.

7 x 7 Things You (Don’t) Know About Me

In order to respect Carla who tagged me, twice; and to respect my sweetheart who asked me to write my things quite a while ago, I decided to write this post.

Okay, not all of those sentences are true, but the latest. In fact, I am quite bored, I want to write something, but I don’t know where to start since I haven’t write anything for a long, long time, so I guess this is a good material to help me start.

If you have noticed the title, it’s a bit different from what others have done, it says 7 things, not 8 things. That’s because I like the number 7. The items will be listed in alphabetical order. So, without further ado, let’s bring the list on.

7 Things I am Passionate About

  1. Tifa LockheartComputer and video games
  2. Food
  3. Information and computer technology
  4. Movies
  5. My family
  6. My sweetheart
  7. Mystery

7 Books I Have Read Recently

  1. BibleBible
  2. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture — Martin Fowler
  3. Ruler of the Land (comic)
  4. Shanao Yoshitsune (comic)
  5. The Data Warehouse Toolkit — Ralph Kimball et al.
  6. The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit — Ralph Kimball et al.
  7. The Pragmatic Programmer — Andrew Hunt et al.

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die

  1. Wedding CakeLive a pleasant life before God.
  2. Marry her and have a couple of sweet kids and several grandkids.
  3. Satisfy my parents’ needs both materially and spiritually.
  4. Start and grow my own company, preferably a game studio.
  5. Stay (not just visit) in Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore, UK, and USA.
  6. Take my family to visit at least one country in each continent on earth, well perhaps except Antarctica.
  7. Write a book and publish it.

7 Things I Have Learnt in These Past Years

  1. Pandora BoxGod does work in mysterious ways.
  2. Google is one of my best friend.
  3. Humans are full of surprises.
  4. No limits in learning.
  5. Promises and commitments are easy to make but difficult to keep.
  6. Sometimes, even the predictable is unpredictable.
  7. True love does exist.

7 Things That Attract Me to My Best Friends

  1. Common interests
  2. Kindness
  3. Sincerity
  4. Can’t think of anything else, I guess I am not too demanding of my friends :p

7 Songs That I Can Listen to Over and Over Again

  1. White Snake LegendBecause of You — Kelly Clarkson
  2. Dragostea Din Tei — O-Zone
  3. Du Qing (White Snake Legend Closing Theme Song) — Gao Sheng Mei
  4. I Need Some Sleep — Eels
  5. Most Christian praise and worship songs
  6. Qian Nian Deng Yi Hui (White Snake Legend Opening Theme Song) — Gao Sheng Mei
  7. Suteki da ne (Final Fantasy X Theme Song) — Ritsuki Nakano (Rikki)

7 Things I Say Often

  1. DOTAAmen
  2. Buzz, dah makan?, dah tidur?, lagi apa?, love you, miss you (only to her)
  3. Damn, shoot, sial, what the…
  4. Double kill, monster kill, triplle kill, killing spree, owning (mimicking the narrator of DOTA)
  5. Edan, gundul, sinting (meaning: crazy)
  6. Hehe
  7. Oh ya? Masak? Mosok? (meaning: really?)

The Church Retreat

Sorry I haven’t written anything in a pretty long time so here it is. My real life doesn’t change as much as I expected that I couldn’t find anything to write. Works, games, comics, movies were really the only things I did lately. The only things different from my routines is on November 15-16, when the Moslems in my country celebrated the “Idul Fitry” day. The government decided that the two days were holidays. Some organizations, not where I work, even made the whole week holidays.

Like other holidays or vacations, I went to Jember to meet my parents and sister. But things rather different this time. GKT Jember, where I usually worshipped God, participated in a 4-days and 3-nights retreat at ITA Lawang about two weeks ago. My sis and I participated too along with about 10 other friends from Jember and Bondowoso. I didn’t get to excited on the kind of thing, but I did hope I would get something there.

Day 1: Get Started

We arrived at Lawang at about 10 AM. Just before the lunch time. A perfect timing. We weren’t the first group that arrived, but we did come early since the opening ceremony was at 5 PM. I explored ITA a while. Things changed a lot since my last visit. Of course it was about 10 years ago hehe. I hardly remembered anything. After a short chitchat with some new guys in the dining room, I decided to go to my dorm and rest.

Ah the opening ceremony, finally all the boring things got started. Um wait a sec’. Boring? What about the girl sitting in front of you? No make that two. They were just fantastic. Gosh I got to know them. A guy beside me asked me to exchange our addresses and phone numbers. No problem, it was so usual in that kind of occassion.

Day 2: Meet the Parents

Really, aside from the sessions, I couldn’t find anything interesting at the retreat. How I missed my computer games. I had an idea, why not borrow a chess board and played some games with my roommate. Fortunately, an old friend of mine were studying at ITA, so I didn’t get any difficulty getting the chess board. I was playing the second game with a roommate in the front park when suddenly a man and a woman came and watched our game. He commented our game but I didn’t give a shit since my side was winning.

Then the man got back to the car, took some snacks, and gaved them to us. Well, I thanked him and started a conversation to show my manner :D. I asked him whether he came to visit his kids? He said yes, as I expected. I asked him their names. He told me that he had three children, two girls and a boy. Their names are Susan, Ruth, and Yong Sin. Um, they sounded familiar. Oh my God, were Susan and Ruth the two attractive girls sitting in front of me the other night. And Yong Sin were the one who asked me to exchange my address and phone number.

Day 3: God, Help Me

Until day 3, I still couldn’t find any good chance to talk privately with the two girls. They were so popular that many people were around them. The sessions also didn’t give me enough free time. While having our lunch, I heard the sound of a guitar playing and I saw the girls sang Josh Groban‘s “You Raise Me Up” with their friends over and over. I see, they must like this song.

Day 4: Farewell

Oh no, this was the last day and I still couldn’t get enough attention from them. What should I do. Uh huh, I accidentally found that their brother loved to play Ragnarok Online. Great, I could use the information. Ah, I don’t know, maybe I’ll just go home and forget them in one or two weeks. Who knows? For now, just say goodbye to them.