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



What You Achieve is as Important as Who You Become @CoffeaCoffeeMY


Good Morning guys,

it’s been a pretty good morning for me so far, got up bright and early (and by bright i mean that my fibro wasn’t much of a problem, fog was like 3/10, stiffness was 4/10, pain 2/10) and got on to my journaling during my Holy Hour followed by a very good jog. That was a little an hour ago.

Now I’m at my Current Fav Coffee Spot, Coffea Coffee accompanied by a fine looking , and tasting, Maestro Flat White, though i’ve now decided that i’m more in favour of the Madonna.

So today,

I’m going to take a look at the Henry David Thoreau quote that i came upon last week:

“What you get by achieving your goals is as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

The minute i saw this quote i knew i had to write something about it. It’s something that so many of us (myself as well) forget to think about. Now we’ve all got goals and dreams, whether you know it or not.

Some work hard to chase them,
Some work smart,
Some work tirelessly,
Some work in spurts,
And most of us use many of the various combination that can be formed

then there are those who

Pray but don’t believe
Wish but don’t act
Dream but don’t plan

Which I am going to call the Wishful Thinker, not to be confused with The Optimist or The Dreamer. A Wishful Thinker is someone who wants things to happen, dream to come true without lifting a finger.

Now to the point at hand,

The many of us goal chasers will encounter challenges, defeat and pain along the way to the finish line, now something else to keep i mind as you fight to Make It (achieve your goals, get what you wanted, reach the finish line) is who you are changing along the way, are you being Built Up, in which you get rid of the Unwanted Fat (character traits or elements in your life that aren’t exactly good, positive, productive, encouraging etc) or are you being Taken Apart (in which you find that you are losing the best parts of what makes You). It is so important to keep an eye on this, it’s all good if you’re being Built Up, that’s the best way to Keep Moving Forward, but if you find that you’re being Taken Apart, well then something needs to be done.

Do you really want to Make It but then be:
somebody that you’re friends don’t know?
or worse,
someone that you’re inner circle does’t recognise?
or worst of all,
someone that doesn’t know you they’re looking in the mirror?

To have lost the person that made those very goals in the war you fought to get here?

Achievement and Success is all great but it’s who you are that’s most important,
not what you are,
not where you are,
not how much money you have,
nor the car you drive,
how big your house is,
how hot your spouse is.

The ultimate goal in life is to be Happy, Pay it Forward & Live –

in a way that is in line with who you are and not try to fit in to what is deemed “normal”. Not only does normal not really exist, it’s contradicting the very nature of Us, we are all different so stop trying to be like everyone else.

Embrace who you are and work from there, don’t lose the parts that make you You. Make sure that when you Make It, You are more than You were, not less.

Ensure that as you Live and move towards your goals, you’re being Built Up and not Taken Apart. It’s not as easy as it sounds but it’ll be worth it.

Hope i got my point across,

if you liked my post and/or writing please let me know by any or all of the following:

commenting below

rating it (the scale is at the top of the post)

sharing it with your friends on Facebook

sharing it with your followers on Twitter.

I’d appreciate any and all of it.
Thank you in advance!

Straight From The Heart



Dream Big But Start Small @ CoffeaCoffeeMY, Bangsar


Good morning guys, it’s looking gloomy here in Bangsar, hopefully the day doesn’t remain this way, but even if it does, well at least it’ll be a cool day, yesterday was quite hot. I’m sitting here at my current Fav Coffee Spot, Coffea Coffee enjoying the lovely Madonna FlatWhite that they have prepared for me. The day has started of pretty well, lets hope the feeling can continue to resonate through the day.

Today I would like to focus on the topic of Dream Big but Start Small, something I got from one of Robin Sharma’s materials.

Life isn’t about skipping steps or having to rush (which is unfortunately what a lot of us seem to be doing, rushing through life), it’s about continuous improvement, or at least it is to me. There are steps that can be taken to reach a dream, the steps just adjust to the decree of the Dream, and as such steps can get more difficult as you go forward. The key however, is to continuously break the steps down as you move forward, while still keeping an eye on the Big Dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, everyone who Made-It, started somewhere, they didn’t just get to where they are now in a flash of light. They didn’t wait around and wish for things to happen either, they went out and happen to things, they broke things down and made long-term goals and took the steps necessary. All lasting success is build upon the foundation of long-term planning, starting small, building momentum and patience (I talked about patience in my last blog post).

Now the most important thing about starting small is that you actually get started, the broken-down steps make it so that the dream doesn’t look daunting or intimidating, it looks achievable. As you keep on going, you will find that it will in fact get easier, or if not you have more energy and enthusiasm to face the world, this is simply because as you Keep Moving Forward, taking down one step or mini-step or even micro-step, you will build up Momentum, and the this further helps to propel you forward, as I’m sure you have experienced before.

Now the thing about momentum is that life will throw a Wrench in the works and send you back to Momentum Zero (the point where there is no momentum whether because you are starting new or because of the Wrench) and you’ll have to rebuild the momentum again and though you might feel frustrated (or angry or upset etc), Brace The Storm, don’t lose hope and don’t give up. Build the momentum again, get to Peak Momentum and when the Wrench comes at you again and you find yourself at Momentum Zero, do the before mentioned again. Keep repeating this and, as with all things, you will find that the time from Momentum Zero to Peak Momentum will shorten with every repetition, but only if you focus and don’t give up that is. You’ll grow tougher and lengthen your Peak Momentum Life as you will have learnt to deal with previous Wrenches and as such, it would now take bigger Wrenches to sway you off course.

This is not something that will come to you automatically, you have to be conscious and aware of this, keep a Momentum Record if you think it will help, so that you can see how your momentum is doing, what your Peak Momentum Life is and how it has either grown or diminished. This is not a straightforward process, but it will be worth it. Focus, Be Conscious & Keep Moving Forward.

Straight From The Heart

Other Related Posts:
1) Getting to Greatness without Burning Out

2) Small daily improvements lead to stunning results

3) Keeping The Momentum

4) Better Than Yesterday, Always


Patience, Timing & Not Rushing In @CoffeaCoffeeMY

Good Morning guys,

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this good in the morning, hope to keep it going 🙂

Got out of bed, went for a run, had my Holy Hour, practice my singing a little, watched the mentalist and now I’m having a really good Madonna flat white at Coffea Coffee. The day is indeed looking pretty damn good.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to write about today, on one hand I’m thinking about talking about a dream I had the other day and on the other I’m thinking about writing about the Patience and the like. You know what, I’m going to take a look at patience.

There’s always a conflict between being patient and wanting to get certain things done. When I want to do certain things, I want to do them immediate and I used to get pretty restless until I got the thing done, I’m still working on it but am at a better stance than previously.

I’ve found that most good things that have happened to me in my life are the result of being patient, that at the right time that which I want and work for will work out. I have also found that most of my mistakes and general bad and/or stressful things have occurred due to me rushing into things, usually with the mindset that it’s now or never. But you know what, looking back, I’ve realised that those times when I thought I needed to rush or get into that thing now, could have actually waited. I will of course work towards the things that I want, but I have to remember that being patient has lead to many great things, and even when it seemed like I missed an opportunity because of patience, it ended up leading to better things later, most of the time. Rushing into things has caused me much pain, at least I learnt from them, and the most common lesson being, patience.

I’m going to remember to Prepare, Learn and Wait for the right time, not to chase because there are certain things that aren’t meant to be and others that are. I do believe in greater Forces, I’m not saying that we’ve all got preset paths or the such, and sometimes if it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. Take a step back and be patient, because I find that through patience is when I can stand apart, observe and learn, and through this is when I believe that we find ‘The Right Time.’

Being patient and finding The Right Time can sometimes be confusing and conflicting, but this is what I’ve learnt: The Right Time isn’t about rushing in or chasing after something, it’s about standing back to observe and learn (actively, consciously) as you wait, and then stepping in when it feels right to you. It isn’t going to be easy, especially at first, and we’re all going to have to make mistakes in order to get to a better understanding of when to wait and when to step in. It’s experience that truly makes a difference in this department, and from all that i’ve dealt with over the last few years and what little I’ve learnt it’s better to wait than to rush into something, maybe that’s just me.

One more thing, do not confuse being patient with wishful thinking, while being patient we are also preparing, wishful thinking is just expecting something to fall in our laps.

Have a great day!

Straight From The Heart


How do you, will you Define your Life? @CoffeaCoffeeMY


Good Afternoon!

Yesterday I checked out this new coffee place in Bangsar, Coffea Coffee and am back here today. If you happen to have seen Twitter (@arkaysthoughts) or Instagram (@arkaysthoughts) yesterday afternoon, you would have witnessed the barrage of pictures of this place and its coffee. I enjoyed a Maestro Latte yesterday, which was strong and powerful and today I am trying out the Madonna Latte, which is lighter yet not weak, it’s got a more balanced flavour. Overall, I really enjoyed both. It instantly replaced the space that Artisan Coffee Bar had taken up in my mind, not only because of the coffee but because the layout here is more comfortable and has better ambience, with better seating, good music (yesterday was more lounge music to suit the Sunday and today’s music has got a more jazzy and instrumental feel) and less noise; Artisan Coffee Bar was in a centre lot at Bangsar Village 2 and as such was right in the middle of foot traffic and noise. While it’s a good spot to people watch, it is not however ideal for my thinking, writing and reading. And as for people watching, Coffea does has a nice view of Telawi 2 and is not bad for people watching, and as was the case at Artisan, the “Scenery” is more often than not very attractive. Oh how I love Bangsar.

If you want to try out a new coffee place, check out Coffea Coffee along Telawi 2. A few doors up from Antipodean and La Bodega.

Now on to today’s point.

Have you ever asked yourself how you do and will define your life? How do you define being successful or being on the right track or making progress? It occurs to me that most of us define our lives using our careers or money as a benchmark, not always the only one but always the most important. We’ve evolved into a society that prioritises material gain, money being the main attribute. Think about it, what’s the main goal l for a lot of us? Is it not to be rich? It isn’t wrong, it’s what the has been conditioned into us by society. It is essentially peer pressure. Seeing the people around you solely focus their lives on excelling in their education and then in their careers. What ever happened to balance? Or family? Or health?

I’m not against being career oriented, I’m just asking whether you are aware of how you’ve defined you life and whether you actually like it. However you want to Define your life is completely up to you and no matter how you do it, there will be people who will judge you, who will envy you and who will criticise you. Do not concern yourself with them, just ensure that the way you choose to define your life, that the way you will live your life brings harmony to your life, brings happiness and satisfaction and not disruption and dissatisfaction. Don’t go to extremes, be committed to your Definition but don’t ignore the other components of life, balance is needed, a Harmony needs more than one note, some more important to you the others, but still needed nonetheless. Balance doesn’t mean having everything in equal amounts, it means to have enough of the various components of life to be in harmony (spiritually, academically, financially, physically, and emotionally).

So today take some time out to start the ball rolling on how you will define your life. It’ll take some time and plenty of thought. As for myself, I’ve got a rough definition and am still working on it.

Hope this post has been helpful,

Straight From The Heart


6 Other similar, connected or helpful posts 🙂

Don’t Settle
Goals & Resolutions
Work in Progress, I am
Personal Productivity
Better Than Yesterday, Always.
Denting The Universe

Coffee for One @Artisan Coffee Bar


Good Evening guys,

It’s a nice cool rainy evening here in Bangsar, actually I’m not sure whether it is still raining, cause the weather has been rather bipolar, cause I’m actually indoors right now. Having a nice Flat White, courtesy of Artisan Coffee Bar, enjoying the music from my headphones and thinking. It’s nice, I don’t feel alone yet I’m alone with my thoughts, if that makes any sense. That’s the thing about coffee places, a place you can be alone but not really feel alone. It’s a sort of mid point, away from people that you are always with which explains how one feels alone but surrounded by strangers that cause a little background buzz, a sort of background connection to humanity that brings about the feeling that you’re not alone. Essentially the difference being that you’re alone on a conscious level, a level where you’re alone with your thought and the other being you’re not alone on a subconscious level, where you are aware that there are people around you but you don’t think about it, it’s all just background processes that don’t matter at the moment, just background music if you will. Just comforting background music because, I think, even when we want to be alone, we don’t really want to be completely alone in silence. Why? Because we feel disconnected from humanity, and most would rather not have that. Especially now, in an age of extreme connectivity. I feel that one of the major factors for the success of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc is because people want to always feel connected, to never lose the connection to humanity. To never feel “alone”.

Or then again, maybe it’s just me 🙂

Now that’s not to say that people never want to be truly alone. Most of the time just turning off the phone and heading to a cafe alone will be enough, but there will be times when the connectivity gets really overwhelming we are going to want to completely “detox” and really be alone, in silence. Too much of anything is never good.

I totally intended today’s post to be ‘A Work in Progress’, but I guess this will be it for today.

Hope you enjoyed my thoughts

Straight From The Heart