College Degree, Is It Becoming Worthless?

Unemployment reach 7%, scarcity of jobs in various country, companies are firing their employee to cut down cost, the world looks on fire from the perspective of newspaper these day. But is it true that the world is having a down turn? Of course not at everything, we could even say that the world as we live in now is much better than the world a century ago. First, industrial revolution replace labor worker with machine that brings more efficiency and control, industrial revolution change the way we live too. We could enjoy more product diversity with less cost, customizable goods with high quality material, and mass production of everything. Crops and farming are not the major contributor to a nation Gross Domestic Product anymore, it was replaced by textile, alumunium, steel, and other commodity. We enjoy the output of industrial revolution and pay the price as well, pollution from plants, automobile, airplane, more trees are cutted down for office use. Now we are still paying the price, we are being dependent on oil, coal, and pollute our environment to maintain the lifestyle our parents had in the last century.

Then another breakthrough was invented in the late 1990, the internet. Like industrial revolution, it brings more effciency and value to us. We don’t need to pay enormous price to have a phone call to other country or even continent, books are replaced with pdf files in our tablet, and the most important is the unlimited access to all knowledge in the world. We call it “the knowledge era”. Knowledge are available to anyone who seek it for free or very little price, all university textbooks are available to be downloaded, and there is even an online learning that we don’t have to attend a class to hear a lecture. What is the impact to job scarcity? Well, just like in industrial revolution where labor worker are replaced by machine, now less people are needed to complete a task. Only people with valuable knowledge and problem solver are hired in the company, and more manual worker with less contribution are fired.

College kid like Zuckerberg, facebook inventor becomes a billionaire, surpassing the wealth of many CEO. This rarely happened in the past where people work from the lowest position and climb the rank. Start up companies are generating millions in their first year of operation, and they are the power today, hiring people to solve customer problem. And we won’t go back to the way it were where companies hiring numbers of people in a big scale. This is an evolution we are passing, and like any other evolution we could adapt, or extinct. The question remains, is college degree a necessity?

I would say it is nice to have for 90% of young people who want to work in big companies and climb up the ladder, living a conservative life and be in a crowd filling resume, applying to various company. What about the 10%? They still probably go to college, not for a degree but rather because they want to learn the discipline in the fields and use it to solve customer problem in their start up company. From where I stand, I don’t see a scarcity of job, but I see a scarcity of entrepreneur who make a job vacancy.

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The Illusion of Time: 10% Peace of Mind

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

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I often hear people complaining about their too busy schedule and exhausting work they have to do everyday. I’m sure every of us living in a big city like New York, Tokyo, London, and my city, Jakarta have heard people saying things like:

“I wish I had 48 hours a day”

“Oh no, I don’t have time to deal with this”

“I might as well work all night long”

“I wish I had the time to practice my hobby”

“If only my children could grow up faster”

“I’m too busy these day, I never have time for myself”

They seems exhausted by the things they did today and they have to do next, most of them would rush from one task to another, thinking if they could rest after they finished it all. Sadly, it rarely does. Another project coming up, another task to do, children to nurture, and countless “things to do next” lining up on our notebook. It would be a mistake to think that if they fasten working tempo, they would save more time to do things they love.

The essence of my post is not to teach how to be more productive, efficient, and effective (although I’m competent to teach about it) but I’m trying to enlightened my readers to have a paradigm about time and tasks. Time is limited, we were given only twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and fifty two weeks a year. And only God knows how many years we have left. We couldn’t change the amount of time we had daily, but we do have the freedom to choose tasks we do. We could say “no” to tasks we have no interest in doing, cut the amount of “doing random things that leads nowhere”, and prioritizing our activities.

“Things to do” list on my notebook never goes empty, for every task I finished and crossed from the list, I would write another task shortly. Not because I didn’t write the new task there earlier on purpose, but because it just came to my attention at the time. It became a pain for me earlier, as a human being trying to enhance quality of my life at many different aspect, I always had a project in mind. Although those project are contributing to my long-term happiness and meaning in life, sometimes I would feel bad for not finishing it at the time table I made earlier.

One true phrase I’m quoting today is:

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse”

It all roots in priority we have, when we say that our family is our priority, we would make time for them no matter what. Yes, a man may need to work to give a decent living condition for his family, but leaving a legacy to his children is more important than trying to strive for the next promotion. Even if people are given 48 hours a day, we would still complain we have more. The man problem is not in having a limited time but rather in having priority in life.

Just like a car needs gas to run, we need to have time for nurturing our well-being. We need to reflect on life and what we want out of it, to make sure we won’t regret our priority in our death bed. And what about doing all the things my Boss ask me to do? Well, I would answer it this way, “If you submit it all today, what is the probability of your Boss giving you a one month holiday instead of giving you another pile of task?” I think what we can do about it is to do it the best we can, in the time we have allotted for it, and stop trying to rush finishing it all.

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Dreamy: Best Landscape Compilation

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Dreamy: Sunrise to Sunset

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Dreamy: Landscape on the Horizon

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What We Think Is What We Got

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“Such is the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercises, even over the appearance of external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision.”
― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

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Have you ever had a mini deja vu? Yesterday or last week you were thinking about something you want or vision, and today you got exactly what you were thinking. It looks supernatural of course, but viewing from psychological perspective it isn’t a rocket science. You may have read or heard about a very popular book several years ago titled “The Secret”. It was a groundbreaking book about the power of our thoughts, how it translates to reality and the importance of having a vision in life. What I’m saying here is not merely supernatural events happening, it is about the subconscious mind working without us realizing it is working right now as you read this post. Everything we see, hear, and feel is recorded in our brain. The first time you ride a bike, what your parents said about you, how you react in the previous similar situation, etc. Our subconscious mind never stop working, even when we are sleeping we had dreams which represents our deepest thoughts and feelings.

In daily practice it translates to our action, when we believe that we are competent person we behave like a competent person in the fields we are working at. And so does the reverse. There’s an experiment where students are told they were less capable than students in other classes, when actually they have the same average score previously. What happened next was surprising, they did perform worst than the other classes compared. But when they are told that they were being experimented, their average score improve again to the previous level. What I’m higlihgting here is the importance of our perspective on ourselves and public view regarding us. We could deny negative public view (like when we are being gossiped), but if we are not strong enough, or if we don’t have a strong values we will be swayed by the negative effect.

We have to reflect from very early on what traits and beliefs we have, assess whether it is reflected in our action daily and formulate a self development plan from the weaknesses we have. It’s no shame to have weakness, I used to have a discipline problem, so. I disciplined myself using pain/pleasure for my action. By knowing my strength and weakness I know if I’m going to be tempted by others proposition or not. When we know we would succumb to a temptation, we could do better in avoiding it at all.

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South Africa: Day 10-11 -Going Back to Singapore, Garden by the Bay, Marina, Orchard

Today I took a flight to Singapore via Johannesburg, from Cape Town at ten o’clock. That means waking up at five, having a quick breakfast at 6.45-7.00 and going to airport at seven. While waiting for departure we went to shop inside Cape Town Airport titled “Out of Africa”, a souvenir shop carrying clothes, keychain, doll, and others African themed goods. After two hours flight we arrived at O. R. Tambo Airport at Johannesburg to pick up passengers and foods, also changing the airplane crew. We can’t get out of the plan while on the ground for more than one hour and got pretty bored inside, but I decided to finished the movie I watched earlier. I didn’t sleep on the way from Cape Town because I knew I needed to sleep on the next flight to avoid jet lag when arriving in Singapore later, so I watched “300” and “The Other Woman” on the flight. When I knew I had seven hours left on flight, I decided to sleep for the rest of flight while listening to music with my Bose QC15 that blocks most of the engines noise.

Four sleeping position and one bathroom visit later, I woke up refreshed and ready for today’s activity. The flight arrived in Singapore at six in the morning local time, or midnight in South Africa. My sleeping schedule is ruined for today, I had jet lag and couple times sleeping when I shouldn’t have, so does my mother and sister. Today we visited Garden by the Bay, a plants and flower conservatorium from all over the world. It cost $28 for each person to go to both dome, one for flower and one for plants. Inside the dome are cold, the temperature is preserved for the plants growth and the waterfall inside doesn’t make it any better.

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We left our baggage earlier in Supreme Hotel, the cheapest hotel near orchard road with not-so-friendly receptionist. Then we arranged a meeting with our cousin to go to his office in the east side of Singapore, thirty minutes taxi ride from Marina Bay. We met and eat together in Din Tai Fung Marina Bay. We also talked and surveyed his office for making wristwatches and chatted about our other cousins after eating. His office is located in an industrial area, about 10X10 meter in size.

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We were tired, need to sleep, and starved after leaving cousin’s office so we want to go back to Orchard Road for dinner and buying supplies. And we did, in an uncommon way. First we took a bus number 520 which goes to Orchard for one hour ride, but in the middle of the ride we think it’s better to ride a taxi for more convenient and shorter time span, so we got off the bus and look for a taxi. It turned out that we are looking taxi in the wrong time, most taxi driver have to switch with their friends for another shift at five until six o’clock, but finally we manage to have a ride to downtown.

We went straight to Takashimaya, one of the biggest and most complete mall in Singapore for dinner, we ate in the food court for about $10 each person and bought water supplies for the following days. Tired and in a bad mood, we took another ride to hotel and sleep for the day. Finally I could sleep and lay my body on a bed.

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South Africa: Day 9 -Cape Town, Bo Kaap, Stellenbosch Winery, Century City Mall

At morning I take a walk to the beach near my hotel with my friend from the tour group.

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The first thing we done today is city tour around Cape Town, we look at The House of Parliament, City Hall, Statue of Van Ridjick and his wife, Castle of Good Hope, and other tourist interest places. We also visited a colorful houses where Moslem people lives together in the city, very bright and colorful place named Bo Kaap. And the last place on city tour today is diamond shop, we were explained on how to make diamonds into jewelry and the tools they use. My mom bought one, a Blue Mystique ring which glow beautifully when shinned.

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Then we went to Stellenbosch for wine tasting, but we stopped at the city for touring around and shopping. We stopped at the town for one hour and bought leather goods, Africa is a popular and cheap places to buy leather goods, specially ostrich skin.

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We arrived at Neethlingshof Winery at twelve and had a tour around the winery farm and utilities for making wine into bottles, and they made 1.2 million bottles every year. The harvesting period is from January to April, so at the other months they had no activity except promoting the wine itself. The scenery around the farm is spectacular when I got in, so I rushed a bit for my lunch to have a forty-five minutes walk around the farm. I also took a photograph similar to the one they use on their bottles label.

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At three o’clock we went back to Cape Town for one hour and went shopping at Century City Mall, the largest mall in South Africa.

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South Africa: Day 8 -Seal Island, Cape of Good Hope, Chapman’s Peak, Signal Hill

Today when I woke up I remembered to post a very beautiful landscape in Instagram, when I check on it after having omelete breakfast and sausages, it had twenty three likes already. Indeed, it is a beautiful picture and will always be to me (IG: journey_707). I finished breakfast early so I could go to the beach near my hotel for sunrise photoshoot, I walk about two minutes to reach the beach and hike the rocks to get near the waves. The rocks are slippery but I could manage to climb to the edge and spent twenty minutes on the photoshoot before going back to the hotel.

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My tour group departed at eight to ride a boat to Seal Island on Hout Bay. As the name say it, we took a forty minutes boat ride to see Seals, lots of them on a big rocks at the bay, there were plenty of them and birds sitting on the rocks. We also stop for fifteen minutes to take picture of the famous “Table Mountain” on the way to Seal Island. We spent another hour after the boat ride on the bay shopping souvenirs and drinking tea.

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After that we are heading to Cape of Good Hope, where Bartholomeus Diaz landed in Africa for the first time. There are lots of stops on the go, like the lunch we had at a beach in Simons Town which is beautiful place for tourism. We ate lobster and oysters in the restaurant for only $20, food in South Africa is pretty cheap actually. The road to Cape of Good Hope named Chapman’s Peak Drive, a road on the cliff near the ocean with very pretty view.

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We also visited Boulder Beach to watch Jackass Pinguin on the shore, laying on the beach. Cute little animals everywhere.

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It took another thirty minutes to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, the most south-west place in Africa where Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean meets.

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At night we went back to Cape Town and Signal Hills to see the whole city at night, outstanding view from the top. Then we had fancy dinner in a Western Restaurant, I had fish and vegetables soup.

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South Africa: Day 7 -Knysna, Road to Cape Town, Mosselbay, Beautiful Landscape,

Today I woke up late due to yesterday busy schedule, so I miss today’s opportunity to watch the sunrise, which couldn’t be seen by the way due to the weather. I showered and have a breakfast at the hotel, two wheat-bread and sunny side up. Nothing interesting happened on the morning, except that me and my mother took a walk to the bay behind Protea Hotel Knysna, see a man fishing and caught a squid.

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We went by bus at eight thirty to Cape Town, stopped at the road with amazing view for fifteen minutes and enjoy the scenery of Knysna town along the shore. Simply beautiful, the fog, the beach, the waves, everything.

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The trip to Cape Town took around six hours, but we are stopping at many places so it will took longer. The long stop was at Mosselbay, a beautiful town where we saw Bartholomeus Diaz ship, the exact replica he used to found African continent. We also had a fancy lunch nearby, fish and rice, ice cream, and bottle of come. I took a tour around the restaurant and soon we were departed for Cape Town.

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We stopped at a gas station for restroom stop, then we went to a Chinese dinner soon as we arrived in Cape Town. We also visited V.A. Capetown Waterfront mall which sold many designer brands like LV, Gucci, Armani, etc. The mall itself is not grandious but it has many stores inside and quite decent for African country.

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Then we went back to Protea Hotel in Cape Town located near a beach which I planned to go tomorrow morning.

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