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

Laxxmi, you lost your mom but you are making thousands of moms stronger. Kudos to you!!!

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Kurt Cobain

I was traveling in a public bus.
She came and sat across from me.
She became comfortable in her seat, I smiled at her and she also responded with a soft smile with a waving hand.
Her return smile was a clear indication for me that our 8 hours journey in a bus is going to be very interesting.
We talked about ourselves, specifically our job and profession.
Occasionally our knees were touching each other when the bus was making different motions.
She said that she was a marketing officer in a sanitary pad business.
I told her about my scientific work in a multinational research company. I also mentioned our huge marketing department though I had very little knowledge about marketing.
I added, “I’ve only a vague assumption of how marketing works in our organization.”

“ I run experiments, I analyze and interpret data, I also document, publish, and preserve all of these,” I further explained.
I was curious, so I asked, “what exactly do you do as a marketing officer?”

She replied, “My work is very simple, how to build trust in public. Not only in the sanitary pad business but in any business, all marketing people try to build trust in the public. That’s what we all do.”
“In your work as a scientist, probably you largely depend on yourself, your knowledge and skill, but in my work, I’m mostly dependent on others, mostly in public,” she commented.
“Exactly, you are right, the majority of my work is solitary and bench work” I nodded.
“As a marketing personal, I don’t care that much about new products, new technology or innovations, what I care more is what products and services are going to be obsolete soon”, she clearly pointed out.

In response to my smile in the beginning, I’d noticed her smile was very attractive with her upper half clean and shiny teeth.
At that point I’d predicted that she might be outgoing and our journey could be a different experience.
Her style of engagement in our conversation was showing that she must be a pro by considering her overall enthusiasm and curiosities.

Smile is an amazing human expression.
It connects a lot of different things in our body and mind.
It generates oxytocin in our brain and that provokes a thought.
One simple thought produces ripple effects and generates many more thoughts.
And one good thought gradually changes into a trust.
When she said her main responsibility is to create trust in public, I was also trusting her as a genuine professional woman.
Actually she was absolutely not talking about her job, she was talking completely about her profession.
Remember, job and profession are not the same things.
Any job can be only an absolute transactional relationship because we work for the money or some tangible benefits or both.
When we become professional, we take pride in our work and accomplishments, we feel good about the people we work with, and the organization.
Most importantly, once our job becomes a profession, we work 24 hours in our mind.
The interesting thing about being professional is we look forward to a long time doing what we’re doing. We love to do things, we love to talk about what we do. Looking back, we say I’ve accomplished many things in my life, but I still have a long way to go, more things to accomplish.
She was purely professional, the way she was talking to me, the way she was bringing ideas, and the ways she was interested to know more about my area.

I saw a thirst in her tone, I saw a drive in her look, I saw calmness in her emotions, and I saw unwavering trust in her eyes.
It’s very true that trust creates harmony in human society and if we like to work on any such matter based on trust then the job no longer remains a job, it becomes a life-long profession very quickly.
If we don’t have trust then probably human society collapses and there would be no transaction in any form whatsoever.
There are always people working day in and day out to build trust in any circumstances or scenarios.

Do you buy shampoo from a company you have never heard of before?
I guess no.
Do you lend money to an unknown person?
Of course not.
Do you travel to rural Afghanistan?
Obviously no.
Who do you trust your running coach? A Kenyan or an American guy.
Of course, a Kenyan guy because you have many more reasons to trust a Kenyan guy as a running coach.
The only reason we don’t do aforementioned things is because we don’t trust the unknown.
We don’t trust a new company because shampoo directly touches our body when we use it. It contains chemicals, it’s sensitive so we don’t want to take risks.
We never lend money to anybody whom we don’t trust because we don’t know whether he or she will return it.
Money isn’t just a thing to buy, it’s also an emotional entity. It can make or break a relationship in a second. We should be very careful.
We know Afghanistan is mouldering with terrorism right now, so we don’t trust people and government over there.
These above mentioned scenarios can only be trusted by continuous work on them, as she said, work and build trust.

At one point, she said that marketing is a collective knowledge, it always moves from bottom up based on public trust.

Trust was ingrained in her blood as if she was born with it.
Due to this trust, she said, sometimes she works 10 to 12 hours in the street.
She said she feels tired so she goes on deep undisturbed 8 hours sleep.
She says if you work longer than regular hours, then you also need more rest, and sleep is the only rest, if you don’t sleep you suffer from mental fog and fatigue.
She warns that many people are not aware about this, they do hard work only by squeezing hours of required rest.
“We can live 14 maximum days without eating but we can’t live more than 12 maximum days without sleeping, now you can see the importance,” she pointed out.
She says that we only realize this later in life and we whisper I wish I could have done that.

When she was 2 years old, she couldn’t walk, her family was really worried.
As her mom said to her later, everybody around her, her relatives, her neighbors told her mom, she couldn’t walk all of her life.
The only person in her family, her elder brother who was 10 years old at the time, didn’t believe that she couldn’t walk.
Her brother played with her all day, pushed her to walk by holding her hand all day.
As her mom said to her, when she reached 3, making everybody surprised around her, she walked.
She remembered as her mom said, the only person that didn’t surprise at the time was her brother because he had trust over him that she would certainly walk one day.
In today’s world, people might say she had cerebral palsy, no hope.
Her brother became the top physiotherapist for her at that time.
Only because her brother had immense trust and worked for it.

She made a point that trust is essential everywhere, we had fewer airplanes in the past but we have more now because people trusted different tastes of flying. Marketing itself drives various tastes in public and that follows innovation.
She said we have to be very careful to know about the public and why they like something over others.
“Marketing is just a very small fragment of human psychology,” she added.
Once she said when we become bigger as a company or organization we stop innovation, we stop studying people so our products and services become mundane and obsolete very quickly.
As a student of marketing, she said, my eyes always remain curious about what people are liking and why they’re not liking.

Once our conversation became very friendly and comfortable, she became very emotional at one point and shared her journey.
She said that she wasn’t only a marketing officer, she was also a co-founder of her sanitary pad company.
“When I was 17 years old, I was walking, running, and selling the cheapest sanitary pads in rural villages all day. In those villages, most of the women never used sanitary pads. A lot of teenage girls had no idea what the sanitary pad was. They all were using old rags and the most damped and dusty, torn-out cloth pieces.
Most girls came from rural families and used to survive on less than $2 a day.
Many of them belong to lower castes called “untochables,” who had suffered years of discrimination.”
I still remember, one day one passer-by woman asked me,“Where are you from?”
She’s polite.
She asked me how I’m hoping to sell today.
With my confidence, I told her my aim is not to go home without selling at least one pad.
To sell at least one pad.
She was an adult woman, and looked at me as she was carrying her grandson by her waist.
“I’m sure you can sell at least two pads,” she said.
“There is a fine line between humbling and humiliating and I didn’t know whether I crossed that barrier or not.
From that day onward, my journey is continuously going unwaveringly.
By the way, that day I sold four pads,” she said.
She sighed and said I wish I could make a culture of sanitary pads in rural and uneducated poor girls’ society, as a running culture in rural Kenya, a football culture in rural Brazil, and a cricket culture in rural India.

In our conversation, she gave me very eye-opening data about our native country Nepal.

A 2016 report on menstrual health and hygiene management in Nepal found that a staggering 83 percent of menstruating girls still use cloth while only 15 percent use sanitary pads.

She also quoted the National Family Health Survey data from 2015-2016 from India, neighboring country of Nepal, that estimates only roughly 36 percent women (in all menstruating women) use sanitary napkins, locally or commercially produced.

She was quoting another data that 88% of women and girls in India are using homemade alternatives, such as old cloth, rags, or hay.

She was quite aware of the consequences of poor menstrual hygiene.
Of course, poor menstrual hygiene is one of the major causes of contracting cervical cancer, reproductive tract infections, hepatitis B infection, various types of yeast infections and urinary tract infection, to name a few.

Emotionally, in the middle of our conversation, she said to me that her mom died from cervical cancer when she was 13 years old.
“My mom died without seeing the sanitary pad,” she softly expressed.
She said, “I don’t want to tell and humiliate myself by saying what I used in my first menstrual period, I even don’t want to remember this.”

I could imagine what this work means for her.
She had no idea when this job turned into a profession and later a drive in her life.
When she was saying her first menstrual period she was looking through the window with moist eyes.
After going through all of her personal experiences, I understood her devotion, her drive, and her commitment in her work.
She wasn’t only doing her work, she was also trying to leave a legacy for rural girls and women.
How come a pure job turns into a profession, and subsequently becomes such a drive in our everyday lives.

“We have something unusual in our DNA which prohibits us from adopting a good drive that we trust.
I’ve learned a lesson long back from my personal experience, keep observing the world inside and outside my work. If I see someone is doing something good for the society, I take inspiration and I try to incorporate it in my life,” she said.

We exchanged our name and email address and we became, I guess, pretty close friends.

Laxxmi, my friend, says that she doesn’t care about being an odd person, what she really cares about is having a drive for a mission.
I fully accept that.
“What the drive gives us is the ability to do what we want to do in the way we want to do it, and that’s an amazing feeling,” she said.

Laxxmi, my friend, who is one of the most admirable people I’ve ever traveled with for almost 9 hours in a public bus, has a deep sense of mission that’s connected to the loss of her mother.
She once told me that God has taken my mom from me and given energy to make thousands of moms stronger.

One thing I learned from Laxxmi is that this drive for each of us in our lives is very personal.
Now I know why the drive for Mother Teresa was so different from Michael Jackson personally.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

Ramitta, I’ve not received your email yet.

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

I asked her name.
She said, “Ramitta.”
I asked, “What exactly is this work that you are doing?”
She said, “I’m training to be a magician.”
She also added without stopping that she wants to be one of the greatest magicians in the world.
Again, I asked her age.
She said that she was 13 years old.
She looked very energetic, excited, and happy during her performance.
Her face was so confident that it seemed like she was stealing all the attention from the audience.
She looked pretty focussed when she was playing with three coke bottles with two hands, I was seeing a very bright caliber about her future magician career.
In the meantime, I also noticed that she was not able to do every single time, she was struggling in some attempts. She was purely an amatuer.

She was in the street and attracting the passers-by for small money to survive. I gave her a 20 rupees bill (Indian currency, a quarter in US currency).
She used to look constantly straight in my eyes, probably because I was the one giving the highest amount of money in the small crowd of around 15 people. Most of the money I saw were only coins.
That was a small poor rural city of India near Nepal border. I’ve seen extreme unbearable poverty in many such rural Indian cities.
Many people around her in the show were not that amazed as I was, because that might be an usual everyday thing for them, but not for me.
When she said that she wanted to be one of the greatest magicians in the world, nobody was judging her because she was just 13 years old. If that would have been said by an old adult, I guess, everybody would mock her, would laugh at her.
The advantage of a child performer: all the audience were only smiling, shaking their heads, and enjoying themselves.
She told her desire as a pristine truth from the bottom of her heart in front of the audience: “I wanted to be one of the greatest magicians in the world.”
I was seeing something else with this statement but I abandoned my overthinking.
Let’s be honest, at age 13, nobody lies regarding their future aspirations because they don’t have experience with how life unfolds every single day.

After the show, everybody left, people didn’t care much.
I stayed a little longer.
When everybody was gone, I asked her about her school and family.
She said that she dropped school without finishing grade five.
Her dad disappeared suddenly, her family had no clue what happened to her dad.
Due to this unbearable loss in her family, her mom became sick and was under medication.
She said that her mom is depressed.
I asked her, “Do you know what depression is?”
“I don’t know but the doctor said so,” she added.
“My mom has to take medicine everyday and we don’t have money for that. I do this show in the street for medicine and food. She always loves to stay inside the house all the time. Most of the time she murmurs and says- there is threat and danger outside for us.”
I could guess what that means.

I said, “Ramitta, always perform your magic work, keep doing it regularly, entertain more and more people whenever you can. Take more training from your resource person whoever taught you if you can. Don’t give up the magic work, forget about the number one magician in the world at this time that’s not under your control. Just do magic work consistently.”
I didn’t want to see her in the track of depression with the “number one magician tag in the world.”
I gave her another 100 rupees bill (Indian currency ) and left.
She was smiling and waving at me.
Suddenly, something unusual came into my mind, I turned back, approached her again and gave a piece of paper in her hand.
I told her, “Ramitta, you don’t know me but this is my email address. I know you cannot read this. I tell you this-if you perform your magic work everyday for 89 days regularly, I will send you 5000 rupees (indian currency). Find somebody who can read and can use a computer and tell him or her to write me an email on your behalf that you did magic work every single day for 89 days. If you didn’t find any people to show your magic work, just do it for yourself at home. Do not skip any day.”
Remember, if nobody is around to see the magic, just do it for yourself, have fun just for you, this will hone your game.
“Trust me, I will send you 5000 rupees (Indian currency) and I will be one of your well wishers forever,” I reiterated.
My intention was a little bit different, anyway I’m a scientist by profession, so one additional small experiment, I wanted to develop new neural connections in her brain regarding her passionate magic work in 89 days so that she will never give up her magic process.
I don’t want to go into detail about the science behind new neural connections and neuroplasticity here, maybe next time.

Finding a passion as an amatuer is just the beginning, it’s like dating with as many as we can, developing the passion is harder, it’s a commitment, it’s like marriage after dating many.
And, deepening on it is a lifelong process, it’s like having kids and settlement after marriage.
Additionally, the stage of development is the stage of deliberate practice but deepening on the craft is just effortless flow.
When we reach the deepening stage we can craft our products regularly raising grandchildren on the side.

But I will tell you this: if we practice anything new for at least 89 days every single day, we create new habits and that sticks with us forever.
Once a habit sticks with us, we only need vision and grit, both are actually the power of perseverance. This is how excellence follows in our lives.
I have a personal experience on this but let’s leave this for next time.
Each of us as a human being has a lot of weaknesses, everyone succeeds by picking one strength and honing it regularly day in and day out.
We have to craft this strength as a lifelong process.
If Ramitta constantly engages her mind with her magic process, I believe, she won’t go the same path of depression as her mom.

My head was still spinning with the word depression. I don’t know why? I’ve seen this insane disease in so many of my close friends and family members recently.
In the meantime, I also did a little bit of digging to know why this depression is growing alarmingly.

My great grandfather, my grandfather, and even my father’s generation didn’t have this depression thing, at an alarming rate at present . Why is it so behemoth, suddenly, from our generation?
I found something very unique.
The aforementioned, my previous generations, always remained busy in farming, they used to work from sunrise to sunset in farmland, house chores, herding, livestock.
They were poor financially, long physical labor work on farmland was required to survive, but still they didn’t develop depression.
They were happy with the process of their busyness even though there was no guarantee of their agricultural products.
Sometimes, due to bad weather; sometimes, due to pests; sometimes, due to drought and other natural disasters; all of their crops were demolished.
Sometimes, due to seasonal epidemics, all of their cows and goats died.
But still they never stopped doing whatever they were doing, their work was their life, they were happy and busy in their process.
They showed no symptoms of depression whatsoever.
They always had a nice sleep at night.

Pabloo Picaso was one of the greatest artists of human generations.
He produced more than two art works per day in his artist life. If we count the total number of his art products, he produced thousands and thousands of artworks during his art career.
Because he always loved the process of crafting art more than the final products, otherwise, these many arts were almost impossible to produce by one artist.
But surprisingly, he has only a little over one hundred master art pieces out of thousands and thousands he produced.
Again, because he loved the process rather than the final art products, suddenly about 100 became masterpieces without his notice.
He never aspired to produce masterpieces only, he gave his best sincere effort for each of his art creations. Those masterpieces were just the most liked products by people of his continuous process.

If we love the process of any endeavor throughout our lifetime, we never become depressed in our lives.

We don’t produce our results, results are produced by the process that we are involved in.
Devotion to the process is meditation, that’s why we don’t get depressed.
It can be anything that we are pursuing.

One of my friends’ dad, Rick, has been driving trucks for the last 20 years.
Whenever he finishes driving for the day, he always sends a beautiful flower as a message to one of his family members.
I was interested to meet him, so, one day I met him and asked, “why do you do this?”
He replied, “isn’t this the way to live a life?”
“Otherwise, we get depressed in life because we all do the same mundane repetitive work every single day whatever it is. Sending one different flower each day to one of my family members not only makes me a completely different person but also stimulates the receiver.” he added.
I became speechless.
I reflected on myself, my habits, and my way of living life up to now.
What do I do immediately after I get up from bed?
Well, I grab my phone and watch cat videos in tik-tok.
I open facebook first thing after I get up from bed and I lose my control.
I do these things and somebody or something will control me and my time.
Somebody’s pictures, somebody’s likes, or somebody’s email is controlling me all the time.
After a certain time, this habit becomes perennial and I lose focus. I no longer entertain other people’s activities on screen anymore, I think about my own life, I’ve done nothing concrete, and finally I start to feel depressed.
I wish I could have sent one flower to one of my family members immediately after I got up from the bed.
Do you think that Elon Musk and Tony Robbins grab their phone first thing in the morning after getting up from the bed?
I doubt it.
They control their lives themselves first before being controlled by anybody or anything else.

Nobody owes us anything so that we are free to do whatever we want.
But most of the time, we don’t do anything, even if we do, we anticipate the result first, not the process.
This is one of the biggest reasons for depression in our generations.

In reality, we invite depression when we constantly judge others.
If we only fantasize on the bed rather than doing five push-ups and five squats, then depression certainly follows us.
Depression also appears when we constantly compare ourselves to others.
Nowadays we have multiple ways to compare, this is the age of facebook and twitter.
Depression appears at some point when we focus on external things more rather than our internals.
If our goals end as our internals; not only depression but all the violence, obesity, illness, and greed will disappear.
If we deny our internals knowingly or unknowingly, our emotions will erupt in some other uglier forms.
Depression is just one of them.
The person who doesn’t have time to understand his or her internals by devoting 30 minutes physical activity or 30 minutes meditation suffers the most from depression.
Our life always leaves clues to us, those who are chasing only for externals bleed the most internally in life.

Depression comes when we try to live the same year 75 times and call it a life, as said by Robin Sharma.

Remember, depression is nothing but a byproduct when we don’t have any process to make our own product.

Scientifically speaking, there is a wide-acting neurotransmitter, serotonin, which if deficient in our body, has a high chance of depression.
The very fundamental and interesting point regarding serotonin is to be noted: the head brain produces only 5 % of serotonin.
Very few people are aware about this, the rest of the 95 % serotonin is produced in the gut, that’s why it is also called “the second brain’.
The gut is nothing but a gastrointestinal tract which is the long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the back passage-anus.
Poor gut hygiene and poor gut-brain communication is directly or indirectly related to depression.

If we devote our life in any process to make either a product or service, we are less likely to suffer from depression.
This looks complicated but doable and easy.
Complicated in the sense we should be really aware about our activities in life.
Doable means developing a small process that engages our mind constantly rather than a final product.

This is one of my favorite sayings from Peter Drucker: what gets measured gets managed.
Measure your life by process, your product itself gets managed.

Remember, process is not a noun, it’s a verb.

By the way, until now I’ve not received any email from Ramitta.
I can only wish her all the best.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

My friend, why do you always complain?

Never tell your problems to anyone, 20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them. -Lou Holtz

After a long time, I met one of my friends in my old place, Philadelphia.
He was my dear friend and, of course, he still is.
He began to talk to me about how badly his career is going, he said that nobody gave him a tenured position after teaching 7 years in a liberal art college, and how difficult it was to publish papers in peer reviewed journals where nobody cared about his fundamental research.
He further said that everything was so competitive, there was no funding for fundamental basic research from any organizations.
He gave me a chance to respond after saying this: public as well as private funding moved to the cosmetic areas of science and technology where immediate returns became the prime importance.

He became emotional and shared all of it with me because I was in his heart as one of his close friends, so I told him, why do you always complain?
And, in addition, when I meet you, you always start by complaining every time.
What is the reason for your complaint?
Do you actually feel relieved after complaining of things that you didn’t get?
This is my request to you, my friend, please, learn how to stop complaining if you can.
Complaining doesn’t solve your problem, actually it doesn’t solve anybody’s problems, it just exacerbates our problems.

Complaining is a habit, in many cases it’s a way to express our ego which is inside us.
Truth to be told, people don’t have time at all to listen to our complaints.
They have their own shits to figure out and move in their lives.
They always have their own things to muddle.
We might think they are listening to our complaint, and they will save us, but they actually are not listening to us.
We may feel that they might give something to us after they listen to our complaints, but in reality, people are listening to our problem just for a moment in front of us. Once we are gone, they will forget about what we just said.
They come back to their own problems, they think about their own situations, and they have their own things to figure out rather than ours.
This is the world we are living in.
There is nothing wrong here, but we have to understand how the human mind works.
People were like this before we came to this world, people are the same now, and will be the same in the future too.
Leaving very few people, actually very few from a close family circle that you can count on in your fingers, people have no time for others.
People are centered around themselves, it’s not their fault, this is how we all operate to survive.
People spend time by themselves, and for themselves, this is the hard reality.

I met you after five years but in our first conversation you started complaining about your job and working situations without even asking me how I was doing.

Of course, it’s difficult to get tenured, it’s difficult to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
If it wasn’t difficult, everyone would be publishing it, by this time it wouldn’t be special and creative to become a tenured professor.

To become tenured you have to either publish or perish, this is more than a slogan now in academia. Filter one out of ten, shine one and garbage nine to survive.

I suggest you ask people who got tenure before you. This is the world of human beings, the world of human experiences, and most importantly, the world of human connection.
Always remember, human connection.
Don’t take it lightly, I’m not saying just two words, it’s a whole lot of different games.

My friend, in the real world, your tenureship is decided by two or three people in your organization. It’s not about what you know and how much you know, it’s always about who you know.
Above talent there is connection and empathy.
Talent is nothing, everybody is talented in this world in some way, this is in our genes but connection means everything for any situation.
Michael Jordan isn’t talented in computer science, and , similarly, think of Bill Gates on the basketball court.
Talent is an outcome of an over extended period of practice, dedication, and hard work in one specific area.

Everybody knows Bill Clinton, the most popular and successful president of US history, but very few are aware of his habit of calling one to two ordinary common people whom he met somewhere in a coffee shop or in concert before going to sleep through years and years.
This is the power of person to person connection.

Once I attended a seminar by the late Nobel laureate professor Robert Grubbs, I remembered him saying that when he was assistant professor in Michigan State University, he was having problems with tenureship.
He said that many of his colleagues at the time suggested to him that he could change his career track.
After hearing their suggestion he said that he changed himself more to know the rules of the game than anything else.
We have to know rules formally and informally pretty well before breaking them effectively.

I also have a unique experience.
Many years ago, I applied for a sales assistant job in one enterprise, but the manager rejected my application.
I asked him if there was any way I could improve my experience to get the job.
He replied that I didn’t have enough sales experience, especially in the electrical appliance business.
I desperately needed a job so I asked one singer whom I knew through one of my extended family members, a kind of budding celebrity at that time, to tell the enterprise manager for the job.
I reapplied for the job.
The enterprise manager called me the next day.
I asked the manager what special quality I have for the job.
The manager replied that for the electrical appliance business, fresh candidates do better jobs than experienced ones because we give them our own special training.
The enterprise manager had no clue that I was the same person applying for the job before.
I wasn’t angry with the enterprise manager at all, I was just learning how to grow wings by myself.

My friend, there is nothing wrong here in the process, any process never becomes transparent to everyone as long as humans are involved in the process.
The world was not transparent before, there are many dark stories, the world is not transparent now, and will remain the same like this for many many years to come.

If you are not tenured after 7 years of teaching, then you need to have uncommon solutions, and for that you have to look in uncommon territories. Keep in mind that you already pass the common territories.
We have to learn to be proactively skeptical in anything but, in your situation, you are showing more of a defensively skeptical attitude.
When we become proactively skeptical, we become more aware of things and surroundings, and consequently, we see more choices.
Please, accept this as my pure private analysis.
I’m no guru by any way.
We always like to do what others are doing but this works only if we are dealing in normal territories.
We have to learn to see the things that others are not seeing, especially when we are in uncharted territories like yours.

My friend, you need your position as a tenured person, keep in mind that only you need, nobody else needs because nobody sees what you see in your life.
I don’t know whether you need or you want this job as a tenured position.
Everyone has their own needs.
Everybody has their own wants.
But there is always a small overlap between this need and want, that is actually called interest.
In the US, when a kid turns 16, they need an iPhone and a car.
That’s not their need actually at the moment, that is their want.
But if we go deeper, this want is a lot bigger in different ways, this want is their symbol to begin their independent adult life.
This is an emotional change for them, but when their life goes on, they find a spot where this want converts into their need.

Accept this, in the beginning, every successful person imitates past successful people in the same field by making a very good human connection before they can innovate themselves.

My friend, teaching is not easy, research is even more difficult, and getting tenureship is more like holding a hot rod in a bare hand.
Here is the hard truth, 99.55% of PhDs will not become professors.
According to a study by the Royal Society of Chemistry, only 0.45% of all PhDs will ever become professors because there are almost no tenured track positions.
I know from my personal experience, up to now in my life, I have done the longest time job is only teaching.
Don’t be discouraged, teaching is not easy in itself, and in addition, research is becoming more and more business in academia.
But if you need a tenured position then you have to make both teaching and research a lot interesting for you.
A lot.
If your job is interesting for you, you will never complain about it to your best friend.

The general rule of life is: whatever we practice we will improve at it, only if the game is interesting for us.

Fifteen years of work experience comes only after spending fifteen years of time.
But our mind is so powerful, if our game is interesting to us, we can research, we can visualize, and we can calibrate the game.
Fifteen years experience can be cut in ten or five years too.
This could be possible only if we can train our mind how to be creative through human tools, human experiences, and human connection.

Remember, human connection is one of the best tools.

People will tell you many different things but the greatest truth behind human connection is: things always move only through person to person.

If the game is interesting to us, we will become experts at handling any tool including person to person.

I wish you all the best.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

My one thing when I was covid positive.

Saying no to multiple things can be the ultimate self-care. -Claudia Black

Last two weeks were really crucial for me, an important part of my self-nurturing and self-discovery in my life.
I was covid positive and my whole family was covid positive including my youngest two and half years old.
When I found my daughter was covid positive, I was suspecting myself personally because I was also experiencing a mild headache and chills on that day.
I was in the office but I didn’t want to give the covid positive information to my 10 years old daughter via message or phone, I wanted to be with her with the result.
I knew my daughter’s habit, she could be very reactive very soon.
I went home, she was constantly asking me the test result, and I told her you are covid positive.
She cried initially, I saw her scary eyes but I hugged her and said, “don’t worry, viruses will go away in two weeks, we all the family members will be isolated from the outside world for two weeks. We will expel this virus from us very soon.”
I couldn’t do anything except to strengthen the morale of my daughter, make her as positive as I could.
After knowing the test result of all the family members, we all did nothing except taking medications, resting, sleeping, drinking water, juice, soups and ginger tea.
I did a little bit of reading and writing completely out of science, my professional area, if I didn’t feel tired.
Most of the time, I felt really tired.
I couldn’t eat much so I was feeling very weak.
I could feel my weakness quite easily due to fatigue, dullness, and body pain.
My body is accustomed physically to running, which I couldn’t do. Even though I couldn’t eat solid food much, I drank plenty of water, juice, soups, and ginger turmeric tea.
When our body hosts contagious viruses, we start to think a lot.
I realized this for the first time in my life.
Thinking became my notorious tool even if I wanted to ignore it.
Thinking becomes more contagious than viruses, when we’re awake.
Why is this never stopping tool so corrosive?
I have no clue.

I wanted to shift my moving brain to something positive, something creative like sitting for longer period meditation.
I knew I couldn’t go out and do other activities so that I could only calm my active brain by indoor activities. I was locked physically but my mind was not locked.
In the past two weeks, I slept two thirds of the time to decelerate my thinking.
I forced myself to sleep even though I wasn’t feeling sleepy.
The only time I felt relaxed is immediately after I wake up from a deep undisturbed ibuprofened sleep.
When the body becomes weak, the only thing the body needs is rest.
Full rest is possible only if we go on deep sleep, our mind shuts its doors so that we can recharge and refuel.

I did some creative light synthesis work in the kitchen.
I made tuna soup for my family.
I fried some onion and tomato pieces with fenugreek, carom, and cumin seeds.
After two minutes of frying, I added tuna chunks and stirred for a few minutes.
I added turmeric powder, salt, and I stirred again.
I grinded ginger and garlic pieces and made a paste and stirred with tuna chunks for at least five minutes.
I added two small chillis, a little bit of cumin seed and coriander powder, and half spoon mixed spice powder again.
I poured 5 cups of water and boiled it for 10 minutes.
After that I transferred it in the bowl, squeezed the fresh lime on top of it and took a sip of it with my favorite spoon.
I felt really energetic with each spoon.

I used to drink the soup, and then I tried to sleep but I couldn’t sleep again.
This became a routine for more than two weeks.
What to do next, I used to sneak inside my daughter’s dark room, I checked them.
I also used to check my wife’s room, she was sleeping next to my two and half years old son.
I touched both of their foreheads.
My wife opened her eyes, a mild face, she held my hands for a few seconds but didn’t say anything.
No need to say anything, I could understand her eyes because I had been reading those eyes for the last 15 years.
I felt both of them hot, I checked their temperatures, both of them were around 101F.

When we have viruses in our body either our body will fight or flight depending upon our body immunity or strength.
I told my wife to take a few sips of cold water which was next to her bed.
She did but my youngest one was in deep sleep.

Every night was a new beginning for me, I knew that.
But I was forgetting it as I moved through pain and fever.
I needed to do one thing that was ahead of me, I didn’t know what was ahead of me, but I needed to do one thing: be calm and positive as much as I could, do meditation as long as I could.

Many nights, I couldn’t sleep.
Next to my bed was a book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.
I used to read a few pages.
Julia was talking about our inner artist character which we usually kill very early in our life to avoid unnecessary hurdles and pain.
Julia’s book reminded me why we humans think so much about other people’s opinions to kill our creativity.
I also thought why am I so scared to share my own personal feelings?
Why do I need to share only formal words?
I’ve written many things in my diary but very few things I have shared with the outside world. Why?
Is my life only formal?
Don’t I have private feelings to share?
Then why am I hesitant to share it?

I know everybody has bad and good feelings depending on their personal journey.
Another thing I learned from Julia’s book is we have many things to do in our life, but we have only one thing to accomplish at one time.
This time one thing for me is to take care of my health and my family’s health, and get rid of covid viruses as soon as possible.
Filter every other noise and concentrate on one thing only.
Just one.
I didn’t want to surf facebook because I was not happy. Facebook is the place to share happy faces, nobody posts authenticity there, everything is edited, but our real life is always unfiltered.
I turned off facebook and thought about making chicken soup this morning.
I made chicken soup for lunch.

I always fight to make ginger tea or just drink plain water.
I couldn’t pick one quickly.
What was bothering me about making ginger tea?
I wanted ginger tea but I didn’t have the energy to make ginger tea.
Was I feeling tired or lazy?
Tiredness is different from feeling lazy.
Tiredness is my physical condition but laziness is procrastination.
If something takes less than 2 minutes to finish and if I don’t do it then I’m not tired, I’m just lazy.
Lazy because I’m thinking more rather than doing, I’m accepting everything that comes to my mind but not doing 2 minutes’ work, I am lazy.
I realized I’m lazy, I’m unable to distinguish one thing out of many.
I used to stop my mind quickly, I made ginger tea multiple times in a day, drank, and slept all day.

Among many ways, one way not to feel lazy is to pick one thing that takes less than 2 minutes, and just do it.
Pick one small thing.
Just do it.
Due to weakness, I have been sleeping a lot these days but I always keep one notebook with a nice pen and one of my favorite reading books next to my bed.
I always leave one book on the dining table too.
Whenever my daughters come to eat, they read the title and they also read about the author if the author is female, If the author is male, they rarely read. I don’t know why?
I have noticed this but have not mentioned it.
Once I sit at the dining table, I read one page or maybe two if I feel so.
The book I have right now at my dining table is “The Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I’m reading 73 pages of it.
Today morning, when I opened my eyes, I went to the kitchen, I still had pain in my body, and made ginger tea. I didn’t read the book but I saw only the picture of Elizabeth Gilbert on the back cover.
Of course, she was older than me, she is a white lady, attractive, and has an amazing face-cut but I was in love with her finger and mind connection more.
I asked her, “ what’s in your mind?”
Your genes are chemical engineer’s genes but how do you portray my feelings, my words, and eventually my stories?”
How did you know that I have all of these in my mind?
You are a genius mind reader, I love you Gilbert.
I’ve eaten you, I’ve prayed for you, and I’ve loved you.
Keep shining us through your beautiful words and keep writing, keep inspiring us.
I will keep looking at your passport picture everytime on the book cover when you publish something new and love you always.
But please keep updating your picture in every other book so that I feel I’m getting older too.

I wrote one sentence in my diary.
I wrote, “why do some people become such good artists?”
I was still thinking about Elizabeth Gilbert.
It was 7am.
I wrote “why do I have a headache again?”
Why do I take ibuprofen to kill my headache?
Because I have no other options.
But why?
Because I don’t want to think when I have a headache and body pain.
There is no option, Ibuprofen works only when I sleep.
This is my routine now.
Why cannot I break my routine?
Because I am accustomed to my routine.

What happens if I start something really small to break my routine?
I started to accumulate my personal diaries.
I am hoping to compound everything one day.
That’s the beauty of one thing.
I want to compound not to think much, nowadays the fancy name for this is focus.
Today my one thing is to make chicken soup, one small thing but little different than before.
I’m compounding my soup skill too.
My wife told me I can make nice chicken soup too.
She told me it’s easy, whatever I did for tuna soup, repeat exactly the same, just exchange chicken pieces instead of tuna chunks.
That’s it.
Wow, how do people become so creative?

I realize that life doesn’t need to change a whole lot of things at once, it needs only a small one thing to change at a time.
Today there is just one thing to do, chicken soup, completely different recipe and different taste with only one small tiny change.

If we compound one thing for a 5 percent increment for 10 years how big would the number be?
This is the power of one thing compounded over time.
No plans, no time management, no priority, just one thing, that’s it.

I don’t know how to be happy but the sure way to be unhappy is to do many things at one time, to please many people doing many things for them at one time.
We spend too much time doing many things to make a living in our life rather than building one thing by doing one thing everyday.
To make a living by doing many things in life is a circle but to build one thing by doing one thing in life is an uptrend line.
Spending quality time to build one thing by doing one thing is a responsibility.
Building one thing by doing one thing requires a solid appointment each day and every day.
Make your appointment with one thing everyday whatever it is.
Mine is tuna soup, chicken soup, my midnight diary, Julia’s book pages, Gilbert’s words, Buchwald’s new article, Hartwig’s book, one hour nap on Sunday afternoon, just a few but one thing at a time.

Let’s be serious even though I still have a mild fever.
Let’s see the proof.
Twelve American writers have won the Nobel prize in literature since 1901.
Not one of them had a formal Masters degree in creative writing.
Four of them never even finished high school.
Then how come they got the Nobel prize in literature, well, because they had one thing in their mind.
The only one thing.
They wrote something everyday, maybe less than two minutes everyday.
Maybe one sentence everyday.
They made an appointment with writing for two minutes everyday.
Their one thing was maybe one sentence, or two or maybe five sentences.
If you compound one page for a five percent increment every year for 10 years,
could you guess how many books you could write?

I am formally a doctorate, somebody somewhere gave me this degree by spending five years on one thing only but I assure you all this.
When we pass a certain age in life, no matter how we are spending our time, we will certainly earn a doctorate in how to live a life.
Living a life comes from individual personal experiences.
Any two people’s living experiences’ rarely match.
Let’s make one thing for living a life, whatever it is.
Let’s make an appointment with this one thing, everyday or every night.
My whole body is in pain due to covid, but I would like to make mushroom soup today, my one thing for today.
I will change one thing today, mushroom pieces instead of chicken or tuna pieces, which I made before.
Just one thing but a completely different recipe, every other thing will remain the same.
Gordon Ramsay became the most famous chef in the world by changing just one thing at a time in his recipe.

I hope my whole family will be virus-free soon.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

My new year resolution: whatever happens but I want to be a dad forever.

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”
-Clarence Budington Kelland

Look around us.
What do we see?
Things made by humans and things not made by humans.
All of these things made by humans are inspired from things not made by humans.
All of the natural things like water, air, earth, oxygen, animals, and plants carry immense pontential for us.
Always use them for good purpose, education, and motivation.
Whatever things human made which we see around are not made by people smarter or better than us. These people are the same as us.
The only thing they did differently is they spent time studying nature and, most importantly, the complex relationship of it to humans.
They just developed better daily routines and habits to study nature and evolution of human beings, which after a while became automatic and required less conscious energy.

Many times in our life we become illusioned by originality, or quote and quote, something new for the first time. Nothing is original in this world.
We first invented black and white photos but we still had blue sky, light rays, seven colors, brown clouds, green trees, and blue ocean, just to name a few.
These are originals, yes, exactly originals.

Nature is only original, the rest of all is synthesis from it.
Originality only happens if we exactly know what are the edges of reality, and the reality is nature and human beings.

It’s very hard to understand the value of originality if we only listen to a Harvard MBA, a tobacco company CEO, but ignoring a primary school teacher and a forest conservationist in Nigeria and Nepal.
Originality is directly or indirectly connected to us, humanity.
What impact do these people have for us?
If we dig a little deeper for the cause of humanitarian efforts, everything would be clear.
We are living in the age of bubbles, we don’t go deeper because we don’t have time to make a human connection.
Is there any difference between hard-core bribery or corruption or making money by selling tobacco?
I don’t believe the original idea from a Harvard MBA, a tobacco company CEO, there is no such thing, what I believe is derivative of the originals from a primary school teacher or a forest conservationist in Nigeria or Nepal who are devoted to making human beings healthy and happy. Inside the derivative is the human picture that translates the originality into humanity.
There is nothing special, new, and clean except human connection to nature.
We have to clean our house everyday to make it dust free otherwise in no time the house looks crappy.
That everyday cleaning brings originality into the house, the same applies to nature.

Nature has amazing things to offer: we can plant, we can grow, and we can harvest. Plant means to start, grow means to take care, and harvest means to take advantage.

Nature is also an amazing therapy.
It cures a lot of things which modern medicine can’t cure. Of course, it’s slow but way more effective.
Think about the situation where you and your spouse had a severe verbal argument. One of you said sorry and offered a walk in nature.
You tightly hold your spouse’s hand and offer to see the sunset tonight from a rocky mountain. While watching the sun set, what comes to your mind?
Why do you forget everything that you had a few minutes ago?
Imagine the whole universe, observe the sky, look at the horizon, feel the flow of gentle wind.
Are you still stressed with your tomorrow’s goal or weekly goal?
Of course not, you both feel amazingly different.
Why nature settled you both is because it has immense power which we don’t know yet.
If you are planning for a marathon run, a marathon coach instructs you to walk barefoot on grass for 30 minutes every week, why?
Because nature provides strength to your feet.
If we only eat the kind of food which gives life if we throw it on soil, for example, plants, seeds, or grains etc then we never become sick.
Because soil is nature, grains and plants are also nature they provide strength to our body.
Nowadays, our everyday breakfast has sugar and doughnuts, they are against nature.
Our grandmother doesn’t recognize them as food.
By the way, our grandmother is also nature.

Remember, if we are healthy then only we make thousands of dreams in life but if we are unhealthy then we have only one dream in life: how to get rid of the disease.

If you are a person to believe in magic diet pills to be slimer and beautiful rather than the daily 7am run in nature then you have not understood the power of nature.

Always look a few steps in front of you before looking too far too quick.
Right in front of us is oxygen to breathe, water to drink, trees to get shades, soil to plant, and animals to pet.
We have sunlight that converts our cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D3 in our body.
These resources are interlinked with our mind and body, and they communicate with us constantly.

Accept it or not, nature gives energy, strength, and freedom to us.
But for that we have to think a little deeper, learn at least a little bit from Galileo, Aristotle, and Henry David Thoreau.
Freedom provides creativity if we try to understand the complexity of nature.
Amazing things are amazing the first time when they happen but this amazing wanes with repetition.
But nature never wanes.
Think of the moment when your wife or girlfriend tells you for the first time that she is pregnant, a true gift of nature.
Think of the sentence ‘I love you’ when your partner said it to you for the first time.
You both represented nature at the moment.

Politics, peace, love, hate, jealousy, money, marriage, sex, status, birth, death, disease, and religion, each is a powerful source of human emotion.
Do we actually know whom to marry, where to work, where to raise a baby, and where to retire. Of course not, but we are still worried all the time about them and become emotional.

Remember, happiness and success aren’t found when we are emotional, we don’t become happy by buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we won’t know in 5 to 10 years from now.

Many of our emotions cloud our judgements. This is a severe weakness for human beings. Nature has an aesthetic power to control our emotions. Scientifically how it works I don’t know but it works.
I feel tired, I come home, I sit on the couch, I take off my socks, my cat knows I am at home, my cat sits next to me and stares at me, my cat comes and snuggles my feet, I feel relaxed.
If I’m overwhelmed, I also come out in my garden, I touch the ground with my bare feet and I feel different.
I feel calm and relaxed.
I feel connected to all the human beings around the globe through earth because every human being is touching the earth.
Isn’t it power?

All prospective moms know the nine months pregnancy would be troublesome.
Every mom knows the pain and suffering of delivery but still they are very happy to give birth to a baby.
All prospective parents know they have to clean up poops, change diapers, they have to spend time on their kids’ homework, they might have to cut their sleep time, they have to spend their life savings for college tuition but still they want to go to become dad and mom.
Because parenthood is nature, there is something incredible inside it.
I’ve seen a billboard with just the words ‘dad’ and ‘mom’. Do we need any sentence to complete these words?
I don’t think so.

Recently, I asked a 77 years old man, who was smoking outside of his office building, “you always seemed relaxed, what is the reason for it?”
He said, “my son finished college, my daughter gave birth to a healthy daughter last month, I’m a grandfather now, isn’t it enough to be happy?”

I just smiled without any comment, I don’t know why but his answer touched my heart.

“I also look at my marriage. Yes, I’m a father, I’m a grandfather, I’m uncle, and I’m a friend. Wait, I’m boss too in my office, but at my core, I’m just a human being doing my best to create a life for my kids and grandkids that makes me proud,” he further added.
“I should mention this, if you want to be relaxed in life, always wear nice and comfy underwear and socks, never compromise on these things, two thirds of your life time you wear those, I’m serious, do the things whatever makes you happy, healthy, and comfy,” he said laughingly but seriously.

Isn’t this 77 years old man a student of nature?

We can become whatever we want in life for a very short period of time but we have to be either dad or mom forever.
Being dad and mom is nature; no, no, I’m not saying natural, I’m saying nature; but any other role in life is temporary and easily interchangeable.
The strength that you generate being a dad and mom is immense, that needs to be preserved to transfer in generations to come.
Being a dad or mom, never ever talk about yourself more in front of your kids, let them see your activities more.
The only way they learn more is by mirroring you.
Let them see you walking on the grass, let them see you running in the morning, let them see you watching the sun-set, and let them see you eating only whole grains.
You must be a very good student of nature yourself first to be a dad or mom forever.

Our adult suicide rates have tripled over the past forty years, the most selling drugs at present are for depression, anxiety, and stress.
Anxiety starts at age 11, depression starts at age 14, obesity and diabetes are at epidemic level at the moment.
Do you really know, why?
Because we forgot to plant, we forgot to grow, and we forgot to harvest.
The biggest problem, as a dad and mom, we forget because we don’t have time to teach our kids about these activities.

Remember, a tree doesn’t speak, it remains calm and serene but it gives flowers and those flowers turn into fruits when time comes.
Parenthood is nature: let our kids see how to plant, grow, and harvest.
If we learn patience from a tree, we become dad and mom forever.
Silence is also power; it also comes from a tree.
As Brene Brown, an author of ‘Daring Greatly’, says: talk less, listen more. This is a secret sauce to become a great dad and a great mom forever.

Time is a non-renewable resource in our life.
Let our kids know that time is nature, it is a zero sum thing, we cannot make more of it.
The most important thing in life is time, it has no color, no shape, and no size, we don’t see or feel it, it doesn’t wait for anybody.
It is not an object but it is an abstraction, treat it as such.
Respect for time is respect for nature.
The human being is the only animal that thinks about time, thinks about past, present, and future.
As a human being, the donation of time for any human cause is more powerful than the donation of money for the same cause.
As a dad and mom, let our kids see where we donate our time.
Donate our time to teach computer science in rural public schools so that they know why information is power, donate our time to teach chemistry in rural public schools so that they understand why we have to make more medicines to cure diseases.
Donate our time to build a local library in your community so that they will know what knowledge and wisdom are hidden in the pages of a book.

Donate our time to teach young generations about nature so that they will know why we should live our life happily.

Learning to donate time to humanity is learning to be a best dad and best mom forever.

I wish you all: a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year 2022.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina