Coffee For One Part 2

Coffee For One please 😉

Saturday 14/9/13

What’s crack-a-lacking guys?

I’m back here at #ArtisanHQ having a great Piccolo having some #QuietTime. I realize that i’ve been spending a lot more time alone this year, and i actually like it. I like being alone because more than just learning more about myself, during these times life is quiet.There’s no noise, no complications, no mess.

In isolation things are clean and simple.

I don’t feel like my mind is being suffocated.

I don’t feel distracted.

I don’t feel like my thoughts are being drowned out by the mess that surrounds me.

I don’t feel like people are demanding too much out of me.

This is quite the 180 degree change because I used to be the type of person that always needed to have people around me. A person whose happiness depended on the availability of other people. A person who wasn’t comfortable being alone with himself. Well, not as much anymore. This year i’ve learnt to appreciate the brilliance and incredible benefit that comes with spending time alone on the regular.

It’s in this Quiet that I feel at Peace.

Peace from Life,
and the it’s complications and mess.

Peace from Society,
and the noise of too many voices.

Peace from Fibro,
and the daily struggle to live.

It’s during these times spent alone that life seems to be in… Harmony, even if just for an hour, it makes such a big difference to me. Having my quiet time at Artisan or Flat White provides me the incredibly vital time to stabilise and ground myself. A time of “maintenance”, a time which helps me clarify and process the hundreds of stimuli and factors that surround me daily.

I guess i just want people to understand that coming to Artisan or Flat White (or Coffea) isn’t just about the coffee, the coffee is great, but more importantly, it’s a place in which i’m protected and sheltered from the outside world

The world is a messy place, and even more of a mess when you have Fibromyalgia. Constant pain, sensitive nerves (to stimuli like lights and sounds too) and almost always so tired… combined that with a brain that doesn’t work as efficiently as it should and i’ve got a situation in which i’m unable to process all these details appropriately so it all just ends up as a mess in my mind.

So it gets very very difficult to have to deal with the normal suff in life…. the regular things like academic pressures, getting stuff done traffic and especially dealing with people… i.e. family and friends. (I love them to bits but sometimes it gets very hard for me to deal with the mess that comes naturally)

Think of it as a highly popular airport where the Tower isn’t responding well (probably because of bad maintenance hence major system failures) to the demands of the hundreds of inbound & outbound flights. What would happen then?
Things would be messed up as ****.

Planes wouldn’t be able to take off causing inbound planes to keep circling over head because they can’t land, leading an incredible mess of planes on the runway and in the skies = problem… Someone’s got to come in and cancel all outbound flights, instruct planes that can, to fly to other airports and then manage what’s left. This scenario would probably describe a Level 6/7 day for me. So what is a Level 9/10? The same situation but this time at near 0 visibility with a major storm. #fun

So, back to my point, coming to my favourite coffee place to enjoy a good coffee with appropriate music in solitude is when i run maintenance on myself and clear out some of the mess within so that i don’t reach a Level 10 meltdown. I’ve realized that my major Meltdowns come during periods where i don’t do any writing = i haven’t been spending time alone. I find that with my regular QuietTimes, i’m doing less frantic running around to put out fires and get more things done because my head is much clearer in comparison to other times without “maintenance”.

I would just like to say that i’m not saying i want to be a Nomad and live on my own and not deal with people, but i’ll probably be spending more time alone just to protect myself, i find it one of the best ways to deal with fibro and keep myself sane in all this mess that i deal with on a daily basis.

Powered by Artisan’s Piccolo (sponsored by my dear mother <3)
Tech Support by my 3rd Gen iPad, Bluetooth Logitech keyboard & my iPhone 5.
Tunes provided by Spotify Premium.

Keep Moving Forward
Roshan Kanesan



The Theory of Success Relativity.


Good Evening guys,

it’s a nice cool evening here in PJ, sitting down at the Coffee bar here at Artisan HQ with a flat white next to figuring out what i’m going to write about today, it doesn’t help that i’m notfeeling great today, it’s been a while since i’ve felt this level of general pain, this fogged up and this stiff, was much worse when i woke, i’m really happy that it has gotten better gradually. Can’t be too out-of-it for Sheka’s Birthday party tonight 😉 Anyway, I now know what i’m going to talk about today. The other day i was having a chat with my cousin, Perashanth , aka Peeg, aka Bosco, about success and he had some
very interesting and very insightful things to say. I really enjoy talking to him about stuff because he thinks qute differently from me, although i don’t enjoy playing board games as much because his mind is also incredible strategic and as such kicks my ass on a regular basis.

So anyway, Bosco said this… or something like this (I’m sure he’ll call me up and correct me if i’m mistaken 😉 )

“All you can do is try and do your best, but don’t expect people to give you a pat on the back and say you did your best.” Perashanth “Peeg” “Bosso” G

He’s got a really good point here. That really is reality of life, yes there are times where people will acknowledge our hard work and efforts but that won’t be all the time. Most of the time, we look right at the results, and that can be a hard truth to accept. I know that there’s always going to be someone out there that is either smarter than me, fitter than me, more skilled than me and so on and they could have gotten there with less effort than i took to get to where i am now in comparison, but that’s life. Like i mentioned last week, we aren’t perfect and like i mentioned a few weeks back
we may have to take different routes than others, some that are longer or harder, but routes that could get us closer to our goals.

In life we need to remember that; We are our own measures of success. Only we will know how hard we’ve worked. Only we will know how far we’ve come. Only we know our standards and principles. Only we will know how successful we are. The only person that can really judge you is the person staring right back at you in the mirror. We’ve got to be ok with what we had to do to get to the same situation that some other people may have got to easily. I’m not saying that we should lower our standards of ourselves, but to be aware of the effort:success ratio, after all what is success if you are not happy?

Personally I don’t see the point of being financially successful if:

– I’m going to be alone

– i’m going to be miss all the important moments in my family life

– i’m not going to be able to enjoy my money till i’m

Sidenote: though i will strive to ensure that i am in a financial position in which i can provide my family the same lifestyle and opportunities that i’ve been provided with, that’s the baseline financial goal for me.

So again, it’s all relative and personal. What we want may not be what someone else wants. Or what is easy to us may not be to others and vice versa. Some of us may have strong communication skills but lack the same touch with numbers, and other may have the number touch but unable to communicate clearly, because as i said last week, we’re all human and we have our strengths and weaknesses. We just have to find a way to utilise our strengths in order to maximise our potential…

I feel that i may have run away from the main topic a bit, though i’m not really sure because i’m currently finding it a little difficult to think. Don’t be too surprised if you see a “version 2” of this piece out in a few days.

Why write today When I’m feeling off? Because I don’t want to be seen/read only on my good days.

So hopefully i got the point across clear enough and also hope that i didn’t completely misinterpret what Bosco told me the other day.

Peace out

Straight From The Heart

Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan


Overall Progress

Hey guys, how’s it going?
I’m back here at my current blogging HQ, Artisan Roast HQ in PJ. I love the fact that i don’t have to drive to Bangsar or Subang now to get myself a flat white, instead it’s now just a 5 minute drive down the road, ok, maybe a 7 minute drive, whatever, the point is that i have a great coffee place nearby.
It’s been quite a busy week, caught up with many of my old KDU friends last friday at Zouk (which was brilliant), had a little drama as well that ended pretty well and a couple of test in between, and of course METALLICA!!!!… all the while maintaining this neW rojak diet program that i’ve concocted. #willpower 😉
All in all, a very eventful week.
Anyway to today’s plot, in last weeks post, Why Do I Write?, i said that i would write/talk (been playing around with the idea of Youtube videos for my blog for peeps that prefer watching than reading… hmmm….) about what i meant by “Overall Progress”.
Sure, my phone habits are anything but perfect, I stray, but I have been making an effort to improve my communication etiquette and I do see results. My etiquette over the last 6 months has definitely improved, yes there is still plenty of room for improvement, but the fact is that I Am Moving Forward.
In this respect it is very important to understand the context of my writing, as mentioned above, a big part of it is about expressing the standards of living that i aim to live by. Therefore, in this context, it’s very important for me to ensure that i’m making progress, overall.
And if we compare it to last year, i’ve made a lot of Overall Progress.
Now what do i mean by “Overall Progress”.
I’ll leave that for next week
So… Why the “overall”?
Let me start with this line in The Great Gatsby that resonates with me quite often:
“My life has got to be like this, it’s got to keep going up.”
I agree with Gatsby, but i don’t believe in a ‘Life Line’ that is constant & straight, life is full of ups and downs which needs to be intergrate into the Life Line. The scale is up to you, monthly, yearly etc… So from this, we’ve now got a bunch of apparently random points which will form our respective Life Lines with Peaks and Downs that would illustrate our lives so far. Or how i look at life anyway.
What has this got to do with Overall Progress? I’m getting there.
See, progress isn’t a straight line up, it’s the line of best fit based on all the ups and down we’ve faced in our lives. As long as the ‘Life Line’ formed from the line of best fit shows an upward trajectory/trend/pattern, then we’re on a pretty good overall track which is based upon what we place value on in our lives, whether it is based on the state of our health, or careers, or family life.
Mine is based on a mixture of goals and achievements from health, academics, writing & social (family & friends), and looking at my Line of Best Fit, I’m definitely seeing positive results for myself.
Yea, it could be better but as long as i’m not stagnating, then i think i’m doing alright. i’ve just got to keep learning how to minimise the downtimes and maximise the peaks.
Remember, we’re human, we’re not Perfect ( i actually don’t believe in the concept of perfection, but i’ll get to that another time) we’re all a Work In Progress. We’re all always learning and thus always growing, just at diifferent rates and different ways.
As always, this has been Straight From The Heart.
Have a great week, I’ll catch you soon.
Roshan Arkay Kanesan

Why Do I Write?


Good evening guys, i know it’s been a while, still learning how to cope with all the elements in my life, the old and the new.

I’m here at Artisan Roast PJ, having a delicious Flat White to get my writing juices flowing.

So, Why do i write?

It was recently brought to my attention that my writing isn’t always in line with my actions. and yes, there is truth to that statement, but the thing is, that isn’t what my writing is about.

It isn’t about what i have achieved but more about the journey, more about aiming to achieve the best that I can, taking into account all the ups and downs. That’s why i even try to write on some Bad Days, because I don’t only want to be seen, or read, during my good days, but also during the bad ones.

My writing
is not just a way of expressing myself as i am, but a way of expressing the way I aim to live, it’s kind of me talking to myself, about the standards I aim to achieve for myself. It isn’t just about the progress and good things about me, but also about the falls, stumbles and crashes, to emphasise & remind everyone that we’re all human.

In my writing,

I make it a general point not to use “you” in my writing, so as to not to direct my points at the reader and point a finger at them and say that “you’re not living the right way, let me show you how.”


That’s not what I do.

That’s not what i believe in.

Everyone has a right to live life the way that works for them, so if my ways and thoughts on life work for you, then great, otherwise just carry on doing your own thing. (so long as you’re not hurting people & causing some major havok, #justsaying)

I’m not here to preach.
I do not believe that there is one right way of living.
I’m still finding my way, and i welcome anyone who wants to join me.

And that leads to my emphasis on using “we”.

Simply put, i want to connect with all of you, my readers, so that those of you who want to, can feel included as you read, and join me in all this if you wish.

What I write is my personal opinion based on my life, my thoughts, my learnings & my experiences, they don’t necessarily apply to you,


if you feel that you like my writings and they do appeal to you, then please join me in the aspects of life that I want to improve and change.

For example, my communication etiquette, to be specific, my phone habits. I was once told that i was being a hypocrite, that I didn’t apply what i was writing, as i mentioned above.

Sure, my phone habits are anything but perfect, I stray, but I have been making an effort to improve my communication etiquette and I do see results. My etiquette over the last 6 months has definitely improved, yes there is still plenty of room for improvement, but the fact is that I Am Moving Forward.

In this respect it is very important to understand the context of my writing, as mentioned above, a big part of it is about expressing the standards of living that i aim to live by. Therefore, in this context, it’s very important for me to ensure that i’m making progress, overall.

And if we compare it to last year, i’ve made a lot of Overall Progress.

Now what do i mean by “Overal Progress”.

I’ll leave that for next week 🙂

Sorry again for another long hiatus,

Straight From The Heart

Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan



The Ideal Route isn’t the Only Route


Good afternoon dear readers 🙂

Today’s post is a later then the last 4 Note’s on Life simply because i’ve been feeling rather stuck, cluttered and sluggish since Monday, in fact I’m still not entirely sure what i’m going to write about today…

i’m still quite stuck…

I’ve actually had a pretty decent run over the last 4 weeks, 6 pieces out, 5 of which were pretty good and got a good reception and one that i’m incredibly proud of, one that became my most viewed piece within a 24 hour period and 48 hour period.

So i guess the timing is quite apt for some disruption in my writing life.
I’ve been feeling quite fatigued over the week, but the interesting thing is that for most of it, my mind didn’t feel all that affected, it still felt quite sharp, no Fog (or nothing too big of a concern) set in, which I’m going to take as a sign of Long-Term Progress 🙂 haha However,as for Short-Term progress, I didn’t really do anything productive, my morning protocol fell apart due to my body’s refusal to get up on time and as such there was no daily brainstorm session to work on my writing… oh well, nothing really to fret about, not like this hasn’t happened before.

Ah, i think i’ve got a topic for today…

People get stuck, it happens, to all of us.

But getting stuck isn’t a sign of failure, it’s just part and parcel of the journey. Sometimes as a signal that we need a break and sometimes to signal to us that maybe the route we’re currently using isn’t right or suitable or enough.

Essentially, it’s quite relatable to last weeks post, it’s about not losing faith in our capability to be able to achieve what we want. There is more than one way to get to where each of us want to go, some may take you a little longer and some may be a little more difficult.

Just because the ideal way is blocked off doesn’t mean it’s game over, it’s really about how much we want it and what we are willing to do, about whether we’re looking at the Short Term or the Long Term, about how much it’s worth to us.

In this area i draw some inspiration from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the duo went from Seatle to International without a Label, that’s really quite a feat.

“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The great were great cause the paint a lot” – Macklemore – Song: Ten Thousand Hours

Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, it isn’t a battle but a war.

We’ve got to remember that the Ideal Route isn’t the Only Route.

On that note, i’m going to talk a little about myself.

My journey over the last few years has been quite an interesting one. Done with SPM (Grade 10 Government Exams, O-Levels) at the end of 2007, i spent the next 9 months on break awaiting the next part of my life, MUWCI – the Mahindra United World College of India. I was supposed to complete the 24 month IB Diploma Program but instead only spent 18 months there, with plenty of days at the Medical Centre with 4 trips home in 2009 where the norm would have been 2; trip 1 for a ENT surgery for a blockage we thought was the reason for my bad sleep and fatigue, trip 2 for summer, trip 3 was when my parents had enough of the idiocity of the MUWCI doctor and brought me home to get our good old Malaysian doctors to hunt down the culprit of my health problems, and they found it, Mycoplasma Pneumonia, and trip 4 for Winter break, the trip home in which i was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and the decision was made by my parents, doctors and, eventually, I to leave MUWCI. I went back to MUWCI for a month, celebrated my 19th Birthday there and left a few days later. Resting at home till June, i joined Taylor’s Canadian Pre-University Program (CPU) and graduated a year later, not without many health hurdles (it was after my first semester, February 2011, when i was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia) which i managed to get through thanks to great support of the staff, admin and teachers at CPU. They were incredibly understanding of my condition. After CPU I finally went to university, I joined Monash University Sunway Campus and had a relatively good semester there and did really well in my finals, but it was after my finals that it all wet to hell. I decided to join summer school to occupy myself, but during the month after my finals i got more tired and more clouded, i didn’t understand what was happening in class and after a while i knew i couldn’t finish it, it was just a huge mess. I wanted to withdraw but i couldn’t do so without failing the subject… It was a very stressful, tiring and depressing time, this was the period of time that i referred to in last weeks post, when i thought about Giving Up. With some good advice from the course office i deferred my summer school examination, took an intermission from Monash and filled an appeal with regards to my Summer School unit, which Monash eventually gave me. They gave me the Withdrawn Incomplete i wanted and told me i could take the unit fresh, which i’m doing now. It was this time when i went from depression to writing to my eventual revival of spirit. I think it was April 2012 when i really started writing. I got back to studying at Monash for Semester 2, 2012 enrolled in 2 units and passed on unit and got a Distinction in the other. And now, this semester, officially my 3rd semester, i’m enrolled in 3 units and things are going relatively smoothly.

Those were my routes from 2008 to now, anything but Ideal and for from the worst routes either. I learnt a lot and i suffered a lot, but importantly, I gained substantial insight into myself. I’m now more clear about what i really want. I’m now more focused on writing now, dropping Accounting as a major and going with Finance and Marketing and am going to look for a more writing based internship for my year end break.

Like i said, my routes have been anything but ideal. 🙂 and i’m not the only one who personally knows that.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try again. Fail again. Fail better” – Samuel Beckett

One more thing: When the ideal route isn’t available to us, we must first analyse the situation, look for as many alternatives and then, most importantly, attempt to calculate the Opportunity Cost, not just in monetary terms, but in overall terms, and then decide what to do. Don’t jump the gun and use the first alternative route found. Yes we must be Persistent and Determined, but we’ve also got to be Patient.

Another thing: Not everything is worth our time. Focus on what matters and Fight for that. We’ve got to know what were fighting for if we want to win, because if we don’t know what we’re fighting for, then why are we fighting?

Anyway, i hope that my writing was relatively clear, I know this is far from my best and I apologise. I contemplated not writing something today after recent standards, but that’s not how i work. My writing is also a reflection of what it’s like to be human. That there is no Perfection, and that we can’t always perform at our Peak or at Excellence. I don’t want to show you only my best sides, because my best sides aren’t me, they aren’t the whole story; and i really don’t like one sided tales. This piece is far from my best, but it’s part of my journey and a part of my development.

Straight From The Heart



Life isn’t always Smooth Sailing.


Good Afternoon guys,
I’m back at Coffea Coffee here in Bangsar, enjoying my Flat White as i write this.

I really enjoyed writing my last piece; Closer to Home: The Fight for Malaysia’s Soul. I will definitely follow up on it, but not today as today is Friday which means an addition to my Notes on Life series is due. My next addition to my Closer to Home series should be out next Wednesday 4pm.

Notes On Life is a series that revolves around my thoughts, readings and personal experiences on matters relating to Life Lessons, Personal Development & Self-Help.

Life isn’t always Smooth Sailing; we’ve got to Fight to Live.

This is something that all of us have learnt firsthand;

Life. Isn’t. Fair.

But what I’ve also learnt is that there’s a reason to that. It shows us whether we’re a Fighter or a Quitter.


Of all the attitudes that humans experience, I despise Victimhood.


Because I know what it’s like to Play Victim, to feel sorry for myself, to swim in self-pity…

to absolve myself from all blame for the challenges and difficulties of life.

I lived life as a Victim for sometime last year, if you could even call that living, It was really more like just existing and watching life go by.

I hated the person I was then, so much so that I couldn’t even stand to see myself in the mirror and see what I had become, but I realize now that I had to go through it.

Seems like such a long time ago but really it just a little over a year ago.

When times were really dark and I wanted to give up, when waking up was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, a time when my mind was so clouded that most thoughts didn’t make it out and I got confused and disoriented easily, a time when pain and fatigue was my reality, everyday.

A time, I’m ashamed to say, where there seemed to be no escape from mental and physical fatigue, the pain and the Fog, and I thought about just Giving Up…

I was feeling sorry for myself, I was being a Victim, and I hated myself for it.


But now I see that I needed to hit that low, to set a benchmark for the rest of my life. In that Fight to pick myself up and climb out of the deep dark hole I called home for a while I revealed to myself the strength in me. First it was small wins, which grew, and each win grew my Self-Belief and made me stronger, not physically, but mentally.

If I continued living in Victimhood, nothing would have changed…

“He did not know how long it took, but later he looked back on this time of crying in the corner of the dark cave and thought of it as when he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn’t work. It wasn’t just that it was wrong to do, or that it was considered incorrect. It was more than that–it didn’t work.”
― Gary Paulsen, Hatchet

It was difficult at first to get out of that habit of Victimhood because honestly, it was quite addictive, I wasn’t living in reality and didn’t deal with any of my problems and challenges…
for as long as i stayed in that pit, life was… easy… in my mind I wasn’t accountable for anything, because everything was life’s fault…

“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”
― John Gardner

With the great support system, family, friends, doctors and a great book, “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz, I climbed out of that pit of negativity, picked myself up and got back to living.

Life is still hard to me health wise, but I deal with it.

And there are some days, when things get really hard, when I indulge in a little self-pity, just to take a break from reality and acknowledge, deal with and release certain feelings and emotions that are weighing me down.

See the really problem isn’t feeling sorry for us; the problem arises when we enter that zone… and get hooked. This is the problem because after sometime the negative emotions become our norm and we then become Victims.

The People that blame everyone, and anyone, for their problems.

The People who refuse to face Life.

The People who stand on the sidelines and watch as life flies by, because they’re too afraid of getting hurt again, or failing again…

“I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. Daddy always said that the most useless of all human emotions was self-pity.”
― Gabrielle Zevin, All These Things I’ve Done


Why tell you all of this?

To make you feel sorry or bad for me? Well I don’t so neither should you.

I just wanted to illustrate that no matter how bad life looks sometimes, there’s a lesson to be learnt and a benefit to be gained, and we have the strength within us to Fight, it’s really about how much you Believe in Yourself.

Yes life can get tiring, so take a break, refuel, but don’t forget to get back to living.

Remember, We are our own worst enemy.



I’m still fighting the good fight, the daily fight, the Fight to Live. And no matter how bad things have gotten over the last year, nothing compares to what I overcame at the beginning at 2012, and if I could beat that, I can take on whatever else life has to throw at me.

I just need to remember to pace myself.

One day at a time.

One Inch at a time.

Yes, I have long-term plans and goals but I take it a day at a time;

I’m a strong believer that Small Daily Improvements will Lead to Stunning Results,

I’m a strong believer in Making Today Better than Yesterday,

I’m a strong believer that there is a Time and Place for all things.

Life now is much better than it was a year ago. My writing has gotten better, my studies are better, my moods are better and my health and energy levels are, on average, much better.

And to aptly conclude today’s Note, here’s Sinatra’s That’s Life.

Straight From the Heart,

Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan

That’s life, that’s what people say.
You’re riding high in April,
Shot down in May.
But I know I’m gonna change their tune,
When I’m right back on top in June.

That’s life, funny as it seems.
Some people get their kicks,
Steppin’ on dreams
But I just can’t let it get me down,
Cause this big old world keeps spinnin’ around.

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I’ve been up and down and over and out
But I know one thing:
Each time I find myself flat on my face,
I pick myself up and get back in the race.

That’s life, I can’t deny it,
I thought of quitting,
But my heart just won’t buy it.
Cause if I didn’t think it was worth a try,
I’d have to roll myself up in a big ball and die.

Being Busy Being Busy @CoffeaCoffeeMY

Busy Being Busy.jpgGood evening Ladies and Gents,

I’m back at Coffea today, with a Madonna Flat White next to me, my iPad in front of me and my thoughts bouncing around in my head.

Today’s posts is later than usual because my morning was a little difficult, had the worst morning to date for the year; pain, disorientation, stiffness, the works. My Fibro was not kind to me this morning, still feeling the effects now, especially Head wise, my head’s feeling foggy and really heavy, but that wasn’t going to stop me from posting today, though if my pain, muscle ache and stiffness didn’t get better i would have stayed at home and taken the ‘Day Off‘.

Anyway, on to today’s post.

“Being Busy Being Busy” Robin Sharma

“In the corporate world, I had been so busy being busy, I never had time to think about life. And yet reflection and contemplation are among the most important of all business skills. I’ve since realised that in this informations-led world we live in, ideas are the commodity of success and the most effective people are the most effective thinkers”
– Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – The 8 Rituals of the Best Leaders by Robin Sharma –

As i mentioned earlier this week, or the end of last, i started reading again, and this quote popped right out at me, it describes quite accurately how i feel about this subject.

Generally, we are just too busy nowadays. Running around doing all sorts of things. And a lot just for the sake of doing something to help us feel like we’re not wasting our time.

At one point last year i used to think that being busy meant that i was being productive. I used to plan out my days so that they were filled with ‘things to do’ and once the day was done i wouldn’t feel like the day was wasted.

Then one day, i read something by Robin Sharma, not the quote above, in which he mentioned Being Busy Being Busy which shattered the illusion in which i was living in.

I thought back to some of those “productive” days that i had and really thought about them.

1. What did i achieve that day?
2. What did i really do?
3. Did i really do anything productive or really get anything done?
4. Did i stretched a task just so that I would use up more time?
5. How much of that time did i spend hanging out?

I realised coming home tired some how signalled to me that i had a busy day, which then signalled that it was a productive day, but now it’s a little different.

I realised that much of the time I was also busy being Distracted. Focus and a sense of direction was lacking.

Now before i go on, let me elaborate a little about my view on Productivity. Productivity isn’t the same thing for everyone, it’s all down to our own Personal Productivity.

Here’s an excerpt from me previous piece.

Personal productivity is getting things done that are important to you, that will help get you closer to where you want to be. It’s about not wasting your time, potential and life. Not all things that are considered productive may be productive to you, hence the importance of personal productivity. Look at reading, most people consider it a productive way to spend time, but I really don’t think that is true. Reading for entertainment is not generally productive, it’s entertainment and too much of it is a waste of time. Of course reading is the most productive of the entertainment mediums but if you want to be productive, there Erne other more effective ways. If you want to go into business, then read the biographies of great businessmen, “have a cup of tea with them”. Do not let the common perception of reading make it seem that all books are productive, plenty of them aren’t, especially now days. – Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan

Being Busy is not necessarily Being Productive.

“Let’s stop glorifying over-work, and start congratulating smart work. The truly brilliant people in the world are those that elegantly balance a heavy-workload and the rest of their life. They’re also the most satisfied.

This industry is a race, but it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon, one that I hope to be running for a very long time.” – Andrew Dumont

A good way to feel like the day hasn’t been wasted it to set daily goals. These goals are much better gauges of how productive a day has been. It’s not about how much time you spend doing it but about getting the result that’s in Alignment with the your Grand Scheme of Things (unless of course you’re goal is a specific time related goal – read 1 hour).

Focus on what matters to you, whether you want to be a footballer, business tycoon, a parent, or whether it is to live a healthy life, fun life,etc . Know what you want and make sure most of your actions are in line. Why do I say most? Well because we’ve got to have time to kick back and do others things so that life don’t become stale and monotonous. Anyway, in order to really know what you should be doing, you have to be aware of what you want, you need to achieve clarity of your desires. And that requires of lot of thinking and personal time. Only you can know what you truly want, what your goals, dreams and ambitions are. Of course there’s no harm “consulting” others for advice,either be conversing or reading about the people you respect, what I like to refer to as mentors. They will help provide additional knowledge, guidance and wisdom to help you achieve Clarity and Awareness. But REMEMBER, that doesn’t mean you need to follow them exactly and become a copy of them. Learn from them, don’t copy them. There are plenty of productivity sites with plenty of tips, you have to be able to see what you need and what will work and not try everything and anything you can read. Find a set that works for you’d and follow through on them and once you’re comfortable and consistent, then maybe you want to add-on and modify your current Personal Productivity M.O. The foundation of all this is knowing YOUR goals, dreams and ambitions. Only then will you when you are wasting time and when you are making the best use of it – Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan

I’ve been incorporating this into my life nowadays, (though not all because i do have my Days Off and then there are days that the Fibromyalgia messes up my morning which makes my day a little more difficult – like today) and find that i feel way more satisfied with myself after a day of completed daily goals or even 80% completed daily goals because it’s all so much clearer to me.

I find that when i follow these things, i’m more satisfied with my days and weeks because i’m not just trying to fill up time. I guess you could relate it to Working Smart. I find that i don’t feel guilty about watching more TV or hanging out, if i find myself regularly completing my daily goals.

This concept of using daily goals also ties in to the concept of building momentum through Small Daily Improvements and Making Today Better Than Yesterday.

The best way to get started is to take sometime to think about how the last day and then the last week has been. Did it feel productive? Was the busyness of it all proportional to what was achieved? Do you feel satisfied?

Then get to making daily goals first thing in the morning, or better yet the night before before going to bed.

Now daily goals are just the beginning, in order to ensure that your more productive days are tying in to the Grand Scheme of Things. Scale things up by having:

1. Weekly Goals

2. Monthly Goals

3. Quarterly Goals

4. Annual Goals

5. 5 Year Goals

6. So on. (10 year, 15 year….)

This is a system that builds on each other, so we need to make sure the foundation and ground work is strong, you need to take the time to think.

The shorter term goals feed into the longer term goals and ensure that you are in line with your dreams. Keep in mind Personal Productivity.

So with something as simple as daily goals, what we are doing is breaking down the steps to achieve the Bigger Goals that will lead to our dreams.
I cannot emphasise how important it is to attain Clarity which requires us to take the time to think, to reflect.

Have great dreams but have simple, one-step-at-a-time goals to help you reach your dreams. Dreams are what you want, goals define and break down the steps to help you get there.

Sidenote: Before i sign off, i’d like to apologise if the writing seems messy and not as organised as the weeks before, Fibro made my mind feel messy & cluttered this week, especially today. I will work on making sure that next Friday’s post is more organised and clear.

Please do let me know what you think.

Straight From The Heart

Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan

Communication Etiquette v Being Connected @CoffeaCoffeeMY

Good afternoon guys, It’s a Friday which means 2 things. The weekend is back and I’m at Coffea 🙂

I’ve been thinking and discussing quite a bit about Distractions after last weeks post and how it relates to communication and phones, how they can relate and react, and whether we always need to set the phone away in the presence of others.

Last Weeks Arkay’s Thoughts Distraction post was focused on focus, about the lack of focus and some of the factors involved and how to deal with it. It wasn’t specifically about communication issues regarding phones/gadgets etc and the development of Communication Etiquette.

So today, I’m going to follow up on Distractions and talk about Communication Etiquette v Being Connected.

Communication Etiuqette

This courtesy applies more to specific Active Human Interactions.
Having a one-on-one conversation with someone (ESPECIALLY)
1. Out for dinner with people
2. Participating in an Active Group session
3. When we are doing something with someone

Essentially, if we are participating in something, Actively Participating, we should give our full focus, attention and interest and not look at your phone every time is buzzes or beeps;

1. an important contact has messaged or called

Exclusions in a Group
1.We explicitly expressed that we are going to do our own thing
2. We are not presently Actively Engaged in conversation/activity
3. Once every 20/30 minutes or so.

The Lepak/Hanging Out Scenario

In this sort of situation it depends on the group, we know the people we hang out with, so we should know whether they are particular about this. Here are some of my views here.
1. It’s generally ok to use the phone/gadget, if we are just sitting around not doing anything; this is the Doing My Own Thing but with People Scenario
2. If a conversation is going on and we really have no interest or viewpoint, then go ahead and use the phone/gadget, this will also signal to the others that this doesn’t interest us as much and that we are possibly feeling left out
3. We don’t have to be Always On and participate in all conversation or activities, its ok to take a few minutes for ourselves and do our own thing.
4. Generally applies to when people get together for no particular purpose
a. University – We see each other almost everyday so there are times when we have nothing to say, but would rather just sit in the company of each other and do our own thing rather than go home
b. Home – with regards to people that often & regularly come over, we don’t have to engaged for every minute, if there are 4 people and 2 are playing FIFA, then either talk to the 3rd person (which would be the polite thing), but if the 3rd person is engrossed in watching the other 2 play FIFA, then by all means take out the phone/gadget and reply that message or plan tomorrow or read whatever it is you read on your phone so that you don’t waste that 10/15minutes. We’re not Actively Engaged.
c. Mamak/Lepak – in a situation where we meet friends/family outside, then we should really keep the phone away unless it’s important, we’ve come out to HangOut with each other, so do that, don’t go online and read Facebook or Twitter, we can do that at home. Don’t take Silence as the license to whip out the phone. Just don’t. Quiet doesn’t mean that it’s time to distract ourselves with other things. There was an INTENT to hangout with each other, so do that, whether it’s staring at each others faces or talking. The problem with taking out the phone at first ‘sight’ of Silence, is that it sigals to others that maybe we don’t want to talk, it shows disinterest, (remember there are exclusions), we know each other, so talk about something, or be in collective quiet, don’t Excuse yourself from the Present Moment by engaging with the phone/gadget.
Exclusions include:
1.Important Call/Message
2.Taking out phone to show people at the table something
3.Collectively engaging in an activity/game on the phone – you are still doing something together.


Now with regards to games, they should not be played when with others unless related to The Lepak Scenario Point #4.1 & #4.2. Don’t play that game on the phone unless you have already Explicitly stated that you would like to do your own thing or if everyone is in the mood to do their own thing, which means that there are no Active Elements in play.

I personally don’t like to compete for the attention of the people I am Actively Hanging Out with.


Now this point, similar Exclusions in a Group Point #3, is about how often we check our phones. If we really need to keep tabs on our phone notifications, especially in a one-on-one scenario, let’s attempt to keep it to every 20/30 minutes. The aim is to ensure minimal distraction from our gagdets whe in Active Scenarios.


it comes down to Intent, Purpose and Participation. Not all gathering are Active Social gatherings, some are just reasons to be in the presence of others as we do our own things. Let’s be aware of the these factors the next time we are in the presence of others. Remember we don’t want to distract focus from the matter at hand but that doesn’t mean that we always have to keep you phone away. I think the above points will help us preserve the quality of our Active Human Interaction in this Modern day and balance the need to be Connected.

Straight From The Heart



The Productivity Serial Killer, Distraction @coffeacoffeemy


Hello readers!

It’s been while, hope you guys are doing well. 😊

I’m back at Coffea Coffee today, didn’t realise how much I missed my Madonna Flat White until I took that first sip. If you haven’t tried this place out please do, I’ll be sitting a review of Coffea in due time to launch my cafe review section, Coffee@ ☕.

I’ve gotten back to reading Robin Sharma’s blog again, there’s some really get stuff there, a lot of which i try to apply and a lot of advise that has helped me. This week i read the 51 Ways Ordinary People Reached World-Class and i want to talk about Way #10

Don’t check your mobile when you’re meeting with another person. It’s rude. And rude people don’t reach world-class.

i’ve been trying my best to apply this over the week and i have to say that i have been particularly successful.

The mobile age has brought us so much, but at the same time it has taken away a few important things… number 1 being our Focus. With all sorts of gadgets buzzing and notification and messages coming in most of us are never really focused on what is at hand, and the sad state is that a lot of us (myself included) put priority on that message we get or that Facebook notification or that Tweet over Present Physical Company. We are so distracted, we say we are multi-taskig but really that’s just an excuse, we lack Focus.

As Robin puts it, We live i the Age of Dramatic Distraction.

Work and life now move faster than ever before. We live in The Age of Dramatic Distraction with emails and text messages and cell phones and Facebook notifications screaming for our attention. All this time spent on unimportant – but seemingly urgent – things are draining your energy, costing you money and ruining your peace of mind. Oh, it’s all messing up your health too.


Being busy isn’t being productive.

Multitasking doesn’t mean you’re getting more done.

It’s just means that you aren’t clear on what you want,

It means that you can’t focus.

Focus has become such a rare commodity, and we have to start protecting it and more than that, we need to strengthen it.

Focus is a vital to Productivity in what ever it i you want to do. It’s the difference between Excellence and Mediocrity.

This lack of Focus has created a world where great thoughts are killed midway by distraction or even if they do survive they aren’t allowed to grow because we do not spend enough time in solitude. I find that my best thoughts come when i spend some time alone, whether it is my morning Holy Hour or just an hour during the day where i separate myself from the world and think. If we don’t spend any time in solitude thinking how will we ever be clear on what we want and how to get there? And it is because of this lack of clarity that so many of us live i a daze, going through life one day at a time, being busy for the sake of feeling that we are being productive and moving forward with our lives but in truth we’re not.

Please don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many many people are simply busy being busy. – Robin Sharma

And the most dangerous of all Distractions is Entertainment. You have the old timer, TV and also the more notorious new kids on the block, mobile gaming (candy crush, angry birds etc). Not there’s nothing wrong with entertainment, these games to have stimulating effects on our minds but like all things it must be in moderation. Without moderation TV, console gaming and mobile gaming will numb our minds, will encourage procrastination and waste the days we’ve been given.

Here are some suggestion to help us grow our Focus, kill our Distractions and be more Productive.

1. Be in the present
when we are in the company of people;
let us not play with our phones,
let us not fiddle with our phones
let us not reply messages (if it was really important they should call you)
Focus on the people in front of us, and if we need to take or make a call, excuse ourselves and come back after. I had a great dinner with a friend the other day, we didn’t touch our phones for a good 2 hours (except when our parents called) and i had a great time. Such great conversation and stimulating thoughts were born or developed or expressed.

Focus on the physical present, the virtual present if there at out\r disposal, we are not slaves to it, it serves us.

2. Do Not Disturb Mode
when we want to work, let’s put our gadgets on Do Not Disturb and set them away. Work for a set time, say an hour, and then take a break. and then repeat. This is a great way to strengthen our focus and discipline. Start with a goal of 30 minutes at the beginning and then as the days progress, increase it. There will come a time when we will be able to work 4 hours without distraction and not eve feel it.

3. Solitude
spend time in solitude, just us and our thoughts. These are the times ideas are born, the time when dreams become reality. Spend time in absolute quiet, think about life, have a pen and paper to record ideas and thoughts, or use Evernote like i Do (but you the need to turn off notifications). Here maybe start with 15 minutes of Solitude ad progress from there. I can do about 30 to 45 minutes nowadays. No communication, no reading, no talking to anyone but ourselves. My aim is to be reach an our of Solitude daily, preferably the mornings.

4. Explain & Inform
Explain to the people we hangout most with about what we are trying to do. If they support us then we know they want us to grow and hence care of us, if they don’t support… then they might not understand the importance of focus or not care about us as much as we thought; this may call for a Friendship Reconsideration. The people that are closest to us will not only understand but support, and does who do not are those who will bring us down… keep them at arms length.

If you have ay other suggestion please feel free to comment below.

Hope that i’ve been helpful,

Straight From The Heart



Detours & Adapting. RIP Old Me

Good morning readers,

i’ve been having a few off days, but coping with all the nonsense that’s been coming my way. Progress is happening.

So I’m back at Starbucks Monash with my mocha and my thoughts.

So let’s talk about life.

People change as life progresses, we hope for the better, but sometimes it’s for the worse. We change to adapt, to move forward and to survive. As much as i’ve adapted to Living with Fibromyalgia, i’ve been making one big fat mistake…

I’m holding myself to standards i set out when I was 18. Standards set after leaving school on quite the high: Head Prefect, the President’s Award, Great SPM results and acceptance into a UWC.

All during a time when i had no clue what Fibromyalgia was. And what it would eventually mean for me…

That was the Old Me, and I need to accept the fact that the Old Me is dead. I cannot expect myself to live up to standards of then, it’s just unrealistic and will do me more harm than good; physically, mentally & emotionally. I’m not saying that i’m going to stop dreaming, but i am definitely going to need to be less harsh and more patient with myself.

I need to accept

that it’ll take me longer to achieve my goals than it would be for a regular person

that my health is the undisputed #1 priority in my life

that my potential isn’t as great as it would have been when i was 18

but that doesn’t mean

that i wont reach my goals

that i can’t focus on other parts of my life

that I won’t do great things.

It just means that

I need to allocate resources better

I need Take care of myself

I need to look for different paths, ways and options.

The death of the Old Me by Fibromyalgia doesn’t mean in any way that my life is over,

it just means that things are different

and whoever said it was for the worse?

Straight From The Heart