Bali Untamed: Day Five–Golden Hour with Agung Rai

Agung Rai, a self appointed Balinese historian and the Founder of ARMA, wanted to give us a tour of HIS Bali at the golden hour of 6am, when the sun rises. Gratefully and excitedly we dragged ourselves out of bed at 5:30am to be ready for Agung Rai.

Agung Rai and me walking the rice field, admiring the dew and the golden grains

Agung Rai turns out to be the most passionate man about Bali that I know up to this point in my life. To witness how Agung Rai looked at the children going to school, delighted in the glistening dew on the rice field, greeted the hard working farmers, and cherished every chickens, roosters, and stray dogs one would think Bali IS heaven on earth.

Here is why I wanted to tell you about Agung Rai. He is a special kind of leader who succeed because he believed. His own passion, willingness to see beauty in the midst of chaos and impossibilities, and trust his inspiration are what made him so compelling and easy to follow. Agung Rai was borned into a poor farming family, nothing special, no hand-me-down privileges. Yet through hard work, determination, and inspiration, he built this amaizing site called ARMA Resort and Museum, accumulated countless businesses and enterprises, and has been involved in many causes to preserve Bali. We got to stay there four nights. And it was wonderful with historical charm and elegance. He lives with his father, being the youngest son, in his family’s tradition, it is his duty to stay home to take care of the parents. He loves his country, his people and his culture. He dedicates his life to protect it so that he can pass it on to future generations. Being such a visionary, he is providing land to build the future home of the Bali Institute of Leadership. Because he believes in the Institute’s mission of combining East and West leadership philosophy and preserving the wisdom of indigenous culture like Bali.

I have always believed that hard work alone doesn’t bring lasting success. In fact if I have to put a number to it, I would say 60% inspiration and belief and 40% hard work will get us there faster and more fun than if we flip that and make hard work 60%. Agung Rai gives me hope that I am right. (and gosh darn it, it always feels good to be right.)


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