Wahyu was a work partner and a friend that I met when living in Bali, Indonesia. He is a 24 year old entrepreneur, owning a number of startups as well as working independently as a digital marketing consultant (see more here). I did a work exchange at Wahyu in which I lived with him in Canggu (Bali) for free, and in turn I edited his website to ensure the English was as professional as possible, the content was sufficient and appropriately structured, and so on.
Consistently from morning through to late at night, in one way or another Wahyu can be found working towards his goals.
He holds one ultimate ideal in the front of his mind – making his dreams a reality – and has a clearly defined path on how he intends to do so. Although this was primarily his drive, it did not get in the way of him having fun. Why is it that so many people see working hard as a trade off to enjoying life? Wahyu is one of the most balanced individuals I have met, devoting time to work (which he truly enjoys), relaxation, and developing very personalised friendships. I contrast this to what we are often accustomed to: People hanging out only in larger groups, with a common friendship thread reinforced primarily through drinking and doing related activities together.
I am not criticizing people for relaxing in their friendship circles, as this of course is important. However, think back to the past couple of times you have hung out with friends. Did this involve moderate to large amounts of alcohol (or other substance use)? What did you walk away from the interactions having learned? I for one had to take a good look at my own life and realise that the activities I was doing within my friendships were largely self-destructive, and I was mostly not utilising these friendships to further my own growth – nor that of my friends!
I remember the evening after I hit rock bottom in Bali, Wahyu invited me to join him and some friends for a sunset on the beach.
We arrived, got some coconuts to drink, and sat on beanbags chatting as the sun dipped beneath the horizon. Although I was feeling sorry for myself, and thus did not participate in the conversation as much as I normally would, I was very aware of my environment. There I was sitting with a group of guys from various continents who had met via Couchsurfing meet-ups, each having various interests and lines of work. The conversations were very natural and relaxed, but there was such an interesting information exchange taking place. It made an impression on me which has run deeper than I could have even imagined at the time.
Often Wahyu and I would share a meal and chat together at a typical informal Indonesian warung, which to this day has been the place of some of the best food I’ve ever had! I learned a lot during these conversations, and there were two things that he highlighted of which I made a mental note.
1. We are all born with limited time.
Your time is your greatest resource, so use it wisely and do not waste it on people or projects that do not appreciate or deserve it.
2. You are the average of the people you surround yourself by.
Years ago I read that this is especially true for the top 5 people that you spend your time with (in addition to yourself). This is certainly true in practice – reflect on your own life at the moment.
As I think back to my time spent with Wahyu, and the ignited fire within me that has lasted well after I left, some advice my father once told me echos. If you love the work you do, you won’t have to ‘work’ a single day in your life!