Almost two months ago, I got back to Melbourne from my intense experience overseas. The next morning I woke up, I sat there in bed, taking myself to this imaginary time machine, traversing my own memory. Of course, I recorded my day-to-day in my journal, as always, but it didn't mean that I understood what I had gone through, because you know - you only start to comprehend when you look back from the present.
So, I turned my journal over and I unfolded it with my left hand. On the very corner of the first page from the back, I started writing the '10 major things I learnt from January 2018 - March 2019'. I had been meaning to expand what appears to be a list, into a beautifully curated blog post - but, oh dear, I just realised how much my talk is just a talk. So, after almost two months, I decided that a list is 'okay enough'. If I could advise you, please, when you read this, take a minute or two after each point to 'digest' it - or perhaps, to generate your own thoughts!
So, here is the list.
1 When the unexpected happens, I shift my question from "why is this happening to me?" to "what are the opportunities that are carried by this?". I have been surprised too many times by how much the unexpected has challenged me to grow beyond what I thought I was capable of. A hint of pragmatism allows me to enter a new world that I would have never expected I would enjoy.
2 If it is true that most failures are inevitable, it does not mean that it should be the reason we settle for less.
3 I have learnt to look at myself from the outside in the hardest way I can imagine. I realised that I am enslaved by my own ego. The freedom that the world offers does not free me from it. I have observed that this, too, is so often the root of major human problems.
4 Questions lead me somewhere I have never expected I will discover. Questions allow me to sail to the land of the impossible.
5 In the self-entitled world where people are demanding freedom, it is too easy to overlook responsibilities. In the world where people are trying hard to pursue happiness, it is too easy to forget to seek (or question) meaning.
6 Writing is like having a conversation where I can set my own parameter and where I can control where it goes. It allows me to structure my own thoughts. Receiving information doesn't always mean that I understand it. Understanding it doesn't always mean that I am able to conceive a conclusion.
7 Committing to wake up at 6 and actually doing it don't only mean waking up at 6. It trains self-control.
8 Reading is like traveling in time and space. Or better - it allows me to borrow someone else's eyes and mind for a little while.
9 Most of the sophisticated-appearing people I have met are those who avoid to (or almost never) talk about others - not even when it's positive. They tell that to their faces.
10 It is difficult to actively listen, without building up something in our heads.
By Andrean Kristof
Everything good in life is all about process and patience. Thank God I have this amazing opportunity to do an intern at a big tyre manufacture in Hannover therefore, please allow me to share a few things I've learned because nothing good should be kept alone.
On the first week of my intern days, we didn't had even a single chance to do work. We were given a bunch loads of reading items of literally everything in detail. From how to count alcohol contain in blood and level of distortion caused, manuals of every single machinery that we will operate, to how to perform a first aid in emergency. This taught me real hard on doing the right things exactly correct.
We repeat over our work for at least 3 times per stage because they do not tolerate flaw on our work. Our works are done according to the DIN Metal standards and that means our margin of error is by 0,5 mm. Even then, our instructor said that it was a very huge tolerance. At first I was to desperate to follow this standard because there was no way one could shape raw metal even using electric saw or sophisticated drilling machine to be something real precise. But again, time does its work. Slowly I got myself used to the rhythm of getting the "feeling". Now I can shape a rounded item using only metal hand graver perfectly (see picture). This time, I learnt that to master something, one should learn slow and willing to be processed, even if the process is painful. Nothing instant is good.
When being asked on guidance, seniors would gladly show us how to perform the work in a detailed manner. Although they are more experienced, I felt no "seniority" at all. I'm flattered on how Germans respect each other even to their juniors. Every single day, before the day start, instructors would came out and shake our hand and greet us one by one. Although it seems like it's just a normal thing to do in life, greeting people, but never before in my life have I ever known instructors, no matter how senior they are, respect a nobody like me. One of the reading item from the first week is about respect. It is clearly stated that everybody is equal and should be respected evenly. There is also the German law regulating this matter. From this I learnt to respect everybody regardless who they are and who you are.
Although I've been there less than a month, I have never seen someone coming late to work. I knew that punctuality is a serious thing in Germany, things like train would come on the exact minute as it is in schedule, but i never anticipated this level of punctuality. We have two break times each day, colleagues never pack their stuff five minutes before break time they are always on full working pace. They do not exploit time on doing personal things like playing handphone or even talking personal to other colleagues, this is simply fascinating. I do not know where this culture came from but they are very very serious with integrity. By the minute work should start to the minute of break to the minute work should end, they are working on full pace. This amazes me everyday I go to work.
It is not a secret that German cars, machinery, and beers are perhaps the best in the world. Throughout my time living in Germany, I am confident to sum up that these thing I’ve shared above are the secret ingredients. These secrets may theoretically be simple, but believe me, it is hard to change one’s imprinted cultures and norms. But I believe it would worth to try to be “Germans”. I myself am struggling real hard to alter myself. On this post, i share about the situations in work, maybe next time i may share about the culture in day to day life. I hope this post may bring something good for you, and for me. Prost!
We have different pairs of shoes but we'll let you borrow them!