Being On Time

If you made an appointment at 10am, it means you need to show up at 10:00, not 10:15 or 10:30. 10:05 can still be tolerated as people sometime unintentionally set their clock 5 minute late. But definitely not 30 minutes late.

Make all effort to attend meeting or appointment in time. Leave early and aim to arrive 15-30 minutes in advance. Wait at nearby coffee shop within walking distance of your meeting, rather than somewhere that risk you to be caught in the traffic jam. By being in time, you show respect to other people time, and the higher importance you put to the meeting or the person you are going to meet. All these little things will bring you a long way forward.

You have made every effort to show up in time for your flight. Why not trying to do the same with your other appointment? Besides, I don’t ask you to be there 2 hours before, only 15 minutes before.

Ketika Uang Menjadi Tujuan Akhir

Editor’s Note: I found my post from 2010 when I clean up some of my old blogs. Four years later, I still agree with what I wrote about money. The post was posted in Bahasa Indonesia. It is about a small talk with a friend who have a young family with 1 baby, who is so keen to work overtime for money, in order to be able to buy bigger house. With experience teaching few teenagers, I compare what they said about their wealthy parents, versus what my friend understand of his baby’s need. Read on….

“Soalnya gua butuh uang”, seorang teman berkata. “Siapa sih yang nggak”, jawab saya sambil ketawa. Well, who doesn’t need money, right? “Makanya gua mau lembur di hari Sabtu, duitnya lumayan”, jawaban teman saya, yang membuat saya terdiam.

Teman saya ini seorang keluarga muda, dengan anak yang berusia kurang dari setahun. Kami bekerja di kantor yang sama, dan karena kami memegang jabatan yang kurang lebih sama, saya yakin bahwa teman saya ini tidak berkekurangan untuk membeli susu, membeli makanan, atau sekedar untuk menyekolahkan anaknya di sekolah yang cukup memadai pada saatnya nanti.

Teman saya pun melanjutkan: “Iya gua mau DP rumah”. Yap. That’s a very valid reason for working extra hard to earn more cash. Been there, done that.

“Tapi, kapan lu ketemu anak istri? Lu kan masih punya bayi kecil?”, jawab saya terheran. Kalau saya di posisi dia, pasti saya memilih untuk menghabiskan waktu akhir pekan bersama keluarga. “Yah, mau gimana lagi? Gua udah punya kalkulasi kalau mau punya anak 3, jadi perlu rumah seberapa besar, dan berapa total uang yang dibutuhkan. Dan sampai saat ini, jumlah uang yang dibutuhkan masih jauh”, teman saya menjawab.

Saya menarik nafas panjang. Apakah dengan membeli rumah idaman, dengan kamar mewah seperti kamar hotel bintang 5 sudah cukup untuk anak kita? Apakah dengan menyekolahkan mereka ke sekolah terbaik dan termahal di dunia akan membuat anak kita merasa puas? Apakah memang sebuah keluarga cukup dibangun dengan satuan UANG? Apakah uang menjadi tujuan akhir?

Ada beberapa orang yang saya tahu sangat bekecukupan, bahkan berkelebihan. Dengan bekerja paruh waktu sebagai guru les privat sewaktu kuliah memberikan kesempatan saya untuk mendengarkan keluh kesah dari anak-anak dari keluarga yang berkelebihan ini, yang bersekolah di sekolah ternama yang cukup mahal, yang mungkin kamarnya 2 kali ukuran kamar saya, yang setiap datang & pulang diantar dengan mobil yang mahal. Dan yang dikeluhkan anak-anak ini adalah: Orang tua tidak pernah cukup waktu dengan mereka.

Sejak kecil, mereka diasuh oleh pembantu. Pergi sekolah diantar supir, pulang dijemput supir, makan disiapkan pembantu, dan belajar bersama guru les privat seperti saya ini. Orang tua? Yah, memberikan uang jajan, mengambil rapor, melarang ini itu.

Sayangnya, uang sebanyak apapun tidak bisa membeli waktu yang telah lewat. Kita tidak bisa mengulang waktu anak kita pertama kali mulai berjalan, yang mungkin saja terjadi waktu teman saya ini sedang lembur di hari Sabtu. Atau saat anak kita mulai bicara. Atau makan malam bersama istri tersayang, sambil melakukan pembicaraan-pembicaraan yang menghibur.

Everything need money, but money is not everything. When money become the end result, one day we will be wondering, where is time? What has happen in the world out there?

Invest Time on Your Kid

An interesting discussion with my wife this mourning about this topic was started by a cue from radio: What action do you do, as parent, in relation to your kids using social media?

“Our friend’s kid is using Instagram. I think it trained him to learn to see different angle for photography”, said my wife.

“True, but the parents need to actively participate in helping him learn, to see new angle”. I said “In fact, it is not only in Social Media. In any other things, parent need to invest their time to participate, may it be a lego, bicycle, or swimming”

The more I think about it, the phenomena that younger kids start to use social media and smart phone is nothing unusual. It is similar like kids playing Lego, crayon, watching TV, or playing bicycle. The Social Media will become a problem, if parents use it as replacement for nanny-ing their kids. In other words, parents pass the social media and smart phone to distract their kids so that they can do something else.

Like any other in young kid’s life, it will require active participation from parents. Lego is good to help kids solve problem, visualize shapes and improve fine motor skills. But without adult play with them, the Lego might end up in their mouth, or missing somewhere under the fridge or table. An adult need to be with them to tell them the great thing you can do with Lego bricks.

Same thing with crayon. That little was full of color might end up on your wall, or even worse, in your kid’s stomach. We need to play with them, tell them the fun great thing that they can do with it. It is no different that ipad. We need to invest our time in it.

So, ipad or not, smart phone or not, invest your time with your kids. Most thing that you do can probably wait.-

Time is the Real Measure of Wealth

If you still think the amount of money you have are the real measure of wealth, ask yourself this question: If you know that today will be your last day to live, how much money you are willing to spend to live with your loved one for another day? To see your kids grow up, graduate and getting married?

Most people will answer: Everything!

When it come to the amount of money a person can have, the sky is the limit. Each year we keep reading about the richest person in the world. And they seems to always grow in wealth. But, when it come to the amount of time a person will have, there are nobody that have unlimited time in this world. Some will die old, thus have longer time, while other will die young. But everyone will die eventually.

There are also another unique property of time: Time can’t be saved for later use. Everyone got 24 hours a day, whether it is used for good, or wasted. You can’t really say “Oh, I’m going to only use 22 hours today, so I can have 26 hours a day tomorrow”.

People will usually say that they are saving time when they are doing their task faster. But it is a quite different concept when compared to money. People save money so it can be used for later date. But when it come to time, when people say that they are saving time, it is simply that they can do some other things earlier, not using the saved time for later use.

The affluent seems to understand this. If you come to their home, look how many people are working around their home. The cleaner, gardener, and maid, all is being paid so that the owner can have their time to do something else. So they pay people’s time to do task that can be delegated.

And when they travel on business class, or staying in expensive hotel, or drinking a good wine, they would say: “Having a good time.” Yes, they want to enjoy the particular moment.

So, next time you decide to do something, think about it: is it the best way to spend your time?