May The Force Be With You

May the force be with you

My ten-year old son is a Star Wars freak.

He likes to watch the movies (yes, he’s seen all seven a total of fifteen times and counting) and the cartoons (seen all of those too including Star Wars Rebels and the re-runs.) He can play the Star Wars theme tune on his Melodica and build a fully functioning lego Death Star in under 24-hour hours, break it down and then create something completely unimagined in George Lucas’s galactic mind before breakfast the next morning.

He’s amazed Harrison Ford can look so old and be so young and have the time to appear in the Indiana Jones’ movies but he recognizes Indy is as cool as Han Solo and he’s learning to understand that it’s really just the same guy with a different hat. Princess Leia however, is more difficult to figure out and anyway, he prefers Chewbacca.

We saw The Force Awakens a couple of moaths or so ago and every morning since then as I’m leaving for work he takes a deep breath, stands dead still and bows his head very gently, “may the force be with you Daddy,” he says solemnly, one hand raised for dramatic effect. I nod back and raise my hand slowly, showing him I also understand and accept his force and can be dramatic too, “may the force be with you too son.” He looks at me with innocence and trust. We smile. “Is the force real Daddy?”

Great question kid!

You see, my son’s teachers at school don’t believe it is real but I do. We call it many different things and recognize it in many different ways; for some it’s called Karma, it’s the Laws of Attraction, it’s The Secret, it’s doing good then doing well, it’s being grateful, it’s loving your neighbor, it’s that overpowering feeling you get all over when you see someone succeed.

It’s all of those things and more; it’s the warmth of the early morning sun on your back as you walk along a deserted beach, it’s the cooling blanket of the rain, the smell of seasons changing and the taste bud pops of pleasure.

My son would also like it if the force did his homework for him and delivered a life-time supply of freshly fired Margareta pizza, but this is where his childlike innocence and naivety need some help and guidance.

Just because he wants something doesn’t mean he can have it.

The force is one of those things you have to believe in to be able to see it work and that belief has to go beyond mere words and nods of wishing something real. It has to be something you ‘be’, something you ‘are’. You have to actually live it and then everything is it. It seems easy for some, difficult for others. “Be-Live” it.

Too many people, particularly in working office environments, are distracted by the mass hypnosis of someone else’s reality and they don’t really believe in this unseen force, this power of the universes, this energy within and how one person can have such a dramatic effect on everything he or she comes into contact with.

Let me re-phrase that; they sometimes say they believe but they don’t. Not really. It’s obviously just lip-service, shallow words parrot style. These people tend to fixate on themselves, their suffering and the problems they have (real and imagined) and this starts a vicious cycle of more suffering and more pain and more problems (real and imagined), which gives them more to complain about and so life struggles on, randomly lurching from one crisis (real and imagined) to another with no end in sight and no light in anyone’s tunnel. It’s poor me time! And you and you and you and you better feel sorry for me! It’s all about me! My god, why aren’t you feeling sorry for me?! What do I do now?

Poor me

I’m sure we all have stories of our co-workers who fall into this poor me stereotype without them even knowing they’re stuck in a rut. You know the sort: you’re in the middle of a conversation or meeting and you can hear this person arrive before they make an appearance because it’s important everyone’s attention is drawn in to their sad little world. Doors slam, feet stomp, groans of the burdens of existence fill the air. If drama was a queen these guys would rule the world.

Then they physically arrive in a whirlwind of disturbance, complain about something that nobody really understands and definitely don’t care about, and then take control of the conversation. You can literally feel the energy being sucked out of the room.

And then it goes dark. Eyes begin to roll back and any semblance of hope for a positive day flies out of the windows. If you recognize that scenario, rest assured you are not alone!

I know it’s a two-way street and if I’m asking for people to wake-up and change I’ve also got to walk-the-walk. If I’m asking for you to take responsibility for your own actions and to understand you have a choice for each and every thing, then I have to make the same commitment. And I do. At least I consciously try.

There are a lot of people like me.

Our numbers are growing and our collective consciousness gets stronger by the day. We have to be the ones who live by example and lead by our actions. We need to understand that we are all part of The One, The Force if you like.

In Bali they say, Tat Twam Asi, which is one of the pillars of Hindu Dharma, the predominant belief system on the island. It means I am You and You are Me. It is a belief in the energy of all that is and how our thoughts in turn create actions.

It should lead us to commit conscious acts of kindness, to be humble and loving and caring and honest. These aren’t the sorts of words and ideas you would normally hear around the average boardroom or in a monthly ExComm meeting or in business per se, but more and more people are tuning in so you better get used to them.

So if you’re a Poor Me … my advice to you is to make the change! Make it now! Leave your baggage at the door because it’s never too late to stop what you’re doing, look around, take a deep breath and feel the force! Feel the love. It’s there all around you, all the time. Tune in.

Think of ways you can make peoples lives better instead of dragging them down into the disturbing dungeons you’ve created in the darkest doomsday depths of your mind. Leave that life in the past and wake up to your future, as scary as that fear of change is, because the future is bright. It’s everything you can imagine it to be!


I take a deep breath, stand dead still and bow my head very gently, “may the force be you!”

Andy writes on a variety of topics related to property, real estate, the customer experience, mindset training and local/international trends for Seven Stones Indonesia. You can read some of his blogs here.

Seven Stones Indonesia is a property company headquartered in Bali, Indonesia, with a mission to help people who are interested in buying and selling residential and commercial real estate.

If you’re thinking about property, ROI, capital gains or lifestyle investments in Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, and Indonesian’s Eastern Islands and need some friendly advice and guidance then why not email or check out Seven Stones Website | Seven Stones Linkedin | Seven Stones Facebook

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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.