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The stoics are ancient Athenians philosophers who became famous in the early third century BC. Their teachings have survived and spread to the 21st Century and was practiced by many famous people like Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, Pete Caroll,  and President Theodore Roosevelt. What makes their teachings still relevant today is its practicality to  modern life. Instead of focusing on complicated theories and vague ideas, the ancient stoic philosophers taught us how to overcome life’s many difficulties with logic and self awareness.  Below are the distillation of their many good advice on becoming a more resilient, virtuous and wiser individuals: (*) Develop self awareness: You can’t fix what you don’t know. Thus, the first step to becoming a practicing stoic is to observe ourselves as we go about our daily business and periodically reflect on how we responded to the day’s events. Use a journal, use an app, use…

“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.”- King Solomon, Proverbs Recently I just had a fascinating conversation with a close friend of mine on the issue of anger. This person felt that anger was such a destructive emotion that she felt it was very wrong to be angry. The thought really puzzled me because if anger is very wrong then we are all wrongdoers for we all feel anger from time to time.  Asking an emotional being not to feel any emotions (anger in particular) is like asking monkey not to eat a banana or hoping that there will be no traffic jam in Jakarta. We, as emotional beings, can’t go through life without feeling emotions and besides, emotions have their uses. Scientists have agreed that our emotions (especially the negative ones) are necessary knee jerk reactions that have…

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” – C.S. Lewis Bad things happen to good and bad people alike. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, Indonesian or European, religious or not religious. The world is never fair, the world is just is… Sufferings happened to the best and the worst of us. We lose things all the time: our time, money, loved ones and possessions. So if bad days will come, and you know there’s nothing you can do to change it, you might as well prepare for it. The Ancient Stoics have recommended few ways we can steel our heart against grief. Here’s…

“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”- Mark Manson Contrary to popular belief, converting a negative experience into a positive experience is not done by visualizing positive stuff, adopting a positive belief or babbling some positive affirmation in front of a mirror.  The problem with inducing these ‘positivity rituals’ is that they don’t solve our problems. They only help us escape our problems for a brief moment by giving us a ‘good feeling.’ Like what Mark Manson said in his phenomenal book Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, “Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering.” Thus, the way to turn negative experience into a positive one is to accept the negative experience as…

“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…

“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…

“Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life”- Chris Guillebeau The great psychiatrist, Victor Frankl once said, “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” In other words, one of our most important task as a human being is to answer this question “How do we want to live our life?” Because the answer to that question will help us find what makes your life worthwhile, and how to prioritize our lives. Answering this question is important because in a world full of entertaining distractions (Game of Thrones, Avengers Endgame, Mobile Legends and Instagram stories), it is really hard to focus on what matters…