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

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 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

Do you know the secret of happiness? It moves.

To be happy means to experience that we are alive. -Anonymous

I was reading a newspaper in a coffee shop.
Suddenly, I saw a couple at the corner table with espresso coffee and banana muffins.
I wasn’t in a good mood, I don’t know why, a bit depressed, thinking about a lot of things in my life: my unfinished projects, no time for family and kids, mundane career, no time to travel, and not enough money. Name a few of them.
In addition to that, I was also worried about my legacy for my children.
What was I thinking at the coffee shop?
Maybe I was a bit overwhelmed.
I wasn’t happy at all.

Suddenly, the same couple sitting at the corner table approached me and handed me a Christmas card.
On the back side of the card there were five very important quotes from very influential people.
One particular quote from Anne Frank is still in my head: “think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

After reading those five quotes, I wasn’t the same person as before entering the coffee shop.
I smiled to myself, a little bit excited, at least I was happy for a moment due to the momentum brought by those quotes.
Quotes are creative human expressions, and a lot of times we try to live by them based on our lifestyle. Sometimes it’s possible to live by these quotes, sometimes it doesn’t.
Quotes not only speak our inner voice they also speak what is outside of our life.
In my case, those quotes which I read were real and took me to a higher energy level for a moment.
I don’t know why but I felt a different kind of happiness when I finished reading them.
I am pondering now, did the couple transfer little happiness to me?

I am still reflecting now, getting a bit emotional remembering the past incident at the moment.
Am I crazy to think about that small moment again?
But wait, life itself is the combination of many small moments which we don’t get time to cherish.
Do I feel happy right now?
Well, how to know?
My mind is still not accepting the present reality that I’m happy because I’m constantly searching for something.
I’m very anxious because I’m worried about the future.
Why do we need a constant push to remain happy at the moment?
Do you have any clue?
Have you ever experienced something like this before?

I know happiness is a subjective experience, it’s difficult to describe because your happiness could not be mine, and my happiness could not be yours.
Could I read the happiness of the couple sitting next to me? They seemed pretty happy, laughing and talking together, cuddling to each other with sips of coffee and bites of muffins.
Hell, no, I couldn’t read their happiness externally from my mind.
I told myself, the experience that I was having at that moment was different than that of a couple, the couple couldn’t have the same experience as mine, we were two different emotional creatures.

As Daniel Gilbert, the author of ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ said that happiness cannot be measured but we can only either participate in it or be aware of it.

What I have seen from movies and read from great books is: happiness is internal, it is being.
Many great spiritual leaders and great authors have said that calm is also happiness.
Many social scientists have based their research on this topic.
The common saying is we attract happiness, we don’t search for it.
Then, why am I searching for it?
Because this is our human nature, we always search for happiness.
I remember one of my mentors who told me that whether the person is happy from inside or searching for happiness, always look for two simple characters.

These two characters are: unhappy people always argue, they argue a lot about anything, big or small, and most importantly, they argue to win.
The person who argues has ego, it suppresses happiness.
They don’t care about facts, figures, and knowledge.
Ego comes when you are not happy with your life, you have a lot of dissatisfaction inside you, mostly created by self centered confinement.
When ego is gone, humility comes, then you smile naturally, this is how happiness emerges.
If you are happy then you discuss things with positive intention but you never argue.
Discussion is not an argument, discussion is sharing with others, when you show a sharing attitude, your mind glows and you become happy.
Always share or transfer your happiness whatever it is, small or big, it always multiplies in ample quantities.

Know this, you only become happy when you make others happy.

The second characteristic of unhappiness is gossiping.
If we are not happy with our life then we talk about other people.
This is hilarious but a fact.
Remember, if we gossip with somebody, somebody also gossips about us.
Gossiping is the elongation of our dissatisfaction about our own life in a fake happy appearance.
We are just taking time to avoid our unhappiness for the time being.
Unhappy people mostly gossip to compare things, appearance, and habits showing the hidden motif that I am superior.

Remember, happy people always talk about ideas and experiences, they don’t gossip about things, appearance, and habits of other people.

Nowadays, happiness has been contaminated by things; money which never becomes enough, big house which never becomes big enough, big car which never becomes luxurious enough, and many others.

Our happiness never becomes happy enough if we constantly look for things to possess.
Possessing things consume us very quickly if we are not aware of their nature.
In reality, happiness is peace with whatever we have.
This ‘have’ ridiculously becomes ‘want’ if we don’t practice peace in our lives.

Few years ago, I met a man at my family friend’s house. He said that he made one million dollars in five years going the extra mile in his business.
He said that he is very happy because he made that money after a long struggle in the medical equipment business as a sales representative.
Few months ago, I met him again in one conference and he shared his mom’s undiagnosed health issue. He was very worried thinking about his mom’s health condition.
I became familiar with him through our professional connection because I am also involved in the medical research area.
Few days ago he called me and shared the good news that a doctor in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City identified his mother’s disease.
But the doctor said it would cost upto one million dollars in total to cure the disease. His mom was suffering from a very abnormal cancer.
My friend said to me he was so happy that his mom would be alive.
He added that finally God saw him and helped to save his mother’s life.

After our conversation, I was very happy for him that his mom’s disease got identified and will be cured soon.

After seeing my friends’ stages in life, I became quite unhappy about one thing.
Why does this happiness move in our life so quickly?
My friend was so happy with one million dollars in his bank account, but now he is happier to spend the money to save his mother.
What is so unique about our happiness?

One day I met the same friend in a Barnes and Noble book store, he shared his mom’s health and told she is free from cancer now.
He told me that only peace can bring happiness to us.

He further added, “if we want to have a happy life we should anticipate a lot in life but we should never react. We humans always blame other people or things for our own suffering or unhappiness.”
“In fact, we ourselves are the cause of our suffering and unhappiness. If we develop a non reactive attitude, we bring peace into us that is essential to remain happy,” he further added.

If you aren’t happy then your unhappiness doesn’t remain isolated within you, you will send this unhappiness to all of your family members, loved ones, and colleagues. They never become happy with your unhappiness.

Life is too short to be unhappy.
Happiness doesn’t come as an end product, happiness is the series of small moments we pass every single day.
We have to learn to be happy in those small moments, we have to practice to cherish those moments.
Therefore, choose happiness and always practice happiness.

Shahrukh Khan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lady Gaga aren’t happy because they are famous celebrities and they have millions of strange followers; they are happy because they also have life like us, they have family and loved ones around them like us, they can breathe and smell this wonderful world as we do.
We don’t always get what we want in life, but if we practice happiness we always get what we need in life.
‘Need’ gives us a sense of fulfillment but ‘want’ doesn’t.

Last week, I was in the Wal-Mart self-checking counter, behind me was an old woman waiting with a gallon of milk and some apples. That would probably cost less than five dollars.
I smiled at the lady and asked her, “Mam, you have just two items, I have many, could I scan your milk and apples first and let you go?”
“And mam, don’t worry, I will pay for you.”
The woman looked at me straight in my eyes first, she smiled and said, “God bless you.”
I still have her smile in my head.
I hope I transfer a very small happiness to her.

Remember, Socrates taught Plato, Plato also taught Aristotle, and Aristotle also taught Alexander the Great.
What do these great people have in common?
Each of these great people were transferring their happiness in the name of knowledge and wisdom.

By the way, if you know any other secrets of happiness, please share with others. Let’s make this world a little happier together.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

After six month’s music class, my music teacher asked me, “Is this your dream or goal?”

More than a decade ago when I was an undergrad, I joined a music class.
I liked singing, I spent a significant amount of time on singing because I wanted to become a professional singer.
I also sang a few songs on stage in various school and college programs.
Many of my contemporary friends used to compliment me that I sang pretty well and my voice was very solid, suitable for many modern sentimental songs.
Actually, similar types of words from many of my friends catalyzed me to pursue my music journey.
I believed at the time that music could be one of the reasons to live a purposeful life for me.

I used to attend music class in the evening after school.
My teacher taught me classical music very thoroughly.
My music teacher always told me to practice classical songs because he was a firm believer that classical music only produces a good vocalist.
I still think I wasn’t a bad student at least, I might be an average student but I’m sure I wasn’t meeting my teacher’s expectations as I could imagine.
I was clearly unaware what his expectation looked like.

After about six month’s music class, one day my teacher asked me a very thought provoking question.
That question was a heavy load for me to rethink my music passion.
I still to this day have no clue why he asked me such a question and what he saw on me on that day.

He asked me, “Is this singing your dream or goal?”

I didn’t know what he meant then.
I didn’t understand upfront so I was confused about what to say.
I’d heard that many of my friends used to say about their dream job, dream car, and dream house.
But I’d never heard about any goal for a house or car or job, at least by people whom I was surrounded by.
I also thought the same way and said to my teacher, “singing is my dream.”
He didn’t say anything except a silent soft laugh.
To be honest, I didn’t know the difference between dream and goal, so I told him, I wanted to become a singer.
I told him that I wanted to become a professional singer, singing was my passion, it was a kind of dream but I wanted to make it come true for me.

My teacher added, “Most of the time dreams are fantasies in our life, dreams don’t come into reality because they are very volatile.
We see so many dreams at night during sleep but most of them we forget by the time we wake up in the morning.”

“But the goal is different, it is a stepwise concrete rational process of achieving something.
Goal is not a dream, goal is something we can only see when we are awake,” my teacher further added.

I didn’t respond to anything he said except I greeted him and said, “bye”.
This was my last conversation with my teacher regarding music class, after that I never returned to the music class.
I still to this day don’t know why I didn’t return to the music class because I wasn’t offended by what he said.

I talked about this conversion to one of my close friends during lunch time the next day.
My friend told me, “Dreams may come from your goal too, but you have to pass the goal threshold.”
I asked him, “What is the ‘goal threshold’?”
What he said about the ‘goal threshold’ on that day stuck in my life through today.
My friend made me understand what goal is and what dream is.

Goal itself is also just imagination if we keep this inside us but if we take action and finish 5 percent of the goal then we pass the ‘goal threshold’.
Our goal could be anything but we must finish at least 5 percent of it in the beginning, if we want to see our goal in our dream.

My friend added, “Dreams evaporate in the morning, but goal condenses in the morning.”
Evaporation is disappearing from us but condensation is reappearing in more visible form.
We never visualize the dream in the morning, we never try to remember.
But all the successful people always visualize their goals.
Goal setting is a visualization process to make impossible possible for them, but always stepwise.
When we have the habit of visualizing the goal, we don’t have to compete with others, we will compete for ourselves, and also win for ourselves.
Winning to yourself is the best win ever.
My friend said, “once you finish the 5 percent goal threshold, you create the habit to anticipate more than to react. This is really important for any kind of goal in life.”

My friend gave me a very simple example of how things work out when we process any goal in life and how the 5 percent threshold works.
He shared his goal of being healthy in life by adopting this technique.

He told me, “I always start the day by drinking one glass of water in the morning immediately after I wake up.
When I drink one glass of water immediately after I wake up, I win over my dehydrated body that gives energy to win my day.
This is a very small task but worth doing every single day if I want to become healthy. This is my 5 percent threshold for the day.”

Keep in mind, small tasks matter the most to achieve any big goal in life.
If small tasks are done consistently over time, we will achieve the big goal, it’s only a matter of time.
Drinking a glass of water right after we wake up is the first step that we are ready to battle the day.
It also provides a sense of pride to us, because this is another indication that we love our body which is our incredible engine in this life.
It’s so easy to snooze the button and sleep five more minutes rather than go to the kitchen and drink a glass of water.
Once we get up and move out of bed, it is less likely that we come back to bed to sleep again.
This is another advantage to make a habit of early rising to benefit from a miracle morning.

This looks like a small task but many of us rarely do it because walking to the kitchen is an initiation step for our goal that needs some mental energy to begin.
Going from bed to kitchen is a motion that produces energy.
Drinking water is an action, remember, action produces emotion and that is what drives us to accomplish any of our life goals.

Truth to be told, the majority of us don’t drink enough water during the day, not because of any specific reasons, but only due to our busyness.
We forget to drink.
Many of our everyday discomforts like headache, dizziness, and tiredness also happen due to dehydration in our body.
Keep in mind, the majority of kidneys, liver, and brain diseases start due to dehydration in our body in the very beginning.
Drinking a glass of water immediately after we wake up is a less than a minute task, but it changes life if done consistently everyday.

The consistency in action is the first step to achieve any life goal whatever small the action might be.

To make our body and mind healthy, we don’t have to do big and difficult tasks but we have to do small tasks everyday regularly.

Life is a battle of winning small things everyday.

We all want to be happy, we all know what we need to do to become happy and healthy.
We’ve read about how to be happy and healthy, we’ve seen about it in books and movies, we think we know how the happiness steps work in our life.
But the problem is we never make a clear goal to achieve it and take action consistently.
We have no idea how the ‘goal threshold’ works in the case of our happiness.
If we don’t do anything small consistently everyday related to the big goal then we don’t have any goal, and if we don’t have any goal then we never experience happiness.

Happiness is the internal feeling of satisfaction of doing something regularly.

I believe inconsistency is what my music teacher realized and saw in me when I was doing music class. I was not consistent in any of my work.

Happiness is an unseen but felt emotion which releases gradually while moving towards any goal in life with consistency.

Having a goal is like starting a wall with a single brick or stone you know nothing about in the beginning, but eventually a wall is made.
Happiness is like how it feels by increasing the wall 2 inches taller everyday.

But, having a dream is a little different as we know it, we’ve read it, and we’ve seen it, but unfortunately, never translating it into reality.
The problem is every night a new dream appears and vanishes in the morning.

Goal of being healthy, happy, and wealthy should never be complicated.
Complication is in our laziness.
Complication is in our only thinking habit but never to start.
Complication is in our only saying habit but not doing.
Complication is in our only postponing habit.
Complication is our only procrastination habit.

We don’t want to spend 5 minutes on small but important things everyday early in the morning right after we wake up which passes our ‘goal threshold’ for the day.
Drinking one glass of water takes less than 1 minute.
Early meditation to clear our head takes less than 2 minutes.

Remember, meditation is a purposeful silence which is way more powerful than busy, hectic, and rush in life.
Busy, hectic, and rush are common words in our everyday life.
These words have been created by our own circumstances, people around us, and personal choice.
Our life is way more important than these few selected words that we throw around all the time.
If we play the busyness card only on the treadmill and never learn how to put a ladder, then we reach nowhere. We make a circle over and over again and end up in the same place in life.

Purposeful silence heals the body permanently but medication heals the body temporarily.

Stretching our body early in the morning takes less than 2 minutes which regulates our metabolic activity and blood circulation.
Not only that, by stretching our body or by doing little physical workout, we also enter into a little higher state of mind where our thinking becomes different than before to start the physical workout.
But we never do physical workout consistently because we are in a rush, we don’t have time to do it.

All of these aforementioned tasks take a maximum of 5 minutes and this is what gives a healthy, happy, and wealthy life in the long run.

Whatever weird the goal is, if we stick to the goal and battle the small humps everyday, we will win the race.

I don’t know how this system works but the result appears automatically once we are in the process.
I believe this is how any of our life goals translates into reality, slowly but surely.

People without goals are more likely to be depressed at some stage in life and generally have terrible mornings because their mind is relatively quiet in the morning.
Quietness is the enemy for those who are depressed in life.
They have to bring stuff from the past, maybe from the previous day or a few days before to run their mind.
They also don’t sleep at night because their mind is constantly buzzing from the whole day’s activities or by old past activities.
They never practice how to clear their head before going to bed or in the morning after they wake up.

Depression generally happens when we focus more on us rather than our meaningful goal.

Once we have a goal in life, things run smoothly and we are less likely to have a depressed mind.
Our days and nights run very smoothly.
We sleep well.
And ultimately, this is the secret of our happiness.
When you have a goal, when you sleep well at night, when you become healthy, you learn how to reduce time on things that you hate the most.
This habit automatically generates more time on things you love the most.

Remember, who you are is what your goal is.
Goal is not what we know, what we tell others, and what our plan is, the goal is what we do everyday consistently.

In the end, the goal of a goal is to change it into a smooth system and live a happy life.

By the way I’m so thankful to my music teacher for such a thought provoking question that helped me to shed my life.
Thank you teacher.

Thank you everyone for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Ultimately, your gay gene is an extension from your dad. Isn’t it?

I said, “you are a very good friend to me, I know, but I’m interested in her for a different reason. Do you understand?”
He wasn’t happy with what I just said, he nodded without any reaction.
I didn’t understand why he was constantly interfering in my personal life even though he has been my genuine friend for the last 7 plus years.
I needed some personal space, some privacy, and some lonely time to plan my future life.
I wanted to go to dinner with her but he wanted to join us. How could I say don’t join the dinner with us? He’d been one of my best friends through all my undergraduate and graduate school.

When he said that he wanted to join us for dinner with the two of us, me and the girl of my choice, I felt that he’s no common sense. I told myself, “why don’t you understand?” For the first time in my life, something different was going to happen. I was going for dinner with a girl of my thoughts, I needed to go alone with her for some breakthrough talks.
I couldn’t understand my friend’s behaviour, I was quite confused.
“What’s wrong with you?” I screamed to myself in my room.
For a long time he’d said that he would help me in various junctures of my life because we’d fighted many causes together.
Later I felt that he was quite unusual, I couldn’t clearly understand his motive, I was only thinking whether he was doing this knowingly or unknowingly. I needed some private time to settle my life but his action was creating trouble for my plan.

Why did he always want to associate with me everytime?
Was he crossing the fine line of friendship?
I never understood.

I remembered, 2 years ago, he told me, “I’m 28 years old now, I feel very awkward, and insecure. I don’t know why I’m not happy with my existence.”
“There is something wrong inside me, I never told you about this awkwardness, insecurity and suffering. I’ve been having this insecurity for the last several years, I’m being weaker and weaker every single day.” he added.

Being one of his close friends, I told him, “you’re strong, you’ve an Ivy league MBA, you’ve just started a corporate job, your life has just started, but your problem is you take everything very seriously.”
“You think a lot, I would say, you do unnecessary thinking, designed thinking is good but excessive unnecessary thinking 24/7 isn’t good for our healthy body and healthy mind, that’s your problem, you’ve to fix it.”
“You have to make things a little bit easier in life so that our body and mind communicates, life takes its shape the same way as every other living thing does, life matures itself with time, everything takes time to reshape.” I showed positive vibes.

I remembered his response, he said, “Sometimes I feel more rebellious with my family and society, I’ve this scary feeling all the time, I don’t know why?”

When I heard the news that he is in hospital, I couldn’t move, what happend, and later knew that he attempted to committ suicide.

“That’s beyond my imagination, what’s going on in his life” I screamed.
I couldn’t believe this. I helped him in so many ways to see things in life and he helped me in the same way.
We used to share a lot of things, both good and bad. But why this time I’m in the corner and he made such a horrible decision to abandon everything including his own life.
Anyway, I knew that he survived, he is recovering well gradually. I’m happy.
I talked to his family members but nobody knew anything on how and why he took such an unthinkable terrifying step.
My mind was bogging me all the time to know why he attempted such a heinous crime.
I decided that I will go deeper and will find it out.

He was in a hospital bed, he was recovering gradually, and the doctor said that he would be fine after 2 to 3 weeks, he needs a lot of physical and mental rest.

I went to the hospital and told him, “if you think I’m your good friend then you can’t hide it from me. Please tell me what is inside you that is eating you everyday all the time.”
Please tell me.
I saw tears in his eyes.
He said in one sentence, “I’m gay, but I want to live.”
No words.
I filled the gap of silence, “so what?”
“I have gay friends, I occasionally chat with them in social media. They are very genuine and responsible, they are living happy lives, they’ve contributed a lot for society.” I said.
“Is this the only reason that led you to take in such a heinous crime to kill yourself?” I asked.
“I would say this, my friend, you attempted to escape from your own suffering but you’re about to give incurable long-lasting suffering to your family, you didn’t do justice here by not sharing with me about your suffering, I knew you were in pain but you chose to fight alone and wanted to have a trophy of suffering.” I further added.

He grabbed a napkin and wiped his tears.

My friend, we all will die one day so we need to plan our death, then only we live this life freely.
If we don’t plan our death or if we forget that we will die one day in future then we are not living.
You are gay, you accepted it, but I don’t know what bothered you so much to let the world know about this?
This your gay life isn’t your choice.
God made you gay, so where is your fault here?
You cannot change your genes, you cannot change your hormones, and you cannot change your brain.
You have no power to change the complexity of interconnectedness between your genes and hormonal biology.
Biology is a natural force which is beyond our control, but culture, religion, and other beliefs are human-made myths so they keep changing.

My friend, we still have a caste system in hindu community, we still have untouchable humans in this world, we still have a race system in American society.
We still cannot prosecute husbands in more than 50 countries of the world even if they rape their wives because they don’t have such legal mechanism, husbands still think wives are their properties, things, they own them.
These above facts are only ‘tip of the iceberg’ of human myths but sexuality is pure biology, it’s not a myth.
Eventually biology always wins, it’s only a matter of time.

My friend, you and I had the same biology until puberty but after that, god gave you a different path to go and me a different path.
Though we say all humans are created equal, in reality, we are born with different genes and we gradually evolve unequally based on those different genes, hormones, brain, and external environment. But I am sure we both can live our lives in our own way.

Why don’t you accept who you are and show the world who you can become and what you can offer to the world?
You might be depressed because you are not like me. You want to be like others, you want to be like the majority of us. My friend, this is BS. Your biological identity is your authenticity.

The meaning of life is unconditional but you are making it conditional by attempting to commit suicide.
If somebody is killed by some external factor then death has some justification but if we kill ourselves then our death has no meaning, no justification.
Suffering and dying are inevitable in our lives but if we kill ourselves by our own weak thoughts then we’ve not understood death.

My friend, you don’t know what you can offer personally to this society yet, but if you become weak to fight against the social myths then you’ve not learnt anything from Tim Cook, who leads one of the most powerful companies, Apple, as a CEO on the planet.
He is a gay.
If you become weak, what do you learn from Anderson Cooper? He is a gay.
Every aspiring journalist on the planet wants to be like Anderson Cooper in the field of journalism.
What do you learn from Tammy Baldwin, she is a US senator, one of the highest public offices of the most powerful country on earth.
She happened to be a lesbian.

My friend, this world has given to all of us a special quality in a special form. In this world there are many buildings, they all have unequal size doors. If you are stuck in one door and can’t go through then you have to go around to find another door through which you can go. But this is your job to keep looking at various doors.
This also applies at your home and if you can’t go through then you might have to take the initiative to modify the doors at your home.
In fact, your house is your home, remember all houses may not be homes, you stayed there for 28 years, that place isn’t only home for you, it should be a heaven for you.

We are Homo Sapiens, this means we are social animals. All of our social features including happiness and suffering originate from family.
Our biological identity should not be characterized by hostility and mockery.
My friend, you must start the conversation about your biological identity with your dad or mom or sister or brother about who you really are, and what you really can offer to this world.
I request you to start the conversation with one person first whom you trust the most and move ahead in life.
Once you start the conversation in your family as who you really are, they start to make space for you, this is how our identity revolution begins.
Remember, Claudette Colvin was 15 years old when she refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus but this incident led Rosa Parks to revolt again and now we all know the history of the 1950s civil rights movement in the USA.
Any movement needs space to wiggle and it also needs time to wiggle but somebody should start somewhere to make a move.

Life shouldn’t be complicated but it doesn’t mean it has through road-signs all the way to the end.
My conversation with my friend suddenly stopped once I saw his dad entering the hospital room.
His dad sat next to him and comforted his son’s forehead with his hand.
His son closed his eyes but I saw tear droplets in his eyes.
I greeted ‘goodbye’ to both dad and son and assured my friend to come tomorrow again in the evening.

My whole life with him from high school to this day was revolving in my mind. I reflected back, I saw so many things correlated now, every single incident is making sense now which I couldn’t understand then.
I felt bad for what I said and did for him in the past, what other friends did and said to him, and what society did for him. Of course, it’s past now, it’s gone, nothing can be done. I learnt, realized and murmured to myself why God offers life so mysteriously.

I promised myself that I will do whatever I can, I won’t let my friend die again.

I used to read books randomly when I was undergrad, I wasn’t a systematic and aggressive reader then, but when I started my graduate career, I became very interested in reading books far from my core expertise of chemical science.
I became an aggressive reader. I joined book clubs. I knew that I developed my mental faculties broadly to understand human values and society by reading diverse books written by priceless minds.

After returning from the hospital I was looking at something in one of my old boxes but my eyes caught a book on the shelf by Dr Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”.
I remembered that this book I had received from one of my friends as a birthday gift.
I’d also discussed this book in the book club in the past.
Inside the book, there was a written note from my friend who gave me the book “this would be a nice companion when you are suffering in life.”

I reread a few pages from Viktor Frankl’ book. I read, “The meaning of life always changes, but it never ends. The meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than search within oneself.”
I realized that probably my friend searched the meaning of life within himself but never tried to discover, as a result, he chose a route to committe suicide.

Viktor has a vivid explanation of an individual’s experience in a book as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. The most important aspect I like in the book is the view of an author, who is a doctor, for love, hope, responsibility, freedom, and beauty. These all can be found in both nature and art as tools in suffering and depression.

I told my friend that you are gay but this shouldn’t be the reason of your suffering.
There is nothing wrong with it, and it is given to you by another force, nature or God whatever you can say.
When you were a child, your dad made everything for you, he made a roof for you, he provided food on the table, he managed clothes to wear, you received all the love and care but now why do you think that your dad won’t accept you as a gay son?
Ultimately, your gay gene is an extension from your dad. Isn’t it?

Next day I handed him the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl and said to him that this book could be a nice friend to you while recovering in the hospital bed.

I asked him a series of questions intentionally, I thought this might help him to reveal more who he really is.
Why are you afraid to open up your identity now?
What is the worst that can happen if you open up your identity?
Why are you depressed now?
Who do you think is the most helpful person in your life now?
What is the meaning of your life?
These might be difficult questions to answer for him but I’m sure he can tackle all of these hurdles one by one.

When we remain depressed we always feel like we are not being treated fairly in this world. We always think that this world has done something wrong with us.
We always assume that we don’t understand things even after taking a long time of study but other people will understand things quickly.
If we start to think this way then what happens to those tens of thousands of others who are gay who have no education, no jobs, but struggling in society every single day?

My friend, this world is neutral, this world isn’t biased, this world doesn’t recognize rich and poor, strong and weak, educated and uneducated, gay and straight.
This is our duty to find out which role we are playing and where we fit. This understanding is critical to lower depression in our life.

Once we become depressed, we not only become unhappy ourselves, we make so many people unhappy around us.
Depression is like gas in an empty room, it doesn’t matter how much gas flows inside the room, it will eventually fill the room.
If we are depressed for any reason, it doesn’t stay only with us, it ultimately spreads like a virus all over our family, our relatives, and our close friends.

We have to understand that suffering and happiness both are byproducts of our life journey. They are basically not the targeted end products. These both must occur during our lifetime. We cannot keep only happiness and exclude the suffering or vice-versa, this is not going to happen at any time.
Think of this way, our body loves good and nutritious food but our body also stores feces until it can be defecated.

Mostly, we remain depressed because we have fear in our mind, fear of not becoming somebody, fear of not achieving something, fear of chronic disease which we don’t have yet, fear of the future which we don’t know yet what it looks like, fear of losing something which we actually don’t possess yet, and most importantly, fear of not being accepted by society.
Fear prevents us from living in many many ways.
But if we really want to see the other side of the fear, there is nothing, it’s a clean slot but we cannot see it until we jump on fear first.
Fear is such a brutal and chronic emotion that we completely forget that we can live by eating only rice and beans in this life.
We completely forget that we can live by eating only oatmeal, by drinking only water throughout our lifetime if we want.
We completely forget that we can live by wearing two jeans and two shirts for many many years to come.

We always remain depressed thinking of something negative in our lives but our mind actually stores nothing negative if we practice only positive in it.

Last year, my friend sent me a birthday card via email, he’d written on the card, “God broke my power of love for opposite sex but I always strengthened my power of love for the same sex. I’m happily married, a mom now with two wonderful kids. Thank you so much for everything that you did for me. Happy Birthday to You”

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why is pain so beautiful?

Two years ago I read a book “What I talk about when I talk about running” by Haruki Murakami.
Different people have different tastes and different perceptions on other peoples’ experiences but many core values always remain the same.
That’s the reason all 8 billion people on the planet have unique experiences to live and share with the world.
Many times each author expresses his or her emotional, intellectual, and physical experiences in their writing.
Haruki’s book is one of the best books I have ever read where he portrays his life sincerely as a writer and a runner.
I rarely repeat the book but this Haruki’s 175 page book is one of them.

Though this book is based on his running life, the nuggets in the book are extremely valuable in every aspect of our normal life.
One such nugget, my personal favorite, is: “the most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.”

This book reminds us many times that we are limitless in life.
The author Murakami is a tremendous human being, a novelist, and later turned into an unstoppable long distance runner.
He’s run dozens of marathons in many places around the world including ultramarathons.
He started his running at age 33, which is already a huge inspiration to all of us.
At this age many other people, especially in sport activities, generally start to think about retiring.
I remember from the book, at one point he was running an ultramarathon in Japan, thinking about 62 miles to finish which he was running for the first time in his life.
In the middle of the ultramarathon, he passes the finish line of the marathon, 26.2 miles, and he reads the words on the side of the hoarding board.
The hoarding board says, “this is the finish line of a marathon.”
This was the first time Haruki was running beyond a marathon finish line in his life so that he was having a unique experience of post marathon run.
After passing the marathon finish line he says to himself, “I’m not a human, I’m a piece of machinery.”
He was running to finish 62 miles but he kept saying the same words again and again, “I’m not a human, I’m a piece of machinery.”
He finished 62 miles comfortably.
As we all know, any machine doesn’t bear any pain but produces only beautiful products, the Murakami machine produces only beautiful experiences.

After absorbing Murakami’s life, I realized there are many things that are inevitable in life but pain and suffering is a personal choice.
He talks about forced pain and desired pain in our lives.
Forced pain is something different and in many cases not beneficial, but desired pain is amazing, it is a real pain indeed but makes us happier once we start to love the process of pain.
Marathon running can never be a forced activity, it can only be an individual’s desired activity.
Not many people can run a marathon, only very few selected people can run.
And running a marathon multiple times is unthinkable for many ordinary people.
It’s not only strong will power that is required for marathon running, it’s the love of the process that makes marathon running beautiful.

Once we know how to release the pain from the body, the void appears inside us and is very beautiful, that’s what Murakami says life is all about.
There is so much physical and mental pain to finish a marathon but once we pass the finish line, there remains only joy.
No words how to express the feeling.
There is only joy.
Murakami said, “The only thing that comes to mind after finishing a marathon is how I can run better next time.”
The mind becomes more repetitive, more patient, and a lot more disciplined.
Think about this, if this becomes habitual in life then where do we find the pain?

Another runner, Phil Knight, founder of NIKE, author of ‘Shoe Dog’, was also famous in track running, though he was a middle distance runner, he used to run 7 miles every morning from his work to home in his early life.
Phil Knight also says that runners have no destination, their destination is their path where they are running.
Phil Knight started running at a time when people used to tag ‘weirdos’ for them.
It wasn’t a socially accepted athletic activity then.

Murakami and Knight both agree that to make pain beautiful, we have to follow the motto: “be yourself.”
‘Be yourself’ means be far from the crowd, be far from competition, be far from comparison, and be far from rejection.
Murakami had a decent restaurant bar business before giving up everything to become a professional writer and professional runner.
Phil Knight revolted to his family, especially to his dad and visited dozens of countries around the world before giving up his father’s decent media business.
When he was visiting Japan for his shoe business concept his mother dropped him off at the airport and wished him saying ‘be yourself.’

When we become our own uniqueness, as the slogan ‘be yourself’; pain and suffering no longer bothers us, it only becomes the motivation for the final destination.
Amelia Boone, one of our all time heros says, “I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.”
If we cherish suffering, life becomes marvelous.
Learn how to cherish the suffering.
Kudos to Murakami, Knight, and Boone!!!

In my own personal experience as I also run quite often, people who love running and run regularly have keen attachment to a few things.
In reality nature has given us two healthy feet to move our body, in that sense we all are born to run whether we run or not.
In addition, when we run we also become grateful to our two healthy feet so that our pain of running turns into a beautiful destination.
When we run we become grateful to oxygen in the air so that our pain turns into a beautiful breathing resource.
When we run we become grateful to our healthy body and healthy mind so that our pain turns into a beautiful thought.
When we run we pass objects, pedestrians, trees, and many other things, these passing things make us a connection which is humanity so that pain dissipates from the body.
This may be the reason there is a saying that if we run a marathon in our lifetime, we will never die from a heart attack.
I’m not sure whether it’s true or not but it definitely has some validity.

Many years ago I had a friend from India, he was a graduate student in computer science.
One evening many of his close friends gave him a party in his apartment, it was his 31st birthday.
I also attended his birthday party.
Few friends offered him different kinds of alcoholic drinks so he drank quite a few mixed drinks.
He was fine at the time when we all left his apartment around midnight, he greeted us good night.
The next morning his mom was coming to see him all the way from Bangalore, India.
He was excited to pick her up at the airport, he was constantly checking the flight time to make sure her flight was on time so he also set an alarm clock to remind himself that he doesn’t oversleep.
His diabetic mom was travelling alone because his dad expired 3 years ago due to a chronic kidney disease.
She could barely read in Hindi, an indian language, she couldn’t speak English, she couldn’t make telephone calls by herself.
After arriving at the airport at 8am in the morning, she took help from airport people and called multiple times on her son’s cell phone.
Her son didn’t pick up the call.
Due to a mixed alcohol hangover and probably by an alcohol reaction, he wasn’t fully conscious at around 8 am and woke up only at 11 am.
Though he knew the night before that he had to go to the airport to pick his mom in the morning at 8 am.
He saw more than 50 missed calls on his cell phone within a 3 hours period from 8 am to 11 am.
He was very sad but anyway he drove towards the airport.
He was devastated at this point not by anything but by his own irresponsible behaviour.
He told me, “he had so much pain in his body, he was shivering due to pain thinking about his diabetic mom.”
He said, “his mouth was dry, his headache was moving all around his head.”
He had a panic attack, his body pain was so severe that he pulled over on the side of the road for a couple of minutes.
He drank water because his body was dehydrated due to excess alcohol and he also washed his face with cold water.

Finally after 45 minutes driving he reached the luggage claim area at the airport, he saw his mom laying down on the bench.
He sighed, his eyes became teared.
He walked closer to his mom, he saw his mom’s face from a little close distance, he reached to his mom but couldn’t speak, mom also didn’t say anything, she only smiled.
Once he saw his mom on the bench at the airport and when she smiled, he said to himself, “Why is pain so beautiful?”

Few minutes ago, his body pain was excruciating, his headache was moving all over his head but once he saw his mom’s smile everything became clear, he had not even an ounce of pain in his body and in his head.
He only experienced beauty now, the whole pain is gone.
Once he approached his mom, he bent down, he touched her feet, and started to cry.
He sat flat on the bare floor at the airport and broke down, he couldn’t control crying.
His mom didn’t ask any questions, she wrapped his head around her arms, she didn’t ask why he didn’t pick up the phone, she didn’t ask why he was late, she didn’t ask what happened?
Finally he drove his mom to his apartment.
When they reached the apartment, he asked his mom, “‘Maa, can I tell you something?” ‘Maa’ means mom in indian language.
His mom replied, “sure, beta.” ‘Beta’ means son in indian language.
He touched her feet one more time and said, “Maa, I promise you I would never ever drink alcohol in my whole life from today onwards.”
His mom replied, “beta, I’m 62 years old now, I’m illiterate, the only degree I have in this life is trust. I trusted your dad and lived the fullest life when he was alive. I gave you birth, you are my everything now in this life, if I don’t trust you then who do I trust?”
Both mom and son smiled with teary eyes and entered the kitchen.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina