Shaaz Nasir

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Doubt Me.

In Advice, Blog, Business, Canada, China, City Council, Culture, Economics, Economics Association, ESA, Exercise, Experience, Failure, Faith, Film, Football, Glasses, Globalization, google, GQ Magazine, Greeting, Life, Metrosexual, Orientation, Packing, Tennis, Traveling, Uncategorized, University of Ottawa, World on October 27, 2010 at 12:07 am

Doubt if you must, it’s something I have grown accustom to. If people don’t doubt you it means you’re not pushing the boundaries, not daring to do something that can’t be done. The moment people stop doubting you it’s not because you won them over but rather because you lost yourself.”

– life experiences

From the start people will doubt you and your aspirations. In an attempt to clip your wings all types of methods will be used; no matter what you must resist the barraged of attacks. At the end of high-school after 4 years of planning to become a psychologist I discovered the world of economics. My plan for the next 10 years was scratched in 10 minutes as I frantically scrambled through my research to determine the prerequisites of my new dream.

The Chinese could not have built a greater wall than what stood between me and economics.

The hurdles added up to around 2 years of more schooling. I scurried over to my high school academic advisor to devise a master plan in which my dream would become a reality way sooner. Little did I know, she would doubt me.

“Shaaz, why are you trying? Just give up on this goal of yours. You can’t do this it’s just too much for you. Stop and settle for what you have; you would probably need 3 years of schooling to get the perquisites. There is no way this can be done.”

Some great Academic Advice eh?

So I picked up the pieces of my shattered goal from the floor and made a quick exit. After some consulting with my family and other sources (you can smell my sheer determination at this point, never give up), the solution was found!

Take that Risk

I had a meeting with the department of economics at Carleton which produced a a risky choice. I could take a harder version of  grade 12 calculus at Carleton (some hybrid version which means more in-depth/challenging) and VOILA  I would be majoring in economics at uOttawa. However, the chance to waste money, time, rejecting job offers and failing was high as I had ZERO experience with math at that level.

Of course I took the class.

LONG days LONG nights and NO Summer with LOTS of stress. On average 5-6 hours of studying a day everyday period.

Raw brute force.

Result?

Determination worked as I finished in the top 10% percent of the class with a 79%.  Proved a good amount of people wrong but more importantly proved to myself I could live out my dream, no matter how tall those walls were.

Now I am only 7 months away from my degree in International Economics and Development with a minor in Business Administration. I have 3 years of government work experience. I have the privilege to be the VP Finance of uOttawa’s Tennis League and  the VP Academic uOttawa’s Economic Student Association. Furthermore, I been lucky enough to embark on a 20 day economic delegation to China and Malaysia as a Trade Ambassador.

This message  is not about me or my life but rather about the powers of doubt itself.

Keep pushing the boundaries and doing what’s not possible time and time again.

So for those people please continue to doubt me and MTG.

It only means good things are coming our way…

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Why you should hate Life.

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Mind the Gap takes an extremely positive outlook on life, from economics to fashion and everything in between. Today we will try something very different, lets get negative. real negative. I suppose people have difficulties relating to the uplifting  message MTG brings to the table….so lets flip this table and run rampant….be warned this is odd.

“No matter how hard you try someone will look better, be smarter, run faster…thus one should never try… all you will do is experience failure. When you see people succeed get angry and blame them for doing so well, not your own insecurities. Find something you fear? Simple, just push it away as far as you can while marginalizing for more insecurities. Never understand it. You don’t write your own destiny as your geographic location shackles you to the ground as dreams are simply that, dreams.  People are born rich you were not so stop trying. See a group of people…do not engaged they will judge you and see all your flaws. Jealousy is a feeling that must be embraced as it is your only true driving force to success not practice or “reasons”.  This world is shitty and our existence does not matter; you do not matter. Think small because that is what we are.”

Negativity

Wow, I feel bad for those who actually feel that way. Clearly, MTG’s outlook on life is a tad more “sane” and mentality stable.

So take your negativity and feel it, understand it, shape it, control it…but never accept it.

Keep in mind…negativity is a vicious cycle that will not guide you to happiness. Which is all we want….right?

Mind the Culture: Unknown Caller

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Meaningful lyrics by U2

“I was lost between the midnight and the dawning

In a place of no consequence or company
Sweet 33 when the numbers fell off the clock face
Speed dialling with no signal at all

Go, shout it out, rise up
Oh, ohhh
Escape yourself, and gravity
Hear me, cease to speak that I may speak
Shush now
Oh, ohhh
Force quit and move to trash

I was right there at the top of the bottom

On the edge of the known universe where I wanted to be
I had driven to the scene of the accident
And I sat there waiting for me

Restart and reboot yourself
You’re free to go
Oh, ohhh
Shout for joy if you get the chance
Password, you, enter here, right now

Oh, ohhh
You know your name so punch it in
Hear me, cease to speak that I may speak
Shush now
Oh, ohhh
Then don’t move or say a thing”

Mind the Culture: Shaaz Jazz for studying

In Advice, Attire, Blog, BMO, Canada, Globalization, University of Ottawa on October 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I was studying late one night and needed some Cheezy Jazz, you know the kind that you hear in elevators or on the line waiting for Rogers to fix your internet for the 13th time, (but hey take no offence as I love that music once in a while) that’s when I discovered the “Jazz” Artist Dave.

This guy makes the cheesiest jazz out there…

I got his album and was pleasantly surprised to find  his message on change/life …. reminded me of  MTG

Read it

“I think on some level we all feel it…I sure have. A frequency and velocity of change that’s unprecedented in our lifetime—nothing short of a complete realignment of everything we thought we knew. It’s a whole new game and the rules are still being written. Well, like it or not it’s here… seemingly everywhere, making it an uneasy time for many. How we respond and move through this period is what really counts now.

Music has a particular ability to awaken and stir the soul. Through the recording of these songs, I found a way to embrace this crossroads in my own life and ultimately discover a sense of comfort within the discomfort. It was a transformative experience of great learning, inspiration and healing. It is my hope that in listening to this album, you’ll begin to notice a shift in you as well. Consider this a ‘musical survival guide’ for these unfamiliar times. All that’s needed is an open heart and an open mind to awaken, inspire and enlighten you on your path.

We’re fortunate to be alive at this extraordinary moment . . . for out of the darkness comes the brightest light. With a calm and graceful passage through the chaos, we can arrive to a place of pure possibility and promise. Our future is unfolding in all the right ways, for all the

right reasons. Let’s embrace it. Hello, Tomorrow. With love, gratitude and blessings . . .”

-Dave Koz  (95% sure this was his excellent writers working for his PR and in fact he probably never read this lol..the message regardless of who may have written is highly valuable)

Mind the Economy: “Currency War” made simple

In Advice, Beijing, Blog, Business, Canada, China, Economics, Global Vision, Globalization, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, India, Kuala Lampur, Life, Lunch, Malaysia, Ottawa, Packing, Shenzhen, SME, Song, Success, Technology, Television, Traveling, Uncategorized, University of Ottawa, World on October 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

How do Currencies and Interest rates play off each other?

More recently, many developing countries have had to contend with their own currencies rising and undermining their competitiveness.

The problem is that those low interest rates in the developed world have led investors to seek higher returns elsewhere, in emerging markets.

To invest in those markets, they need to buy the currency and that pushes its value up. That in turn makes those countries’ goods more expensive for foreign buyers and the overseas investment money creates a danger of unsustainable bubbles in their property and financial markets.

China has stopped its currency rising much by buying foreign currency. If it were to refrain from that and allow the yuan to rise, it would probably help other developing countries that compete with China, as well as the US which is protesting the most.

But there is another force behind the rising developing world currencies. Their economies are growing robustly, while the rich countries are not.

The tension over between the US and China over currency policy surfaced once again at the International Monetary Fund Talks

USA renewed the pressure on China to allow its currency to rise. The US has a long-standing grievance over China’s currency policy, which limits the movement of the yuan against the dollar. The American complaint is that it gives Chinese exporters an unfair competitive advantage.

There was a vigorous response from Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank (The People’s Bank of China), who blamed the rich countries for problems in the currency markets. Mr Zhou said extremely low interest rates in rich countries had created “stark challenges for emerging market countries”.

My Thoughts on the Gap.

Tensions are rising among the developing world and developed as priorities on currency (non)manipulation begin to clash. However, should a country stop manipulating its currency in the name of “fairness”?

Destabilizing the economy in the short run, running the risk of damaging the private sector as businesses go bankrupt; jeopardizing an economy’s growth and ability to reduce poverty  does not sound “fair”. The notion of “fair” implies morals which begs the question: who is making these moral rules?

WTO….IMF….WB……USA…..CHINA…..WALDO?????

International Economics is a game where rules are subjective but actual substantive growth is tangibly objective. I am not for currency manipulation but neither am I for irrational and sudden policies  that would jeopardize  an entire economy….especially not the economy that’s the driving force of world growth in terms of consumer consumption ….

-Articles combined from BBC & CBC

Mind the Culture: Women Smarter but Men Richer?

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

After trying to eat this long article on Canadians and their education levels …I sliced and diced until all that was left was delicious and relevant information….

Canadians are better educated than they were a decade ago and have some of the highest rates of post-secondary attendance in the developed world, a new report suggests.

The report also shows that women are graduating from both high school and post-secondary in much higher numbers than men, but continued to earn far less in the workforce.

Completion of high school has grown steadily in Canada. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of adults without a high school education dropped from 21 per cent to 13 per cent, while the number of adults aged 25 to 34 who finished high school climbed to 92 per cent.

Canada compares favourably to other OECD countries when it come to post-secondary education, according to the report, which calculates that about half of Canadian adults have completed college or university. The OECD average is one-third. The largest advantage Canada has is among colleges, which graduated about 24 per cent of the adult population, compared to 9 per cent across the OECD.

The report also suggests the reasons Canadians are attending school like never before: the benefits of a post-secondary education, on average, far outweigh the costs. The average Canadian with a university degree, for instance, earns roughly 75 per cent more than a counterpart with only a high school education.

Canadian women posted better academic achievements than men at all levels – in high school, women have a graduation rate 8 per cent higher than men, which rises to 11 per cent for college programs and 18 per cent for university degrees.Despite these numbers, women with a post-secondary education still earned just 63 per cent the salary of similarly-educated men, up only slightly from 61 per cent in 1998.

The same gender gap exists across the OECD, with college and university-educated women in the 31 countries on average earning about 71 per cent what their male counterparts do. “Education doesn’t seem to guarantee higher earnings,” said Bo Hansson, an education expert with the OECD, who believes the gap may partly be explained by men flocking to higher-earning professions. “You have fewer women going into finance or engineering,” he said. The report also indicates that Canada spends proportionally slightly more than the OECD average on education, but most of this advantage is in post-secondary. Canada spent 2.6 per cent of its GDP on college and universities in 2006, second only to the United States.

Leave some comments below on what your thoughts are on this gender gap.

Don't Die Go Jog (via Mind the Gap)

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Don't Die Go Jog    THE NEXT  FEW WORDS  are probably the most important on MTG…so please read the whole post Life = Jog A while ago I was on my usual  5 KM route around my neighbourhood when an unusual thought crossed my mind : Life is just a Jog. Give it a minute or two …let the thought marinate in your mind…..no? Yes, Pace it out (picture of subway door while in China) In order to achieve your desired goal while jogging one should keep pace in mind. Fantast … Read More

via Mind the Gap

Mind the Economy: Jobless Recovery…Give me a break IMF

In Advice, Business, Canada, Culture, Economics, Experience, Faith, Future, Globalization, Life, Shaaz Nasir, Success, Technology, Trade, Traveling, World Bank on October 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

Four challenges: IMF

Strauss-Kahn highlighted four challenges to be addressed by the officials gathering in Washington…..

• Sovereign debt. Fiscal sustainability remains a problem for some countries, particularly those that entered the crisis with very high levels of debt. “So we are strongly in favor of medium-term consolidation, but it doesn’t mean that in the short term every country will have to tighten as much as possible. It depends a lot on their own situation and it is very country specific.” Where the recovery remains fragile and private sector demand is weak, support for demand is still needed.

• Jobless recovery. Just reviving growth is not enough. “We need growth with jobs. Growth without jobs doesn’t mean much for the man in the street. So obviously, for us, the crisis will not be over until the unemployment rate decreases significantly.”

• Financial sector reform. While a lot has been done to address improved regulation, particularly through the new Basle III accord, a lot more needs to be done on supervision and regulation of the financial sector, which was at the heart of the global crisis. In addition, Strauss-Kahn said the IMF supported moves to introduce taxation of the sector.

Global cooperation. The world got through the economic crisis through very close cooperation, but now the momentum was decreasing. One example of this is emerging competition between countries to adjust their currencies to gain an advantage. “What we all want is the rebalancing of the global economy, and this rebalancing cannot happen without a natural consequence of it, which is a change in the relative value of currencies.”

Politics +  Economics = headache

I have been noticing over the past two years that policy makers in the lime light or politicians using the phrase “growth without jobs is horrible” or ” we cannot face a jobless recovery ARHHH”….

Are these guys missing the point or adhering to misconceptions of growth and recovery formed by the pubic?

Depending on what sector, companies around the world  must experience substantive growth for around 12 to 20 months before they can consider hiring once again. Furthermore, during (and as a result of ) recessionary periods, companies examine  their internal workforce and re-prioritize organizational objectives. The restructuring period may lead  to massive overhauls (bigger than Wario’s) for the company’s structure and size. For example, GM…they cut their company in half by killing about 6 brands….people cannot expect them to hire the same amount of workers….

Furthermore, demographics  also play a vital role in unemployment rates. In Canada the time it takes for unemployment rates to return to pre recession levels takes twice as long for young professionals (defined as youth 16-25)…why..that’s another post for another day.

For now,

let us focus on these four challenges and the realization that time is the best public policy tool in the fight against unemployment rates, not fuelling economic misconceptions.

Is the World Broke?

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

The Economist has developed an EXCELLENT publication in which world debt is simply explained.

The 1st step in solving a problem is admitting you have one.

“Does it matter? After all, world governments owe the money to their own citizens, not to the Martians. But the rising total is important for two reasons. First, when debt rises faster than economic output (as it has been doing in recent years), higher government debt implies more state interference in the economy and higher taxes in the future. Second, debt must be rolled over at regular intervals. This creates a recurring popularity test for individual governments, rather as reality TV show contestants face a public phone vote every week. Fail that vote, as the Greek government did in early 2010, and the country can be plunged into imminent crisis. So the higher the global government debt total, the greater the risk of fiscal crisis, and the bigger the economic impact such crises will have.”

Your Time Running is Out

Please check this crucial and very simple graphic asap!

How I lost 52 pounds

In Exercise, Fat, Globalization, GQ Magazine, Hair, Weight Loss on October 5, 2010 at 12:46 am

252 Pounds

My journey to live a healthier life started in 2006 while watching the World Cup with my dad. I was a very hefty fellow weighing around 252 pounds at age 17 in grade 12. That’s not even funny but down right dangerous. After seeing such fine athletes running around with such great freedom and movement, I said to myself, man you’re 252.

After consulting my family doctor and being warned about diabetes, heart attacks, and quite frankly death, it was time for a change. I was not over eating due to sadness or some type of mental issue; rather it was my positive attitude that did me in.

Positive Attitude to Blame…WHAT?!

I was just a really happy person and confident in who I was, however , my positivity became some type of denial or false sense of everything will be fine mentality. My family played a huge part in my quest to live a healthier life; buying me a cool treadmill was a strong step forward on the road to weight loss.

I still remember my first attempt ..oh boy…

speed 2.5

incline 3

time: 22 minutes

burned around 150 calories

ahahhahah I was dead afterwards!

Slowly worked my way up to

speed 3.0-3.5

incline 12

time 60 minutes

burns around 1000 calories (keep in mind as I drop fat..it takes more to drop the same amount of calories)

Eating

I stopped eating the junk and started eating the fine home made Indian food I previously ignored (yes, very dumb I know who the heck ignores homemade Indian food). The journey had rough points however, when I reached 218 lbs. school work and other work related issues drained my time and I went up to 225 lbs. I told myself that walking backwards was not an option and began my treadmill once again with even more determination.

Today

At 200 pounds on the dot I feel much more alive than before. Although I have a solid 20 pounds to lose with about 10 pounds of muscle to gain, I am sure with the same determination this new goal will be achieved. This was a hard post for me as I prefer not to go into too much details of my former larger than life body. If even just one person reads this and becomes inspired to take action and see their doctor about how to live a healthier life, well worth the uneasiness. I am now working on breaking my Personal Record of 31.024 for my 5 km and will aim towards running a 10 km shortly. The second phase of my self improvement is hitting the gym and cardio as together they will produce a sexy Shaaz!  Jokes aside cardio combined with the gym is key to making a sustainable difference, expect to see an update this post shortly. Good ol’ World Cup 2006… thank you!

BEFORE AND AFTER (I  prefer before and half way point)