The Silver Lining


Good evening people, the above quote has nothing to do with today’s piece, but I thought I’d just share it with you anyway. I’m at Starbucks with my sis, cousin and friend, just enjoying the buzz of humanity during the Starbucks Happy Hour. I was cracking my head as to what to write today until recalled a conversation I had yesterday. Haven’t really put that much thought into it, so i think it’ll be short. Here it goes.

Life isn’t pretty, bad things happen, but ironically these events may eventually lead you to something better. If I never had to take my intermission from Monash, I would not have developed my blog and my writing, which has now become so very important to me. In a way, I’m actually glad that my symptoms flared up because they lead me to this… Arkay’s Thoughts.

Actually, if I take a look at the last 3 years, or actually my whole life, I really don’t think I would change much because each fall, mistake or stumble either taught me or lead me to something better in the long run. They’ve made me more patient, more appreciative to the life I have and the people that are in it. I’m learning how to handle defeat gracefully and how to not let it stop me. I’ve become a whole lot stronger. I won’t lie, there was many a time that I just wanted to give up, but there was always a voice in my head telling me to Keep Moving Forward, that I could do it. I haven’t been able to jump all the hurdles, but I’ve made it over a lot, some barely, but I made it over. I picked myself up and when back to class after I dropped out of MUWCI. I graduated a Merit Scholar from CPU and got the business award even after all the absences (thanks to fibro), I did well in my first sem, I fought back against the slump early this year, I sorted things with Monash and I’m going back to class again. None of it was easy, but you know what… All the work was worth it. My family and friends were there to help me up when I was down and didn’t want to get up, they believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself, and they played a huge part in my life, not just over the past 6 months, but over the past 22 years. I wouldn’t have made it even half this distance without them, especially my parents.

Every fall, every knock, every wrong turn, every mistake… They have lead me here, and I will continue to learn from them, for now they are no longer mistakes, but experiences. Lessons learnt. Memories.

Look for the silver lining, please. Because if you don’t, you’ll end up looking at life through dark tinted glass. I’m not saying that you should be that absolute optimist, but if you want to be happy, look for the sliver lining, it’ll make a big difference to the way your live life. Sort of like the glass half-full versus the glass half empty.

Look for the silver lining, it won’t always be easy, but mot of the time, it’s worth it.

Straight From The Heart



Deep Work


Good Morning/Good Afternoon guys,

Thanks for joining me today. My plan of waking up early crashed and burnt, but I’ll try again tomorrow. The body aches were quite bad this morning, but hey, life’s like that, ups and downs. I had a helluva weekend and now it’s time to pay the piper. I am at Starbucks Monash, just sitting, thinking and sipping. My phone is on silent in a corner as I focus on the task at hand, as I focus on thinking and writing. I have initiated Ghost Protocol so that I may concentrate and do some ‘Deep Work’ as Robin Sharma calls it.

Too many of us get distracted whilst we are trying to focus on the task at hand, and though many would like to blame technology and social media for this, they are not to blame, we are. If we cannot concentrate on a task, if we get distracted by a message or a FB notification or a tweet, it’s not your phones fault, or Facebook’s fault or Twitter’s fault, it’s yours. Turn on airplane mode if you have too, put your phone on silent and tuck it under a pillow. Have some discipline.


Put aside a chunk of time to do some deep work or thinking, go Ghost Protocol. We all need A Room of One’s Own. Set some time aside, put your phone away and just get to work, do some deep, quality work, and when your done, you’ll be happy that you did it. You won’t regret not replying the message from a friend asking you to hangout, as long as you’ve made full use of that 1 or 2 or 3 hour chuck to do some deep work full of quality. And hey, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it a full session without getting distracted, you don’t get to genius without first being a beginner and making mistakes. Just make sure you Keep Moving Forward , small daily improvements will lead to stunning results over time.


So what are you waiting for, go forth and do some deep work. Start small and Keep Moving Forward. Go start with 30 minutes without distractions and when you succeed in keeping 100% concentrated for that chunk of time, increase it, keep improving. And then one day, you’ll be able to put in 3/4 hours of full force deep work and then, you’ll realise that your productivity and quality has reached a whole new level of genius, simply because you got rid of distractions for a chunk of time and kept making small daily improvements.


We all make mistakes in this journey we call life, don’t let it stop you.


So Keep Moving Forward, go Ghost Protocol when you need to and most importantly, make sure you take responsibility and accountability for your life.


Straight From The Heart

Reference Points


Good Morning everyone, as you can see I’m at Starbucks, but not my regular one. Today’s Soy Café Mocha is much better than yesterday’s unfortunately I forgot my tumbler, oh well.

So today, I’m going to write bout reference points. Life is all about that. How you do what you do when you do it is based upon this principle, that we have reference points. The below is an excerpt from one of Robin Sharma’s books. It depicts this principle pretty damn well.

“Lance Armstrong is a great reference point on persistence. My father is a great reference point on integrity. My mother is an excellent reference point on kindness. My kids are superb reference points on what unconditional love an boundless curiosity looks like. Richard Branson is a spectacular reference point on living a full-out life. Madonna is a greet reference point on reinvention. Peter Drucker was a wonderful reference point on the importance of lifelong learning. Nelson Mendela is a brilliant reference point on courage and humanitarianism.” Robin Sharma


Many of us, as we grew up, faced this dilemma, after an exam our parents would say look at the people who scored better while we say, “but look I did better then etc etc.” and on the other hand when I would mention that my friend has this toy or this fancy gadget, they would go the other way and say look a the kids on the street. So yea, how happy you are will definitely depend on what your outlook on life is.

Pick good reference points to drive you to the life you want to have, they don’t have to be people like Mandela, they can be the people in by our life, your mum, your dad, your aunt, your boss. This reference points will help keep you focused on what you want in life, where your want to go and how you want to live. What type of person you want to become. It will shape your look on how your life is, how good it is or how bad it is, it all depends on the reference points you pick.

If you are going through a tough time, read about Lance and maybe he will help you find the strength you need, if you don’t think you’ll be able to achieve your dreams, read about Branson and maybe he will help you clarify your vision and ignite your spirit and self belief. When you find that your little cousin is annoying you, think about your parents and the patience they had raising you.


Reference points are so damn important. And whether you know it or not, have already have them, no it’s whether you are happy with your current reference points. These will set the standards that you will live by. The person you will strive to be, the principles you will live by, the things you will do and most importantly, it will determine your happiness.

Straight From The Heart