You work hard but still unsatisfied, why?

Until you become conscious you will never work hard, and until after you have worked hard you cannot become conscious. – Unknown

Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite authors.
In his words from his best selling book “Outliers”, “we need at least 10,000 hours to become an expert in a certain field, this is equivalent to 40 hours a week for 5 years.”
Now my only concern is that a large portion of the human population work 40 hours in a week in their working life.
Are they all experts in their field?
I don’t think so, probably you also think the same way.

My other favorite author is Angela Duckworth.
Her words in her best selling book “Grit”, “hard work is grit, a combination of passion and perseverance, which is bigger than IQ and socioeconomic status. When things get tough, get gritty, since this may eventually lead to success.”
How many people actually appear gritty in real life?
I guess a lot less.

This is one of my heroes in my life.
I don’t know what to say before his name. There are so many adjectives, Warren Buffett, his words, “hard work only comes if you take the job that you would take if you were independently wealthy.”
It’s hard to guess now which direction the hard work is moving.
How many people do you think work hard if they are already financially independent?

My whole purpose here is to know what makes our work hard?

Why do we always say we need to work hard but still we get lost what exactly is hard work?
Is our life designed to work hard until we die?
If not then what do we do the rest of our life?

Remember, we have one body and one mind for the rest of our life, we have to take care of them for a very long time.
Does only hard work support this or is there something else?

We all know the race of a tortoise and a hare.
The hare goes fast and quickly gets distracted because it knows it’s going to win.
The tortoise just keeps going continuously, even though its chances to win are almost impossible.
And despite all the odds and difficulties, the tortoise ends up winning.
The morale is, never give up, be the tortoise.
No problem if you’re slow but be always steady. Enjoy the process without much expectation.
Either crawl slowly or walk step by step, or run, but don’t stress out and give up.
Life is absolutely not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
I’m not just preaching, what I preach I try to practice.
At least I try.
I always try, if I like the idea.
For example, I never thought I’d run a marathon in my life – 40 km or 26.2 miles.
But I did it, one step at a time, one mile in a day practice.
When I started running regularly, I knew what dopamine does in our body. After a certain time of running, I became addicted to dopamine. It gave me feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
I learned that if we fix our eyes on our dream, it happens.
It might take some time but eventually happens.
Be the tortoise in life, not the hare.
For me being a tortoise is hard work.
Not much expectation, be relaxed and keep going.

This story of tortoise and hare has not only the symbolic meaning but also the long term strategy.
The most meaningful things often take many years or decades to appear in our lives.
Refusing to accept this reality only hinders our progress.
Therefore, hard work is a simple process of life to reach somewhere.

I always appreciate one quote from Bill Gates, “most of us overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten years.”
We can’t do anything all at once, but we can select what’s most important and do one thing at a time.
We will be amazed by how much we can accomplish over time with steady focus.

I’ve heard many times people saying I failed or I’m a failure even though I worked very hard.
Remember there is a huge difference between “I’ve failed ” and “I’m a failure.”
Former is the consequence of ill preparation and poor decision making but the latter is our own personal characteristic.
So please treat them very carefully.
We don’t grow at once, we grow as humans over time.
So where we were 4 years ago is likely different from where we are today, and eventually where we’ll be 4 years from now.
Our need to belong and the need to matter are the two most powerful needs a human being has, and that determines the final destination of hard work.
Our hard work must align with both our need of belonging and need to matter.
We are either going to belong and matter here, as some power created us, or we’re going to be controlled by other people’s opinions.

If we are not careful, we can spend years working hard on something that eventually ends up with nothing.
Make sure you are living the life you want, not what other people prescribe for you or think you need.
Even if you are working hard but only on others’ prescription then you reach nowhere.
Don’t just absorb success what others think, choose intentionally what success looks like for you and do the hard work on that.
Success for each person is completely different.
Remember society always feeds us the prescribed diet of what it believes is important and successful.
But many of us are unable to personalize it.

The story of tortoise and hare reminds me of another thing in life, the difference between hurry and busy.
Hare works in a hurry and tortoise remains busy.
If we are always in a hurry, we completely forget the meaning of real living.
Hurry is simply going fast and done, but being busy is something deeper, being more engaged and attentive.
Our hard work must be busy, not hurry.
Nowadays we’re so caught up in just surviving the day, running and rushing from one urgent thing to the next.
We are completely forgetting to build something sweet, memorable, and meaningful in life.

For example, for society, one of the parameters of success is money, and money comes only from hard work.
If we don’t study money carefully then it makes us paralyzed even if we make money by hard work.
Money is a magnifying glass. It makes us more of who we are.
If we’re kind, generous, and growth minded, we’ll be even more kind, generous, and growth minded with more money.
If we’re rude, self centered, and fixed minded we’ll be even more rude, self centered, and fixed minded with more money.
Remember money is just a tool not a master and has nothing to do with our identity.
Who we are and who we’re becoming has very little to do with what we’re achieving in life.

Another misconception our society feeds us is the poor understanding of love in our lives.
Can hard work buy love?
We always ask, “do you really love me?”
This is the wrong question our society taught us to ask.
If we ask this question, the answer always comes with ‘if’.
You get the point.
You always get the answer and that is always, “yes, I love you if you are…..”
“Yes, I love you if you are handsome or beautiful or intelligent or wealthy or with an MBA or PhD or MD or a corporate job.”
“Your boss loves you if you give the best results or best sales.”
Our love is always associated with ‘if’, our love is always conditional.
These many ‘ifs’ in our lives take us nowhere even if we replace many “ifs” with hard work.
We end up being exhausted, lost, depressed, and always unsatisfied because there are so many extra “ifs” to finish.
We appear to be in love in the eyes of society but actually not really.

One thing that can remove ‘ifs” in our love is by practicing gratitude.
Gratitude is the mechanism that helps us learn where hard work comes from.
We live in a culture that’s all about me, me, me.
We live in a society that always says more work, more work, more work.
If we practice gratitude, hard work does not seem hard. Me, no more remains only me, more work only becomes work with joy.
Once we become habituated with gratitude, it develops into humility, and over time humility grows into contentment.
Love without ‘ifs” is nothing but a result of the habit of gratitude.
Gratitude strengthens no ‘ifs’ in love, the love for you as you are.

I wish you all to be fulfilled hard workers.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Do you know what happens if you win the USA president?

I praise you because I am clearly and wonderfully learning; your works are wonderful, I have not fully understood them well yet, but I am making progress.
Dedicated to my father

I live in the US, and our current president is Joe Biden, who happens to be the 46th president, the most powerful man on the planet.
Many people may not agree with the last words of my previous sentence, but I said those ‘most powerful man’ words on the basis of other people’s view. Still the majority of the world population believes that the USA president is the most powerful man on the planet.
But if anybody has any disagreements, I wholeheartedly respect those views because there are thousands of reasons not to agree.
But, anyway, my intention is not to go in that direction.
At the time of each USA president’s victory, each of them and the whole country generally think they achieved something incredible and something amazing.
The hard reality is, if you ask any US citizen, it’s almost impossible to find anybody who can name all of the former presidents.
Most of them are already dead, we all forgot them except a few whom we always remember like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

The reason I’m bringing this up is if we forget US presidents after they are gone then what about ordinary people like us?

My genuine thinking, one year after we are gone, most of us will be forgotten.
Don’t you think so?
The only people who remember us are our family and close friends.
We will only live on in our family and close friend’s memories.
In my view, this is the ultimate achievement, all of us will ever get, at least in this life on this earth.

So what we can do, my advice is, always make sure, always make sure, you love your family and your close friends.
The real happiness is hidden behind your family and close friends, nowhere else.

Do you know, why are you happy when you buy a nice, warm and comfy sweater for your father that he wears occasionally?
Try to find the answer, don’t ask him, you will find it if you try.
Why do you travel 400 miles to such a hot place where your elder sister lives?
It’s the same question, if you ask your inner self genuinely, you will find the answer.
In both cases, the answer inherently is the same, both are your family members, you have shared many things with them including happiness, comfort, pain, and suffering.
If something happened to you, only they care and remember you, nobody else.
Even though you live far from them now, you still have many memories with them alive and will remain alive until you are gone from this world.

If we were to stop 500 people in the street and ask them “what is your greatest happiness in life?” how many would say, “anything not related to the family or close friends?”
My guess is nobody.

Many times, we make decisions in our lives but they never become really good decisions in reality.
We made decisions based on what it does for me right now, what it says about me immediately, and how it makes me feel for the moment.
If our answers are not congruent with our inner self for at least a certain time from now, we will never become happy with our decision, we remain vindictive and unhappy.

Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs has “self-actualization” at the top, which basically means self-motivation or intrinsic motivation.
Similarly, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous theory of “flow” also states the total absorption in an activity that also indicates self-motivation or intrinsic motivation.
These both theories work pretty well if we are connected through our family and close friends because our intrinsic happiness is connected in both states of mind through them.

At one point in our life, we are destined for financial security but once we feel kind of financially secure, we come to know ourselves better and we learn what we find most fulfilling in life.
One of the most fulfilling aspects in life is our relationship with family and close friends.
Meeting with them, talking to them, sharing and spending time with them become the most fulfilling life experience.

Everybody has problems, every house has problems, we have issues in relationships. When a problem exists, whether at home or in relationships, the time to act is now.
You don’t regret it if you act now but the same regret kills you if you become late.
Remember each person in our family has strengths to lean into and weaknesses to overcome.
Just think of this, if you are not talking to your father for a long time for whatever reason, how do you live if by some reason your father is gone from this world?
You will die by regret, just by regret even though you are alive.
When we talk about anything openly, even if it’s in an uncomfortable way, change can happen.
Healthy open disagreement gives room for willingness to communicate.
This is extremely powerful because we can’t fix a problem we don’t know about.

From birth to death, very few things remain as it is. Family and friends are one of them. Many things will change in our lives but they don’t.
We must learn how to keep our family intact, because family is the center of our happiness.
If we properly know what family is then we will know how to handle pain, happiness, frustration, sorrow, dissatisfaction, success, and failures.

There happens to be many mentors in life, but your father and mother as a mentor is someone who’s brought you up along with your siblings, experiencing life when you’re growing up, looking up at the neighborhood while holding your hand and thinking about you and the whole world.

Remember the value of humbling in life, that mostly comes from our family, especially from our father and mother.
Thomas Jefferson is one of America’s Founding Fathers.
Of course, he wrote The Declaration of Independence but he always said, “I’m entirely a farmer, soul and body, never scarcely admitting a sentiment on any other subject.”
For him, agriculture was the most precious of arts.
What a humbling person!

When you know your bond with your family, you can become great at what you do.
One simple example is Henry Ford.
A lot of people have the misconception that Henry Ford invented the automobile.
The credit for the automobile invention goes to Karl Benz.
At least you are familiar with Mercedes Benz to remember him.
As the finest innovator of all time, Henry Ford used assembly line technology and made the automobile affordable to the masses.
He kept family bonds together, many families were unable to afford a family car back then, he made it possible.
He not only changed the world of transportation but also the strength of family bond forever.
Karl Benz was a great inventor and Henry Ford was a great innovator.
Both men were kind family men and their successes were motivated from the essence of family values.

You don’t have to be a genius to be successful. Everyone is smart in certain spots, just stay around those spots and love your family.
Try to bring small cheer in the face of your father or mother or spouse.
Just delight them if you can.
Actively engage to delight your family, your neighborhood, your community, and your country in some way from your side.
That’s the secret of happiness you ever get in this life on this earth.

Few last departing words.
We always think that our possessions are our lasting values, but often we get greater happiness when we spend our money and time on family, close friends, and experiences.
Naturally what happens is when we have more possessions, they end up possessing us.
The more stuff we have, the more things we have to take care of and there remains almost no time for our fulfilling activities.
Forget the brand new Mercedes Benz if we already have another vehicle.
Don’t get me wrong I love to drive brand new Mercedes but I wouldn’t trade my fulfilling activity time with the care of Mercedes Benz. I would not trade my time to substitute to see my parents, to eat with them, and create special time with them.
Nothing beats flying across the country to see them.
Please, always know the difference between a lucrative life and a fulfilling life.

You might be thinking where is the answer to the title question of this piece of content, I hope by this time you already know the answer but if you don’t know, then here it is.

We will forget the USA president after he/she is gone from this world but we will never be forgotten in the memories of our family and close friends after we are gone from this world.
I wish you and your family all the very best.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Sammi, why do you love Megda so much?

“The only thing that is constant in this world is love.” -Unknown

I was a new member in a book dating club, I didn’t know what exactly it was.
I was a bit early in my first meeting but a girl appeared maybe after 5 minutes of my arrival.
I was sitting on a very comfortable dining chair and she sat beside me.
We introduced each other, I knew her name Sammi.
I couldn’t resist my inquisitive mind, but anyway, I broke the silence, I said to myself, never mind Yam, let your mind do the work.
I stopped my internal chatter box.
I asked Sammi, “what do you love the most?”
Think about this for a second, how nerd I am, unknown person, first meeting, and first question in the book dating club.
She replied so quickly that I was amazed, ” I love books of great experiences and great thinking, and as a person, of course, my boyfriend Megda.”
I spoke the name, “Megda.”
Without asking anything Sammi continued, “I don’t know but my body knows immediately that I’m with Megda and I am happy.”
How long have you been in love?
“We have been in a relationship for the last three years and we are planning to get married next year,” Sammi replied.

By the way, Sammi, “how did you meet Megda?”

“Many years ago my dad started this meeting, a book dating club. It was basically three families, 6 adults, me and Megda. We would meet once every three weeks at the dinner table. We would discuss one hour about the book that could transform our lives and eat dinner together,” she added.

“One day, we were discussing the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, we got attracted to each other and fell in love with our common spirit and connection. This was the beginning of our relationship,” she explained.

As Sammi’s words, she was eating, her parents were there, her eyes were occasionally stopping on Megda’s face.
She realized the words that Dr. Frankl said in his book: love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his/her personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless you love the person.

Sammi and Megda’s interests were very similar. They would spend time on similar activities, they would go fishing and grocery together, they go running and walking together, they go to movies together, and they also cook together, as Sammi said.
Among some differences, Megda would eat fish a lot but she likes to add vegetables to any kind of meat.
The last time Sammi had the best was broccoli and tuna mixed.

“For me love is to be in a happy state mentally and physically.
My and Megda’s life philosophy is same – we both believe that this one time life is our amazing gift that nature has given us, so why not to explore it and enjoy it to the fullest?” she added.
As she said, she remembers a day, Megda and she were on the patio, they were the same thinkers, they were scanning the evening sky and trying to find pleasure in identifying their favorite constellations even though there were no constellations.
This was pure love, they both felt deep connection, they both felt deep love.
they both felt pure love for nothing.
Amazing.
In our conversation Sammi gave me the crux of their love life.
She told me that the reason she fell in love with Megda so much is because he’s made love and non-judgemental forgiveness as his lifestyle.
She said that she’s seen Megda’s unconditional kindness to all persons, things, and events without exception.
He believes a lot of money itself doesn’t make us happy, but if that money buys our time, autonomy, and life experiences, then we become happy.

One day we’re taking an evening walk, I asked him, ” Megda, if you don’t like where you live right now but you can’t afford to move, what do you do?”
He said, “I’ll adapt to my current place.”
“Sammi, happiness doesn’t lie in the choice but in making a decision in choices and removing the unnecessary choices,” he further added.
“To be honest, I fell in love with this man in every word and deed,” she smiled.

Sammi believes that we should not suffer and hold any pain in life, this is the real experience of love above anything else.

I do believe that all pain and suffering arises solely from ego and ego arises when we don’t love ourselves.
The best medicine for pain, suffering, and ego is love.
Just love the other person, love people, love animals, love plants, love nature whatever your mind desires to love.
Just love, express love.

Loving is a state of being.
It’s a forgiving, nurturing, and supportive way of relating to this wonderful world.
It’s not that only educated people or some specific category or rich people or happy or smiling people can love well and others can’t.
Love is equal for all no matter what.
Love is neither intellectual nor philosophical, and doesn’t proceed from either mind, real love always emanates from our heart.
If you love someone or something selflessly then your heart works not mind, but if your love is selfish then only your mind works.
Real love, love from the heart has the capacity to lift others and accomplish great feats because of its purity of motive.

“Pure love takes no position, it is global and universal, it is above separation of any kind,” Sammi added.
“Me and Megda both have understood this for a long time,” she further added.

I do believe that love is inclusive and expands the sense of self progression.
Love focuses on the goodness of life in all its expressions.
It augments positivity and dissolves negativity by reorganizing its significance, rather than by attacking it.
When we reach this stage, this is the level of true happiness in our lives.
True happiness is mental calm and a broader sense of responsibility.

Remember this, your love from the mind is often associated with force but your love from the heart is spiritual.
When your heart feels love, any kind of loyalty, freedom, and peace don’t create conflicts inside you.
Spirituality in the form of love is always associated with non-violence and cooperation.
The crusade of love is a negative thought in our mind.
Keep in mind the word “mind”.
If we hold the negative thought in mind, a very specific muscle in our body becomes weak.
If we replace negative thought with positive thought, the same muscle instantly becomes strong.
The connection between mind and body is always immediate based on our thoughts and associated emotions.
So, always love from heart, not from mind.
One example of love from the heart is love towards your children.
Love towards your children never comes from mind, it comes from heart.
No matter what, you love your children, you burn yourself but still you want to give light to your children.

We can’t see electricity, x-rays, microwaves, or radio waves but we experience their intrinsic power by their effects.
Exactly the same way we don’t see love, we definitely observe their effects.
The power of love is unseen and only the manifestation of effects is observable.

“As a book dating club active member for so many years, I experience a high state of consciousness frequently. As a deep reader of deep thinkers and authors, I frequently attain sublime states of peace and joy,” Sammi added.

Truly speaking, the very elevation of love inspires the prolonged transcendence of humanity and peace.
Once we break the understanding barrier in life, our thought process for love becomes effortless, our body seems to move with grace and ease.
This state of joy is quite distinct from the thrill of success.
We can achieve this state of love by any activity that we enjoy.
It never happens from any forced activity.
Love never comes from force or forced activity.

Love teaches us to become legendary.
If you are great, you can become legendary when you teach anyone with love by example.
It isn’t what you have, nor what you do, but what you have become through a loving state that inspires all of mankind, and that’s what we honor all the time.

People have confusion that love means only high respect and care. This is a complete misunderstanding.
High respect and care is a very small part of love.
Love is simply an extraordinarily high degree of insight in a human body and mind.
Respect and care occupies a simple measure of mere human emotions.
Love is perseverance, courage, concentration, and enormous drive.
Love is absolute integrity and power that I always experience when Megda talks to me, as in Sammi’s words.
Similarly, an unusual degree of dedication towards love of any activity leads to mastery.

Keep in mind, out of hatred comes love, out of defeat comes victory, out of failure comes success, and out of humbling comes true self esteem.
These are the characters we need to nurture love.

Love is very transformational in human lives.
When we love someone or something intrinsically, a miracle happens.
Take a small example from Jesus Christ, as we all know who he is.
Jesus Christ taught for only three short years but his love of teachings transformed all of western society for generations.
This is nothing but transformational love.
The teachings from Christ lie at the center of western history for the last 2000 years.

Let me end here with one recommendation from my heart, please accept this as a genuine experiment to test from a scientist.
Throw yourself wholeheartedly into the love of someone or something, whatever or whoever appeals to you, whether you believe in it or not and just experience a miracle in your life.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why am I not a genius?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao-tzu

Do you know Aesop from Aesop’s Fables?
I guess, you probably remember a lot from your childhood.
He has been with us alive for a very long time.
Really a very long time from the past, ancient time, at least, think of more than 2400 years ago.
I don’t know how much you know about Aesop, he was a slave, who lived in ancient Greece from 620-564 B.C.
He was eventually freed from slavery because of his amazing story telling abilities.
His more than 600 fables are equally amazing and magnificent today.
His stories are equally inspiring and creative for us today.
My question to you, was he a genius?
Probably you say – yes.
He became a genius in story telling no matter what the circumstance was, as being a slave.
Even though he was slave, he was constantly imagining stories.
He used to imagine stories very consciously all the time.
Remember, words here, imagination and consciousness.

Humans learnt to lie an hour after they learned to talk, this is another example of how genius our mind is.
Think of any life events, why does each event produce either positive or negative effects at the same time?
For example, for me loud music is irritating, it excites my temper and pressure but for my daughter it is delightful and vibrant.
Why?
I don’t know.
I remember one of my neighbors, divorce became traumatic for him because it was unwanted for him and he was trying to avoid it by all means.
But last week my cousin’s friend got divorce and it was a desired and happy moment for her.
This is another example of how our mind takes the same event as a happy or stressful moment for each of us differently.
Because our mind is a genius in itself.
The only thing we have to do is how to react to the moments accepted by our brain.
The difference between ordinary and genius minds is that the latter learns how to react with each life event very early in its development by its intuitive and imaginative practices.
Think of the imaginative process of Aesop.

Our mind is very complex and the way it works is not only amazing, it’s very instructive too.
When we have a small amount of information to work with and if we work with great intensity, we can break it down into microscopic details.
Our mind has the capacity to do so.
Once we do gradual incremental training in any task, our unconscious understanding of the information regarding the task becomes sufficiently advanced.
We generally learn how to trust our physical and intuitive intelligence to handle the technical component of the task.
At any moment, our conscious mind can zoom in on very tiny amounts of data.
This awareness of how our brain works is applied by many great human minds in history.

The world of communication and the world of processing communication is very different but still our mind does it very smartly.

Genius is nothing but the love of doing something from inside without any immediate incentive or gain. Obviously, there could be tangible as well as intangible incentives in the long run.

Like Aesop, what do you think about Thomas Edison?
Was he a genius?
Probably you say- yes.
Thomas Edison tested more than 1600 substances before he found tungsten as the most effective element to be used for his iconic discovery of the incandescent light bulb.

What do you think about Mahatma Gandhi?
Was he a genius?
You might say, of course.
He single-handedly overcame the British Empire, the great force in the world then.
Gandhi was quite aware about the intrinsic dignity of a human, the right to freedom, sovereignty, and self determination.
Gandhi always believed that human rights aren’t granted by any earthly power, they are ingrained in the nature of humans because they are inherent in their creation.
But still, it took him a very long time to instill his thoughts to the general public.

What do you think about Bill Gates?
Is he a genius?
You would definitely say, yes.
Remember, he only ate and did coding all night without sleep in the early days of Microsoft.

What do you think about Elbert Einstein?
Was he a genius?
Of course, all of us think so.
Remember, Einstein’s name is associated with so many peer-reviewed publications which appeared to be wrong.

Let’s take the current iconic figure Elon Musk.
Is he a genius?
You would probably say yes.
By the way, he has slept many nights on the floor of the assembly lines of a car manufacturing company.

Everybody has only one destination, which is to go from ‘here’ to ‘there’.
Every step has to have a reason to originate from.
Everybody has dreams, pains, and sufferings to promote evolution, that’s what Thomas Edison and Mahatma Gandhi did consistently in their lifetime.
Evolution always forces us in a new path, new direction, and a new destination although the whole process of transference is very lengthy and tedious.
How many times did Thomas Edison and Mahatma Gandhi hit bottom before they learned a lesson?
Maybe hundreds or maybe thousands or even more.

Remember, genius is a sheer quantity of human suffering, it’s very difficult to comprehend, but it moves slowly within our mind, very slowly, by inches, by feet or maybe by meters.

I’m a scientist, I know the pain of testing a few substances if something is not working.
The patience for testing 1600 substances by Thomas Edison in the lab is not ordinary, it’s genius.
Basically, the genius mind enjoys doing it, and is really interested in knowing more about something which anybody does intrinsically everyday.
This happens because they make their choices from their values, those values are their intrinsic motivators.
It’s one thing to conceive of the light bulb or give people the right of freedom but it’s something else to make it happen.
Genius is motivation and motivation is the energy to make a thing happen.
Motivation in humans is derived from meaning and purpose as in Edison and Gandhi.
People whom we say are creative merely design, discover, write, paint, or sculpt.
But, they make it first within their own mind because they have already seen those images internally.
Just think about Aesop’s storytelling ability.

Remember, we don’t dance on the floor from logic, thinking or any intellect, we dance because we feel like doing dance.
Feeling is the first part of a genius.

Scientifically, genius means the source of creative leaps of awareness to all our consciousness.
It is the practice of becoming more aware of our consciousness each moment, each hour, each day, each week, each month, and each year with progression.
Do you feel love without fear?
Do you feel calm without resentment?
Probably less likely.
But why?
Have you ever tried to answer?
These answers come from genius minds, and only by practice by making ourselves in full awareness.
Remember, love has a higher frequency of consciousness and fear has a lower frequency of consciousness.
Very few selected people experience only love in their lives because they are aware that love could be masked by fear, which is noise.
Of course, these are genius minds.
For ordinary people the frequency of fear is so high that it overlaps the frequency of love, this is basically the low level of consciousness within us.

When we remain not conscious at all times, we might feel good or feel correct but in a completely negative or invalid mood.
Our consciousness is exactly the same as a musical note that we play correctly but at the wrong place in a particular song.

Einstein, Heisenberg, Bell, Bohr, Newton and many other great inventors were not actually born geniuses.
They knew and demonstrated that everything in the universe is subtly dependent upon every other thing around.
This is basically the indication of the full awareness of full consciousness.
Just think about the story of the falling apple, earth, gravity from Newton; he was not the first to see an apple falling from a tree.
This is the result of complete awareness of his consciousness.
They just reacted to the relationship of one thing over others in a different way than ordinary people.

Remember, our mind is a computer terminal connected to a giant database.
This database is our consciousness and our own cognizance is just a mere individual expression.
In reality, this database is the source of genius for which everyone has access.
The only question is how we utilize and understand the database for our purposes.

What counts for most people to be genius is not how much they know about databases, but rather how realistically they define what they don’t know about databases.
This ‘what they don’t know’ is awareness.

The bottom line: we don’t have to be genius in order to achieve satisfactory results in our lives. Genius is, we must recognize our own limitations and follow a course in life which is certain to work reasonably well.
Always keep our thoughts and practices simple like Thomas Edison and Mahatma Gandhi.
Don’t dream about anything without putting our feet first on the ground.
If anyone promises you to teach to be a genius, respond to your inner guard with a very quick no.
Keep in mind, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
First, keep your feet on the ground, learn to walk, start running, keep running long distances, practice drinking, eating, and breathing while running.
Make sure you are fully aware of your consciousness of why you do the task, what you do, and how you do it, and just follow the process of genius.

By the way, I’m not a genius because I have not consistently followed what I just said in the previous lines.

I wish you all the best and goodluck for your journey to genius.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why did I ignore Kara’s offer to meet in the grocery store?

“When life gives you people around you, make relationships with them.” -Unknown

When I was in my mid-twenties, I had a very good friend. Her name was Kara (name changed).
I used to call her to meet in a restaurant.
In our first few meetings we became pretty close and I felt, probably we both, that we were moving in a different direction of our friendship.
Good friendship easily turns into dating if chemistry and life philosophy match each other’s internal calibration.
I remember, it was our 4th or 5th meeting. All of the sudden she questioned me about what we talk about in a restaurant?
How do we share our thoughts and experiences while talking in a restaurant?
She said life is natural, isn’t it a good idea to test it upon our natural flow?
I became speechless, I couldn’t understand what she meant?
I still remember at one point, she proposed to me to meet in a small grocery store.
She said that we can share and exchange a lot of things on the aisle of the grocery store rather than sitting in the corner of the restaurant.
I wondered at that moment what kind of girl she was who preferred to meet in the grocery store instead of a cozy restaurant.
How many of us prefer a grocery store instead of a restaurant for dating?
After that meeting she called me once but I never responded.
Now I’m mature, I laugh at myself remembering that moment.
Even though she was a few years younger than me at that time, she still showed a deeper understanding of the essence of a relationship.
I know now, but I didn’t know then.
I think I was definitely immature and superficial in my thoughts to build a relationship.

I now know perfection, sound judgment, and proper understanding never comes only with age in our lives.
Josh Waitzkin was only 9 years old when he won his first national championship in chess.
How come he became such a good player in such a thoughtful game like chess at such a young age?
Well, I guess, it all depends upon how we train our mind and see things in our lives irrespective of ages.

In today’s technologically driven time, at the highest levels of any kind of relationship, everyone is great no matter the age or maturity.
At this point the decisive factor is rarely who knows more about the relationship, but who dictates the tone of the relationship.

The flow of life, actually, is just a relationship and its understanding how it carries us within it.
Relationship to girlfriend or boyfriend, relationship to spouse, relationship to parents, relationship to siblings, relationship to kids, relationship to neighbors, relationship to boss, and relationship to colleagues in office, and so many others.
How we understand these relationships is very complicated and complex but if we try to understand each one from scratch without any superiority and ego in our mind, each can be very simple too.
Emotions like superiority and ego stopped me from responding to Kara after her offer to meet me in a grocery store.
Any kind of excellent relationship remains sustainable only if there is no judgment for the other party.
I remember, once one of my students told me he grew up all his childhood at daycare center.
From the age 1 to 5, he doesn’t remember anything but he remembers every detail of what happened when their parents dropped off and picked him up.
This clearly indicated to me that his real relationship was only with his parents.
I guess there is a fundamental eternity in how we should enrich our relationship as parents to our kids.

Few days ago I met my friend Nick who works in our department.
I saw that he was very impatient.
He was standing in line at the food buffet with his wife.
He had a project to finish as he said but that tension was not away on the buffet line.
He was in discomfort even though he was with his wife and gathering with other people.
This still counts how we have nourished our relationship, it may be with people or with occupation or with other situations in life.
It’s so interesting to learn about people’s relationships when they are in various moments.
I see people show so many different behaviors when sudden discomfort bombards them.
When people encounter unexpected rain, what do they do?
Many will run with their hands over their heads.
Very few will smile and enjoy the wet clothes.
Some will smile and take deep breaths and walk.
People’s reactions to surprises show their character and their preparation for controlling discomforts.
Our relationship with comfort, with discomfort, and with people around us fall in the same bucket.
I think the understanding of a relationship in life is like existing on a balance beam.
Our relationships grow in the same way as our life builds up from a child to adult stage in our lives.
As a child, there is no fear, no sense for the danger of falling.
The beam feels so wide and stable, and natural flow allows for creative steps and fast learning and adaptation.
Children can run around doing somersaults and flips, always experimenting themselves with a desire for innovation and new challenges.
If they happen to fall off-no problem, they just get back on.
But then, as we get older, we become more aware of the risk of accidents and injury.
We might crack our hands or twist our legs.
The beam becomes so narrow and we have to stay up there.
Sudden plunging off would be humiliating for adults but not for children.
As I said before, as an adult, when she offered to meet me in the grocery store, I simply judged her and stopped any new discoveries and challenges inside me to nurture our budding relationship.
I became totally egoistic.
Do you know why older people don’t learn from young people?
Because of ego.
As a consequence, our growing relationship ended immaturely.
My beam was very narrow, so I couldn’t stay up there.
I didn’t take any test and action for that relationship to grow, I simply ignored it.
What possibly could happen if I would have accepted to meet in the grocery store?
Nothing.
I would definitely learn more of her side and she would learn more of my side.

Tests and actions are needed at any time in our life especially when something is going in the direction of discomfort, crisis, and difficulty.
We can take a lesson from the basketball legend, Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan, the basketball legend, gave more last minute shots to win the game for his team than any other player in the history of the NBA.
What is also important is that Michael Jordan also missed more last minute shots to lose the game for his team than any other player.
What made him such a vibrant and successful player is not the perfect shots that he delivered but to accept and enjoy the tests, challenges, and actions at times of discomfort.

Remember, depth always beats breadth everywhere in any area.
It applies equally in relationships.
Depth opens a path for the intangible, unconscious, and creative components of our hidden potential.
To look for depth in any relationship is one of the key components of human potential to shine.
If we don’t pick up a friend’s call at 3 am then our friendly relationship with him or her is not deep.
If your children at a time of crisis don’t call you first as a mom or dad then your relationship to your children isn’t deep.
As a parent If we fail to become the most trusted friend for our children then neither we are understanding them nor the relationship.

Over time each relationship loses rigidity, and we become better and better at reading the subtle signs of a quality relationship.
Soon enough, learning becomes unlearning in relationships because each needs space to grow.
The stronger person is often the one who is less attached to a dogmatic interpretation of the relationship principles.
Relationship isn’t a principle, it’s a practice.

Quality relationship requires a lot of intuition within us.
There are a lot of variations of intuition.
Many people used to think that intuition is the hand of God.
Many artists, performers, and scientists often think of intuition as a muse.
Some people, even psychologists and sociologists, believe that intuition has no real existence.
In my opinion, intuition is our personal litmus test which makes us aware about our unconscious and conscious mind.
It is basically the catalyst that makes us stick in a relationship.
If we don’t understand this catalyst then it’s harder to seek a quality in any relationship.

A normal relationship utilizes only the conscious mind but a quality relationship utilizes a lot of the unconscious mind.
The conscious mind, though amazing, can only take in and work with a certain limited amount of information at a time.
If you forget your marriage anniversary due to workload then your relationship with your spouse is not even normal, your relationship works only consciously and occasionally.
But if you never forget your marriage anniversary then your relationship with your spouse is a quality relationship, this relationship utilizes a lot of your unconscious mind.
A relationship isn’t a one time task, it’s a 24/7 task.

Any relationship works the same way as skilled personnel.
Skilled personnels internalize large amounts of data.
Once we reach a certain level of expertise at a given discipline, the critical part is how is all this expansive knowledge navigated and put to use?
Exactly the same way how to put a relationship to work also internalizes a large amount of information.
It’s the tolerance of information inside us and its correlation with other parties for mutual benefit.
Always one step at a time.
I couldn’t tolerate Kara’s offer.
I couldn’t correlate her thinking to my thinking.
I couldn’t see mutual inclusion between us.

Have you ever called your married daughter at 3pm Monday afternoon?
Don’t hesitate that it’s Monday afternoon, she might be busy at work, just call and see what happens.
Ask her favorite strawberry smoothie whether she is drinking nowadays or not which she used to love after coming from school in her teens.
Your relationship with your daughter goes in a whole different direction.
Remember, if your doctor calls you only to give bad news then your relationship as a patient and doctor is not going to survive long.
But if your doctor calls you to give good news also then your patient doctor relationship will be long-lasting.
This is how we humans are designed to grow and evolve.
Humans are good relationship hunters.

Few last words for any relationship, if we can’t listen quietly for a few minutes from our spouse or kids or parents or siblings or boss then our life is distracted.
Distracted life can not nurture any relationship.
We need to work to order our life first to enrich our relationship.
Similarly, if we can’t remain patient for a few minutes in any discomfort then we have to practice walking many miles on discomfort to understand its relationship to us.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why is your R&D falling behind?

I saw a young man closing his eyes and doing meditation under the shade of a tree.
I went closer to him, he heard the sound of my steps and opened his eyes.
I greeted him saying hello, and also expressed my sincere sorry for the disturbance, he didn’t respond except with a simple smile.
I asked him, “what was happening in your mind when your eyes were closed?”
He replied, “I wanted to walk across the land, but the earth was covered with thorns.”
“One option came to my mind, it was to pave my road, to tame all of nature into compliance.”
“Suddenly, a second option appeared in my mind, I wanted to make sandals so that thorns couldn’t stop me walking.”
Once I heard this, I said to myself, the second option is what R&D is, the internal solution to solve the existing problem.
Of course, R&D is not a single individual but is a unified approach.
R&D is not a submissive force of unity, R&D is not an overpowering force either.
R&D is intelligent thinking and preparation, it is a cultivated resilience which helps us to gain the ability to bounce back and try again with more experience and wisdom.

Can you guess?
What happened over the last 300 years?
Of course, there were a lot of changes over the years.
Some very prominent transformations that changed our lives were the industrial revolution, discovery of penicillin, electricity, the light bulb, automobiles, airplanes, rockets, and space traveling.
Just few to name major transformations that changed our lives in many different ways.
At present, we are in full fledged technological revolution with the invention of microchips, computers, and smartphones, all connected to the world wide web.
With these tools in hand, we have become a globalized community and each of us is one click away from what we intend to do.

Let’s check a little bit of history.
There were at least five technological revolutions from the 1770s to 2000s.
The industrial revolution began with Arkwright’s water-powered cotton spinning mill in Cromford, England in 1771.
This was followed by the age of steam and railways, the rocket steam engine for the Liverpool-Manchester railway in 1829.
The age of steel, electricity, and heavy engineering was the next big move. Andrew Carnegie’s Bessemer plant in Pittsburgh, USA in 1875 revolutionized the world.
Then came the age of oil, the automobile, and mass production of the first Model-T at the Ford plant in Detroit, USA in 1908.
And, the age of information and telecommunications began when Intel unveiled the microprocessor in 1971.

At present, our technology revolution includes information gathering, decentralized approach, and globalization. Information gathering means knowledge as capital in the value added society.
Our global communication system enables instant globalized interactions between local segments. This is a powerful tool to create economies of greater scope and scale and it turns into a huge economic market.
In all of these efforts, the R&D’s role is in the top level and it’s changing at a very high speed. One of the most important changes is the valuation of R&D which can not be defined by numbers anymore. Valuation runs through human’s mind, science, technology, and psychology.

In the past, businesses were defined by their physical structure; more plants, more property, and more equipment. They were considered as tangible assets.
At least, we could make an R&D valuation based on them.
Nowadays, the concept of growing a business has been transferred to the intangible components more. They are more of intellectual properties such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, brand marketing, brand value, attractiveness of product, and the delivery of the product through various outlet channels.
Currently in the USA, the intangible investment rate of the corporate sector is roughly twice that of the tangible investment rate and it keeps growing.
We have come very far, the value of creating aspects of knowledge, information, and entertainment, all of this is possible through the global internet.
The cost of the physical input has gone down but the value part has grown exponentially.

Think of Uber technology, how come a single app can democratize and revolutionize the whole transportation industry in approximately 72 countries and 10,500 cities.
What are the tangible assets of Uber?

Look at Google, can we think of life without it?
The single small box appears on our screen which is very clean and simple, every person knows where to type and just click go.
It has changed human society completely in so many ways which are impossible to explain.
What are the tangible assets of google? Where are its office buildings and infrastructures globally?
Remember, Google spends more than 15% of its revenue on R&D. Their R&D spending has more than doubled since 2016.

Any science and technology company’s product portfolio is created by R&D endeavors which are dedicated to invent, design, and produce products and services for us.
The higher the technology, the more R&D is embodied in a company’s products and greater the asset value of its product portfolio.

The genius Albert Einstein is very relevant here.
“You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.”
R&D is a source for the next level, it is key for waves of disruption and obsolescence.
In recent years, the bigger companies are spending a lot of money on R&D.
For example, Facebook is spending almost 21% of its revenue towards R&D spending.
Amazon’s R&D spending is more than 10% of its total revenue.
This tells the story where we are going.

R&D always moves in a slow fashion as a series of accepted notions and theories because it is science driven by the market.
We always think that scientific discovery is a process of adding intellectual bricks to an established norm. Many times scientific progress occurs by stepwise process but sometimes also happens by crisis.
But R&D’s role is the same both times.
Take an example of covid-19 vaccine development.
The crisis completely destroys the intellectual deposition of the existing phenomenon and takes us into the direction of new territory.
Normal scientific development works in a normal condition which is the scientific community’s common path. But the crisis violates the common scientific path and leads us into a new direction at very high speed.

Max Planck, a German physicist and Noble laureate has said beautifully, “ A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

Past R&D used to be a prudent way of doing things.
But now when you tell people you are a traditional R&D member, you are considered old-fashioned, out of step, clinging to an old idea for a time that has come and gone. The world we are seeing is on the move.
If you are not constantly running computerized model algorithmic experiments, you must be falling behind in R&D.

Any kind of R&D is a noble endeavor because it identifies people’s self-discipline, psychological endurance, and civic community dedication.
Scientists understand that outstanding creations are often born of small modifications or small thinkings or sometimes by small errors.
Problems persist if the R&D scientist has the brittle dependence on the safety of absolute perfection. In such a scenario, any small error triggers fear, uncertainty, and confusion that muddies the decision making process.

We always glorify the essence of teamwork in a corporation’s success but there is also another part in R&D. Many companies’ intangible assets are created by a single R&D person, working and thinking alone.
I’m not discrediting the team effort, what I’m emphasizing is the culture of thinking which is possible when you are alone.

The sistine chapel ceiling is one large fresco that depicts nine separate scenes from the book of Genesis. The amazing fact about this phenomenal work, in addition to its never ending attractiveness, is that it was created by one person working alone, under extremely difficult conditions.
Johann Wolfgan Von Goethe once said, “Without having seen the sistine chapel , one cannot form a truer picture of what one person is capable of.”
R&D scientists fall exactly into the same category.
Our world has already shown over and over again that pure discovery and invention is one person’s capability under extremely passionate conditions.
There is nothing except pure human spirit and interest.

The good R&D managers should always think about how to increase the intrinsic value of business. The manager of the organization who misleads scientists may eventually mislead himself or herself.
This has a grave consequence for the organization. A good R&D manager should nurture the atmosphere of self-confidence among R&D personnel.
Self-confidence is directly linked to self-reliance, and self-reliance, in turn, is the foundation of R&D management.

Here is one way to improve self confidence among R&D scientists.
All R&D scientists and managers must read philosophy and psychology.
Just think about this: why Plato and Aristotle always said practical wisdom involves the combination of skill, conviction, and opportunity.
Any R&D’s mission is to bring practical wisdom into reality.
When we become R&D scientists and managers, skill always indicates right knowledge, conviction indicates good judgment, and opportunity indicates effective application.
In today’s world, each one of these is an intangible asset for the organization.

The whole function of philosophy is to produce habits of action.
In any organization, R&D begins the action. Our beliefs are really rules for taking actions.
For R&D scientists, there will inevitably be times when they need to try new ideas, release their current knowledge to take in new information. But it is very critical for them to integrate the new information in a manner that doesn’t violate who we are and what we want.

Let’s bring William James for a while, the “father of American psychology.”
William James always advocated that nobody understood better than him the role of philosophy in human life.
He is considered the creator of American Pragmatism.
William James did not begin as a philosopher, he had a medical degree but never practiced medicine.
He studied psychology and Roman stoic Marcus Aurelius, Ralph Waldo Emerson was his intellectual godfather.
We as R&D scientists can learn a lot from William James, as we are creators of actions in our organization.

Remember, psychologists, philosophers, and R&D scientists are not far, all they do is study the human mind.
Psychologists study the mind’s defection and philosophers figure out ways to improve thoughts for better decision making, and finally R&D scientists assimilate both and create products and services for human beings.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What exactly do we look for when we lose everything in life?

“Risk means more things can happen than will happen.”
-Elroy Dimson

I was with my friend, Srinivas, in one of the isolated places of the US earth, hot and humid, in Seymour, Texas.
This trip with Srinivas, was an adventure, a week’s vacation, a search of life through little difficulty in a slightly different way.
My chemistry with Srinivas was pretty solid and exploratory for many reasons over the years.
We have known each other for many years, as we both are scientists in two different companies and very interested in philosophy and psychology.
Mandeep was an overall man of the motel in the isolated place, where we’re staying in Seymore, Texas.
I’d noticed Mandeep back in 2020 on my first night in the same motel as I’d stayed there eating my dinner.
It was my second time there staying in the same motel, and this time I was with Srinivas.
Mandeep, though, hadn’t looked exciting enough even to his job, at least for me. He’d seemed utterly and profoundly pale, a lanky tall man somewhere in his fifties, as quiet as the isolated Seymour motel itself.
He was serving us ice water and some snacks.
I asked him, “how did you end up here?”
He said, “I was a stock trader all in my twenties and thirties.”
“What kind of stocks did you trade?” I asked, expecting to say something about trading stocks.
“I traded financial sectors and real estate,” he replied simply with no excitement. “I was one of the crazy risk takers, I lost my home and all of my balance.”
As he said that, I remembered the lines from a great investor, “greed, fear, envy, ego, and capitulation are our common human characteristics. They compel us to take action when it is shared by the herd.”
Mandeep told us how he’d graduated from Upenn, Philadelphia in the early 2000s.
Here, in the middle of nowhere, serving plates, cleaning and changing bed sheets, was a guy who’d lost everything in his life by trading stocks.
I asked again,”how did you start trading?”
When he was a kid, he said, his father used to skip the sports page of the newspaper and directly go to the finance section.
His father said to him, “if you’d owned a share of this company yesterday, you’d have $1 more today than yesterday. The stock went up automatically. “
I was 14 years old and I asked my dad, ” Can I make money without work?”
My dad said “yes, but you have to know the stock to make money. If you don’t know stock, you won’t make money, you’ll lose money.”
“Well, I wanted to make money without any work but never studied stock, so here I’m now, I couldn’t understand what my dad was teaching me,” he said.
I realized with amusement how unpredictable our life is.
The world really is stranger and unpredictable than we could imagine.
The funniest thing about life is we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or a week from today.
I asked him again, “So why’re you here in this place?”
Mandeep shrugged.
“After losing everything that I had, God again played another game to me,” he added.
A car accident in New Jersey killed his wife and two children, he said quietly looking over the ceiling.
His own head was injured so badly that he became normal after 3 years, his trading business was over.
“I needed to get out of New Jersey,” he said.
“This motel owner needed a helper and I needed a job in isolation, far away from my own place in New Jersey,” he said without a trace of self-pity. “So here I’m.”
“When I look back on my life, I was one of the crazies. I was an obsessive, addictive, maniacal, masochist risk taker, I wasn’t only a risk taker actually, I was a freak trying to become a millionaire overnight,” he expressed softly.
“I would buy today and sell tomorrow, my risk was heavily concentrated with the time horizon. I always acted in anticipation of market prices rather than market prices after they occurred.”
“But no regret now, the only thing is my wife and my two children’s faces suffocate me sometimes at night during sleep,” he became emotional.
“I cry because I feel good when I cry occasionally, I also feel sorry for myself,” he added.

I couldn’t sleep well that night.
I was awoken, mainly catalyzed by Mandeep’s life. Sorting through his memories also made me see something inside human life.
Getting up from a complete loss personally and professionally is an act of pure faith.
I didn’t really know how Mandeep’s mental crisis would end, but I’d believed he could find an answer.
It was another paradox of life, by getting up from a devastating loss, we find out how to get going. By believing that an unseen source of strength exists, it becomes the new source of survival.
Mandeep is acting as though he is among the losers, and perhaps he will eventually be the winner.

When Mandeep said he was a crazy risk taker, I remember a story, one of my teachers shared with me many years ago about a gambler.
I was an undergrad back then.
One day a gambler heard about a horse race with only one horse in the race competition, so he bet all of his borrowed money on it. Halfway around the track, the horse jumped over the fence and ran away.
Think about the mind of the gambler, what he’d thought before betting on the horse and what actually happened.
I’d seen similar experience a few years ago. One of my friends bought a brand new car, paid money, and finished the paper work at the dealer. So he finally drove the car and headed towards his home. Immediately after he made exit from the dealer, he was hit by another reckless driver and got into a crash. Fortunately, he got only minor injuries but his brand new car got damaged completely.
The essence is, there is nothing guaranteed in our life, there is almost nothing without risk in our life because risk is invisible.
Risk is always associated with future events, it’s impossible to know for sure what the future brings.

Mark Twain expressed it best, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

There is a very diplomatic word the legal system uses all the time.
Rebuttable presumption, that clearly indicates something that should be presumed to be true until someone proves otherwise.
So, risk in our life is exactly the rebuttable presumption.

Up until now I’d generally agreed with the modern view of the world that faster is better and faster comes only with risk. If we need anything faster it means it is riskier. It’s the basic premise of the twenty-first century: Risk is exciting and futuristic, we should take more risks. Secureness is stodgy and archaic.

Risk is like Zen, which teaches that all enlightenment comes through stillness of the mind and the body. This lack of motion is not a measure of idleness but strength, discipline, focus, and character.
After reading “Zen in the Art of Archery,” I clearly understood what the target means in our lives. Target is only the perfect release of the arrow, and then we must stop thinking. When we perfect the release without conscious thought and expectation, we achieve an archer’s place of perfect calm and that perfect calm, of course, leads to perfect accuracy.
Risk is another name of perfect calm in our lives but calmness is required to evaluate the risk in advance.
Calmness leads to deeper thinking, a secondary thinking, which is different from many others.
Deeper thinking doesn’t count emotions, it only counts reality.

Risk takers are among the last great champions. The success and failure in risk taking is a measure of our moral fiber. Recreational risk taking does equalize everyone out. A rich man’s wallet only weighs him down when he becomes a reckless risk taker, and a poor man can beat him by accepting calmness on risk. The real task doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take risks but to give many second thoughts on them properly through slow thinking.

Life is unpredictable, we have to accept the inevitability of change, we have to accept the rise and fall of things in life. Our life will run in phases, many things will come and go, things will appear and disappear.
Our environment will change in many ways beyond our control.
We must recognize, accept, cope, and respond to the change.
I learned the same lesson from Mandeep’s life.
Life is easier than we think but harder than it looks.
But, still, the greatest use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it, I still think Mandeep is on the same path.
He had two kinds of risks, one he could control or minimize in some ways, but the other probably not.
Therefore, our life juggles around various kinds of risks, always, everyday, and every moment.

We always overestimate what we’re capable of knowing and doing, this is very dangerous to pursue.
What happens if the surgeon is overestimating the heart surgery and the runner is overestimating the marathon?
We have to accept our limitations of what we know and working within those limits provide us with a different leverage rather than going beyond our limits.
Although we feel many emotions, we must not succumb. We must recognize emotions and stand tall against them.
Our reasons are always greater than emotions, that’s how we pause and study risks.
By studying risks, we don’t stop them but we become more aware of their consequences.
Again, there is a big difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
Knowing is a method booklet but walking is a thinking booklet.
Risk in our lives is the composite mixture of both.
Risk is really a question of common sense and balance. Finding the right balance between educating about risk involved and then knowing when to take action is, in fact, a key element of human survival.

Howard Mark’s said beautifully, “we never know where we’re going, we ought to know where we are.”

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why do I run?

“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
-Jack Kirk

Few years ago, I was driving in the rural areas of Ohio. I made a stop at McDonald’s to get a snack and drink. I’d ordered chicken nuggets and coffee.
I was wearing a T-shirt with a big number 26.2 on my chest.
A cashier at McDonald, a lady, told me, “I never heard about the 26.2 radio station.”
I said, “what.”
She replied, “the big number on your T-shirt.”
I know I’m a polite guy, didn’t laugh externally, and told her, “this number is about a marathon.”
She quickly interjected without a second thought, “I’ve never heard of a marathon radio station.”
I told her again, “this is about running a marathon, not a radio station.”
And then she said, “oh yeah, my niece used to run that.”
I quietly paid money and left saying “thank you”.
In the car I told myself, “why am I laughing now?”
I remembered one incident from a few years ago.
I’d finished my 10K run and I was eating hot dogs under the shade of a tree.
Another race participant joined me in the shade because the day was pretty sunny.
He inquired with me and asked, “do you know the recent Badwater sad news?”
I replied, “what?”
“Badwater, what’s this?” I asked.
He said, “never mind.”
To ease my situation, he deviated the conversation to that day’s running experience.
He said that he ran a half marathon.
I could see from his bib number that he ran a half marathon.
When he left I did google search on my phone, what the heck Badwater is.
I saw it as one of the most intense hard running experiences of human life.
Badwater is the world’s toughest foot race, a 135-mile course starting at 86 m below sea level and ending at an elevation of 2548 m high.
I told myself, are you kidding me?
I regretted laughing quietly at the woman at McDonald.
I told myself, head down man, and don’t laugh at people, there are people who might laugh at you too.
I started driving and headed towards my destination.
Making people fun on anything which they don’t know, whatever simple it is, indicates our lack of emotional intelligence.
I guess I’m more mature now, at least a little bit, both mentally and emotionally.

The reason I shared the above story is related to my running experience and its impact in my life.
Nowadays I feel I’ve improved my emotional intelligence over the years due to running incorporation in my life.
Don’t ask me how.
I don’t know but it’s working. When I accumulate more mileage in a week, I feel different.

Me and my wife would argue about anything, and don’t get me wrong, we still do occasionally.
This is how a husband and wife relationship grows bringing and seeing our differences wearing different lenses, but together.
When the argument would become hot and intense, she would leave the spot with an irritating voice.
I’d get out of the house to run without making any sound at the front door.
I’d run for at least one hour.
I’d be back home, enter in her room and said, ” I’m stupid, I’m sorry, I hurt your feelings.”
I’d not hug because I’d be sweating.
I’d bend down to untie my shoelaces.
My wife would tell me, “if you’re becoming this kind of person by running everyday, I’ll untie your shoelaces everyday for you “
I’d simply smile, no words, and say “thank you.”
I’m pretty sure not only running, any athletic activity improves our emotional intelligence.

There are many other reasons they hypnotized me to run.
First of all, I enjoy it.
I feel happy and relaxed when I’m sweating on the road.
I feel free and independent from my deadlines, reports, writings, power points, presentations, experiments, and meetings from my professional scientist life.
Even though I feel tired after running, it’s not the mind, only the body that tires.

I run to avoid my personal pain, discomfort, and many others.
Few years ago I lost my maternal grandma. I grew up with her. Truly speaking, she raised me in so many different ways which is almost impossible to express here.
The last time I spent time with her before her death, her memory was very thin, many times she couldn’t recognize me so I had to describe myself to her as who I am.
I would tell myself, “am I going to be the same with no memory when I become old?”
“Am I going to be a child again?”
These questions would come to my mind after spending time with my grandma, after seeing her activities, after listening to her quietly when she was in her mid nineties.
She would behave like a 10 years old child, pure thoughts, no regrets, no shame, no opinion, no judgements, nothing hidden, emotionless, and truth.
I remember, at one time, while we’re sitting in her bed, she told me, “grandson, I don’t like white bed sheets, can you buy yellow colored bed sheets for me?”
I became teary and told her, “of course, grandma, I will.”
After 5 minutes, I told her, “ I’m going to get a yellow bed sheet for you.”
She replied, “why, I like this white color so much.”
I’ve read that about 3.4 million people in the USA aged 71 and older, have some form of dementia.
I couldn’t be there with my grandma in the final days of her life.
There are multiple unavoidable reasons for that because we’re separated by more than 7600 miles away from each other.
This was a very complicated grieving period for me.
She was the center of our whole family, she was the reason for our family gathering, and now we have to make up some reason for those kinds of family gatherings.
To be honest, the spirit of our family cohesion has ended.
Whatever I told about my maternal grandma also applies to my maternal uncle, who is my first teacher in this world. I’ve so many memories with him.
Unlike my grandma’s situation, I was there with my uncle in his final days of life. His death was untimely due to chronic disease.
When I get out of my home and run, I bring those lost loved ones close to me, close to my heart, so many of my memories about them come to mind and become vivid.
I absorb those memories that strengthen me with different vibrations.

I don’t want to explain who our parents are in our life.
I remember them a lot when I run.
I bring a lot of activities that me and my dad did when I was in middle school.
Sometimes, immediately after coming home from a run, I make a call to my parents, otherwise, I more likely forget to call them due to another set of busy life that intrudes us.
So, I simply run to comprehend my relationship to my parents, to my wife, to my kids, to my brothers, and to my sisters.

I also run to experiment my personal limits.
I just don’t love running, it is my keen desire to see and explore the bravery and beauty of my body, my endurance, and my nutrition.
Physical enabling is a part of the process of spiritual growth, and endurance is a demonstration of our faith.
When we become tired, we want to stop but if we ignore the stop and get going, amazing things start to appear.
Running itself is a meditation for me. Truly speaking, anybody can do meditation in the activity of their choice, it only depends on that person how to see things around that activity.
When I reach a flat surface in my running, my breathing becomes normal and smooth but when I reach a hilly surface breathing becomes quick and shallow. I don’t do anything, I keep running, my body goes into automation.
The beauty is to observe what’s going on.
For me, breathing in and breathing out is the same, normal or quick breathing is the same.
The whole universe is the same, me, my inhale and exhale of oxygen and carbon dioxide is just a natural phenomenon, we all human beings are sharing to each other.
Not only that, when that oxygen and carbon dioxide flows in the air, it’s touching every one.
It’s amazing to feel and practice to see the things as they are inside and outside of our body.

After making running a part of my life I’ve improved my cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is to have conflicting beliefs, to have discomfort so that we go to ease our feelings.
In the past, I used to think “money is bad” but at the same time I also used to think “I need more money.”
I knew from the core of my heart that it could take many years of hard work and sacrifice to make more money.
So the simplest way I would take was an easier and safer path-”money is bad”; “rich people are corrupt”; “aiming to have more money never ends.”
This was my pure cognitive dissonance.
When I knew and read about rich people, their studies, habits, struggles, and their contributions to society, I gradually moved away from my unexplored and vague beliefs.
During my running, my cognitive dissonance started to fade away. Many times I accepted my strengths and weaknesses as they are.
For me running not only helps me to lose my body weight and make me healthy, but also cleans my overactive mind.

Remember, what we accomplish in life is not the only important thing, it is equally important how we accomplish it. I’ve received the answer of what to accomplish at home when I’m relaxing but I’ve received the answer of how to do it while running.
When we dissociate our body from normal state and associate it with excited state, something unusual happens in our mind. For me, one of the excited states of my body is running.

I cannot become a great scientist just by spending more time in the laboratory, I have to detach myself from the laboratory, I have to go in an excited state so that my mind can think, create ideas, and strategize them accordingly. When I’m running, I’m quiet but I’m in mental flow, me and my pure thoughts.
I’ve gathered many ideas regarding my professional scientist life not in the laboratory or at home or reading literature somewhere in the quiet room, they came from seemingly unrelated dots connections during my early morning runs.
I filter a lot of randomness in my mind. These random thoughts come into my mind during running.
When we filter random thoughts based on already known information, we create so called new knowledge.
Just think like this.
If I ask you showing a pregnant woman about the sex of her baby in her belly, your probability of saying correct sex would be only 50 percent because you are purely guessing.
But if I ask the same question to her doctor, his or her probability number would be different because he or she has done many tests and many observations even if that particular test to determine sex hasn’t been done. This clearly indicates that her doctor has much more information which you don’t have.
Doctor can filter the random thoughts more easily than us to guess the newborn’s sex.
For me running has become pivotal to filter my random thoughts to improve my personal and professional life.

Remember, nature has given our body to run.
Look at our two legs, hand motions, torsos, sweat glands, and hairless skin. What all of these tell us is we can run and we have to run.
Another special characteristic that we have is a vertical body that helps us to retain a very small amount of direct sunlight. This simply means we can run longer.

Why do we run when we see any danger or any threat to us?
Because our body is designed to run to protect us. This is natural.
Nature says you become happy and healthy when you run. When we are far from danger or threat, we obviously become happy. This is only possible because we can run.
Think of our children.
They always run, they smile when they run, they never feel tired if you let them run, just watch unsupervised children, how happy they become.
Our children chase their friend or dog or cat and they run.
Bottom line, nature says we should run.
That’s it.
Running is a natural and basic activity, instinctive to our being.

I read about Abraham Lincoln, he was a very smart footracer.
I also read about Nelson Mandela, he used to run 7 miles a day when he was imprisoned.

If we run, the number of deaths from degenerative heart disease, sudden cardiac arrest, obesity, hypertension, blocked arteries, and diabetes would be significantly lower.
There is one more advantage of a longer run.
It helps to increase the number of mitochondria as well as capillaries in our active muscles.
It improves our muscle’s ability to remove and utilize available oxygen.
Running also recruits our muscle fibers that would otherwise go unused.
Running removes our fatigue in our central nervous system.

This is the statement from Daniel Lieberman, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, “if there is any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run.”

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What did I feel during my first marathon?

“If you want to run, run a mile but If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” -Emil Zatopek

When I was in school from 6th grade to 10th grade, I used to walk one and half hours both ways.
I remember I ran 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters races many times in school.
When I entered college I started to study science, there was very less time for extracurricular activities, I did not participate in any of those.
More than that, life happened and I stopped running.
This is not only my story, this is the story of every lower middle class family.
I’m not talking about the upper middle class or above, especially financially.
After college, I worked as a high school teacher.
I used to jog/run early in the morning for many years.
I was a kind of early bird from very early in my life and still I’m.
After coming to the USA, I ran many 5Ks,10Ks, and a couple of half marathons. In each of those races, I realized that even after touching the finish line I would feel I’m still in the mood to continue running.
This is one of the driving forces that pushed me to think about a marathon.
I know running a marathon is not easy, it’s not a joke, and I wasn’t taking it lightly.
Even before running a half marathon I always visited my physician for a final assurance of my vital organs, especially my heart’s ECG.

In all my life up to now I learned to read, I learned to write and publish, I learned to teach, I learned to do research. As a scientist now, I am also a curious mind who wants to do research on my own body, physically, chemically, and psychologically.
Nowadays, I’m very health conscious, I pay much attention especially to what I’m eating and how many hours of quality sleep I’m having everyday.
There is no way I can sprout wings and fly 26.2 miles, but if I take care of these two things, proper eating and proper sleep, I certainly can run.
This was my self confidence from my self care.

In the last two weeks before my marathon day, I didn’t read anything regarding my nutrition, body, and running. I had read a lot about them in the last one and half years.
But in the final two weeks, I tried to dissociate myself from running even though it was almost impossible.
At least I tried from my side.
I ate a lot of nutritious foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish, and good carbohydrates.
Thanks to my wife Dipi for arranging everything and especially my personal favorites, almond butter and raw honey, for me.
There are always easy steps in life if family supports our goals.
I meditated a lot with one of my best focus words, ‘dad’.
I slept more hours than I normally do.
I watched the romantic movie “Love on the Sidelines”.
I read the romantic love story “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.

The night before the marathon I slept at 8pm, I locked the door from inside.
I woke up at 4am.
I did 30 minutes of warm up and body stretching.
At 5 am, I ate oatmeal with 2 percent milk topping with one banana and three pieces of strawberries.
I watched Indian movie “Kedarnath”; a love story between Hindu girl and Muslim boy before to go to marathon event at 8 am.

Running a marathon is one of the most fulfilling experiences of human life.
I have been dreaming about it for the last two years and preparing for it physically and mentally.
I was at the marathon spot.
In last two years only I read six books regarding running, endurance, and body physiology: Adharanand Finn’s “Running with the Kenyans”; Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run”; David Goggins’s “Can’t Hurt Me”; Meb Keflezighi’s “26 Marathons”; Tim Ferriss’s “4-Hour Body”; and Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”.
These six books shaped and changed my life in many different ways.
Of course, I will be writing about them in future.
I crossed the finish line 26.2 miles without a moment of stop or walk except momentarily stopping to grab the drink at drink stations.
After one hour of running, I’d run a little over six miles. Snow started, it was ok, the road was still dry but subsequent hours became more challenging and my pace decreased significantly.
After finishing half way 13.1 miles in little over 2 hour, I was in very good shape but after that there was a lot of snow on the road.
I finished 26.2 miles in 4:58:58, my target was under 4:30 but I couldn’t meet it.
I was exhausted, exhilarated, I had tears in my eyes. I saw tears in my wife’s eyes when I met my daughters, son, and wife at the finish line.
My boy was crying when he saw me at the finish line, not because I finished 26.2 miles but because I had disappeared for almost five hours. He knew I was with him there in the morning.
I was holding my boy and one of the organizing staff ladies who was offering me a banana told me, “ I salute you, you just finished 26.2 miles and now you are holding your boy and still walking.”
I couldn’t reply, I just laughed at her.
I was telling myself, I will never run it again.
But who knows what will happen in the future, life is unpredictable.
After finishing the 26.2 miles, I realized that our body is an incredible machine, the only thing we need to do is maintain it all the time.

There were many plateaus I hit during the marathon training and on the marathon day.
I never run more than 18 miles during my training.
The other thing I realized is our muscle cells become experts at processing oxygen very efficiently. All our muscle cells learn to use energy very efficiently. After passing 10 miles my pace was increasing. That happens due to practice in muscle cells. I was pretty good but snow interfered with my pace. I experienced that my cardiovascular system is really strong.
Not only that, my joints, muscles, and ligaments were learning to adapt to running. I also realized that in running this adaptation remains more important than our cardiovascular system.
It’s the same as our car, just think that the car engine is very good but wheels and tires are out of shape, what happens, we can’t drive.

For me the whole running experience remained fantastic, it was me, my body, my motion, the sound of my shoes’ pat, pat, pat; and, of course, so many more thoughts in my mind.
My marathon journey was possible only due to the support from my family, especially my wife Dipi.
My wife Dipi bought energy drinks, gels, running shoes,and a waist pack for me.
I never became a shopping guy, to be honest I don’t enjoy it. I don’t know why. Nowadays my daughters help their mom.
Dipi pushed me to try everything during training, to test and feel everything during my practice runs.
One thing I’m learning very clearly is that if we get support, especially from our family for anything in life, we prosper in our choice of endeavor.

During my marathon when I hit around 20 miles, I almost gave up, I had no energy, my legs were dead.
Running a marathon burns about 2600-2800 calories, but remember, our body can not store more than 2000 calories of carbohydrate.
I used all of my glycogen.
My body began burning fat which is a much less efficient energy source.
I am not a professional runner like an Olympic athlete so my body doesn’t know how to switch from glycogen to fat to release calories.
This switch becomes efficient only by practicing longer runs, tempo runs, and many interval workouts.
I refueled with energy drinks and gels to add the glycogen supply and I also maintained proper pacing.
At this point I used my meditation technique, I visualized my two and half years old son, his face and visualized that he is waiting for me to hand over a drink at the finish line.

There is power in visualization which I learned from my meditation practice.
I pictured myself accomplishing something which my brain could imprint.
I was creating more vivid images with sights, sounds, motions, and my shoes’ tap-tap so that my mind was assuming it as more realistically.
Brain power is amazing, over time our brain will accept these visualized images as reality.

In the last 6 miles, my pace decreased a lot, I didn’t have any glycogen, I was only giving chocolate gels and energy drinks.
In addition, there was a lot of snow on the road.
I visualized my daughters, my wife, my parents, all standing at the finish line.
I was bringing my dad’s face constantly in my mind when I was hitting around 22nd miles.
When my two and half year old son sees my medals hanging on walls at home from my previous runs, he always says, baba, run, run, run.
I visualized him, pushed myself further and touched the finish line.
I felt that I’m no longer the same person before the marathon.
I felt like I’m becoming an incredible machine.

Remember, thinking about running 26.2 miles doesn’t need only endurance, it also needs a lot of courage and a lot of positive arrogance.
Yes, arrogance but positive arrogance.
I don’t think it’s good for everybody, I thought multiple times to quit but I kept running.
I remembered Dean Karnazes who ran 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in all 50 states, it helped me to push my tired legs further.
Mahatma Gandhi has said beautifully that strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.
Long term endurance is basically conserving energy which is done by the brain but performance is shown by the body.
Remember, our brain is only 2 percent of our body weight but demands 20 percent of our total energy.
I brought these statements over and over again in my mind and finished 26.2 miles anyway.

For me, finishing a marathon is the same as adding a PhD after my name, getting married and having a baby, a different milestone in my life.
This is an extra bullet point in my resume.
When I crossed the finish line, I felt like I’m a member of an elite crowd.
Believe me, finishing a marathon changes our life forever.
I’ve seen and met many people who fantasized about running a marathon before they die.
There is a saying that if you run a marathon in your life, you will never die from a heart attack.
I’ve also heard that when anybody runs 100 miles, a person enters in Zen state, becomes Buddha, that person definitely brings peace and smiles to the world.
I don’t know how true these statements are but one thing is sure there is something hidden here about running.
I can certainly say that I am no longer the same person I was before the marathon.
I was postponing this marathon as a long due activity of my choice but I did it this time.

For the last many years running has been creating life energy for me. Engaging with running, and even talking to others about running, creates excitement and energy for me.
My brain releases a lot of endorphins when I run.
Recently in my life I’ve learned a lesson.
Before I can get where I want to go, I need to know where I am.
And to know where I am, I need to know who I am.
Knowing who I am and where I want to go are essential elements of building my marathon vision, that gave me the horsepower to get to where I want to go.

I learned that no matter what the outcome is, eventually I’ll look back and think “Running a marathon was a beautiful thing. I’m glad I did it”.
Finally, I simply love running, I love its spirit.
The biggest thing is I love being healthy, fit, lean, and happy.
I simply want to use my body that nature gave me in the way it’s meant to be utilized.
I’m going to keep running not as a professional runner but as a recreational runner.
I’ll keep going to races and other running events.
I’ll keep running 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and probably marathons in the future too.
I’ll run for many different reasons in the future but ultimately to make this world a beautiful place for us and for future generations.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why do we need more Linus Paulings ?

“Do not let either the medical authorities or the politicians mislead you. Find out what the facts are, and make your own decisions about how to live a happy life and how to work for a better world.” -Linus Pauling

Few months ago I was in a meeting with one renowned research professor.
We were walking and talking simultaneously to go from one building to another building.
It was about half a mile of walking to go from one building to another, so he decided to drive. Once we reached the parking lot, I saw a $10 bill laying on the ground. I told him that there is a $10 bill laying on the ground.
Without any second thought, he replied, “if it was a $10 bill somebody else would have already picked it up.”
I was behind him so I slowed down, I ignored what he just said, stepped back, picked up a $10 bill and put it into my pocket.
We got in the car and reached our destination, another building.
We separated immediately after we got in the building.
I had to stay on the ground floor and he had to go to the 3rd floor.
I greeted him saying ‘bye’ as he went towards the elevator.
I had to use the restroom so when I was in the restroom, I took out that $10 bill and looked very carefully on both sides.
I asked myself, “is it a real bill?”
It was a real $10 bill.
At that moment I realized whoever the person is, famous or successful or with a couple of PhDs after the name, everybody lives with certain limitations.
This renowned professor has produced many theories from his lab, he has published some influential peer reviewed journal articles, but I realized, each one of his theories and publications might have some sort of limitations.

I’m absolutely not judging him, he is phenomenal, a great human being and a great scientist.
I really admire him as a great mind, a creative research scholar, and, of course, he has contributed a lot for the scientific community.
He inspires us everyday, no doubt about it.
What I’m saying is, we all have self awareness inside us, at some point in life it matures and helps to shape our lives.
But the only thing is we have to work to grow it.

Every human being is relative in this world so that we can’t just trust and follow someone blindly.
The amazing thing is that we become more self aware when we self indulge in the activities of our second choice which is little far from one’s expertise.
Self-indulgence, especially little far from one’s core expertise, shines our intuition and explores our inner awareness and character in very different ways.

One of my heroes in my life is Linus Pauling.
After reading his childhood, schooling, and what he achieved, I was wondering how one person could be that of significance and inspiration for all of us.
One thing that intrigued me is that Linus Pauling used to mop the floors when he was in school.
He worked in a grocery store to survive, he also worked as an apprentice machinist.
That reminds us how humble his beginning was.

Up to now in my life, I’ve seen and experienced some special people, who are richer intellectually, but many are bankrupt in emotions.
I’ve also seen and worked with some jerks with a couple of PhDs after their name. I’m sure they are not going to be remembered as a good human being in the future even if they accomplished something intellectually.
In essence, humanity comes before intellect.
I’ve also seen and experienced quite a few richer people in emotions but bankrupt in intellect.
To be honest, I’ve seen many people who are moderate in both faculties, in general they are good, ordinary, and common everyday people.
But I’ve rarely seen and experienced richness in both intellect and emotions.
Linus Pauling falls in this category, at least, for me.
As a result of this unique personality, he received the highest recognition on earth, the Nobel prize in both faculties.
He got the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1954, one of the pinnacle of intellectual richness.
He also got the Nobel prize in peace in 1962, one of the pinnacle of emotional richness.
He became a peace activist and a vocal proponent against any kind of warfare in the world.

He is one of four people to have won more than one Nobel Prize, only a person to get it unshared in two distinctly different areas.

The question that came in my mind is how did he become such a towering figure in intellect as well as in emotions.

When he was 9 years old, he read the Bible and Darwin’s Origin of species.
He got lost in the wonder of nature by studying many things that interested him like the study of insects and the study of minerals.
He had a habit of self indulgence whatever he liked.
When he was 14 years old, the fascination of chemistry engulfed him completely.
He said, “I was simply entranced by chemical phenomena, by the reactions in which substances, often with strikingly different properties, appear; and I hoped to learn more and more about this aspect of the world.”
He was intrigued by the mystery of chemistry and devoted his life to Chemistry.

Linus Pauling was not a child prodigy.
He became what he was by his habit of self indulgence on things that interests him.
Around his habit of self-indulgence, he built the skill of self-awareness.
Once he said, “I made use of the college library by borrowing books other than scientific books, such as all of the plays by George Bernard Shaw, the writing of Edgar Allan Poe. The college library helped me to develop a broader aspect of life.”

Many of us have no idea that self-awareness is also a skill that we can develop by reading George Bernard Shaw and Edgar Allan Poe.

Aristotle, the great philosopher, said some 24 hundred years ago that excellence and lasting happiness depend on our ability to find out our intermediate position that is equal from each of the extremes.

When we think of physical pleasure like sex, food, alcohol, smoking; he also said that we should take middle ground between overindulgence and abstinence.
In reality indulgence is a lot different from overindulgence.
Like Aristotle, Buddha also taught his students to pursue the middle path to avoid the two opposing extremes.
Similarly even Confucius, another great philosopher said the same, middle ground always leads to mental equilibrium and a harmonious social order.

Self-awareness is actually knowing the two extremes in our lives.

Many times in our life we try to become intelligent, that’s good but we lack emotion and awareness.
In the real world we have to compensate for the lack of intellect with more emotion, peace, and awareness.

Once awareness replaces intellect, we forget about perfection and focus only on progression.
Progression is simply the compounding of minor improvements, that’s what Linus Pauling followed throughout his life.

Awareness and intelligence sometimes work as light and shadow, brighter the light darker the shadow.
There are many things in life like love, hate, birth, death which were the same thousand years ago and still the same now, but what is different is how they evolve every single day.
This falls into the category of understanding of humanity.
We understand this better when intelligence and awareness are mixed.

Many thousands years ago, the Taoist philosopher, Lao-tzu wrote that the path to wisdom is subtraction of all unnecessary activities.
He said, “to attain knowledge, add things everyday but to attain wisdom subtract things everyday.
Self indulgence, devotion, and meditation invite awareness in different settings which are far from formal education but, as Lao-tzu said, they help to subtract things in our lives to attain wisdom.
Linus Pauling’s parents did not push him to study chemistry or any other self indulgent activities even though they supported him later.

Linus Pauling not only became the elite mind of science but also the serene mind of humanity.
He understood human life very clearly, he hated warfare, crime, and suffering in human life.
It’s so simple to understand that when our life is more important than our principles we sacrifice our principles. But if our principles are more important than our life we sacrifice our life.
This insight had a profound effect on Linus Pauling so he developed an intense desire to do something with human life and lived it by principles.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina