There are many inspirational stories shared by Proud Project (@proudproject). Let us hear straight from the perspective of Trivet Sembel, the Founder and Creative Director of Proud Project.



Proud Project


Lemme tell you a story about how Proud Project’s started. When I was in Seattle, I having dinner with my fellow Indonesian friend. When we were about to go home, my friend noticed a big man with dreadlocks wearing a knit hat was approaching us. He then asked, "Can I have a cigarette?" I said, "Sorry sir, I don’t smoke." He repeated the same question and I also answered the same answer. He then replied," Yo, I know Indonesian people like you smoke. I’ve seen Indonesian people smoke everywhere, I know there is a cigarette in your pocket." I answered him," Sorry sir, I don’t smoke. I’m not that type of Indonesian." His reply surprised us both. He said, "Fuck Indonesian people like you. Go back to your country and go bomb other place!"


That night, I thought that there’s a problem. The problem was that Indonesian people were still considered as second-class citizens. Then I wondered what the core problem would be. I thought the problem was within the Americans. I thought they’re racists. But there are racists in Indonesia as well. So, Americans are not the core problem. Then I thought if it was not the Americans, then, maybe, the core problem is within us - Indonesians, and if this was the problem, what would the solution be? After that I remembered what my dad used to say something like, "If you fuck up, you make up." It means that you must do it by yourself, if the problem is you, then the solution is you. I then thought that the solution is within the Indonesians themselves. A lot of Indonesians don’t wanna get out of the comfort zone. They don’t wanna break walls. And it’s harming us as a society. Thus, here I am making a movement where I would like to inspire Indonesians to break boundaries, to break walls. Because I knew that Indonesians are stuck at their comfort zone. And comfort zone is like a blackhole. The longer you stay, the more you get sucked into it and the harder it is to get out. Comfort zone leads to depression.


Positive Impact That I’ve Got


A lot. One day, I got a DM that I’ll never forget. Too bad I forgot to screenshoot it. It’s now drowned in our DM. So the DM that said something like this, "Hey I know you’ve probably gotten a lot of messages like this, butthank you so much. Before I knew Proud, I felt hopeless with my life, I almost committed suicide because I thought I was worthless. But after reading the stories in this account, I realized that my problem wasn’t that much. Thank you for saving my life." I was like, "Holy crap, we saved someone’s life from suicide." I am sure that we are helping people through our works and I feel that this is my purpose of life. This is what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life.


The Most Memorable Thing


I have many memorable moments. But the one that changed my thoughts was when I interviewed Mr. Theo Lekatompessy, the Best CEO of SWA Magazine 2016. He told me the story where he was within the worst moment of his life. That time, his mother had passed away. His brother who was in the Netherlands had to come back to Indonesia to attend the funeral of his mother. During the journey, the aircraft that carried his relative was shot by Ukrainian rebels (it was MH-17). Can you imagine that? His mother passed away, his relative passed away, plus his company was on the brink of bankruptcy, problems with international law, etc. But then he said, "But I’ve passed that one already, now what makes me sad is when I fail to give my best to others. Because I’ve lost all the valuable ones anyways." I thought, "Wow, this guy is a fucking angel." So, because of that moment, I realized that storytelling is the world’s most powerful weapon. It’s not nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons. One click. 100000 people die.

Storytelling. One click. 100000 people’s soul get lived up.



If I Were Given the Chance to Redo Something from the Past, What Would It Be?


I don’t think there is. Because all those ugly things are those who make me what I am today. You don’t learn from success, you learn from failure. So if you fail, that is good. You can learn from that.



How to Become Confident


At one point, I see people think that they are living their lives for others, not themselves. People say that Proud is for others. I think it’s wrong. Proud is for me. For instance, Superman. His life is dedicated to knowing his true self. But in the journey, he ended up saving the world. Similar like me, I want to save myself first. From that point, I have to be myself. If you think that you live for yourself, not others, then you are able to express yourself by not hiding who you are. From that, natural confidence will arise.


Best Advice


"If you fuck up, you make up."

"There is no such thing as too much balance." from Ariel Nayaka

"Santai kayak di pantai, seru kayak di Peru, selow kayak di pulau, asik kayak di Tasik."



My Inspiration


I think it’s myself. People would think I’m narcissistic. But think about this. I’m not showing off, but this is rather a curse. Because in the end we will look up to ourselves, not others. You may look up to others, but don’t become like them. The first person you gotta love is yourself, self love is the best medicine. When you really love yourself. When you really know who you are, other people’s opinion towards you don’t matter. Because when people insult you, you will think that they don’t know your world. You know your world. You know your own worth.


Next Projects


There will be five projects, with, LockerMedia, Intimate Concert, Binus Music Club, events at Conclave as well as a project with Putra Nababan.



My Current Life in One Word


Foolish. At the same time, I  wanna be forever foolish. As Tywin Lannister once said, “A king who claims himself a king is no true king.”


For me, Proud is another stupid idea of mine. That is because of Proud, now I’m broke as hell. One day I was in Kokas (Kota Kasablanka), I saw my bank account’s balance, I thought, "What the fuck, I only have IDR 7,000." I could not even withdraw the money. I wondered how I would get home, luckily my Go-Pay balance was IDR 15,000, enough for me to go home. I didn’t even have any cash.


People think that Proud is stupid because it won’t make much money. Well, they’re probably right. But they don’t know how amazing it feels to see a stranger DM-ed us saying, “Because of @proud.project, my life has been saved.” Purest form of happiness.



Message for Youngsters


Lions walk with lions.

Wolves walk with wolves.

Sheeps walk with sheeps.

Becareful who you’re hanging out with.


I also want to give my appreciation to those who have done good for others as well as themselves. As simple as holding the lift for someone else, complimenting strangers, whatever it is. Those who have done good without others seeing. You may not be famous. You may not make any money. But you’ve done good. You’ve made the world slightly a better place. For that reason, thank you. Keep doing good things.