2023

2023 is slowly coming to an end. Looking back, I enjoyed it very much.

What went well:

  • I joined Procuros as a Tech Lead in January. Although it's challenging, I enjoy it very much.
  • I continued my weight-loss journey. I am now at 66 kgs. The lowest I've been. A significant drop from 95kgs.
  • My wife and I celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary. I'm looking forward to many more years together.
  • I had surgery to fix the deviated septum in my nose. Something which I always struggled with. There was also some minor aesthetic work done to it to ensure it looks and, more importantly, functions well.
  • My wife and I bought a piece of land together in Mauritius. We're looking forward to building our dream home in 2024.

What could have been better:

  • I should have managed my work-life balance better in some cases. It's not always easy and so far I've only managed to stop working when I fell physically sick this month.
  • My wife and I travelled a little bit last year (within Europe) but we wanted to visit more cities and we didn't get around to it.
  • 2023 felt like an extremely fast-paced year and I wish I had carved time to reflect more.
  • I didn't read as much. Most of my time was dedicated to Procuros this year.

Goals for 2024:

  • Ensure Procuros has an incredible year.
  • Visit more cities within Europe.
  • Start building our dream home in Mauritius.
  • Manage priorities better in my day-to-day.
  • Try daily journaling, write more and reflect more.
  • Try to read more books.
  • Try meditation.
  • Stay healthy.

How to get rich in Mauritius

When I completed my A levels in 2009 and was getting ready to go to University, I remember distinctly that a lot of my friends were going to China to study medicine. I often wondered how many of them actually wanted to be in the field.

Studying in Mauritius is not easy. As a third-world country, with a practically inexistent social and welfare security system, you tend to grow up with the pressure of having to perform academically so that you can maximise your chances of getting a decent job later in life.

I rebelled against that. I was mostly interested in computers but, in Mauritius we have to study other subjects until university where you can then specialize in the field you want. It was hard and I did barely enough to pass by. In retrospect, that wouldn't have been such a smart decision if being in tech wasn't so favourable as it is now.

Parents, in Mauritius (and I wouldn't discount that my parents were also similar - maybe that has changed now) tend to teach their children early on that being a doctor, lawyer or engineer is something that they should strive for. The education system is also quite tailored for that, in some sense.

Of course, it was a different generation and I wouldn't want to be too critical of their biases and beliefs but the outcome is that we end up with entire generations that somehow still believe that this is the only way to maximize their financial gains and, most importantly, status in the society in the future.

A lot of Mauritians are more interested in playing status games than actual wealth creation. I've seen so many luxury cars in the few weeks I've been in Mauritius that it did not make sense to me how in a country where the average income is roughly a little less than $1000 (USD), they could afford them.

Coming back to the friends who studied medicine, I know quite a few of them who are now trying to re-skill themselves: a lot of them in tech. And, if I'd ask them why they decided in the past to study medicine, the answers usually vary but a common theme was always pressure: from their family and society, in general.

I still believe that being in tech is one of the fastest ways to achieve financial independence, especially if you're in Mauritius. The ability to work remotely for organizations who'd pay you 6 or 7 times more than what you'd earn in Mauritius, is life-changing for many since Mauritius is by no means a cheap country.

However, and obviously that's not the only way. Blue collar jobs such as plumbers, painters and electricians were previously looked down upon by our society but are now becoming increasingly lucrative. There's also such a scarcity of highly-skilled blue collar workers on the island that the few who are there can command very high wages.

I only hope that our generation can put our egos aside and teach subsequent generations that there's so much more in life than being in what's usually considered high-status jobs.

P.S. Apologies for the clickbaity title.

On shoutouts

It feels very important to me to express appreciation towards other team members for their contributions and hard work.

At work, shoutouts are reguarly being given during planning meetings, which is great but, it always feels weird to be on the receiving end of one.

Anything that I deliver usually means other people have directly or indirectly contributed to that: directly through guidance or providing more context and indirectly by ensuring I have the space to work on something by taking care of everything else that we still need to deliver as a team.

I suppose it is easier to value tangible contributions and I'm hoping to get better at seeing contributions now more hollistically.

Some things I believe in

  • Working in tech is one of the fastest and easiest way to achieve financial independence. There's no cut-off age after which it's too late to learn how to code.
  • Moving fast is almost always the right approach.
  • Experience is not an accurate measure for potential success.
  • Remarkable individuals at work will most likely make the most mistakes. Providing them an environment where they feel empowered instead of being criticised will have far more benefits than downsides.
  • Be wary of referees at work. If you have the flexibility, working with people who are good at relentless execution will most likely be worth it.
  • Working hard is important but not as important as working with the right people and on the right project.
  • Navigating politics at work is an essential skill to have.
  • Trying to actively work on your weaknesses may not always be the right thing to do. Sometimes focusing on your strengths instead might pay off more.
  • We're too eager to categorise people in boxes. Humans are considerably more complex than being either good or bad.
  • It doesn't seem likely that Mauritius will be a thriving nation in my lifetime.
  • It's much harder to stay healthy in Mauritius where most activities are centered around food.
  • People think about us far less than we think they do.
  • Having a great partner by your side feels like a superpower.
  • Seeing the people in your life happy is one of life's greatest joy.

On ADHD

I have, what many would say, an extremely unhealthy work-life balance.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that I think I enjoy my work a little too much.

However, for quite some time, I've also struggled with insomnia, driven by a hyperactive brain at night.

If there's a work problem that bothers me, it's nearly impossible for me to find sleep. This meant, fortunately, that I've always been doing quite well at work.

A while back, I've been diagnosed with ADHD. It was quite surprising, because to me I've never really struggled with having focus. In fact, a lot times, I'd say that I am extremely focused to the point that nothing else matters.

I have, since then, been told that this is exactly what ADHD is. I recently read this tweet that explains it much better than I can.

ADHD-ers usually have an interest-based nervous system. Meaning that a task needs either novelty, urgency, competition or interest for them to be motivated or focused. Learning this and adapting boring, everyday tasks to fit into one of these categories can be life-changing.

I always wonder how different my life could have been if I didn't enjoy my work as much as I did.

How lucky.