He then helps the kids get ready for school, before starting his workday at 9am. He tries to wrap up by 5.30pm to have dinner with his family. On weekends, he “completely shuts off”. “I switch off my phone, I don’t check for any messages or emails. I usually spend my time reading,” he said.
Living in a technological age where work seeps into our daily lives, Akili’s commitment to mindfulness is certainly commendable. “It has been a constant progress. Five years ago, I was on the verge of burning out. I was constantly on a plane, and I would wake up in the middle of the night and the first thing I saw was my phone, with all the emails popping up,” he admitted. “I’ve been learning a lot on this mindfulness journey, and I’m still learning.”
Having been based in Singapore for a while now, which are his favourite spots in the city to spend his downtime? “I love going to the libraries here. I usually go to Queenstown Library. It’s a small library, but on the second floor, they have a reading room with an amazing view overlooking some trees. I just love being there,” he mused.
While Akili counts MacRitchie Reservoir and the Botanic Gardens as some of his favourite nature parks, he also enjoys walks on Changi Beach. “It has a very old-school feel. Everyone is so laid back and I love watching all these old uncles kayaking and fishing,” he quipped.
Whether it’s working on his projects, spending time with family or indulging in his passions, Akili believes “nothing else matters than being present in the moment”.
While he’s managed to carve out a successful career as an entrepreneur, ask him what’s most important to him and he’ll tell you this: “I just want to lead a happy, fulfilling life, and be content with what I do.”