Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I'm Not A Good Leader

When I first started my career, at around the age of 20, I believed I could lead the company I worked for within 2-3 weeks. That was fifteen years ago and now that I am in a leadership role I feel like I'm not doing a good job at it... where did all of that youthful optimism go?

Delegating the tasks is one of my biggest problem as I strongly believe that nobody else can do things better than I can. The problem is amplified when the task is given to someone else and he tells me that he doesn't know how to do it; of course he doesn't because I've been doing it all this time not letting him learn from it. 
I'm at the point now where it's no longer possible to do everything and I have to train other people to do some of what I do. What is sometime odd to me is that I get a feeling of frustration when they don't "get it" as I, somehow, believe that they should of picked up a few things over their time spent on the project.

As crazy as it may sound, there's a feeling of accomplishment I get from completing all of these tasks and knowing that I'm better at them than most - this is the core of the issue. To be an effective leader, you need to be good at delegating the less important things so that your focus is on the important things. Perhaps the best thing about this new position is that I get the opportunity to try/fail and, most importantly, understand the things I've been reading in all those leadership books.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Do You Even RRSP?

Another year, another tax season with an opportunity to earn from tax breaks. If you are looking to save up for your retirement then you really should consider investing in RRSP as the tax breaks benefits can help you in your saving.

What are tax breaks from RRSP?
If you earned 50, 000 in the year and invested 20,000 in your RRSP then, as far as the government is concerned, you only made 30, 000 in the year (50,000 - 20,000) and that's the amount you'll be taxed on instead of the full 50,000.

Where's the catch?
The catch is that you have to pay taxes once you start taking your RRSP as it is considered a source of income but logically the taxes you pay on it will be lower since your earnings, once you retired, will not be as high as when you were working.

What are good RRSP strategies?
  • Start early.
  • Only invest money you can afford to loose.
  • Participate in your employer's RRSP plan as they often offer 2-4% match (free money).
  • Re-invest your tax return in your RRSP (instead of spending it).
  • If possible, maximize RRSP investments every year.
  • Don't take out your RRSP until you retire otherwise you'll need to pay taxes on it.
What are TFSA?
Have you maxed out your RRSP? A Tax Free Saving Account (TFSA) is another good way to save your money. As the name implies, the account is "Tax Free". While there are no tax return benefits to this account, you are also not require to pay taxes on the money you make (up to a point) - which makes it an ideal investment account.
Some prefer a TSFA over RRSP as they get to put/take money away without any tax implications (up to a point). A TSFA is better for short term savings while RRSP is better for longer term/retirement savings.

Start saving now!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

I Can't Sleep

My sleeping pattern has changed as of late and I've been doing research online on how to improve it. The following is what I found:
  • Limit my screen time before bed - The National Sleep foundation recommends to stop using electronics at least 30 min before bed.
  • Better diet - Too much sugar, especially before bed, can definitely have a negative impact on sleep but not eating a balance diet can also affect sleep.
  • Control/Minimize Stress - A 2013 study has shown that stress impact the quality of sleep.
  • Exercise - "People who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night" according to
  • Going Outside - According to WebMD, spending time outside may deliver better sleep.
  • Read before bed - Studies have shown that reading before bed help with sleep.
If you're like me, then you already know most of the stuff mentioned above but you may not have been able to implement them properly since Covid started. I mean, I don't want to blame all my problems on Covid but, seriously, we need to get vaccinated ASAP so that we can get back some level of normalcy around here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Life is Too Short and Difficult



"Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75."

-Benjamin Franklin

Life is short and is difficult at times. I, like most everyone else, have been through some difficult times (some of my own doing) but, unlike everybody else, I actively try to get out of my depressive moments.

Some people like to bathe in their depressive state by not looking for outside help or making any attempts on improving their current situations. Some people are depressed because they're making all of the wrong moves without realizing it. The below are things that should be taken into consideration when experiencing depressive moments:

  • Seek outside help: Doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, friends... if you feel down then you need to let someone know about it and you need to get help. This help can be in the form of therapy of medication depending on your situation. In Canada, you can phone/text this number if you're having suicidal thoughts.
  • Read/Meditation/Spirituality: Read/Meditation/Spirituality can help you find the root cause of your problems or provide a temporary escape. Some have also found peace by joining a religion.
  • Diet: You are what you eat and a poor diet will definitely have a negative impact on your overall being.
  • Exercise: Your mind is stressed out and without a proper outlet it will work against you. Going for a walk, joining an exercise class... get the body moving can help release stress and put you in a better mental state.
  • Stay away from cheap pleasures/escapes: Pornography, excessive entertainment, drug/alcohol... may all provide a temporary relief but it's generally short lived and can lead to addiction.

Personally, Meditation/Diet/Exercise are the activities are try to turn to the most when I feel depressive and it has worked well for me so far. There have been times, however, when I had to look for outside help in the form of therapy/guidance. 

There are some people that do none of these things and end up depressed for longer than they should. Life is too short to spend a crazy amount of time in a negative state of mind. It's okay to feel depressed but it's not okay to remain there as life is meant to be lived not endured.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Find a Need and Fill It

I've been working for a contracting company for most of my I.T. career and I've always approached a project from the point of view of "how can I add value ?". Often, adding value means that I need to do things that are outside of my core qualifications in order to fill the needs of the project.
What often happens, when I first join a project, is that my initial qualifications is what got me the contract but then the role evolves to something that's a little bit outside of my core qualifications but a better fit for the project. I believe this is what Bruce Lee meant when he said that you need to be like water - adapt to the environment you're in.

Find a need and fill it.

If you join a project, with a very specific set of skills, and you're not opened to expand or change, as the project demands, then you're not adding as much value as you could.

Be like water; fill in the cracks. You will learn things and become more valuable in the process.

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