Why is Materialism a dirty word?


Good Morning all!
Feeling really good this morning, managed to achieve a few small goals of mine this morning and that has pumped me up. Woke up at 6, had my holy hour, swam for a bit, and was in Monash by 8. Grabbed a Café Mocha from a barista who has just more back from a break, really friendly guy, made a mistake with my billing and took accountability and responsibility for it, how many of us do that nowadays? Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.

So I was thinking this morning, while using the Bose QC15, and thought, what’s wrong with materialism?

So yea, today I’m going to write about Materialism.

Now I know there are many definitions of materialism, so for the sake of clarity, this is what I’m referring to: the love and pursuit for material possessions.

Now I have absolutely nothing against materialism, he’ll I’m majorly guilty of it. I love my toys, my gadgets, my things, but not as much as I love my family and that’s the most important thing when it comes to materialism. Go ahead, get the car you love, buy that gadget you want, treasure them, but never, in any circumstance let an object come between you and your family and team.

I think this passage by Robin Sharma will best illustrate what I’m trying to say:

“Contrary to popular belief, The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari isn’t a manifesto against making money and enjoying the good life. My main message there was simply “remember what’s most important to leading a great life.” drive a BMW, wear Prada, stay at the Four Seasons and make a ton of money if these are the things that make you happy. Life is certainly full of material pleasures that really do make the journey more delightful. No need to feel guilty about enjoying them. But please don’t forget about those basic but beautiful treasures to be loved along the way. Like deep human connections, realising your best through fulfilling work, exploring the arts and experiencing the glory of nature.”

I love my Apple products, my Ray Bans, my Starbucks Café Mocha, my (not really mine yet) Giselle, my beautiful posters, my shoes, my Polo Tees, my suit and etc. And I will not feel guilty for having them.

One day I want to have a beautiful house, a Mercedes SLS AMG and a Rolls Royce Phantom. I want to either have my own firm/company, run my own media empire or be a World Class Success Coach like Robin Sharma, or all of the above. I want to go on great vacations and stay at beautiful hotels. I want to be able to send my kids to whatever schools that will give them the best education and I want my wife to have the option of not working yet being able to live the her dream life as well. I want to have nice suits, a wardrobe of Ralph Lauren Polos, a membership at KLGCC, and an Eco friendly private jet. I want to play golf with top business people and top politicians on a regular basis. I want to be able to deck my house in whatever gadgets I want, to host glamorous parties yet be able to support my community, raise the standard of living and help those who need help to get to a level where they can help themselves. And no, I do not feel guilty for having these dreams.

I want a a lot of things, but nothing will ever be more important than my family and my team, than my future wife, than my future kids. I will do my best to achieve my material dreams, but my top priorities will always be the same, be the best son I can be, the best husband and most importantly, be the best god damn dad in the whole damn world, because nothing, and I repeat nothing, is more important than being a parent. And along the way, I’ll do the best I can at work and my career to realise my material dreams.

Yes this may sound may sound naive to some of you, it may sound farfetched to others, some may think that I’m being arrogant, and others may think that I’m not being a realist. But hey, this is what I’m going to aim for, and if I do not achieve it, I’ll deal with it. One of my heroes, John F. Kennedy once said, “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”. And if I’ve learned anything over the past 3 years, is that the biggest obstacle between me and my dreams, is me.

I want to live the good life, which to me means having a great family first, being the person i wish to be and being able to afford and sustain having lots of toys.

“only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” JFK

But I digress, remember that it is you who owns the object and not the object that owns you and your pursuit of material objects will be balanced and healthy.
Be wise, be smart, dream big and prepare for the worst.

Have a great day,

Straight From The Heart,

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Ghost Protocol


 

Good Sunday everyone, hope you are all doing good. I’ll be working today. Surrounded by what I love… Apple products.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that I Love my gadgets, my iPhone, my iPad, my MacBook etc. they help me stay organised, help me stay productive and help me unwind. But that doesn’t mean that i should give them my undivided attention. I believe that we need to have gadget time outs, this is related to my thinking time post. Our gadgets are wonderful but they have tendency to interrupt social life and disrupt thinking and /or productive time. When having dinner or a conversation, put the phone away. Whoever is trying to contact you can wait until you’re done with dinner or until the conversation is over. don’t interrupt your Physical contact with another person because you’ve got an iMessage or a FB notification or a tweet.

As my dad always says: “time and place”.

This is especially important for my generation.

Now those who have to stay by their phones for work, set aside a Electronic time out to have some quality bonding with your family and give you your own time. Your family needs it and most important, you’ll need it; To get your best ideas, to think better, to be more productive, to remain sane.

I haven’t perfected this yet, but I am certainly making progress. I hope you will join me in setting aside at least an hour a day, gadget free, for family and then another hour for your own, undisturbed, thinking time…. A Room of One’s Own. A time to go dark, covert; go Ghost Protocol and Black Ops. Go all Ninja.

You own your gadgets, not vice versa.

What better day to start than today? A Sunday.

have a great day,

Straight From The Heart

Arkay 6

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Facing Fears = Power


 

Good morning everyone,

For a change I’m writing from the Starbucks at Gardens, but still with my cafe mocha. 🙂

Today is a big day for me, I hope it all goes well.

On that note, I want to talk about the power that you get once you face your fears, once you’ve completed that task that you have been resisting. I’m actually pretty scared now, I’m going for a job interview after this, to get a sales position at Machines, hopefully Machines Gardens. I’m scared because I have never done this before, this is new to me. Have never had a real job before. Thoughts have been popping into my head. “what If I can’t do it?” “what of I don’t get it?” “do I really want it?””I can still cancel” “I don’t have to do it” bla bla bla.

But you know what, I want this job, It is a step in the right direction, I want to learn how an apple reseller works, so that maybe i can have my own franchise one day, I want to sell Apple products because I am passionate about them, I want the experience as i want to continue to grow but most importantly, I want to move forward. It’s been a great productive 5 weeks, and I want to continue that flow. I’ve been writing, reading, sleeping well, exercising, dabbled in investing, meeting people etc. I think I’ve mentioned before, this feels like my second coming.

All those questions and doubts, were coming from a place of fear, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. And I will face that fear because once its done…. It will give me power and confidence.

For example, yesterday I finally met a lecturer that I’ve been meaning to meet for a while, I put it off for so long cause I was scared, intimidated, worried etc etc. I was afraid I would mess up the meeting, but finally, yesterday, i just did it. I took the elevator up and met her and you know what? It was a great meeting. She has pointed me in the right direction to sort out my issues reading my Accounting Major and I have a meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies today. Hopefully she will be able to help me solve my problem. I’ve been procrastinating for so long simply because I didn’t want to face the fear of not being able to pursue Accounting, or having to delay my graduation by another semester and all those things. The phrase “Ignorance is Bliss” comes to mind, but ignoring the problems isn’t going to make them go away. No. That require conscious effort. Sometimes we run away from our fears so that we can pretend they’re not there, I sorry, but it’s time to wake up.

“I know of no more encouraging fact than th unquestionable ability of a human being to elevate their life by conscious endeavour.” Henry David Thoreau

So today, I’ve got two big steps to take, my first real job interview and a meeting at university. Both are big steps. And I am scared, but I’m not going to run away from this challenge. I will face it

And whatever happens, I will face that as well. If I don’t get the job so be it. If the meeting doesn’t go well I’ll extend my studies by another semester because failure is inevitable in the journey of life, you just have to make sure that the failure doesn’t stop you from moving forward. I’ve had enough of being scared, how about you?

“Fail Faster. Succeed sooner.” David Kelley

“Screw-ups are the mark of excellence.” Tom Peters

“twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do that by he ones you did.” mark twain

“the real risk lies in risked living.” robin sharma

Straight From The Heart

Arkay 6

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Heart Appeal & Brands


 

As much as some companies would love customers to use their heads, most use their hearts

What do the biggest brands have in common?

A customer-fan base. Loyalist. Supporters.

The brand appeals to their emotion, their hearts and then their heads. Whether it’s environmentally friendly products, cool products, a great environment, or top-notch staff. Brands like Apple, Virgin, Body Shop & Starbucks have learnt that most people buy with their hearts first before their heads. Hence the Apple Fanboys & Starbucks loyalists. I’ve talked about Apple products before, so let me talk about Starbucks… Why do I come here almost everyday and pay a little more than 10 bucks for a drink?

1. The Cafe Mocha is awesome
2. The staff is so damn friendly and are great talk to. They remember your name, they make an effort to make you feel appreciated.
3. The have a great environment here. The slight feel of humanity through the buzz of conversations slightly drowned out by the delightful and great music they play. It just has such a nice feel; a comfy setting, plug points every where. They make you feel at home.
4. The pride themselves on being socially conscious, more specifically environmentally conscious. They practice Earth Hour and I just saw this sign on their counter about a waterfall clean-up tomorrow organised by them. They encourage you to use reusable tumblers, yes you need to buy theirs, but you get a 2 buck discount if you bring it and use it. So over time, if you are a regular, you’ll cover your “expenditure”. Amazing.

Starbucks doesn’t just appeal to me, it appeals to million in the country and many more across the globe.

Anyway, this isn’t about Starbucks but about how to become a great brand. Like Apple, Body Shop, Starbucks & Virgin.

As much as people say we should shop with our heads, we really love the brands that appeal to our hearts.

“business is in so many ways is about love. Think about it. Success comes by treating your customers with love. Acclaim comes by doing your job with love. Market leadership comes with selling your wares with love. If your customers only like you, you are vulnerable to losing them when a competitor with a cheaper product or a more economical service comes along. Why? Because you’ve failed emotionally. Connect with them. because when customers love you- because you’ve touched their hearts but the way you occur in their lives – you become a part of their extended family. You’re now part of their community. They become loyal. They tell the rest of the family about you. And they’ll take good care of you should times get tough.” Robin Sharma, the Greatness Guide

Straight From The Heart

Arkay6

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5 things to be Grateful for this Monday Morning


 

Good morning again!

My second post on this cool Monday morning,

I know a lot of people will be feeling the Monday Blues, especially since this morning was such awesome weather to sleep in but don’t wake up in a bad mood. I used to and It didn’t help my day at all.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn

Waking up on the wrong side of bed is an excuse we give ourselves to feel like shit and be grumpy for the day. There are plenty of things to be grateful for today and everyday and this is very good practice for everyone, it has helped me a great deal in the past few weeks (thank you Robin Sharma). Wake up in the morning, think about 5 things you are grateful for, whether it is a great family, a job, a car or just that the sun is shinning. It really does help, take it from me. Have a journal and write it down, it doesn’t have to be a book, I use my iPad and iPhone. Another thing I do every morning is I read my favourite quotes which I have pasted on my wall, I call it my “Daily Wall Reading” and it helps me feel great,motivated and inspired every morning.

“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” – Dr Seuss

The difference between waking up on the wrong side of bed and on the right side of bed is how you want to wake up. The above methods sound cliche and cheesy but they helped me get out of a very dark place and help me stay away from the dark place. If it helped me, it can help you and c’mon, no here no harm in trying, is there?

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

I am grateful for:
1. A family that loves me and believes in me
2. I was able to wake up this morning without feeling like I was run over by an 18-wheeler
3. The brilliant cool air that invigorated my soul
4. The responsibility of having little brother that has helped me mature and develop.
5. The people (you) who have supported my blog and help me feeling great, everyday.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

I’ll post pics of my wall reading later.

Have a great Monday and a great week ahead!

Straight from the Heart,

Arkay 6

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Review: The iPad (3rd Gen)


Good evening ladies and gents, it is indeed a beautiful evening. I am currently chilling at the Golfer’s Terrace at KLGCC, sipping on some coconut water looking at a beautiful view of the golf course. How much KLGCC has changed in the past decade.

Anyway to the point,

I bought the White, 64GB, 4G iPad about 2 weeks ago, when it launched, and I’m ready to tell you what I think about it.

I love it.

More than my new toy this little tablet has been an incredible tool for me, increasing my productivity,reading and writing. I love reading magazines on this thing, and I type out all my blogs on it. I use it as my primary device, so much so that I can’t remember the last time I used my MacBook except to load music and videos onto my iPad. I don’t even need to sync my iOS devices with my MacBook cause I sync them with iCloud. I don’t even use my MacBook to surf, the iPad is especially useful with that. The Twitter and YouTube apps are amazing, (especially Twitter) and I basically only use the Facebook iOS app, not any browser.

I Love it. It’s so damn smooth, quick and easy to use. Simplicity at its best. Especially with iOS5, you don’t need a computer to set it up. The resolution is absolutely amazing, more pixels than my 63″ inch full HD tv. The battery life is equal to the iPad 2, but the thing is, the battery is almost twice as powerful. The new iPad has a 45 watt battery, the iPad 2 had a 25 watt battery. Why the same battery life? The Retina display, it takes a fair amount of energy to power the screen to its incredible full glory.

Aside from that it has quad core graphics but is still a dual core processor, A 5mp camera, dictation (no Siri) and personal hotspot capability not to mention 4G support, which isn’t that big a deal in Malaysia since we don’t really have proper LTE 4G.

The only issue I faced with the iPad was One day, while using the personal hotspot from my iPhone, the iPad got pretty hot. But it was one a tennis court and it was a hot day, that was the only time I expertise uncomfortable heat from the iPad. Oh, and the speakers aren’t all that.

I have absolutely no regrets buying this brilliant decide but if you have an iPad 2 I wouldn’t recommend upgrading, unless you can get a good price to sell your iPad 2. If you have an iPad 1, don’t think twice about it. I highly recommend it. If you already have an iPhone with personal hotspot and want to save some money, skip the 4G, that will cut RM400 from the price tag.

Hands down the best tablet in the market. Apps. Battery life. Magazines. Resolutionary. Smooth Performance. iCloud syncing everything together neatly.

Don’t believe me? By all means, please go ahead and do your own research then, no worries, I would do the same. 🙂

And about the name, I like it. Getting rid of the numbers was only natural. You don’t see an iMac 7 or a MacBook 8 or the iPod nano 4 do you?

Have a great week ahead!

Straight from the Heart,

Arkay 6

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Yea, I’m an Apple Fanboy


So yea, I’m an Apple fan boy. I will not apologise for it, I will not hide it, and I certainly will not deny it.

Apple announced its earning and it did not disappoint, I expect the stock to go up again and i really do think, if they keep up the pace, that they’ll achieve a Trillion dollar market capital in a year or two. But anyway, back to me and being an apple fan boy.

Nowadays gadgets are more than products simply because of the difference in rival products and the philosophies of the companies that produce them. It’s the new cultural divide.

I buy apple products because of the ecosystem they’ve created, it all just fits, it all works, it’s simple and yea, they look brilliant. iCloud ties up everything nicely, my MacBook is the hub, though not as important now, of the system, my iPad and iPhone help me maximise my productivity and keep me connected. Apple makes their users feel comfortable and feel apart of something bigger. And even the little things matter, like AirPlay and AirPrint, the lack of mess in their systems, which is a huge android problem (fragmentation). I guess that is what appeals to me the most, the cleanliness of Apples products, the work together perfectly to form an amazing tech ecosystem, everything is in sync. Once you buy one apple product, you’re are more likely to buy another and stay in this brilliant ecosystem. I’m now looking for a way to use Airport Extreme with Unifi and also raise some money for a Time Capsule and Apple TV because I’m trying to bring more wireless was to my home complete the Apple Ecosystem. I just bought an Airport Express and I love it, the ability to play music wireless and control it from my iPhone.

But you get the point, Apple does a great job at integrating its products, far better than any other company. If you’ve already got one apple product, then you know what to do.

Yes, Apple products are more expensive but they last and are worth the money. My iPhone 3G is still alive and kicking, it’s my dads backup phone and the iPhone 3GS is probably going to be passed on to my brother and my iPhone 4, still brilliant.

I’m loving the new iPad, the apps are great, the display is brilliant and I’m getting a lot of reading and writing done now. Newsstand is great, I love reading the Star, Edge Financial daily and Fortune on it. The Bloomberg app helps me keep track of the markets. Twitter on the iPad is amazing. If you want a tablet don’t waste your time looking at anything else. iPad for the win. More when I review then iPad which should be online next week.

Even though I am an Apple fan boy, it doesn’t mean that I hate everything that isn’t Apple. It just means that I like Apple products more than anything else. I like Google, Samsung, HTC and all the other competitors because they keep Apple on it’s toes. The better the products rivals makes, the more apple has to step up. Win for consumer and Apple Fans.

Peace out,

Straight from the Heart,

Arkay6

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The Lack of Self-Belief and the Fear of Failure


 

Good morning people,

Again i know it’s been a while since i’ve posted and i apologize, i am working to make this a more regular thing.

Today I’m going to talk about Belief, not religious beliefs but Believing in yourself.

“Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure out ways and means and how-to.”

The lack of self-belief is plaguing us.There are so many of us that are scared to exit our comfort zones, so afraid to leave it because you might fall or get scratched. All because society has tabooed mistakes & failure, (largely due to flawed fundamentals of education systems, but that’s for another day) making it seem that in order to be successful and live a good life, one cannot fail, one cannot make mistakes. This goes on to lead people into confining themselves to the “Known” so that they minimize the risk of failure. But what most people do not seem to understand is that we are human and we will make mistakes. Mistakes is the fundamental ingredient in success, progress and greatness.

Richard Branson. Steve Jobs. Thomas Edison.

What is life if you do not experiment and learn? Better yet, what would life be like if everyone confined themselves in their comfort zones? The human race would not be where it is now. BIll Gates and Steve Jobs would now have gone to form Microsoft and Apple. Henry Ford would not have mass manufactured the car. Slavery would still be a norm. Columbus would have never discovered the ‘New World’ and the list would go on. The conclusion being that we would have never progressed, that we would still be hunting animals and living in caves, if we would have even made it that far.

WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt, they failed the first 39 times.

Mistakes help us learn, failure makes us stronger, it weeds out the weak. The most successful amongst us are the ones who fail the most; the difference is that they didn’t let failure paralyze them into fear, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and kept going. These are the people who end up being great, the “Crazy Ones”. They aren’t afraid of falling in the mud, of entering new areas, they aren’t afraid to learn and push the boundaries of what they already know. The reason that they weren’t afraid is because they believed in themselves and what they were doing.

Persistence. Experimentation. Determination.

Self-belief is the most important factor in fighting fear of failure. People are afraid to make mistakes because they worry that they will not be able to overcome it. They do not believe that they can handle the potential curve ball that life has been known to throw. They do not believe that they will be able to pick themselves up after what could be a potentially bad fall. They lack the confidence to think that they can do it, and that’s the difference between achieving greatness and mediocrity. That’s the difference between winning and losing, and yea, you may not win all the time even though you believed in yourself but you’re not going to let the loss of one battle make you surrender the war.

“When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.” – Josh Linkner, Fast Company.

Straight From the Heart,

Arkay6

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Patience, Balance, Focus & Hard Work.