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“You can’t be in a happy relationship unless you are happy- and you’re the only person who can make you happy.”- Laura Doyle When a person fall in love and enter a new relationship, there’s usually this unrealistic expectation that says, “Maybe this new person will finally make me  complete.” A thought that says, “I will finally be happy when I’m with X…” However, these are dangerous thoughts, which usually ends up breaking the relationship apart. For when love the feeling fades- and it will- you will realize that more often than not, your new partner doesn’t make you any happier. That they can’t make you happier…  This then highlights an important truth about relationships: your happiness is your own responsibility.  You can never expect your spouse to make you happy because your partner is never responsible for your happiness; you are. And this too applies for your partner’ happiness.…

“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Roy T. Bennett Under the piercing heat of the sun, standing proudly amidst the dusty Indonesian streets, dwell a bunch of fascinating characters called Pak Ogah. These creatures with their sun burnt skin, unkempt hair and sweat soaked clothes would stand in groups of 2 or 3, with their cheaply made batons and orange whistles. Some of them would try to emulate the look of a traffic police- neon vests, red whistles and black batons- but their messy look and bare feet soon give off their true identity. These creatures would move from one intersection to another intersection and help Indonesian drivers cross the road, make U-turns or make illegal…

“The acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience! “The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience”- Mark Manson Look around you and you will find that a world is a shitty place to live. Scan the news and you will see that people around the world are suffering- wars, terrorism, injustice, racism, jealousy, hatred, murder. But one doesn’t need to look very far, look at your own life and you will see that your life too, is full of suffering. Although the cause of suffering can’t be pinpointed (bad karma, God, one’s actions or decisions), one thing is certain: suffering is inevitable, no matter who you are, whatever choice you make, you will suffer. Like the Buddha said, to live is to suffer. So if suffering is inevitable, what then…

“When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are. Don’t take it personally.”- Anonymous People can be very nasty at times, the French Prime Minister even once said “The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” It was no surprise then, that many ancient philosophers preferred retreating into nature than surrounding themselves with the company of men. They preferred to preserve their tranquility than face the various human drama of the real world. However, living in an era of connectivity, it’s very hard to be a lone hermit. We relied on others to get our needs and wants. We relied on others for our safety. How then can we maintain our tranquility (remaining cool as cucumber) while living in this hyper-connected world? Well the Ancient Stoics have few suggestions on the subject. One Stoic (I think it was…

“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.” —Ginni Rometty In my previous post, I have briefly described the various advancement in AI technologies that have been happening the past few years and its potential implications on our future. Those advancement showed that AI technologies can potentially be so much better at pattern recognition, data collection and decision making than humans. However, don’t despair just yet. Many technology experts still believe that there are three areas that AIs still having trouble mastering: idea creation, large frame pattern recognition and complex communication. Let’s dissect those three skills further. Idea creation: In their book the Second Machine Age, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson said, “Ideation in its many forms is an area today where humans have a comparative advantage over machines. Scientists come up…

People are spending way too much time thinking about climate change, way too little thinking about AI.- Peter Thiel In my previous post, I described the problem with humanism and posed some questions that many technology experts around the world have been asking: What will happen once super machines became smarter than (faulty) human beings? What will the future looks like for human beings? Is there any hope for humans? This might sound new to many Indonesian; for we live in a developing country where technological developments are barely happening. However, just because technological advancements are not happening in our country, doesn’t mean it’s not important to us. Technological developments as I will explain later, will have global repercussions and will hit developing countries the hardest. Thus, let’s start by noting three significant AI breakthroughs that will have tremendous impacts on humanity.’s future AI defeating the best GO Player- GO…

“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”- Stephen Hawking Three years ago, when I started this blog, I would never imagine that I would be writing an article about AIs and technological trends of the future. This was because I’m starting a blog about happiness and I don’t see how technology will significantly affect human happiness or fulfillment. Technology definitely made us more efficient and effective race; but it has little or no correlation to our happiness… until today. The rapid technological development that has been happening the past few years have changed my position on the subject and compelled me to write this post. I no longer see technology as a mere tool that will make our tasks easier, but a potential threat to human happiness and well-being, if…

“Information is not knowledge.”- Albert Einstein The information revolution that the Internet has ushered into our lives has brought so much good to the world. Information is no longer hoarded by few powerful individuals and people have now the means to educate themselves, gain insights into what’s happening in the world and change their lives in the process. However, this democratization of information have also brought various problems: hoax, piracy, responsibility, racial disharmony, riots and the biggest one: differentiating good information and necessary information. Let me break down the problem for you: Human have very limited attention span. There is so much information out there, and all of it sounded urgent, important and personal.  We try to consume those information faster, and as a result, we forgot why we consume those information in the first place: To gain new insights, or as Albert Einstein like to put it, to gain…

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”- Christina Baldwin Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group has a very fascinating habit. After making important business decision, he would open up his journal and write the reason behind the decision he just made. According to his biography, this exercise will help him reflect the ‘whys’ behind his every decision. It turns out that he was not alone in this. People like Emma Watson, Mark Twain, Lady Gaga, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie and the great emperor Marcus Aurelius have kept some sort of journal to evaluate their life decisions, day and values. According to the stoics,  journaling is one of the fastest way to improve oneself. Journaling can give you awareness to your inner thoughts and feelings; remind you to what matters most and help you measure your life’s progress. So starting a journaling habit is probably one of the best…

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne Few weeks ago, I ended my article by describing the dilemma of being yourself: To be yourself sometimes means to be rejected and shunned by others. To give in to social pressure and don a social mask means to lose touch with your own identity, your soul. What then shall we do? I realize that the advice “be yourself” is not that simple and is usually only applicable to successful people and the ultra rich who have amassed enough power and fame to be themselves.  Most of us works in a 9-5 job, has a boss to please. customer to wow and office politics to survive. Hence, I would argue that being yourself is the fastest way to lose your…