Arj Selvam — Entrepreneur, Meditator, Wanderer, Writer etc.     

About, philosophy, etc, etc.

I have a varied background, and am on my fourth, probably fifth, act. I’m deeply curious about the world around me and try to learn about something new each day via: Subscribing to quality publicationsi.e. The New York Times, The Athletic, Dan Frommer's The New Consumer or Craig Mod's Roden, having conversations with interesting people, teaching myself new skills, and always finding an excuse to travel.


"Hotel meditation" in Zürich, Switzerland; September 2019 (shot on Sony α7III; 18mm at f/2.8, 1/500, ISO 100)

Work

I hold degrees in engineering and finance, though I consider my university experience to be somewhat self-limiting creatively. That propelled me to launch an online fashion brand after graduation (2009) which in some ways was pre-ecommerce and pre-Instagram, for better or worse. Since, I’ve zigged and zagged through my career, spending time at companies like Uber and Aēsop, and consider myself firmly acquainted and rooted in the world of technology, specifically the branch that is, consumer internet.

Projects

Currently I am working on a personal project, Minds and Recreation, which is a personal care brand that's inspired by mindfulness and well-being.

When timelines align, I consult for consumer technology startups that are building conscious products or services.

Documentation

I enjoy documenting things: Life-updates, travels, monthly music playlists, personal health data, random thoughts, et cetera. Over the years, though, my documentation has become scattered across the web, which is to be expected. Thus, I recently spent time to consolidate my presence online.

For my self-publishing experiment on well-being and nice things, my email newsletter, The Considered, is what you ought to subscribe to. For non-regular life-updates, long-form writing and travel essays, my personal weblog, Conscious Standard, is where to go. For even less frequent visual updates, my Instagram is what you should follow. I wrote a short post about it all here.

Virtues

Last year, inspired by a Benjamin Franklin productivity piece, I decided to write my own personal values to serve as my own life's navigation, to keep me grounded, and help me live with more intent. What began as an unnecessary lengthy list has now been condensed to set of five guiding words: Humility(One) Embody modesty and refrain or minimize from self-promotion, resistance(Two) Fight for what is right, be vocal for the people and things which matter to me, consciousness(Three) Engage intentionally and with volition, color(Four) Become lost in the arts, study what makes the world beautiful, and compassion(Five) Bring love and joy to people, self, and things. When I'm stuck or need a dose of self-awareness, I turn to these.

Meditation

As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself looking inwards a lot more and that has led me to the practice of daily meditation, running, and to a lesser extent yoga (Iyengar). These slow, ancient eastern rituals and rudimentary exercises have really helped me cultivate a rounded and simplerHenry David Thoreau. Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Ticknor and Fields, Boston, 1854. life, in addition to guiding me through life's valleys.

Contact

The best way to reach me is by email, but you can also write me on Twitter too.

—AS