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July 14, 2014

Your Journey To Be the #UltimateU2

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If you feel like you are in a crossroad of your career journey, this book is a great wake up call. If you feel like you start losing the excitement and joy in whatever you do, you might need this book to remind you of meaningful things you might have been missing as you succumb yourself in endless tasks and hectic work schedule.

The Cover

#UltimateU2 is the second book in #UltimateU series, written by Indonesia's top career coach, René Suhardono. I happen to know René in person, as he was one of nine juries who judged me during the Young Caring Professional Award (YCPA) contest in 2013. Having more chance to chat with him during our trip to Singapore – especially over a great dinner at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant last year, I can sense the ultimate René-ness in this book.

René advocates purpose. When he talks about career, he talks about the deeper meaning of working, far beyond the dream of achieving reputable position in a reputable organization. #UltimateU2 talks about achieving the self that we dream of. The self that makes ourselves live a more fulfilled life, through the journey of understanding our purposes, and the meaning of our choices, including our career choices.

Each chapter in #UltimateU2 highlights empowering messages 
In this book René also talks about the essence of working. He talks about the meaning of our career choices, the clarity of our life missions, our deeper intention when we say we would like to work in … (you are free to fill the blank with your dream field of work). Further, he reminds us that our job is our tools to contribute and create to whatever we believe in. 

Another René-ness that I can sense in this book is the uniqueness of the order. What I love most about #UltimateU2 is that we do not have to read the whole 40 chapters in order. We are free to jump randomly between chapters, as every single chapter in this book holds a whole idea, which, when connected to other chapters, will form bigger and bigger picture. It is like ordering puzzle pieces in the ways that we want – we can start from the bottom, the top, or any corners we want, but by the end of the process, we construct a single, big, beautiful picture that somehow feels enlightening. 

The Chapters
#UltimateU2 shares 40 snippets of René’s thoughts and ideas on defining a meaningful, fulfilling career choices. He also presents 40 friends of him, who have achieved meaningful lives by doing the things that they love and believe in. Inspired by Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin book, he also asked those 40 friends to doodle their thoughts after reading a part of #UltimateU2. 

While every chapter shares mind-provoking ideas such as “Shift the Belief System and You Shall Shift the Person” on Chapter 22, in each chapter he also highlights a quote that resonates to my thoughts, such as, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice”, or “Change is only possible when we do it with clear purpose.” Among my favorite parts of this book is the story of how he decided to write. It actually inspires me to restart my blog and get back to writing again, because he reminds me of a purpose that I had back in 2005 when I started my blog: “Writing is never about knowing – it is about caring and sharing”. 

Another part that I love is the series of discussion on values, characters, and possibilities on Chapter 23 - 27. It is a series of pieces on how those who live by their values will always relevant, on how bureaucracy and formality are the best formula to achieve boring and inspiring results, and how the only thing that matters to do is doing things that really matters to us. Further, I love how René portrays the common practices in how an organization instills their values, and discusses how values are not the things that are written on the wall or yelled in corporate’s gathering but instead silently manifested through the way organization care about its employees’ well-being – by providing decent lunch and spare time to work on the projects that they love. 

The doodles. From left to right: Wahyu Aditya - the Founder of HelloMotion Academy, Chantal della Concetta - TV personality, Arie Parikesit - ex UN and World Bank staff who pursues his passion on culinary culture and business
Nevertheless, René does not attempt to position himself as THE Motivator who knows all the answers. He emphasizes that motivation always come from within. On page 76 he explains that when we feel motivated by #UltimateU2, what really happens is that we choose to read – we choose to understand – we chose to agree – we choose to believe and to be motivated. Realistically he also says that he does not have an exact answer for the questions on the meaning of life – because he, himself is still working on finding it. Instead he says that trying to answer the question on the meaning of life equals to part of life’s meaning (page 60). Further on page 78 he even says, “Who need external motivators if you know and live in your true strength?”

René Suhardono is among the most inspiring and vibrant persons I have ever met in person. This book potentially enlightens those who feel unfulfilled about their job or their choices of life. Reading this reminds us the many great choices we can actually make to get our life back to the track that we want. Overall, through #UltimateU2 René has been successfully shares empowering and enlightening ideas in very friendly packaging. 

René also frequently shares his thoughts at Impact Factory.  

And, this is René. Took this picture as he shot our group photo near Singapore Flyer. :)

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