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

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Student Life @StarbucksMY


Good Morning guys,
Hope you’re morning has been good! I’ve got my Mocha next to me as I sit at my fav table at the Starbucks Monash.

I got hit by a Fibro Spike (sudden, out of the blue, ninja spike of my fibromyalgia symptoms etc) yesterday morning that really took the wind out of me for a big part of the morning, but i managed to eventually (2 hours later) get out of bed. This morning wasn’t as bad as yesterday, it was difficult but nothing like yesterday and took me 10 minutes to shake enough of it off to get out of bed, though today i experienced something that’s been MIA for a long time, waking up moderately disorientated with a hint of nausea on the side. As for now, things seem to be pretty good. Had a good ComBank tutorial and an even better Business Law tutorial, as of now BL is my fav class, the syllabus thus far (2 weeks) has been intriguing. It’s making me wonder whether i should actually be doing law. I know it’s only been 2 weeks, it’s just that fighting against injustice is something that appeals to me, i’m not a big fan of unfairness and if there’s something i can do about something i think is wrong, I’d like to act on it.

Which brings me to today’s main course, though it’s not all that filling.

Last week i published a post about my the Monash Parking Problem, and in doing that I’ve also launched a new category, initially to be called Monash & Co, but decided that Student Life would be more apt. It doesn’t limit my writing to just Monash, but allows me to collaborate with Down Memory Lane to bring write about previous student life in; CPU, UWC.

In this category will be the writings of a student about issues ranging from infrastructure, like the last week’s piece, to academics. Essentially anything to do with my current place of eduction; currently Monash University Sunway Campus. I feel that through writing i can Act, that i can create awareness and hopefully make a change or non-change. I will write about things that i feel can change or praise things that i think have been done right.

Now, just because last weeks post didn’t reflect Monash in the best of light does it mean that all future posts will follow suit. No.

I will praise and I will critique.
I will write the good, the bad & the ugly.
It will be based on my opinion of right and wrong.
I will strive to be as unbiased as I can,
I will do my homework,

but essentially,

I’ll write it as I see it.

Just a heads up, the next few posts will not present Monash in the best of light, but it is something that needs to be put out there, just need to do a little more homework.

Well, i think that’s about it.

Oh wait i forgot!

If you have something you would like me to look into and write about please let me know, and i’ll look into it and see whether i can put a post together.

Now and as always,

Straight From The Heart

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Back to Class, Parking Problems & Communication Issues@StarbucksMY


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Good Morning guys,

#BacktoClass
A new academic year has started and as such I’m back here at my old writing spot at Starbucks Monash Sunway, it’s been at least 4 months since i last blogged from here. Today i am accompanied by Latte, 2 normals shots topped off by a decaf shot. Good to see that many of the faces from the last semester are still around behind the espresso machine.

Birthday Present!
Now, maybe you’ve noticed a new addition to the pic above and maybe you haven’t, for my recent 23rd birthday my A-Team got me a Logitech bluetooth enable keyboard for my iPad and today is the first time i’m really using it and i have to say, it’s pretty damn nice. Thanks guys. Not that i didn’t like typing on the iPad itself, it’s just that now i won’t lose touch with typing on my macbook, which was happening last year. the iPad on-screen keyboard is way more compact than the physical keyboards and i started having some trouble typing on a physical keyboard a few months after getting my iPad, so now that will not be happening, feels very close to typing on my MacBook Pro. Oh, and now that there is no keyboard on-screen, the entire Retina Display is dedicated to my writing, that’s probably my favourite thing.

Today’s Point
The current issue on mind was kicked off by the Sunway Monash Residence office and their communication failure 2 weeks ago.

I was at the SMR office to apply for the the Non-Resident SMR parking, and was told that they don’t do pre-bookings and that i would have to apply next month. I figured that to mean come on March 1st. i actually thought about applying there and then for February, and i pay for the current month, which would essentially be burning the 50 bucks for Feb, but since I was told that there was no pre-booking i figured that if i come early on the 1st there wouldn’t be any problems applying. However i would not be able to go on the first so i got help from my mum and a friend but that came to nothing as i was told a few days before the 1st, while i was in perth, that not only was the SMR Non-Resident parking lot full but that the waiting list was closed.

Now imagine my confusion,

how can there be a wait-list if there is no pre-booking the week before the beginning of the next month. I was confused and not pleased, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying my great perth holiday; which i will talk about at a later date. So, on the first day of this semester i went over to the SMR office to talk to them but that came to nothing, there was nothing they could do to help me out, even though it was one of them who misinformed and mislead me. All i kept hearing was, “the waiting list is closed” and found out that they were taking-in applications on the 25th of feb….

Wait a sec… let me see if my math and concept of space and time is right…

A week is 7 days, thus 7 days before the 1st of march is = 23rd of February… but wait, that can’t be right because i was told there was pre-booking and that no applications are taken in during the last week of a month,

so…

is the SMR Office using a different calendar system (in which the should be public about it) or is my basic concept of the calendar system at fault?

Dear SMR Office,i think you guys need to get your act together and be very clear on your Non-Resident Parking Application Policies & Procedures, something like the incredibly detailed set rules and regulations for the parking lot that’s on the application form, but for the Application Process. Hopefully this happens sometime soon, hey maybe i’ll go over and suggest it, so that students like myself aren’t let down in such a confusing & bitter manner.

Oh, and in the event that you do actually have formal procedures & policies for applying, why was i not provided with that information when i came to inquire 2 weeks ago, or better yet last year when i got the lot.

So what i learnt from all this and my couple visits to the SMR office is the customer service isn’t all that and that there are people there that just don’t know how to communicate and that you can’t trust what one person communicates entirely as it may not even be right.

Ok, so i didn’t get my nice parking spot, i’ll just revert to the normal parking right?

But wait,

Unfortunately the Monash University Student Car Park (SCP) fills up by 9am, on most days, and the median, mean and mode of my classes is 12pm. So this posed a problem on Tuesday when I arrived at Monash at 10am… which was solved by parking by the side of the road that also leads to the SMR Main Entrance, somewhere in the region of a 10 minute walk from campus, somewhere on the road next to the South Quay Lake.

And I wasn’t the only one who had to park there, there were at least another 40 cars there.

Yes i was irritated and angry that I was misinformed and that in order to get a space at the SCP i would need to be there by 8:45am but I will (and have) adjust(ed). My little parking problem alone isn’t a big deal but i’m not alone in this, there are many students who face problems with parking everyday and some to an extent where they are late for class (even though they came plenty early) or miss class, Monash University Sunway Campus needs to do something, maybe buy some land next to the SMR or near the South Quay lake and build a multi level car park with a proper weather proof student walkway to campus.

Unsustainable Growth

How can you keep enrolling more students when you do not adjust the parking capacity to support the growth? Once upon a time, from a year ago, it was possible to get parking between the hours of 9 & 10am, but by 9 it’s not at capacity but over-capacity and spilling out all over the place.

Just let me be clear,

I’m not whining about this. yes I was on a rant for some parts of this post (at the least haha) but like i said, i’ll adjust and deal with this current problem, i’ve had much bigger problems to deal with over the last year than that of this.

Silver Lining?

Well,

It will give me a bigger push to wake up bring & early to get my morning rituals done and be at the monash parking by 8:30am, it’s going to encourage me to plan for the week and stick with it and i’m going to save a little more money.

Parking a week will cost me now RM8, which is RM32 a month which is Rm18 saved. hahaha.

However,

I would really encourage Monash to help ease this major parking problem as it is their concern, it is a direct problem for their biggest stakeholders, the students! and i also hope that SMR will get their act together, their customer service could be much better and so could their communication & transparency.

Straight From The Heart

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Of Living Now & Anticipation


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Im sitting here in this Starbucks, my Caffe Latte on my right and my iPad right in front of me, thinking about how long I haven’t blogged and how blogging right now would just make my morning even better.
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Good Morning dear readers, it’s been a while since I last took to the iPad and opened up my WordPress app to share my thoughts with you. I’ve been in a bit of a rut, waking up late, wasting too much of my time on unnecessary unproductive things, but today I have snapped out of it, thanks to my Holy Hour yesterday afternoon that got me feeling good, aware and driven. My Holy Hour is such a important tool in my life, I have to make sure I keep it up, because when I don’t, everything just goes out of sync, priorities get disorientated and my mind gets cluttered. But enough about that, that is the past and I will learn from them and Keep Moving Forward.

Right now I’m enjoying this very moment, not thinking about the last or looking forward to the future in Anticipation, but just sitting here in this black arm chair, in this tastefully designed Starbucks sipping on my caffe latte, breathing in the moment, savouring my coffee.

Enjoying the moment, I think I wrote about this before, but anyway let me write about it again.

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If you visited my Facebook FanPage recently, you would have seen a quote from the current book I’m reading:

“the only moment we ever live is the present moment. It is the only one we ever have to be happy.” John A. Schindler

How right is that. Read it again and let it sink in. The only moment we can do something about is this very moment. Not the moment before this, or the moment after, this moment. So don’t waste time, try your level best to enjoy it.

The biggest threat and detriment to enjoying the present moment is Anticipation. The anticipation of something coming up that you are looking forward to or the classic,”I can’t wait to go to high school,” when you’re in middle school or “I can’t wait to go to university!”, when you’re in high school and so on. Stop wanting to fast forward through life all the time and enjoy what you can from the present phase of life you are in. Every phase has its benefits, so stop looking at the negatives. Stop being so glass half-empty. There’s always a Silver Lining.

Yes please plan ahead, plan that event you want to do, or plan for they concert you want to go for, but in the mean time, before that very exciting event happens, don’t let the anticipation to get to that future moment kill all the time in-between. The most valuable commodity in life is time, so don’t waste it living in fast forward or sleep-walking. Be aware of what you are doing at all times, at all moment and try your very best to enjoy each moment or at the very least live each moment, really live.

Put more living in your days.

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A suggestion, the next time you are walking, take a look around. Observe the people, the scenery, the sky, the plants etc, really observe and maybe, just maybe you’ll be able to see beauty and colour of all of it, to really see it and enjoy every bit of it.

To round up, enjoy the moment, don’t fret about the past because there really is nothing you can do about it but learn from it and plan ahead but don’t live life in fast-forward because of the Anticipation of getting to that next moment, or that next event or that next phase in your life.

“love what you have, and then go for heat you want. Enjoy the climb up the mountain, but never take your eyes of the summit”Robin Sharma

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Tuesday Morning Inspiration


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Good Morning, it’s my first day back to class today, unfortunately I woke up later than I planned which messed up my morning routine, couldn’t have my Holy Hour and I’m going to have to rush through this piece. For a while I just wanted to stay in bed, for a I while I asked myself why didn’t I just why did I decide to come back this semester and a few excuses started popping into my head. I got up anyway, off my bed and into the shower and that’s when I realised why i was thinking that way, I was scared.

I’ve been away for more than 7 months and it’s scary getting back to class. What if I fail again? What if I can’t handle the stress and the Fibromyalgia decides to flare up again? What if, what if, what if… Well, I’m never ever going to know when I’ll be fully ready to get back, I’ve spent the last few months trying my best to get to this point, so let’s see what happens. I’ll never know what will happen if I just stay under the covers.

I need to believe that I’ll be fine and organise myself to stay on track. Sleeping early, getting up early, eating healthy, laughing, studying and all that jazz. All that is going to be more important now than before, to keep me moving forward. To further propel me as I enter the next phase of my Second Coming.

Yes today didn’t start as planned, but I’m here now, I’m writing now, I’m on track for class, sure I didn’t get my Holy Hour, I’ll learn from the mistake and correct it. Mistakes will happen, not everything will go according to plan, I’m just happy that I adapt and made the nest of the time I had before class.

Yup I’m scared, because once I enter that lecture hall, it all becomes real, I will be back at uni, and in the back if my mind will be that fear that I might fail again. But as I wrote sometime back,

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

And I’m also reminded of this one,

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,

I need to start believing that I will get through this. One semester at a time. This is the next big step in my recovery, in my Second Coming, in strengthening my Will to Keep Moving Forward.
And you know what, I will get through this. It’ll be fine, as long as I don’t lose focus and most importantly, as long as I don’t lose faith in my ability to get through, as long as I don’t stop believing in me. And so what if I fail, I’ve been through worse, from where I was when I left Monash all those month ago and now, ive made quite the turn around. From the broken young man who was ready to just give up, to one who is ready to face his fears, to Keep Moving Forward. As I have mentioned before, I know it won’t be smooth sailings, but as long as i don’t need up like how I was 6/7 months ago, I think I’ll be fine.

Facing my Fear will give me more strength to Keep Moving Forward, easier said than done I know, but doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

And you now what else helped make my day a little better? That my Soy Café Mocha was free today. 🙂

Straight From The Heart

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The Silver Lining


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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

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Deep Work


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Straight From The Heart

Reference Points


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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

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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.

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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

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Friendship


 

Good afternoon everyone. How are you guys feeling today? I took a “partial day off”. Slept at about 1am after having a great talking session with a friend, I really enjoyed it. He/she really knows how to listen and understands & relates to certain things that I’ve been through. So yea, I planned to wake up at 10:30am but my body told me to get up at 9am, so my sleep-wake cycle is back! Had a great breakfast, But it was such a nice cool morning, and I’ve been feeling jaded over the past few days that I decided to go back to sleep at 11:30am…. And took a 3 hour nap. 🙂

So now, it’s about 4:30 in the afternoon, I’m chilling at Starbucks Jaya One (where I just won a free drink! Lucky customer! Woo. Today I realised that I’ve been to Starbucks 24 times in the last month. :/) and I’m blogging, I’m accompanied by warren who’s studying and my Café Mocha (as is the standard MO).

So it’s the middle of week, half way through to the weekend, just keep doing your best work, you’re almost to the end of the week. It’s startling how fast the week passes by, many of us forget to actually live and go on autopilot. I did that for more than a year, trying to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Anyway, I feel like I’m rambling, So to the point, today I’m going to talk about friendship.

I value my friends very much, the ones who i really care for (old and new) are the ones who have always been there for me, and vice versa. They are so close to me that the distinction between family and friend starts becoming irrelevant. Most of these guys are so close to me that they are family,coming and going from my house as the please, they aren’t regarded as guests in my house. If they want a glass of water they go take it, I’m not getting it for them 🙂

And yes, I know not all friendships last forever, but I try to make them as meaningful as possible.i enjoy having deep conversations, conversations that go beyond the superficial and I believe this is the basis of a great friendship that will last, because even if you don’t see each other for a while, when you do meet up, it’ll be as though there was never a gap. Half of my A-Team is overseas, but when they get back, we’ll just Press Play. I skyped with a few of great friends from MUWCI a couple weeks back (not in a group session, individual sessions) and even though we hadn’t talked in over a year, it felt great, I still felt close to them, It was absolutely wonderful to see their faces, even though it was over a screen, it was great to see them and catch up. Another great friend of mine is coming back soon, haven’t seen him in months. Sorry, back to the point, why am I talking about friendship, because over the past few weeks I’ve made a lot more friends, and I’ve been developing those relationship, we’re getting closer, I’m getting to know them better and it’s no longer just a simple superficial relationship, there’s depth to it. Last night I spend four hours with someone who I didn’t even know a couple month back, but now I know we’re tight, it was an amazing conversation yesterday. We’ll see how things go with regards to permanent membership of my inner circle.

I value the members of my inner circle very much, these are the people that I hope to have in my life for a very long time. I want my kids to refer to them as aunty/uncle and their kids to do the same with me. I want our kids to think of each other as siblings, I want us to be a non-blood related family. May sound weird to many of you, but that’s what I want, and no, I’m not saying that I’m excluding my blood relatives from this, I’m just focusing on friends in this post.

And yes I know that there will be friends that will drift away, I’ll deal with that, but the ones that really matter will always be in my life or at least I hope so 🙂

I’m sorry that I didn’t write a “proper” piece today, my minds a little scattered, still on “Day Off” mode. Haha. Anyway, have a good day, love your family and your friends, and make sure they know it. 🙂

Straight From The Heart
Arkay6

 

Look Through the Eyes of Understanding


Good Morning Dear readers 🙂

Thank you for joining on this Monday morning. I wish you the best of luck for the work week. Todays blog title is something I picked up from Robin Sharma.

So last week I had a great conversation with a few of my friends, put that together with what
I’ve been observing about people and the books I’ve been reading, and you know what I realised?

So few of us truly listen to the person that is talking to us. We are more interested in Advising, correcting and giving our own opinion than actually listening to what the person on the opposite side of the table is telling us. Communication between people is not only restricted to what the person is saying through his/her words but also via their body language, their intonation and eyes. So many of us ‘word hear’ and not truly listen to the depth of what’s being spoken.

Last week during the great conversation with my friends, I looked into their eyes and was taken in by the depth of emotion that I saw, the meaning and the pain, the joy and the happiness. The eyes are just so expressive as someone is talking. So the next time you are talking to someone, look them in the eyes, yes you can still hear them and know what their words mean even as you look at your phone but you won’t realise the depth and meaning that lies behind the words… That you not only hear through the words but they way the words are put together, the intonation of the words and most importantly, the body language as the person speaks and the emotions of the eyes.

They eyes are truly the mirror to the soul.

So many of us want to talk, we want to be heard, but when everyone acts like this, you know what happens? No one listens which means that no one is heard, and that means that all we’re essentially doing is adding to the noise. When someone is talking to you, listen to them, don’t think about your reply, don’t judge. I’m not saying that I’m guilt free, but I’ve making an effort, for sometime now, not consistent yes, but definitely a solid effort, and over the years I’ve been told by some friends that I’m a good listener, and you know what, it makes me feel happy, I’m proud of that, I’m happy that my friends feel comfortable talking to me. And when I need someone to vent to or talk to, they just sit and listen as I rant. Thank you guys. Thank you so much.

Now about venting, when someone is venting, please don’t interrupt, they’re not in the mood to be advised, they just want to get some stuff of their chest. By advising you are indirectly telling them to shut up, that they are wrong, and maybe what they did was wrong, but as my dad says, “time and place.” wait for them to calm down, so that they are in a less defensive stance before you ask them to think about what they just said. Let them vent, let them cool off, you just listen, really listen. Try to identify the real problem behind the venting, but wait until after they are really done before you talk to them, not advise them or critique them or correct them, talk to them. Heart to heart, and if they get defensive and reactive and fight back, don’t do the same, keep calm… Because the minute you react to the reaction, it’s game over. Don’t be like a can of coke when shaken, be like water…. No matter how shaken, it doesn’t fizz over.

Be a bottle of water, not a can of coke. – Sean Covey

Time and Place.

People are sensitive, we don’t like being judged, criticised or being told that we’re wrong, especially in a harsh manner, there is a way to help someone, and it doesn’t start with being judgemental and reactive, always stay calm. When someone reacts badly to something you have said, take a step back, (i know this doesn’t sounds easy, trust me I know, but please try as practice will help you establish this as a habit) and think about why he/she reacted that way, don’t get angry, don’t get frustrated…be calm, be patient and ask, why are they reacting in such a manner, maybe they’re tired or stressed, give them some time, they’ll appreciate it. I mean, that is what I would appreciate, and I think this applies to many other people out there. When someone gets angry, take a step back, push pause and try to get to the real problem, don’t pry, don’t pressure, just be there for the person, they’ll eventually open up. It’s my personal policy never to pressure anyone to tell me something, they’ll tell me when they are ready and until then, I’ll be there for them in whatever capacity they want, as much as I can.

‘LISTEN’
When I ask you to listen to me And you start giving me advice, You have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
And you begin to tell me ‘why’ I shouldn’t feel that way, You are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
And you feel you have to do something to solve my problems,
You have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen; Not talk, nor do – just hear me.
And I can do for myself – I’m not helpless
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me, that I can and need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and weakness.
But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, No matter how irrational
Then I quit trying to convince you
And can get about the business of understanding
What’s behind this irrational feeling.
When that’s clear,
The answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we Understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works sometimes for some people;
because God is mute, and doesn’t give
advice to try to ‘fix’ things,
He/She just listens, and lets you work it out for yourself.
So please listen, and just hear me, and if you want to talk,
Wait a minute for your turn,
And I’ll listen to you.
Anon

So remember guys, listen, really listen to the people in you life. It won’t be easy, but it’ll get easier each day and eventfully we’ll achieve amazing communication. There’s more to listening than just hearing. A lot of problems could be solved and avoided, especially those between men and women in relationships 🙂

Seek First to understand, then to be understood. – Stephen Covey

Have a great day guys,

I hope that I didn’t step on anyone’s toes with this piece, if I did, I’m really sorry.

Straight From The Heart,

Arkay6

Keep Moving Foward

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