General Evaluation

29, 30, 31, taadaaaa tahun baru 2015. Harusnya tahun 2015 akan jadi tahun yang lebih baik dari 2014. Itu harapan terbesarnya. Tapi sebelum itu, harus melakukan evaluasi tahun 2014 dulu. Gw tau kalau evaluasi itu penting, tapi gw takut kecewa karena apa yang ditargetkan masih banyak yang belum tercapai. Sampai-sampai ada joke atau meme yang bahas tentang resolusi tahun baru. Inti dari jokenya adalah target yang terus-terusan ga tercapai dari tahun ke tahun. Satu kata: suram. Tapi apa boleh buat, kayaknya evaluasi harus dilakuin untuk perkembangan selanjutnya.

Nah, terkait dengan target dan evaluasi. Beberapa minggu lalu gw habis blog walking di beberapa blogs yang membahas tentang bucket lists. I do have my own. Tapi belum siap untuk gw share disini. Pentingnya bucket list ini adalah sebagai pengingat. Sayangnya punya gw banyak yang belum pakai deadline. Jadinya cuman mengalir kayak air. Nah, alhamdulillah-nya beberapa sudah dicoret. Namun gw lagi pengen memperbaharui bucket list yang gw mau di tahun-tahun ke depan. Secara garis besar beberapa bucket lists yang sudah tercapai di tahun 2014: beli macbook pro, punya kamera mirrorless, rencana jalan (soon to do traveling ke manila, cebu, singapore), apply beasiswa (beberapa kali, failed dan succeeded), apply S3 dan got accepted. Yang gagal: tes IELTS (karena ga perlu, malah test TOEIC dan nilainya turun), test topik, traveling ke Europe, blog writing tentang cafe di Korea, buku juga belum jadi (ditulis aja beluuuum), dan masih banyak lagi yang gw lupa. Mari diingat-ingat! Hasil evaluasi kudu segera dibuat.

Sign-off Email

Apa salam penutup dalam bahasa inggris yang kalian tuliskan di setiap email? Regards? Best Regards? Sincerely? Mungkin sign-off di email ini nampak sepele tapi kesan yang didapatkan bagi pembacanya cukup terasa. Dan gw baru tau tentang ini. Gw biasanya menuliskan Sincerely (default setting di email) dan sangat jarang menggunakan Regards (malas gonta-ganti). Untuk teman yang cukup dikenal baik, biasanya pake Thanks. Ternyata setiap salam penutup itu memiliki arti tersirat. Nah, beberapa hari lalu gw nemu artikel dengan judul “Why Your Email Sign-off Is More Important Than You Think” yang cuplikan isinya sebagai berikut:

Regards: One of the simplest, most common ways to sign off, but percentage-wise, I don’t use it that often. Mainly if I’m communicating quick information, or if I’ve already done something nice in the email and I don’t want to overdo it. For example, I sent the following message to someone I met recently on LinkedIn:

Hi, ____,

Really enjoyed your article on recruiting (found on Twitter). Will share later today.

Regards,
Justin

Best regards: I use this one a lot more, often when relationships are new. I view it as a step up from “Regards.”

Kind regards: I use this one, too, because I think everyone should be kind. I seem to use it often with women, albeit subconsciously. (I believe this stems from my parents’ attempts to teach me chivalry.) I also use “Warm regards” occasionally, but with persons I know better.

Best: This is for variety–an alternative to “Best regards.” Now that it’s ubiquitous, I use it much less.

Sincerely: I use “Sincerely” when I’m reaching out to someone who may feel I’m trying to take advantage, or who will hold the (perceptibly) less advantageous position in our relationship. I also use it if I’m giving a compliment and I’m afraid the person might question my motives.

Of course, the key here is to be truly sincere–but ending with “Sincerely” helps the recipient to consider that effort. Here’s an email I sent some time ago to a LinkedIn influencer:

Hi, ___,

I was hoping I might actually connect with you. Then I noticed you have more than 200,000 followers here on LinkedIn.

Hmm. Still worth a try?

I’m a big fan of your work, and the story of “working your way up” resonated with me. Thanks for the inspiration and excellent writing.

Sincerely,
Justin Bariso

This influencer accepted my request. He has given me invaluable advice over the past year, and is now my writing and publishing mentor.

Best wishes: If I don’t plan on seeing or hearing from this person in a while.

Take care: Like “Best wishes,” but I’m closer with the recipient.

Thanks: A substitute for “Regards,” if someone did something for me.

Thank you, Sincere thanks, Many thanks, Much appreciated: Same as “Thanks,” but the favor was much bigger.

Respectfully: I might use this one if I’m speaking to a person of authority (or a person much older than me), especially if I’m disagreeing with them on something.

Talk soon: For friends and closer colleagues.

Hope this helps, Hope to see you soon, Great hearing from you: These are my attempts to turn what would normally be a closing line of an e-mail into a sign-off, for variety’s sake.

Your friend: For friends. Obviously.

Peace out, Your brotha, Your boy, Your compadre: Same as “Your friend,” but shows a little more of my personality. I would never recommend you use these (unless you use them in everyday speech, like me), but using closing lines that are unique to you can help “keep it real.” According to this article in Forbes, one publicist who handles tech clients uses “High five from down low.” The author of the article hated it, but I love it.

Cheers: This one migrated from Britain, and many people like it–informal and positive. I never use it, though. Just not me.

Nothing: As I alluded to earlier, there are times when I use no sign-off. This is when I have a good closing line already that is sincere and specific. For example:

Thank you for this–it’s definitely appreciated.

Justin

(German) Mit freundlichen Gruessen: Here’s one for fun. I currently live in Germany, and this is the sign-off of choice for most Germans. It is translated literally: “With friendly greetings.” The funny thing is, even when someone sends you a message that’s meant to be totally intimidating, or trying to rock you for being an idiot, they still end it with this. So you end up getting e-mails like this one:

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

We are writing to inform you that your recent actions regarding (–) are deemed unacceptable. If you do not act immediately to rectify this situation, we will be forced to take legal action. You have seven days to comply with our request.

With friendly greetings,
(The company that hates you)

Cukup informatif kan? Semoga berguna!

Catatan hari ini

Optimisme itu ga datang tiba-tiba, butuh proses juga. Kesabaran dan ketegaran pun ga datang tiba-tiba, perlu proses dan latihan juga. Masalah itu akan selalu datang, tinggal kita yang cari solusinya. Suka atau ga, masalah ada untuk diselesaikan. Masalah bukan untuk diratapi, disesali, atau dihujat, tapi untuk dicari solusinya. Ketika lagi ada masalah maka akan mikir kesalahan apa yang sudah dilakukan, apa aja yang bisa diperbaiki, dan langkah apa yang harus diambil.

How To Be Nice

I am back again with re-post a meaningful article (at least as I think so). Keeping original title without editing a single word. Here is the source.

10 things you can do to change someone’s life.

I was standing in line, buying some roma tomatoes and serrano peppers to make Hemeon Famous Salsa, when out of nowhere the person in front me allowed me to check-out ahead of them. I was surprised and impressed. Polite gestures are easy to do and make a real difference in the happiness of others.

“Don’t be yourself. Be someone a little nicer.”

Being nice truly costs nothing, but has wonderful returns. Here are a few things you can do to brighten someones day.

  1. Try saying “Pardon” or “Excuse Me” when you fail to understand someone instead of “what” and “huh”.
  2. Help someone with their luggage in an overhead bin.
  3. Wipe down the counter with a paper towel after using a sink in a public restroom.
  4. Place your gym towels in the proper receptacle, not the floor.
  5. Bring food to someone in a stressed situation. You don’t even have to cook anything, takeout is fine. Examples include moving, new baby, and family illness.
  6. Recognize everyone’s job is hard. Recognizing the efforts in others makes someone feel valued and important.
  7. Give some props. Open imessage right now (or whatever chat client you prefer) and tell someone they are doing a great job and don’t ask for anything in return.
  8. Be honest. I have had to learn this the hard way. Telling white lies or leaving something out is not kind. Telling the whole truth may sting more initially but for the most part, people want to know the full truth.
  9. Truly Listen. Put your phone down, stop looking around and give the person you are with all of your attention and fully absorb what they are saying to you. Don’t interrupt them right away and don’t try to solve or own their problems or relate them to yourself. You just look self-absorbed and like you don’t really care.
  10. Drink water. I firmly believe drinking water will help everyone be a bit nicer and more patient.

Thank you for reading! Go forth and be nice!

Please let me know if this was helpful to you. I would love to hear more about what you think, please reach out to me via twitter @hemeon or feel free to shoot me a note at marchemeon @ gmail

Props to Shane Mielke for feedback and proofreading.