Thursday, April 27, 2006



Memory is a complex thing. It is difficult to find a single universally definition of what it is and how it works. Generally speaking, memory consists of three elements: acquiring whatever it is we want to remember, storing it and recalling it. In this section, we shall see what can be done to improve accessibility.
The basic objectives you should have (though you should of course, add some specific objectives of your own to the list) are:

· Having a better understanding of how memory works in practice;
· Deciding what you need to remember;
· Selecting the most appropriate method in memorising different kinds of information;
· Learning a variety of mnemonic (memory aiding) tecniques.

These several ways to ensure that impression is made stronger. They are:

1. Repetition helps to strenghen the impression that something has made.
2. Writing things down reinforces them.
3. We remember information better if we used it.
4. Discussion is a very powerful reinforcing agent. We remember things better if we have discussed them with others.
5. In addtition to reinforcing information, we need to provide ourselves with ‘trigger’ which will prompt the recall of material we require.

Over of period of time, the benefits of improving your memory skills can be incalculable.

Summarized by Pormadi Simbolon from STEPS FOR SUCCESS, Gordon Wainwright, Jaico Publishing House : 2004, p.33-44

Wednesday, April 26, 2006



Divergent think is about creative, insightful, mainly unpredictable thinking.

Divergent thinking follows few rules. It does not seek a single correct answer, nor indeed necessarily any answer at all. Starting from a problem, a stuation, or a body of information, it diverges, explores, seeks and examines things form as many viewpoints as possible. It is curious, provocative, controversial, and even ridiculuous (it was the odd idea of an eccentric that put the Plimsoll line an ships, for example). We use it especially to find new ways of doing things and different approaches to a wide variety of concerns. It is unpredictable both in method and results. It is most effective where there is insufficient information for us to use them, or their use is inappropriate for any one of a number of reasons.

The basic objectives you should have (through you should, of course, add some specific ones of your own to the list) are:

· Recognising divergent thinking opportunities;
· Trying to put divergent thinking tecniques into practice;
· Using methods appropriate to the precise nature of the problem, situation or issue in order to generate novel solutions and responses;
· Getting as much practices as possible in using divergent techniques

These techniques are:

1. Producing ideas (any ideas): find as many ways as possible of doing or cooking of something. Reject nothing. However unpromising an idea look at first, it may acquire significance later.

2. Questioning what happens at present: Is it really like this? Does it have to be like this? Is there really a problems? Could we look at things in some other way?

3. Achieving a new perspective: turn things completely round or upside down.

4. Making comparisons: Compare the problems, situations or issues to another. They need not be related for this techniques to work.

5. Allowing ridiculuous ideas: The motor car, aeroplane and submarine were once ridiculous ideas (not to mention going into space)

6. Waiting for inspirations: Doing nothing or allowing a periods of mental ‘incubation’ as a useful creative thinking techniques because once we have stated the problem and defined it the brain will continue to work on it and possible solutions may come to mind at the most unexpected times. Solutions discovered in this way are often revolutionary and yet highly practical.

7. Being ready for sudden and unexpected insights. This involves readiness twenty-four hours a day for the solution to present itself. If it does, we should note it down straightaway Many good ideas thought of at 1 a.m have vanished by 8 a.m.. This method differs from waiting for inspiration in that we actively think about the problem, situations or issues from time to time. When illumination comes, you are ready for it.

8. Repeating the process: Ging over the same ground again often produces an additional idea which turn out to the one that will work.

Remember, divergent thinking techniques are the most use in finding new things of doing things, new interpretaions and new outlooks. They are invaluable not only in promoting change and development, but also in indicating precisely where and in which ways change and development can take place.

* Summarized by Pormadi Simbolon from STEPS FOR SUCCESS, by Gordon Wainraight, Jaico Publishing House: 2004, p.21-31.

Monday, April 24, 2006



Convergent is about logical, analytical, often predictable thinking.

Convergent thinking follows the rules of logic and tends to look for a single correct answer. As we study a problem, for instance, we converge, as it were, upon the answer. This kind of thinking is ussually used where we can quantity things. We can therefore, often foretell the results of convergent thinking, one we can see where our thingking lead us.

How well we think depends largely on how clearly we think. If our thinking is faulty, then what we say or write will be faulty. There are logical processes which thinking should follow if it is to show the proper connections between ideas or between different pieces of informations. It must also follow these processes if it is to show the true relationship between one idea, fact, object or event and another.

(summarized from: Gordon Wainwright, STEPS for Succes, Jaico Publishing House: 2004, p.7-9)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Questioning the self-integrity of apparatus of the republic

Questioning the self-integrity of apparatus of the republic

Pormadi Simbolon,Jakarta

It is interesting to see many issues of our country problems. They are palpable progress in the areas of government corruption, supremacy of law, education, poverty, social and economic injustice, unemployment, displaced person about five years untill now. They are the hardships that life bring to people.

The people of Indonesia are entitled to expect, in fact to demand a great change since period of Megawati Soekarnoputri’s government and especially from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his new government. But the people still complain about the hardships of the life in this republic. The question is why the apparatus of government can not change the life of people?

I think that the main thing to reflect is the self-integrity of our apparatus and elites of government. They should serve the people with self-integrity. Self-integrity is a must for them.

The Reformasi 1998 changed all that by removing the center of power of the structure. People is the center of the power. However, because there was no proper self- integrity, the apparatus can not do their duties to the people.

In fact, the apparatus of government can not accept this statement. They may be confess confidently that they had had self-integrity. We hope they do have self-integrity or credibility in serving people. But why the problems be more complex and serious?

Again, the question, had they serve the people with the truly self-integrity? If they had the self-integrity, why the republic of Indonesia still be one of most corrupted in the world?

What our apparatus of the Republic seem to have failed to have is that they do not realized and understand the nature of self integrity. Stll, indications, were clear, corruption still be the first problem from the central government till to the provinces goverments. The issues e.g. corruption, supremacy of law, social and economic injustice can not be solved till now. Still, there are no significant signs.

The question is do they really had self-integrity in serving people? Do they had credibility in do their duties? Ho about their self-integrity?

Self-integrity is a balance of the universal polarities of personality, known as love, assertion, weakness and strength in giving their dedicatiom to the republic.

Love is the glue in relationships and service to the people, which provides compassion, attraction, tenderness to serve the people. Through love, the apparatus will serve the people as the center of their duties naturally.

Assertion enables the apparatus to confront injustice and harrassment that exist in the mid of people. Throug assertion, they experience the courage to serve the people. It is also needed to manifestate the dedication to our country.

Through weakness, they confess their inability or incapability in doing their sevice. They could ask any help from the people the way to solve any problem. It is healthy weakness. It allows the apparatus to discuss their weakness and failure without feeling humiliated. It also provides them the continuing opportunity for personality transformation in dedicating the republic.

Strength reflects self worth and fosters adequacy, competence and identity of the apparatus. Through strength, they can serve the people professionally. It makes them confidently in giving their contribution and dedication to the people of Indonesia.

Balancing the universal polarities of personality, they will find theirselves as a good apparatus of government. They should be confident and strong. The apparatus of government will have good reputation in this country and international.

This is the real self-integrity, I think. We hope that the apparatus of new government really have self-integrity so that the hope for a better life for the people can be manifestated.

Still, the question is do the apparatus of our government have the self-integrity?

Pormadi Simbolon,
Almamater fo STFT Widya Sasana Malang,
Lived in Jakarta



Pormadi Simbolon

Experiences are part of our daily life. They give us how to learn and to live the life. They tell us how to face our daily problem. Everything that we have coming from experiences in our life.

Nowadays, life is complex. The problem in front of us is more complex too. But how to face and overcome are the main things. The first of all is goals in our life. If we have goals, we will be active to reach them. If we have dreams, we must get them. If we think we can, we can do it. So the goals is the most important in the life.

As we know, we live in the world of higher technology and information era. We are in the global village. Like media said: this era is globalization. The era of globalization creates new problems.

The problems must be solved. We can not run from our daily life problems. If we can pass them, these are the best teacher for us in the future. So experience is the best teacher.

In addition, the main thing of life is love. If we love the life we will live it well. Love is a clue in relationships with others and God. We can live together because of love. Love makes us having a compassion with ourselves and others.

Eveyone was born to live the life from God. Life is a grace. It is a gift from God to us. So we should live the life well. We should give thanks to Lord for the life He has given to us. As religious person, we believe that God gives us the power to live.

As a grace, the life also be a struggle. We have to face anything about life like variety of experiences. Both happiness and sufferings are parts of our life.

Experience contents of both sweetness and bitterness. The happiness make us energic to go on the life. Bitterness is that we should reflect and take a values of them.

For some people, the life is hard because many problem come on and on to them. But, although the life is hard, it should be face patiently.

As a part of life, experience make us growing well. Experiences need the integrity of ourselves. We ourselves should realize that the instruments of our personality. They are love, strength, weakness and assertion within ourselves.

Anyway, the important thing in the life is how to give the meaning to all of our experiences. And so, the life is how to take worth of them. I mean that the experience is the best teacher for us. We will not fall to the same foolishness or mistakes if we could take the values from our experiences.

I want to say in this section, the experiences of our life is complex but also beautiful. It tells us many learning from our social life. It teaches us facing the life with the others. It means we can grow perfectly if we live with our neighbour. The perfect of life can be reach only by living with others. It is social life.


There are many problems in my life. One of them is how to fullfil the needs of my family. I should send my children to school. I must give them good education. These are also my duties as parents to them.

Sometime I ask myself, how should I look for some money. How should I get a good salary from my job. The questions make me reflecting about my life.

But I ever think that I will never be able to fullfill all of the needs of my family. Should I do a bad way? Is it enough asking myself only? What should I do to become a succes person in life? I can reach nothing if I am too lazy, lack of knowledge, and lack of faith. I can not be a succes person if talking only without action. Finally, I make a decision that the best for me is action and action in my life.

The life will be nothing if it is not planned. It will be worth if we can live it as grace and struggle. There is not again “No Action, Talking Only” (NATO).

Planning is the best way to make life well. It means we should make a real goal of our life. The goal is the most important to live the life.

What do goals for me? They help me set priorities. Something become vitally important, while others cease to have any importance.

Goals help me set my schedule and efforts, not only over long periods of time, but daily. A person with goals does not want to waste time.

Goals help me balance my life. Staying healthy and feeling good – which involve proper nutrition, adequate sleep, times of relaxation and recreation, and daily exercise – become important because they are linked to the ability to accomplish goals.

Goals that I have planned are how to get a good salary and how to fullfil the needs of my family and how could I be a succes person in the life. They are my priorities.

Where there is a will, there is a way, like people know. By sharing my problem to my leader in my workplace, I was offered a free college’s fund.Then one of my solution is going to college for getting a higher degree so that I can get a better salary. I think this is grace from God to me. I thank God for blessing me.

Solving a problem, I should know to praise the Lord ang give thanks to Him and I ask a help from Him. As a religious people, I can do nothing without bleesings from God.

In fact, the goals also mean to know where we should go. First, we find out where we are now. Then we decide a real goal to the future. We try to visualize point of end of our goal. Next, we begin doing after making an action plan. I begin from the first step and then the others. Action plan should be done with discipline. It is also done by evaluating our action plan daily.

Experience is the best teacher. I live my life well because I make plannings and goals. I do myself making decisions. The life must has goals.

I can tell everybody that the life will not be worth without goals. There are a lot of reasons. A person without goals generally has no excitement in his life. He has no enthusism for getting up in the morning. He has no ambition to make the most of everyday. Nothing energizes him.

A person without goals is wasting time and without a sense of direction. The life as it comes and passes it without something new.

A person without goals is often very critical of others, especially those who are succesful or who are working hard to achieve particular goals. The person without goals basically does not like himself very much. He does not believe that the life is grace and struggle. To make himlsef better, he tend to criticize others, hoping to bring them down to his level.

I think that everybody must choose a life with goals, not life without goals. It is because the life is grace and struggle. We live with happiness and suffer experiences. We know the life is only once, so we should live it well.

As a religious people, I believe that everything that we have is come from the God. So I thank to God for His blessings. I ask a help from the Almighty God. I need a mercy of God to me.

It is important to build relationship with God, so that I can live happily. I become patient in this life because of He gives a power to live. By loving God, I also love the others in my social life. Loving God makes me growing in the social life. My life be worth because live the life as grace and struggle.

Writer, an employee in Department of Religion,
Central Jakarta

Sunday, April 09, 2006


The Aim of Studying?

Have we ever asked ourselves why we must go to school? We will probably say that go to school to learn languages, mathematics, geography, religion and many other subjects. That answer is quite correct. However, why do we have to learn those subjects? And do we only study those things at school?

When we study the Indonesian language, we wish to be able to tell others clearly about what we know and understand, and also to comprehend what others tell us. We learn foreign languages, for instance English, in rder to be able to understand what people in other countries have written and said. We also try to communicate with them. We study matematics in order to be able to compute or count better.

When we go to school, in fact, we learn something more than those subjects. We never realize that when we go to school, we also keep on learning ‘how to learn’ so that when we leave to school, we can keep on learning by ourselves. A person who knows how to learn will always be succesful.

To conclude, the most important aim of studying is to know how to learn and to be able to keep on learning. In other words, studying at school helps us to learn more in our lives. I think the motto LIVE AND LEARN should be applied. Do you agree?

By Pormadi Simbolon,
a student at Seminari Menengah Pematang Siantar, North Sumatera, Indonesia
On DIALOGUE, An English magazine for everybody to enjoy, vol. 03/ XXI-1995
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