Name One Genius That Ain’t Crazy

How’s your 2018 going?

Kanye West said, “Name one genius that ain’t crazy, I can’t let these people play me”. A couple of days into 2018 I cried my first tears of the year. My PMP application was audited, and while I submitted my signed experience to them, I got a reply that they closed my application because my experience wasn’t enough. I received the e-mail late in the night, while I was studying. I couldn’t help it, I cried and felt defeated. And then immediately comforted myself that everything is going to be okay, it is a minor hiccup that I can fix quickly anyway. It is true, I have to do some more extra work like freaking read the application guidelines thoroughly (which I should have done first), but it’s nothing more than that. I need to stay focused.

“You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you.” – Marcus Aurelius

Interestingly, the Week 1 reflections on The Daily Stoic Journal included things like “What things are truly in my control?” and “What am I learning or studying for?”, which might seem like basic reflections but these are things we often take for granted. I have to say I feel more relaxed, calm and light lately. So much of what we hear, read and consume daily are bullsh*t, you have to either cover your nose or learn to live with the smell.

In other news, I finally made perfect poached eggs and I think we should start celebrating these small achievements!

In more Kanye West News

Agree or disagree, Kanye West is a genius and one of the best musicians alive. The video above is on how West’ uses the human voice as the ultimate instrument. #mindblown

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays to everyone! The beginning of a new year has always been a motivation for me to better myself. And 2018 will be a great, stressful year for me. I just finished writing down my 2018 Milestones and plan and boy; I really need to stick to my schedule to make sure I achieve my goals for the year.

Sleep is for the weak, and goodbye social life!

I have procrastinated for almost a year to take my PMP exam, and now I have only a month to prepare for it. It isn’t enough, but I have to sacrifice a lot of things to make sure I meet my deadline.

2018 is also the year I’ll be putting one leg out the door of the UAE, which is exciting and equally terrifying. I am writing this all down and sharing it with you so feel free to check up on me whether I’m still alive and whether I’m progressing how I should be.

January is solely dedicated for PMP preparations. February until mid-March is for the setup and launch of Ambisyosa Phase 1. March until end of April I will be studying for my IELTS exam and hopefully get the score I want. When May kicks in, I will be studying for TEF; I honestly have no idea how long I need to consider for TEF since the only French words I know right now are basic greetings and words related to eating and food. With or without TEF in the bag, I will be submitting my immigration application to Canada by the end of September.

The rest of the year I will keep studying, focusing on revisiting CSS, HTML (I’m such a nerd) and the Fundamentals of Design.  Phew!

Resolutions are making a comeback!

I cannot remember the year I deliberately stopped making New Year’s Resolutions. In primary and secondary school we were always made to write and think about them. This year, I’ve written down my resolutions for 2018, and I tried my best to make them as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) as possible.

  • Ditch multi-tasking completely, starting today. I’ve read so many articles about why we should ditch multi-tasking, and I agree with this. My primary reasons for giving it up are: it’s exhausting, I don’t get to reflect and optimise my work, it’s not ideal if you have multiple projects and you commit more mistakes. If you are interested in some tips and articles on this, read this or this.
  • Purposely unplug for at least half of the day. While I have been somehow successful in detaching myself from my phone this 2017, I still believe I need to be offline more. This 2018, I will not be using my phone before I leave home for work. I shall remain online until 8 o’clock in the evening. I’m purposely unplugging, turning off data on my mobile phone.I’ve initially thought of switching it to Airplane mode but, living far away from my family, and everyone is in different time zones, I thought I should at least keep the communication line open for calls.

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My 2018 Reading List

The year is almost over and I am very disappointed to say that I did not read much this year. Reading has always been very important to me. Below is my 2018 reading list.

I’ve been trying to figure out ways on how to increase the number of books I read per year. It’s not that I did not pick up anything to read at all. I started reading quite a lot but barely finished anything. My promiscuous reading has been worse lately, whether it’s an e-book or a physical one. Anyway, for the coming year, I hope to finish most of what I started.

2018 Reading List

  1. Idiopathy by Sam Byers
  2. Big Little Man by Alex Tizon
  3. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
  5. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris
  6. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  7. Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
  8. Life in Code by Ellen Ullman
  9. Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose
  10. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen
  11. Reset by Ellen Pao
  12. Unbelievable by Katy Tur
  13. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  14. The End of Faith by Sam Harris
  15. The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis
  16. Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal
  17. The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
  18. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing
  19. In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy
  20. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  21. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  22. Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity by John Gribbin

Above is a list of twenty-two books which I hope to read next year. While it might look like a lot, it won’t be difficult since I’ve started most of them. It’s crazy that I own all these books already, actually, they are just a fraction of the books which I already have and are still waiting to be read.

A Great Tool for Reading

Readwise

Readwise

Another thing I like when reading is writing down my highlights from the book and I recently stumbled upon Readwise, which can hold all your favourite book highlights regardless if they’re digital or not.
Readwise also “sends you a daily email resurfacing your best ebook highlights”. How awesome is that?

By the way, clicking on the titles takes you to Book Depository and I get a little something from them when you purchase any through the links.

Next year, I wish to read more and better.

How about you, do you have a reading list for the coming year?

Update 24/12/2017

As I was cleaning out my phone’s screenshots folder I realized I have a pile of books to read on there as well. Here they are:

  1. Talking to My Daughter About the Economy : A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis
  2. Little Flies Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  3. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me : A Memoir
     by Sherman Alexie
  4. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
  5. 300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
  6. The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero
  7. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

The Best Things That Happened in 2017

Every year I write about the best things that happened for that year. This is going to be hard this time around because I used to rely on my posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for it. This year, I barely posted anything online (on purpose) so this is all based on my memory. For next year, however, I’ll be prepared. I planned to take old-school journaling seriously through the Daily Stoic journal and a daily planner.

I’m turning 32 in 11 more days and I’d like you to take this time, with me, to be very grateful about the people who stay true to us and are always there to support us. Today, until the 24th, tell them you love them. I love you.

2017, as much as I thought it sucked, isn’t so bad. My year wasn’t as awesome as I hoped it to be, and I do find solace in writing how it sucks, somehow it lifts a bit of weight off my shoulders, but doing so also means giving more fucks about it than it deserves.  I’m looking forward to an amazing 2018, it will be, I’m dead serious about it.Read More

Why I Have Two E-mails, I Was Hacked

Okay, I have more than two e-mails, but that’s beside the point right now.

I consider myself a very secure person until I was hacked this year. I have 2-step authentications and SMS-authentications for most of my accounts which have the feature. However, I am guilty of something a lot of people take for granted, not only do I have a relatively easy password; I use the same password for all my online accounts.

Gmail is awesome

I have a Gmail e-mail that I have been using since 2005 which was consistently hacked/leaked in multiple hacking incidents involving big tech companies, and I never paid attention. I only found out about it through this site, after I was hacked. This prompted me to immediately change all my passwords, for all my accounts (it wasn’t easy) and delete my bank details online, wherever possible, hoping the websites don’t have my data archived. As a second security step, I replaced all my bank cards. Yes, I have a different password for every single account I have now. How do I remember them? I switched from password to passphrases, and I use 1Password.

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Hello, World!

I started blogging and teaching myself to code (mostly design web pages) almost twenty years ago. I’ve thought over and over of quitting blogging, and for some reason, I cannot seem to do it.

Turning thirty (one and a half year ago) was a very pivotal moment in my life. I would like to think I had my “Aha!” moment then. No, I didn’t suddenly know everything nor did I figured things out, but I became better at giving priorities and letting things go and valuing time more. Since then, I’ve been trying to take over my life and actual steer it myself instead of letting everything and everyone else do it for me.

I am back blogging

I’m looking forward into this new chapter in my life, and I would like to announce that… I am back blogging (I didn’t quit writing, a select few receive newsletters from me, and I also write sometimes at Medium) and documenting my new found love of making the most my “nothing minutes” so let’s see how it goes.

What to expect?

Most of my “nothing minutes” are currently dedicated to two important things. First, passing my PMP certification this third quarter. Second, getting the score I want in all areas of IELTS in early 2018. As I study, more than documenting my progress, I would like to write about my personal and professional experiences. Experiences related to my full-time job as a Project Manager and everything else with regards to the Telecommunications industry. I’ve been working in Telecommunications more than a decade now (w00t!).

Also, I am currently working on quite a few e-mail marketing projects. I would love to share my insights and learnings on e-mail marketing here too. My e-mail marketing projects usually consume at least a quarter or my day, sometimes more. But, it’s something I’m passionate about. Of course, I cannot forget about reading and books, because it is after all my one true love, I started lib a while back, and you can expect great things on there too. Sounds fun?

P.S. I think this is a great read, Millennials are obsessed with side hustles because they’re all we’ve got.

Best Things 2016

Try, fail, repeat. 

It’s December, my favorite month! 2016 has been interesting and weird. And as the year closes it’s time to look back and see how far we’ve come and realize, Trump may be the U.S President-elect, but 2016 wasn’t so bad (if you look at history and you’re optimistic about the future). Here are the best things this 2016!

January  In my quest to lose unwanted pounds last year, I started running again, and I started this year with a 10KM run and dedicated it to Salam ya Seghar. I’ve raised 3,361.96 AED through my 30K campaign.

I promise I wasn’t trying to spam you. If you did open the two (2) test e-mails I’ve recently sent to you by mistake, you must be wondering why I’m e-mailing you Veterinary news. I decided to be serious about freelancing this year. I’m currently focusing on online e-mail marketing, and I’ve sent you my latest work by mistake. Again, sorry.

February I did my first Spartan Race and managed to get out of it alive. #AhooAhooAhoo. Tried yoga at The Burj Club for the first time!

March I quit my 6-year job at Du. Phew. Stayed overnight in the desert and managed not to kill the loud ducks and snorers.

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Turning 30

I’m turning thirty in two days and here are some of the things I learned or realised last year.

  1. You have to try to listen to your body more and give it a break.
  2. When people leave, let them go.
  3. Don’t forget to listen to your gut-feeling.
  4. No one should ever have to wonder or need to be reminded that they are loved and/or missed.
  5. It’s not too bad to read Facebook comments. Don’t take them seriously though.

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