Monero lost more than 50% of its network hash rate

This is old news to many but I’ve been watching it, the hash rate on Monero was just over 1000 MH/s prior to the algorithm update as a way to combat ASIC mining by companies like Bitmain.  It plunged to as a little as 157MH/s initially but as of now (2018-08-08) 461 MH/s.

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This is significant and the move wasn’t without controversy but I think it was the right way to go.  Monero wanted to stop giant mining farms like you see for Bitcoin and Litecoin.

I think it worked, initially and clearly a lot of mining was disrupted because all the mining software had to be updated such as xmr-stak or xmrig etc.. Today if you use a pre April 2018 miner you will get “invalid results” or “share not accepted” from the pool because the algorithm has changed.  This effectively bricked Bitmain’s Monero miners but all was not lost for them as it is believed they were probably mining with them for several months if not more before releasing them publicly.  For any critics at least Monero clearly communicated almost immediately after Bitmain’s announcement that they would update the algorithm and would be sure to brick them.  And in all fairness at least Bitmain warned of this on their own sales page so it is nice to see an issue like this handled well by the main parties involved (of course those who still bought a Monero miner are out of their money).

Considering that months later the old hash rate of 1+ GH/s is now only about 460MH/s I think it is fair to say there were ASIC mining farms controlling over half of Monero!  This very well could have been Bitmain and other manufacturers themselves.  But going back to the whole mining thing, most know I am against it.  One inherent vulnerability of any mineable coin is that whoever has the most hashing power wins or controls the network allowing them to steal from others essentially.  As illustrated in my picture earlier one pool supportxmr.com has 80 MH/s, Nanopool 95MH/s, minexmr 94 MH/s so essentially 3 pools control about 60% of the hashing rate or about 20% each on average.  If you check out the list of Monero pools essentially the hash rate is concentrated among numerous pools which puts it in a similar situation as Bitcoin in a sense.

The current situation is better but nothing stops people from spending millions on GPUs and CPUs in order to dominate the network. With Monero only worth around $100 USD at the moment there is little incentive to do so unless an organization simply wanted to kill Monero.  I would imagine criminal organizations like the ones who targeted Bitcoin Gold and other coins will be ready and waiting to do the same though.

What do you think?

Cheers,
A. Yasir

VMWare 6.7 A Blast From The Past

Or A Blast To Their Market?

I’ve used VMWare on and off over the years but mainly during the pre-opensource days before the days of Virtualbox, KVM, Xen, OpenVZ etc…  and have dabbled and helped maintain some VMWare clusters over the years.

Anyone familiar with VMWare or who Google’s it will see lots of dire warnings about upgrading to the next version since the upgrades often break existing servers.  This is mainly not because of the Linux Kernel but VMWare seems to have a policy of blacklisting and hardcoding what network adapters, ILOs and CPUs are supported in each release.

Indeed the majority of blogs you will find deal exclusively with warnings of what is not supported and how to get around various restrictions.

But 6.7 seems like a marked departure from the standard.  It has dropped support for the majority of CPUs previously supported even up to 6.5.

I’ve also found it be fairly buggy especially getting vSphere working nicely on 6.7 ESXi hosts.

So this brings me to the next point, VMWare has literally shrank their market share but making it so their existing customers or a lot of people who may have used VMWare literally cannot use it (at least not with the latest 6.7 version).  Since there is not a lot of hardware that supports 6.7 the logical solution for many, even existing users is to simply migrate their VMWare VMs to something opensource based on KVM whether that would be Proxmox, oVirt, OpenStack etc…

Now, I do understand VMWare wants to prevent their marketshare and they’ve likely worked out agreements with hardware manufacturers on what gets obsoleted since a lot of large corporate customers will simply just buy brand new hardware that is supported.

But to me it’s just not a green solution when the same “obsolete” hardware is more than capable of supporting large scale computing infrastructure for a long time to come.  Computing power is so affordable and up there today the problem for hardware manufacturers is that so many organizations even with old hardware don’t need to upgrade (of course save for VMWare mandatory hardware obsoletion).

Aside from all of this VMWare is a fairly good system but I feel it is starting to quickly become attractive after reviewing a lot of community feedback and talking to colleagues in the industry.  There’s a huge push to migrate to KVM based virtualization and I feel the latest VMWare 6.7 will hasten this move.

Bitcoin Anonymity at what cost?

Wasabi Wallet

We’ve already heard of “tumblers” which make it very difficult to trace the true sender or receiver of a Bitcoin transaction.  Now we have the “Wasabi” wallet project, which does something a bit differently.  It actually uses the Tor network to anonymize you on the Bitcoin network.  However, I think this is a risky move because malicious actors on the Tor network (especially exit nodes) have been setup by malicious groups including government agencies for surveillance and other use.

The problem with depending on the Tor network and a third party client is what if someone injects malicious code such as the Bitcoin Gold client scam?  Even if that’s not the case what if some malicious Tor node runners get together and target Bitcoin users and use it to successfully trick the Wasabi client into thinking you’ve received money you don’t have?  It would certainly be an effort and tricky but with enough time, money and resources it is a likely possibility based on the reward value alone.

So, well the idea is well-intentioned I think trying to solve it any other way  is risky and it should be the Bitcoin code base that is modified to support these features.

Another personal alternative is that you can use your own personal proxy or server to hide your real IP as this is already a supported feature of the Bitcoin client itself.

What do you think?

Cheers!
A.Yasir

RAID in 2018

Still Not Quite Obsolete

I’ve talked to a lot of professionals in the IT industry and some surprisingly don’t even know what RAID is!  Others think it is unnecessary, while some think RAID is a replacement for backups still (something admins and hardware techs have been harping about for decades now).  First, I’ll give a quick introduction into what RAID is, what it isn’t and its applications in the real world.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks.  I think the term is a little bit unnecessary in todays’ world but let’s break it down.

First of all we are talking about an array of connected, separate hard disk drives.  These could be 2.5″, 3.5″, SAS, SATA or SSD as far as our implementation and OS they are all essentially the same to the computer that they are connected to.

There are 5 levels or versions of RAID as follows:

  1. RAID 0 AKA striping (two drives required).  This takes two identical hard drives and combines their performance and capacities to make what appears to be a single drive.  Performance with 0 is excellent but the disadvantage is that a failure of any single disk will result in dataloss and the array going offline.  There is no recovery except for backups.   I never recommend RAID 0.
  2. RAID 1 AKA mirroring (two drives required).  It is called mirroring because both drives contain an identical copy of the data. Performance is enhanced on reads because data can be read twice as fast but simultaneously reading from the 2 separate hard drives at once.  There is a performance penalty in terms of writing since the data must be written to both drives at once (however this is usually not an issue for most servers since the majority are read intensive on average).
  3. RAID 5 (3 + drives required).  RAID 5 has in the distant past been one of the most common RAIDs as it provides enhanced performance and some redundancy but it is very prone to faults, failures and slow rebuild times.  It uses a parity drive that is essentially spread between the others but this parity often results in performance degradation unless a hardware RAID card is used.    It can withstand a single drive failure but NOT 2 drives.  Performance of reads is good but the parity calculations slow down performance.
  4. RAID 6 (4+ drives required).  Similar to RAID 6 but two drives are used for parity so it could survive 2 drives failing and is more fault tolerant.  It takes even longer to rebuild on RAID 6 than RAID 5. Performance of reads is good but the parity calculations slow down performance.
  5. RAID 10 AKA 1+0 (requires 4 or more drives).  It is a combination of the sum of two RAID 1 arrays, striped together as a RAID 0.  It delivers excellent performance and is fault tolerant (a drive of each RAID 1 could die without any ill effect aside from some performance reduction).  Rebuild times are similar to RAID 1 and are much faster than RAID 5 or 6.

Rather than over complicating this issue I will try to give a practical take in 2018 of what RAID means.  Some have said RAID is obsolete but usually they are referring to the nearly impossible resync or rebuild times on large multi-terabyte RAID 5/6 arrays.  I would agree there as I’ve never liked RAID 5 or 6 and whether you like it or not it is very impractical to use.

So what is the best way to go?

RAID 1 If you only have 2 drives then I think RAID 1 is an excellent trade off.  It is quick and easy to resync/rebuild, a single drive can die and you will still not have any data loss, yet when both are active you have a performance boost in

RAID 10 If you have 4 drives you gain extra performance in a RAID 10 configuration with fault tolerance that a single drive on each RAID 1 could die without dataloss.

The main disadvantage is that with RAID 1 and RAID 10 you are essentially losing 50% of your storage space but since storage/drives are relatively cheap I think it’s been a worthy tradeoff.

There are some people who spout that “drives are more reliable today” and “you don’t need RAID anymore” but I hardly find this true.  I’d actually argue that SSD drives may be more unreliable or unpredictable than mechanical hard drives.  One thing we can all agree on is that the most likely component to fail in a server is a hard disk and that’s not likely to change any time soon as much as we like to believe flash based storage is more reliable.  I’d also ask anyone who thinks running on a single drive (even with backups) that isn’t the performance benefit and redundancy worth running RAID?  I’m sure most datacenter techs and server admins would agree that it is much better to hotswap/replace a disk than it is to deal with downtime and restoring from backups right?

Now for the warnings.  RAID “protection” is NOT a replacement for backups even if nothing ever dies.  The reason for this is to understand the misleading term of RAID “protection” that some in the industry use.  It is true in sense that you are protected from dataloss if a single drive fails (or possibly 2 in some RAID levels).  However this doesn’t take into account natural disasters, theft, accidental or willful deletion or destruction of data.

I’d say as it stands in 2018 and beyond that everyone should be using at least RAID1 or RAID10 if possible in nearly every use case.  There are a few possible exceptions to this rule but they are rare and even then you should aim for as much redundancy as possible.

In conclusion, if you can use RAID 1, preferably RAID 10. If you can’t use RAID, learn and use it anyway.

Cheers!
A.Yasir

Sherman’s Head

Hating On Cryptocurrency To Save Fiat

Well I expected some crazy stuff going down during the Cryptocurrency hearings in front of Congress, and I wasn’t disappointed. My instinct was to follow the crowd, and just blame Congressman Brad Sherman for being old and too wrinkly to understand this technology. But this man isn’t old and stupid. No these people are actually pretty damn smart, that’s how they make that $$$ and that’s why it shouldn’t have been a surprise to know Sherman wanted a flat out ban on all cryptocurrency and mining.

While the internet went psycho in calling this old timer congressman for not understanding the technology nor listening to the experts, I was thinking “How clever this old snake”.  He spent most of the time interrupting the experts just to say how much he hated cryptocurrency and how it was used for only illegal stuff.

There’s two parts to this.

  1. Sherman’s Not Dumb
    As much as I want to fall back on the fact Sherman’s old, out of touch and just can’t get his old man brain around cryptocurrency, this isn’t the case. He’s very smart, in fact, he knows what cryptocurrency is and how it could completely change the face of money. He’s connected to other Congressmen, Bankers, Politicians, and the Elite, heck even gunrunners are Congressmen, he’s connected to money. Fiat money to be exact. A monetary system that his friends own, and he’s going to protect it.

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    Imagine a coin the Federal Reserve couldn’t make, control and manipulate. Instead, it’s a system where people can make, control and manipulate. Well, thats not to say it’s better, but it’s better than what we have. The unbankable would be bankable simply because they could mine, buy and exchange or trade coins for other coins or goods/services. Where poverty stricken places could make their own family or community economies. Imagine the endless possibilities of this level of adoption?

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    But this possibility is why Mr. Sherman wouldn’t even let Cryptocurrency Experts finish a sentence before rudely interrupting. Accusing cryptocurrency of being mainly used by criminals and the dark web- where illicit activities take place. He declared he wanted a blanket ban on all mining and cryptocurrencies. Creating the uproar amongst the cryptoverse.

  2. Sherman’s Criminal Link
    With all the talk about cryptocurrency only being used for criminal activities, Mr. Sherman forgot to consider his own criminal links. One of the largest donors to his campaign was by a California based company Allied Wallet, who was involved in illegal gambling. Allied Wallet was forced to pay $13million to the US after investigation. Mr. Sherman probably forgot but the internet didn’t.

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    Not to say that a proper discussion on the topic of security and safety of Cryptocurrency isn’t something we should engage in. However, flat out slamming Cryptocurrency to secure the Fiat system, isn’t a good method nor is it right.In the end, the #CryptoCongress hashtag trended and hopefully, the American people will make their voices clear with their vote next election.

    In the meantime, click here to contact him and other Congress people on how you feel.

    What do you think? Is Mr. Sherman in conflict of interest here?

    Cheers,
    A.Yasir

“The Future Of Money”

US House Of Representatives

The United States will begin official hearings on cryptocurrency on July 18 2018, on a live stream for the general public to listen on the hearings. The title of this hearing is “The Future of Money: Digital Currency’, somewhat acknowledging that bitcoin and cryptocurrency at least has the potential of being the ‘new cash’ if not the only ‘cash’ of the future. As technology develops, having digital cash is the next natural course.

The exact list of people attending hasn’t been released, but it’s expected to be presided over by the legislators and cyprtocurreny experts. When I hear cryptocurrency experts though, there’s a few worries that come to mind.
The first is that ‘most’ if not all cryptocurrency ‘experts’ tend to completely negate the security portion of digital currency, upselling completely unsafe technology. Which is a legitimate concern surround cyprtocurrency. It’s not fully anonymous like people think, Bitcoin is traceable for example. Public ledgers, permissionless public blockchain, and no central authority within the community to protect the currency itself, are all concerns. Ripple does this fairly well, but still lacks considering their bank affiliations and their motivation to dump XRP (which is unlikely but still worrying).

This hearing will look into the security concerns related to cryptocurrency and curbing issues like money laundering, but experts would have to present a solid case, to show that it’s not different than laundering fiat or gold bars for that matter.

The US congress had released an economic report in March of this year that highlighted the benefits of cryptocurrency and why using it would be good for the economy. Which is a surprising change of mood considering how the Federal Reserve has been on behaving towards it. Perhaps fear that the debt system that they created for over a century is going to break down.

What do you think? Will this hearing  finally give Bitcoin and cryptocurrency the boost it needs after 6 months of FUD?

Cheers!
A.Yasir

Amazon’s Racist Shop

Shopping For Hate

Despite Amazon’s strict policies against the sales of racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, Islamaphobic and general ‘hate glorifying’ goods, these items are still for sale and are being bought on Amazon.  According to Reuters, Action Center on Race & The Economy and the Partnership for Working Families, released the report today hammering Amazon the online shopping king, for failing miserably to enforce their policies.

Amazon’s policy prohibits:

“Products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.” The two groups say they found toys with propaganda symbols, books and other products aimed at children to further normalize these intolerant or racist beliefs.

The report criticized that Amazon was profiting from sales of these items since it takes a cut of the sales, and that it, “provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas and grow their movements.”

Through writing e-books and through Amazon’s Music store, they are giving these hate groups the ability to spread their hateful speech and message. Using these Amazon platforms, racist writers, musicians and ‘racist activists’ including violence against black people, Muslim, Jewish & LGBTQ people, supporters are able to sell their hate and make Amazon millions in profits, as well as fund the racist/hate groups.

The two watchdog groups that reported Amazons dirty shopping, through their report insist that Amazon take down these hate sellers, and also make a public stance against these hateful, racist, intolerant ideologies, as well as promising not to profit from them. They’re asking Amazon to remove these items from their platforms as well as destroy any physical products that are currently in their warehouses.

 Amazon spokesman did say that they will shut down anyone breaking their rules, it’s a weak statement considering they should have been already removed.  Another spokesperson said they are currently removing some neo-Nazi bands that had been identified from its music platform.

Spotify, Google and Deezer all purged their libraries of racist music back in August 2017. In the same month, Apple removed Apple Pay support from white nationalist sites and Squarespace culled hate sites from its web hosting service.

Amazon also has a track record of holding payments for small businesses for small infringements or sometimes no particular reason, or even shut them down completely. It makes me wonder why it’s taken so long for them to purge the hate sellers.

It remains to be seen how much is actually left over, or how many try to circumvent the rules. Nobody thought tiki torches would ever be used a white supremacist march- but here it is. Of course this tiki torche company had nothing to do with the group.

tikitorchesracist

John McAfee’s Not Dead

He’s Alive & McAfee’ing It

The crypto internet was a buzz these last few days after Cyber Security & crypto-expert John McAfee posted a picture of him at the hospital, after what he says was an attempted poisoning to end his life. He went on to say:

“My enemies managed to spike something that I ingested,”
“However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”

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He’s been tweeting from the hospital, to let his fans and supporters know he’s alright and in stable condition in typical John McAfee style- strong, ‘no shit’ and in your face.

He bashed on panic sellers and continues to promote Docademic and even sent out a mini witch hunt for this guy.

johnmcafeescreenshot1

In all, John McAfee is in good spirits, back in the comfort of his home, and keeping it real for the cryptocurrency community. It’s left to see if this ‘assassination’ attempt pans out with any evidence given to the general public. But if this was indeed an assassination attempt, the implications are horrendous. It gives weight to McAfee’s position in cryptocurrency and his declaration for 2020 presidential candidate.

For now, I’m wishing Mr. McAfee a full recovery.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

Tech Employee’s Aren’t Down With ICE

Tech Avengers, Avenging!

It’s been a wild ride these past several months with Trump in power as the US President. We have seen everything from admitted sexual assault, to lying, to downright insults & crimes against humanity. And in his latest project, the kidnapping of illegal children and separating them from their families as they flee into the US border by ICE- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This sets a dangerous precedent. Of course like good humans, most of humanity is outraged.
kidsincages

kidcrying

But the division is pretty big in the United States, and the issues Trump has created has affected everything from US citizens to its allies. And it’s becoming a very large problem.

But what role does Tech play in this? Lets start first with Wikileaks.

Wikileaks as the world knows, is the best and most accurate source of undisclosed information, with disclosure and documents pouring in, revealing the very harsh reality of how governments actually work. From these documents was revealed, that 7 nations had invasion plans, that the US government formulated decades before 9/11. These countries include, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and of course Iran was the last. This seems to be playing out under the guise of liberation and false ‘jasmine springs’ being instigated in said nations.

From Wikileaks we also learned damning NSA secrets, that the US government is spying on you in every aspect of your life. This was for decades thought to be a conspiracy theory.  Turned out, the government is spying on you, on an epic scale.

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Facebook, Google to Apple and Amazon, all these companies have a legal obligation to give backdoor access to the United States government. It’s actually legal and you don’t have a say in it, and yet the gong show that was Cambridge Analytica was put on to show that the government cared. Anyone in IT knew what was really happening: a large scale propaganda campaign using Facebook as a scapegoat to ‘ensure that the majority population didn’t catch on to the fact that Facebook’s legally obligated to give that same information to the government’.

markzuckerberg

But most recently, Wikileaks released in full, all ICE employees’ information including their LinkedIn profile for full view of the internet- and thousands of activists and anonymous hackers.  https://ice.wikileaks.org/

This is actually very big and concerning. Many of these employee’s are just like any other employee working for any other company, and they have to feed their families too. They might disagree with ICE but they also have to eat. Was this a good move for Wikileaks?

Yes, despite it being wrong, it’s pressure. It’s pressure on the Employees of ICE to voice their outrage to stop this program of kidnapping these kids- who by the way, only the boys have been seen so far, no one knows where the little girls and babies are. Which is concerning because of “Pizzagate”.

So what role does Tech play now in ICE, if any? Well Microsoft has a $39 million contract (one of many) as does Dell and even Amazon with their face recognition tools. A big government agency like ICE will of course have contracts with large scale Tech companies. But now the outrage is so intense, that employees of these Tech companies are demanding their employer cancel their contracts with ICE. This is huge.

Because if Tech companies all pull out, and the Internet shames anyone who does do business with ICE,  global citizens can actually kill ICE’s kidnapping program.

Whether you agree with Trumps justification, and the republican party’s position, there is no agreeing with kidnapping. Under no circumstances is it justified. Just like rape, apartheid, or the holocaust, these things are not justifiable under any circumstance. So why are they working so hard to justify this? Because it’s wrong, and they know it.

Each and every Tech giant that has contracts with ICE, should end their contracts. Large public figures such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, to the Pope should lash out at Trump’s policies. The regular person should scream their outrage. Because this is not just a cage with kids, this is the first step in dehumanizing them. The next step, is slaughter.

So if you have a soul, and moral sense, then please do voice your outrage too. This isn’t about politics, this is about right and wrong. And this, is very wrong and it needs to be ended.

If I can use the Avengers here for a moment without any copyright infringement: If Thanos is Trump, well we’re all the Avengers (+ Deadpool)  together. Right now, humanity really needs some good heroes like the Tech employee’s, to make a stand.

What do you think? Are you in support of Trump’s kidnapping and separation of families policies? Or against it?

Cheers,
A.Yasir

16 Things To Improve Your Life

For Business, for work, for life.

There are many books out there that you  can buy and read.  They go on for 200 pages of what you need to do to become successful. I’ve read a few, and watched a few life coaches speak and yes they are very motivating. But it’s much harder to actually put their advice into play. Motivational gems like keep hustling and work hard are repeated and blared over and over again.

I found that life offers sometimes the best motivational gems, lessons learned through failing, or falling. You have to go through hard times- that’s just a given. You can’t complain when things fall to shit, that’s just the reality of life. But how you deal with it? What steps you take to prevent or deal with it, is how you know if you will become successful.

For business, for home, for work or just life in general,  you’ve got to sit down and think of which of the the many books out there you are going to follow.  There are so many methods. But through my own personal experiences, I think it boils down to a few key factors- the things you can control.  But the most important part is that you can’t just do it for a week, no you have to commit for 3 months- yes it takes 3 months to set a proper habit.

I offer you my 16 points of how to become a more successful person. Whether it’s for business goals, to work life to family. These 16 things can really change your life.

So here it goes. It’s quick and simple without a lot of fuss. I will make individual posts for each point, giving more examples of experiences from successful people to my own later on. But I wanted to make this clean and simple so you can start today.

I make no promises other than these worked for me and it can too for you. If it doesn’t make you millions of dollars or turn you into Brad Pitt, well maybe you did something wrong LOL

Kidding, but seriously, at the very least, you’ll have changed your life a bit for the better, become a bit more grounded and able to reach for those stars.

1) Multi- Tasking While Multi-Project’ing.
This happened to me, a lot. Tons of ideas and projects that I think can be successful but not enough time. I was doing bits and pieces of different projects, all the while supporting my company, staff and my family life. It was a mess and my brain was constantly in anxiety and a constant mess. Scheduling and micro-managing myself, writing down day after day in my daily planner. I was doing an Elon Musk, 10 mins for each thing….but nothing was getting done.
So I stopped multi-tasking while doing mult-projects. One project per day. I scheduled my 10-12 hour day into 2 hour project times, with 10 mins every hour to check with emails and staff.

So my schedule looked like this:
Monday

Keep your schedule clean and simple so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Anyone in IT knows, you can’t just work on something like coding or programing for 10 or 20min intervals, you have to dedicate strict time to it. And that’s what I did.

2. Spend Your Time Like You Appreciate it.
One of the concepts I saw written in book after book, barked on from ‘life specialist to life specialist’  is ‘grind and hustle, and work the 100 hours a week, work till you don’t have to introduce yourself’. Well here’s the dangerous side of that. You spend all your time ‘grinding’ that you don’t actually appreciate the time you have.
My wife, who I cherish, has been my biggest supporter and pillar. When we got married, she took on the task of helping me to get my business to what it is today. But it came at a price: Her health.
It broke me down when I heard the doctor say, she needs to rest, she’s burning out. At that moment it hit me. If something were to happen to her, what will I do? If something happened to me, what will she do?
So, we had to change the way we looked at success. Success should never come at the price of your health or your loved ones health. Success is something you get from working smart, not killing yourself for. The hours I put in, the stress I caused I wonder now how many years I took off my life.
Spend your time properly, even if you have to schedule in 20 mins to spend with your loved ones, or call your family or sit and do something you love. This is time well spent. This is time you will not regret. So if you have loved ones, schedule them in everyday- make it habit.

3. Your health Is Key To Your Success
Your mind is what it feed it. So if you feed it fast food and shit from the fridge, your mind will be shit. You’ll have trouble staying focused and won’t be able to process the information well enough to get things done.
Eating proper home cooked meals left me feeling better about myself and my health. It gave me a boost of confidence that I didn’t have when I was eating fast food. I was never overweight, but you would not believe how you feel when you eat crap all the time. The switch to good food with veggies and fruits really made a difference in how I worked. So if you want a clear focused mind, then eat properly. Don’t skip your meals. Can’t get to the gym, that’s okay, you need to get some weights, start walking and doing push ups.  If you think just getting some sweats on will motivate you, it won’t. So grab some real gear from www.GymOverEverything.com and start with the mindset of fit. The right exercise clothing can really get your motivation going.

4. Sleep!
I get it, I also wish there was 43 hours in a day, but there isn’t and guess what, your brain and body are going to be sluggish the next day and you can’t just run on coffee for the next 5 years trying to reach success.
No matter the business, or job or the goal you’re trying to achieve, you need to sleep. If you can’t commit to 7 full hours at night, then get 5hours at night and throw in a 20min nap at 2pm. I kid you not, this is going to make such a big difference. Imagine one of the most productive days you have ever had, where everything just went smoothly- that is going to be your everyday if you sleep. Your senses and thinking ability is so much better when you get that sleep.

5. Don’t Second Guess Yourself  But Think Properly
In 2009 my wife came to me and asked about this little thing called Bitcoin. Well I’ll be honest, I didn’t want any part of it. From an IT prespective, Bitcoin is a security nightmare. Bitcoin breaks each and every security protocol set to protect people online, and I could already see the wikileaks article going over the security issues, the open doors to fraud, money laundering etc etc. I wanted no part of it. My wife for whatever reason, thought it was a good idea. At the time, I thought ‘Is she nuts?’.
But then I sat down and thought about it properly, what if there is the off chance that this coin becomes the norm in money. Do I really want to miss out on something that literally will cost me nothing to mine? So I took out an old laptop and started to mine Bitcoin.
And then Dec of 2017 happened and the rest was history.
I don’t 2nd guess my assessment- it was correct, but I had to think from outside my prespective and properly assess my choices. Bitcoin mining took me no work to do. It didn’t cost me anything.
So think properly, it’s not second guessing yourself, it’s cutting outside of what you know to be correct, and seeing if there is potentional.

6. You Have Your Own Clock
From all the success stories you hear about people that made it, you forget that there was thousands more that didn’t. You put yourself under extreme pressure and anxiety about making it too without thinking of what it’s doing. You have your own time, and it’s not the same as everybody else. Maybe everybody is sailing the same direction, but maybe you’re meant to sail slow and steady and not risk those choppy waters and wind. Maybe you decide the risk is too big right now and you need a break on that Island to regroup and redefine your plans. You will achieve your success on your own time without wasting your time and life. This goes to my next point.

7. Keep Learning & Relearning
This happened to me. I was stuck in a rut in 2007. Thinking of how the hell was I ever going to compete with large names like freaking IBM. All my IT friends were in secured jobs steaming ahead away from me, while I was still trying to push my company forward. I decided to take a break from my company. So I got a job (that I hated but gave me data center access). It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I learned a lot and garnered a ton of expereinece I didnt have. It helped me to create my first software for Microsoft Password Recovery, and the first year after making it, I made my first $100k. It was incredible. I took on other jobs related and unrelated to garner more experience and combined it with my ability to learn just about anything, I created compevo.com and several other software projects that allowed me to take my wife to several trips to China, Dubai and Japan. I’m not arrogant about what I have to do. If I have to even now take on a job to learn things about AI that I don’t know, I’ll do it. Even if my company already has some AI projects under it’s belt, it’s not all about just that, it’s also about learning and expanding my knowledge base. If you’re in sales, well learn some accounting. If you’re in marketing, learn some IT. If you’re in IT, learn marketing & accounting.

8. Don’t Be Arrogant.
Money can do 1 of 2 things. It can degrade you or upgrade you. It can degrade you in the way of arrogance or it can upgrade you in the way of being genuine.  Money changes people, and yes sometimes its frustrating when I see a person look at me like I have nothing and I feel like jumping to say “have a look at my bank account”, but then I relax. I realize they are working on a debt system only for the now and maybe their kids, but I’m working on a credit system where I want to build wealth for generations after. I also want my kids to understand the value of life with money and the value of life with just money.
You don’t need to be loud and proud, you don’t need to announce it to everyone, and you don’t need to dress in a $10,000 suit to show that you have money.
From a psychological point of view, it shows how low and unconfident you are in your genuine self, and need to pretty yourself with ‘things’ to make you sparkle. That isn’t right, and you need to put proper value on yourself, and not let things deteremine your value. My wife, my kids are what makes me valuable. And I don’t want to settle for a million dollar house in a shit market, I want that $2million house my wife liked back when we got married, and I intend to give it to her, paid in full cash not a mortgage that I leave her behind with.  I want to be able to pay in cash for my kids education should they persue it, or help them start a company without begging a bank. So don’t be arrogant, whether you have the money or not. In an age of social media, it’s hard not to place value on ‘the look’ of success, but don’t forget that even lottery winners can go down a shit hole if they don’t keep their arrogance in check.

9. Start With A Meeting End With A Meeting
Make mondays meeting days. The start of the week to revamp your plans for the week. What your main projects will be, and how will you schedule it all in. During this 30 minute with yourself or your team, write down your expectation for the week and what you intend to achieve. I usually failed at daily goals but always hit the mark with weekly goals simply because I felt like there was enough time to achieve the goal. Depending on what you’re doing, sometimes a daily goal is better or even a monthly goal. For a team project for work- a weekly goal for each member works best, so everyone can see if everyone’s on time, and if one isn’t, then the others can either help or extend the project frame. If it’s something like weight loss, then a monthly goal works better. You don’t need to stand on a scale every week battering yourself about the 1lbs you lost or didn’t lose. Check your measurements not your weight.  So really think about what you’re trying to achieve and then go from there. End your week with a meeting on friday. You should be able to go through your schedule, see all that you have done and be able to plan for the next week. You should make notes on what was achieved, what still needs work, and how you intend to solve issues. In IT there is a lot of detail work, I found writing down the different things I wanted to do, or have solved on my Tech Forum www.realtechtalk.com helped me a ton to keep myself on track and also helps others who run into similar issues.

10. Self Talk
This is bizaare but it works. If you’re hitting a wall, or getting frustrated, you need a 5 minute break. You need some cold water, and you need to talk to yourself. I cannot tell you how much I talked to myself when I hit wall after wall when coding- any coder out there will tell you how frustrating it is when shit doesn’t work and you don’t know why. But it helped me center my thoughts and get back on focus otherwise you’re just running in the same spot.
Things like “It’s fine, I will get this.” or “Don’t panic, you will find an answer” or “Nobody will be able to solve this but you so calm down and find the answer to save the damn world.” Well that last one is a bit much, but whatever it takes man.

11. Organize
Your home, your office space, your mind are all connected. If one of those are a mess, the others will follow. If your home is a mess- you’re gonna be a mess. If your office space is a mess, you’re gonna a be mess. Staying organized, keeping things neat and in their own space will greatly help you with not just productivity but also help your mind not be in constant chaos. It’s actually fact that having a messy working or living environment can cause depression and make you unable to focus. So clean up and declutter your mind.

12. Iron Your Clothes
For a long time, I just took something out of the clean basket and that was it. Then I got married 11 years ago, and suddenly things were being ironed and put away in their drawer (thanks Lazina) and I couldn’t believe how much more confident clean ironed clothes felt. You feel put together and good about not just your appearance but your overall mood feels more…well ironed out.

13. Play A Game
I have several games on my phone and at home. I play them especially during tough moments where I’m stuck on a project or can’t find a solution. I know when I’m losing it and that’s when I decide, time for a game. Not just any game, games that make your mind run. I like car racing games especially, but when I’m stuck on something, I actually play math or maze or puzzle games. This helps the proper side of my brain to relax but also refresh and be ready to solve the problem I’m having. This has literally saved me so many times. Try it.

14. Read A Proper Book
I get asked what books I’m reading and usually it’s just normal books, or kids books that my kids give to me, or the Harry Potter my wife made me read (yeah she bought the whole set and made me read it, and it explains a lot more than the movies so you should too). But you can’t just read self help, life coach, how to make money books all the time. It’s mind bogging, eventually it’s going to wear you out, especially because they are making money off you for buying their words. Read imaginative, creative things that will get your mind thinking creatively rather than in one track.

15. Be Awkward, its’ fine.
I’m an awkward type of person. Up until last year I didn’t have an Instagram account, and both my twitter and LinkedIn were bascially empty. I consider myself more of a lone wolf type, and don’t have a large circle of friends who I go to ‘night out parties’ with. No I have never been to Los Vegas, nor do I drink or smoke. I’m a practicing Muslim and listen to rap, I also tend to befriend genuine people not fake faces. When I speak, it’s geunine, I’m not trying to make you like me, and sometimes this might come off as akward because I’ll flat out say things like ‘it’s great to meet you, lets keep in touch because I like people like you’. It’s not the social norm, I’m sure there’s a better way of saying it, but I don’t have the mindset to change my honesty for social fluff. In 2018, we are too busy trying to be other people that we are losing our geuinine selves and you need to recover yourself from that.

16.  Promise Yourself, “You won’t give up”.
Never give up. I teach my kids that, but I mean it. You might not be happy with your progress, and you’ve made mistakes, and maybe you’re even failing or not acheiving what you wanted to achieve by now. That doesn’t mean give up. That just means you re-plan and get back to it. I have a lot of time on my hands, so I took on a 2 month teaching job at BCIT, this will give me great experience teaching others (which will help me to make a guide book to train staff) and gives me speaking experience. I find talking is one of my weakest points, so I found something that can stop me from being bored and help me improve myself. Back in 2007, if I had given up on the company just because I took on a job, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So don’t give up. Promise yourself that one thing. Even if your plans change, even if your goal changes, don’t give up. Push forward.

You got this. Now go and change your life.  Good luck friends!

Cheers,
A.Yasir