Cover Photo: January So

We check in with the multi-talented duo to find out what they've been up to during lockdown

Considering how our daily routines have changed, what has been the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout the year?

January So: First, it’s to not blindly chase after every goal you set for yourself, or become myopically focused on outcomes. Second, it’s to be present in every moment because that’s how you experience the joys in life without feeling the need to attach to worldly pursuits and achievements.

Aaron Chin: The one thing I realised is how little we actually need to sustain ourselves and find lasting joy. One doesn’t need an overabundance of material wealth to live a good life and in fact, I find that the more possessions you have, the more it weighs you down when pursuing a harmonious life.

Read also: How To Achieve Work-Life Balance In The Age Of The Coronavirus

How has working from home been for the both of you?

AC & JS: The concept of ‘work-life balance’ never really worked for us because by setting hard boundaries, we felt like it created an artificial separation between work and life. Surprisingly, we discovered that we have more time for work and for ourselves. The pandemic showed us the need to replace it with a more integrated, meaningful approach. It’s been incredible so far, and who would’ve thought our furkids would make such exceptional colleagues?

Read Also: 5 Young CEOs In Malaysia On The Perks Of Working From Home

What's one thing you both found you can't live without while in quarantine?

JS: Soap. Coming from someone who took shower gel for granted, I bring soap everywhere I go now.

AC: AirPods Pro. It’s a nifty little thing that has become essential as I use it every day so that I can ‘Zoom’ everywhere without disturbing others.

Read also: The Horizon Wireless Earphones From Louis Vuitton Are Now Available In Classic Black

Your essential lockdown fashion item?

JS: I have sensitive skin and struggle with maskne myself, so satin silk face masks have been a lifesaver for me. I particularly love the ones made by a homegrown brand Hanya.

AC: I wrap myself in linen throws from Hale Mercantile for no particular reason besides making me feel safe and cosy.

ICYMI: Get Rid Of Maskne With Foreo

Any shows or films you’re obsessed with lately?

JS: OneThousand and One Nights by Leung Man-tao; it's a Chinese literature programme on Youtube.

AC: The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix has definitely renewed my childhood interest in chess, to say the least.

Read also: The Brooklyn Museum Is Exhibiting Costumes From Netflix's The Queen’s Gambit And The Crown

Were there any books you found insightful while in quarantine?

JS: Chiang Hsun’s Six Lectures About Loneliness and Jiddu Krishnamurti’s On Love and Loneliness are books I go back to all the time. Their books talk about society as a whole—human connections, human psyche and spiritualism, topics that I actually enjoy researching about.

AC: I’m currently reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. I've also found Yvon Chouinard’s works inspiring; he’s the founder of the sustainable outdoor brand Patagonia and a remarkable entrepreneur who’s managed to build an amazing company doing what he loves the most. I find that amazing because it’s extremely challenging to build a thriving company that prioritises the planet as well as its people over profit, so it’s encouraging for me to see somebody who’s done it. Many points he’s touched on in his books resonated with me and have since then led me to make a few changes on my own entrepreneurial journey.

Read also: Let These Books Help You Find Your Inner Calm

What’s one quote that immediately comes to mind in all of the books you’ve read so far?

JS: I think it’d have to be an excerpt of Krishnamurti’s On Love and Loneliness: “Love comes into being when the mind is naturally quiet, not made quiet, when it sees the false as false and the true is true. When the mind is quiet, then whatever happens is the action of love, it is not the action of knowledge.”

AC: In his book, McConaughey wrote: "We cannot fully appreciate the light without the shadows. We have to be thrown off balance to find our footing. It’s better to jump than fall. And here I am.”

Read also: Hong Kong Filmmaker Ann Hui Stars In A New Documentary On Her Career And Life 

  • ImagesCourtesy of January So
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