What Revolution Will You Lead?

Now it goes down to this one simple question, which is not so simple to answer…

If I had written this post about one and a half month ago, I might have written boldly about how I want to lead a revolution in education, especially in my home country.

But then some things happened, and I was faced with some harsh realities (which I now realize that it may just be my reality) that made me feel not so sure about it. It even made me skip this LYL challenge for a month. I don’t want this post to be too long, so if you really want to know about what happened, you may read the story in the other post. (link to be updated)

It made me so doubtful of myself. I seriously doubted my competence and capabilities to actually lead that kind of revolution. I feel like I’ve really screwed up and feel so small that there’s no way I’d be able to do that.

But after a few pep talk with myself, talking to people (more like exchanging ideas, not talking about my problems though), and a lot of prayers.. I finally tell myself that I just gotta do it. I just gotta do something, anything I can think of, anything I could possibly do right now. Who cares if I can or cannot do it? I still want to make it happen. At least I know where I want to go. I’ll do something and I might at least learn something, no matter how little it is. Eventually I’ll figure out how to get there.

So here’s the revolution I want to lead. Continue Reading

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What Difference Do You Want To Make?

Okay, I know this challenge is long overdue; it’s supposed to be a 7 days blog challenge and I started it in mid April.. now it’s almost the end of May and I still haven’t completed these challenges.

But..well, I guess finishing late is better than never finishing at all, huh?

So the big question of the (supposed to be) 6th day of the challenge is:

What difference do you want to make in the world? What impact do you want to have? How do you want to make things a little better for society? What do you want to be remembered for once you’re gone?

Now that I think about it, I guess what I really want to do is to live my life fully aware, and help people to build awareness as well. I want people (and especially myself, of course) to live their lives fully aware, because awareness is the first (but I believe it’s the most important) thing that actually gives us purpose to do something. Our level of awareness determines how we make decisions. We make decisions and act based on what we’re aware of.

I think I’ve ever read somewhere that we are creatures of routines. Perhaps we are so adapted in living in routines that most of the time, most of us might not realize that we’re living lives in some kind of autopilot. Since we all make decisions and act based on what we know and are aware of, don’t you think that awareness is actually very essential here?

Now, being aware makes a whole lot difference. It is different from simply knowing. Perhaps you might know something, let’s say, an information; if you are not aware that the information is relevant to the situation that you are facing, most likely you wouldn’t include that information in your situation. Therefore, even if we have knowledge or power, without awareness, most likely these knowledge or power wouldn’t live to its true purpose.

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Why Do I Choose to Focus on Education?

This post is mostly a reminder to myself, but I guess it’d be great if it gives any benefit to anyone else, so here goes..

First of all, I believe that there is an eternal life after death. I believe in the afterlife. I believe that how or where we end up in the afterlife, is determined on how we “perform” in this life on earth. Surely we would want to end up in the best place in afterlife. Therefore, there’s a purpose in this life. There are missions to complete. It’s all stated in the Qur’an.

I choose to pursue a career in education because I believe it gives me a wide opportunity to reach that purpose. Given the reality of our country’s education up until today, I realize that I have goals, ideas and wishes I want to accomplish in the field of education.

It’s true that learning is a never ending journey. We’re all actually learning as we live. Even so, not many of us realize that. It’s possible that it is caused by the way we’ve been educated in schools, where we usually don’t really feel the joy of learning. Well, do you? I mean, do you remember all those tests you had to take when you were in school? Did you actually enjoy learning all those things? Did you actually want to learn all those things? Or did you learn them just because you’re told to do so? Did you learn them just because you had to pass all those tests? Did you know why you had to learn all those things? Did you make use most of those things you learnt?

If you answered no to most of those questions, don’t be disappointed. I’m quite sure most people might answered the same. At least I did. :)

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What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

What are you excited about? Why are you excited about it?

I’m excited about making a reformation on education in Indonesia. I’m excited about how learning is supposed to be an enjoyable journey. I like sharing ideas about how school is supposed to be, and how school can be like. I’m excited about learning about Finland’s education system.

Why education? Because I believe that education is a powerful thing that shapes us as human, improving our qualities and our lives. I believe that education can influence many people, touch a lot of lives. School ages are the golden ages, where children learn many things, interact with different people, getting to know the world, experiencing many things that eventually build their character. It’s a critical phase in life, and it would be such a shame if we falsely focused on testing and standardizing children’s abilities, and losing the substance of learning process.

It’s sad to see the reality of education in Indonesia (or even in many parts of the world), where the quality of education is so uneven. High quality means high costs; therefore only wealthy ones have the chance of getting high quality education. That being said, higher cost doesn’t always guarantee the quality either. Since the system always focuses on testing and grading students, school seems to be such a dreadful place, where kids feel pressured to meet so many standards, because they are judged based on what they can or cannot do. It ignores the unique nature in every individual, as if turning them away from who they really are. Perhaps that’s why we are often so unsure about our lives, not daring to push ourselves and find what we’re truly passionate about.

I believe school is supposed to be preparing us to live in the real world, teaching us the know-hows, helping us to realize our potentials, our passion; instead of pushing us to learn many things and pass standardized tests without knowing how to apply it in our lives. I believe teachers are supposed to be mentors, who actually know their students personally, helping them to grow, to personally develop theirselves. I believe teachers should be the ones who know their students best (aside of the parents, of course) so they’d know better how to “test” their competence -because students’ capabilities are different!-, instead of a national curriculum that changes everytime.

I’m excited to share these kind of ideas with people who have similar concerns, and willing to do something to create a more learning-friendly environment. Those who are willing to make the best experience out of our schools, our education. I want to make education better in Indonesia. It’s a very long way to go, but I’m excited to start the journey.

Bismillah..

What’s The One Thing You’re Proud Of?

The one thing I’m proud of, is probably being able to push myself out a lot from my comfort zone, and discovering a lot more of myself from doing so. One of which is by making a contra-popular decision to leave my job in corporate business and starting a career in education, although my background has been rather scientific. I sort of have written about this in my other post, but I guess today there are more things I am aware of, compared to when I wrote the post.

What started out as one act of pushing myself out of the comfort zone (leaving such a promising job, rank, salary), continued to extract a greater will to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone, until I realized that I’ve discovered things I never knew I had. I’ve never felt so alive before. I realized that there’s this huge potential I’ve never noticed at all. Where have I been all my life?

The thing is, I always thought of myself as an introvert, an antisocial. Meeting people was the least thing I’d like to do. I don’t like to open up to people I barely know, I don’t want to seem stupid or vulnerable. I even passed up a lot of group hangouts, avoiding places where I might bump into somebody I know. I’d rather avoid being in awkward situation of not being able to start or keep a conversation going.

But ever since I decided to leave my job, somehow I started to push myself to do things I don’t usually do, because I’m changing my life and career direction into something (almost) completely new to me. So I guess I had to try to do things in a different way. I started to make new acquaintances, at first it was because I needed some information, and most of my existing friends or colleagues wouldn’t know about it because most of them are in the same or similar background like mine (i.e., engineering/industrial).

Realizing that I need much more information and insights, I start meeting more and more people. And then I realized I actually liked it. I liked meeting people, getting new ideas,  knowledge, insights. I even got kind of addicted to it.

I used to avoid meeting people, but now I feel like I wouldn’t pass up a chance to meet people, even meeting someone new. I just realized how much I enjoy building a network, getting to know awesome people, listening to their great ideas, even sharing them my thoughts and ideas.

I am proud of myself for being able to push through what I thought was the limit, to find new opportunities out there, and most importantly, to discover so much potential in me.

Featured image from  The Worry Free Life.