And just like that, one month has passed in this new exciting year. It’s been a week since I left Jakarta. I have to admit this is the best Indonesia trip ever; in term of growing as a person and learning about others. It’s been memorable. Some of the lessons I learned during this trip have been nothing short of amazing. In fact, they are incredible for my own personal development.

1. When You Have a Good Intention and Believe in What You Do, the Universe Will Align Itself to Help You in Every Way It Can

I am a big believer in The Secret’s Law of Attraction. You attract to yourself what you think and what you want. When I came up with the idea of celebrating Christmas with the children at the orphanage, I had no idea what I was going to do, who I was going to go with, how I was going to put the event together, etc. In short, I had no idea what I was doing. All I know is I have an intention to make the Christmas a memorable one for some.

It starts with one email, one phone call, one friend, one step at a time. From there, I met so many people (new acquaintances and old friends alike) who possess similar interest and are ready to help out, either through monetary mean or getting involved directly with the project. Things just fell into place for me. I left Jakarta with 5 charities under my belt and more will be coming.

2. You Don’t Always Need to Have a Reason When You Want to Help

When I organized these charities, some people came up to me and asked why I did these charities. And my answer has always been ‘No reason, I just want to do it.’ Even people who have known me for a while can’t believe that I am doing it. To them, it’s not something that they can see myself doing.

People who don’t know me well questioned my motivation because of the way I carry myself. I am care-free so it seems like I don’t give a damn about a lot of things. That is true, to an extent. I don’t give a damn about thing I don’t need to give a damn about. But these charities happen to be things that I give a damn about.

Do I really need a reason for helping others? Not really. All I need is a conscious mind about what it is that I want to do.

3. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

We all have heard this one before but I just want to reaffirm on how true this statement is. Prior to my trip, I was counting on a friend to show me around. Not that I don’t have other friends but she is a close friend so I was counting on her while I was in Jakarta. In the end, it didn’t quite work out that way. Work schedule, busy appointment, sudden change of mind and few other reasons prevented her from doing what I was hoping she would.

I re-adjusted and reached out to others. People stepped up and filled the void. It opened up the opportunities for me to discover a lot of new things I would have otherwise missed. I reconnected with some old friends. I met new people who I learned so much from. It would have been a damn shame to miss all that.

The moral of the story is if something you planned didn’t go as planned, be flexible and re-adjust the plan. It’s not the end of the world. Sometimes, even better things will come out of it, as in my case. Give it a chance and everything will work itself out.

4. Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

It’s nothing new. I am sure we have all been guilty at one point or another in passing judgment too quickly on others. We are human after all and definitely not immune from making this mistake.

I met a new acquaintance and the circumstance around how we met was not what I would call typical or pleasant. I didn’t pass judgment at the time although I did form a first impression. People keep telling me the first impression is the one that sticks. I disagree. Keeping a first impression on others is no different than passing judgment too soon.

We went out a couple of times. We had long talks; about life, about love, about whatever. When I finally get to know the real her, it was nothing like what I was told or the impression I had about her. She is so much more than that. Everybody has a life story to tell. If you care to listen, you will be amazed with what you would hear.

5. Believe in the Good of People

It didn’t take long for me to see the good in others. As soon as I arrived in Jakarta, I went to a bank to open an account. When I got off the car, somehow I dropped my wallet on the street. I didn’t notice it and my aunt who was behind me didn’t notice it either. A moment later an older gentleman approached my aunt and asked whether that was her wallet. He probably saw us coming out of the car where he discovered the wallet. I did reward the gentleman.

My aunt said ‘You are lucky. Normally you would never see the light and day of your wallet again should it be someone else who found your wallet.’ I said to my aunt ‘No aunt, you are wrong. It has nothing to do with my luck. It has a lot to do with me believing in others. The reason I got my wallet back because I believe in the good of people. I believe whoever found it would do the right thing by returning it and he showed me I am right.’ You can call me naive but being positive has turned my life from good to amazing.

6. When It Comes to Romance, Keep Your Focus on One And Only One

I was guilty of trying to juggle between too many dates at the same time. But dating is not exactly the kind of thing you want to multi-task on. Yes, going out with different people can be fun. But can you really enjoy the company of one person while at the back of your head, you have someone else in mind? You will appear not only insincere, but also desperate.

While there’s nothing wrong with dating multiple people, ultimately you will have to keep your focus on one person. You can’t have the same intention on multiple people unless all you want is a booty-call.

I learned it the hard way, but a good lesson nonetheless. 😉

7. Take a Good Care of Your Health

I left Jakarta on a sad note. My uncle passed away due to heart attack. I am not here to say my uncle didn’t take a good care of his health because he did. I am here to reaffirm the importance of good health, mentally and physically.

Although you can’t predict when your time is up, you should still do your best to take a good care of your health. It is not only your responsibility to yourself, but it’s also your responsibility to your family and your loved ones. When your time is up because of your poor decision regarding your health, you will leave behind your loved ones to grief the loss. It’s not exactly love you show them now is it? In fact, I think it’s selfish.

So start today … live a healthier lifestyle, eat right, exercise routinely, balance your work-life. When you are in tip-top shape physically, your mind will feel the same way.

Thank you Jakarta and everyone who I crossed path with. You’ve been awesome.

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