Is it essential to be beautiful?

Few days ago I was watching a kid’s movie with my daughters on Netflix. Suddenly, two teenagers started to fight over the issue of their beauty. My elder daughter looked at me and laughed.
I laughed with her and told her that they are fighting in nonsense.
My elder daughter asked me, “Dad, is it essential to be beautiful?”
I paused for a moment and didn’t reply with a straightforward answer.
I simply replied to my daughter, “It depends on your perception of what beauty means to you.”
I elaborated to her that someone might be beautiful for me but may not be beautiful for you.
I gave a simple answer to my daughter but this topic was really complicated to deal with an eleven years old girl.

One of the reasons it is complicated is because of the current media. They always present tall and skinny women as the most beautiful.
In addition, they present flawless complexions, nice teeth, younger face, fuller lips, and smooth skin as beauty symbols.
I was thinking to myself, what kind of impact does it give to my eleven years old daughter?
As the media portray, how much percentage of women are in that level of beauty around the globe?

I told my daughter, “In reality, these women’s pictures shown by the media are not real. You have to understand this. Everything you see on the screen is edited.”
How can I make my daughter understand that part of the hidden story?
This is hard to believe just by saying. We generally believe our impressions and act on our desires.
To understand the rules of beauty, my daughter must be able to recognize the illusory pattern on the screen and what she understands about it.
All illusions are not visual, this is the biggest secret of the beauty industry.
The background behind these tall and skinny women is mysterious for my daughter.
It is easier to recognize other people’s beauty than our own if we become victims of our own illusion.

To get a deeper understanding of this issue, I told my daughter to launch her own youtube channel.
Nowadays she does magic in pictures and videos in her channel.
We all are aware how much we can do by digital editing in those pictures and videos.
Initially she was not interested in video works but as we become skilled in a task, its demand for energy diminishes.
Brain study shows that pattern of activity linked with any task changes as our skill increases, with fewer brain regions involved.
Nowadays my daughter is very quick to edit pictures and videos.
She makes pictures and videos amazingly different in various forms than originals.
I realized that we all are born prepared to perceive the world around us, recognize objects, direct attention, and focus what we like.
It is not the most beautiful from outside that attracts us, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change the status of beauty.

Once my daughter told me that we are most scared of dying, public speaking, and losing money.
After these three, fourth is being wrong and fifth is not being beautiful, especially for us, girls.
I immediately replied, “How did you know this?”
She replied, “I read somewhere in the book, but for me number five is quite surprising.”
“In my view, beauty should be the confidence to achieve something bigger,” she added.

People who engage in a cause larger than themselves are the most beautiful women in the world.
Malala Yousafzai, Anuradha Koirala, and Oprah Winfrey are some of the representations.
I can’t understand how an eleven years old girl brings such an image around her mind.

I recalled the experience of trying to peek at the beautifully dressed lady at the neighbouring table in a restaurant many years ago when I was in undergraduate college.
That was the consequence of my fast thinking on beauty but the result of slow thinking could be quite opposite. This understanding came to me after reading “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman.

I told my daughter, “If you really want to be beautiful, there are several ways of achieving the same goal, but you should not quickly gravitate to the least demanding course of action; buy and use expensive cosmetics products.”
I added, “Belief in yourself is beauty that is important for success; flexibility in your self-belief is the cornerstone for sustaining beauty.”

The hardest route to become beautiful is a daily healthy diet and healthy habit.
These two things should be routine, and routine should not feel like routine.
Laziness is constructed deep into our own nature. We generally don’t act on pressing needs, this is not because we are lazy. We always operate on a certain principle that makes sense for us evolutionarily. We have a habit of conserving energy, if we see a threat, either we fight or flight against it but if it feels safe for us, we don’t waste energy.

Beauty is not only the ability to be seen charming, it is the ability to find charm in surroundings and to deploy attention when needed.
To feel beauty differently, we must see differently than others.

When we feel beautiful on purpose, we feel deeper connectedness, we feel making contribution.
I told my daughter, “Effort in healthy habits and healthy diet is a cost, and the acquisition of beauty is driven by the balance of advantages and costs.”
“You don’t have to struggle to become beautiful if you are spending time to make your purpose and tasks beautiful around you.”
Keep in mind my cutie pie, “Switching from one habit of buying La Prairie and Dior products to another of healthy habit is effortful. Self control gives you lasting beauty but requires effort.”
“But it will be worth it in the long run.”

Beauty should be a part of our discipline because discipline is required for any great undertaking: Serena William brought beauty in tennis, JK Rowling brought beauty in Harry Potter, and Rosa Parks brought beauty in the freedom movement.
Beauty alone can not substitute for skill, talent, and insight.
Remember, it is not enough to be beautiful; you must be consistently beautiful in your attitudes and behaviours.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

Do you carry hand sanitizer in your everyday bag?

Many years ago I visited a dentist for my tooth pain and the dentist asked me a question, do you floss your teeth regularly?
I said, “Sometimes, but not everyday.”
Actually I had never flossed my teeth up to that point, many other dentists had suggested me before to floss but I never took it seriously.
I lied to the dentist because I felt uncomfortable to tell the truth.
Dentist immediately replied to me, “If you don’t floss your teeth regularly, your four teeth will be gone in six months to one year.”
I startled, I pitied myself, I realized how negligent I was. In addition, I also realized how severe my teeth condition was.
From that moment to this day, I haven’t missed flossing even if it is 30 seconds or one minute everyday, if I am at home.
I love my life and I love to have my clean and healthy teeth in my mouth, and I believe everybody should.
Nothing comes close to good health in life.
I didn’t adapt to this habit of flossing until it became severe and the dentist warned me of several negative consequences.
This isn’t only my story, there are many similar stories of other people.

We all go through different periods in life when we are in tune with our desire and anticipation, taking one activity after another. When everything we do turns to a positive experience, that’s the time to get involved actively in the continuation process and also start to seek new good habits.
Of course, there would be difficult times like at present with pandemic coronavirus when everything we touch might result in a complete disaster.
We also have to go through periods when our habits contribute to chaos in the society, reminding us one unfortunate moment after another.
At the time of writing this piece of content, the USA is suffering with more than 40,000 coronavirus cases in a day. This is an insanely big number and many of them are contributed by our own habits.
It’s important to recognize such painful periods and not push ourselves but rather step back and think before to act.
This is the time to think about how we can reduce or avoid the spread of viruses.

Many of us react to habits like frogs to hot water. If we throw a frog into hot water, it’ll jump in response to sudden pain but if we put a frog into cold water and heat it slowly, we can boil it alive. If a sudden habit change hits us, we jump from its pain, we quit it immediately.
Initially I felt the same way when I didn’t have a flossing habit.
On the other hand, I also noticed that consistent slow habit change can be very effective if the results of the change give positive feelings gradually.
I noticed no bleeding from my gums. I experienced it and enjoyed it.
More often we don’t feel ready to start anything that we never did before, we postpone and postpone, but once started, we keep on running, we can’t stop it.

The first news story on the viral disease HIV/AIDS published in the gay newspaper, New York Native, in 1981. AIDS was first clinically reported with five cases in the United States.
This disease completely changed the sexual habit of humanity across the globe.
Now a days we all adapt safe sex practices immediately, if need be.
We learned the lesson and safe sex habit is ingrained in society like an essential norm due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

I never bought hand sanitizer before for household purposes.
I always bought only hand soaps and shampoos.
Judgements and decisions are not always rational. Most of the time these are based on psychological principles of how we perceive and process information.
I always believed that washing hands with soap is way more powerful than using hand sanitizer, but sometimes circumstances also help to change our habits.
I could buy and use hand sanitizer before when I was out of the house and had no access to soap water. But I didn’t do it because I didn’t feel the necessity depending on how I process information through my brain.
But now my habit changed because I processed information differently due to some external factors like pandemic coronavirus.
I started buying it regularly and the pandemic has created this habit in me.
This is only a small example of my personal habit change.
And I hope you are also having similar experiences.

The coronavirus pandemic will change social life in the same way as AIDS virus did in our sexual life.
Due to the nature of pandemic at the moment we must accept hygienic social life: Wear mask in public places all the time, don’t mix up with groups, don’t shake hands or hug to people, don’t indulge in partying, avoid or reduce mass gatherings, avoid or reduce public transportations, always have sanitizer in your bag when you travel or go to new places.
Try to avoid theatres, concerts, and stadiums as possible; instead look for alternative ways of entertainment and sport activities at home.
If you really need to travel, go with extra precautions.
At the moment these may look strange but when we start to accept them slowly, these become our new normal.
During this pandemic period, movie theatres are empty but netflix is blooming; stadiums are empty but computer gaming apps are at their peak.
This is how we are forced to change our habits and society follows it.

We have a “monkey see, monkey do” attitude in society.
In the beginning some of our activities may look somewhat out of track because they differ too sharply from the group practice.
This always happens in the initial phase of a new beginning like this phase of coronavirus.
Change requires courage and it begins with a single person.
Standing alone for change feels scary in the beginning, and most of us like to huddle, but in the time of crisis like at present, it is safer and wiser to stand alone.

Nowadays, my office is accustomed with zoom and other forms of online meeting forums.
We are comparing the results of online meetings and their effectiveness with pre-pandemic in-person meetings, if we found better results then we would continue this as a new office trend even in the post-pandemic period.
Society prioritizes things in terms of working culture and its effectiveness.

Most of us conduct our lives as if we will live only today and tomorrow-repeating the same mistakes, not learning from the past, and hardly ever planning for the future.
This comes to my mind when I see people on beaches in Florida and California during the coronavirus pandemic.
Unconscious mind doesn’t have the notion of time.
Our deep-rooted wishes remain largely unchanged throughout our lives.
A habit is a plan for some people but no habit is also perfect for some others. As Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
But crises like this pandemic must bring change even in unconscious people’s minds so that we all remain safe.
Our survival and success depend on our willingness to adapt changes in life while they are relatively small.
We can’t be irresponsible and spread the virus all around.

Some of us focus only on the present moment because we pay little attention to other people’s life.That is just another sign of being caught up in quick pleasure.
Crowd in Florida beach during a pandemic like this is a perfect example.
People with no social responsibility are more likely to keep pushing these habits until their own lives become crippled by its consequences.
The education of time is a good sign of civilization, and this is the time for education.
An intelligent person is likely to take a break in deteriorating habits, continue to monitor the surroundings, and wait to get in gear with social mingling.
An educated person is aware of time, while someone who is acting impulsively is not.
Any person who pays attention to the current virus becomes aware of its enormous impact in the society.

Society always tends to flow in channels, like rivers in their valleys, but we should be the creators of channels.
When a society feels an isolation, it turns negative. When it feels the group, it turns positive.
This is just the rule of society but sometimes we have to learn how to ignore the regular social trends.
The wave of coronavirus will affect immensely in a negative way for our economy, science and invention, and social mobility for a very long period of time.
We have already experienced a lot of negative results from different corners of society.
But let’s hope that this negative effect will turn to a positive outcome soon by changing our personal and professional habits, our attitudes and practices, and work cultures.

Our mind is looking for an order- a society free of coronavirus.
We have to make it and let’s make it possible.
Remember, only discipline and good hygienic habits will help to break the chain of coronavirus.
Once again, remember, this endeavor starts with each one of us, and please, don’t forget to have a hand sanitizer in your everyday bag.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

Why is my childhood friend moving to the USA?

When I was growing up in a village of a very poor country Nepal, we were taught a system run by one man – the king, and the king was designated as a great leader. Later we found out what a weak system it was, but while the king system was prevalent, many people enjoyed following the king.
Ironically, the king freed most of us from the need to think for ourselves.
“Small kings” were installed in every area of society, in economics, science, engineering, and so on. This is the story of every underdeveloped country in the world whether there is a king or other forms of king.
The biggest fantasy of every person living in an underdeveloped country is that someone else, especially a political leader can make us rich or successful is always ingrained with us.

This is the biggest secret that differentiates the mentality between people living in developed and underdeveloped countries.

After living many years in a developed country and traveling back to my home country regularly, I can certainly feel that a majority of people in the underdeveloped world are happier than most of us in the developed world.
In an underdeveloped world, most people have a very simple lifestyle with no debt, a close family interaction, and sufficient healthy laughters.
I believe this is one of the keys to consistent happiness in life.

But still why does my childhood friend want to move and settle into the developed world?
What is the secret of his decision?
I am trying to express my personal perspective in this matter because I also moved in the same way many years ago.

I am a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. I am borrowing his lines.
“To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all; but to believe in the unseen is a triumph and a blessing.”
Developed world provides a belief in the unseen for those living in poor countries and this is one of the fundamental reasons people across the globe want to move to the developed world.
They have watched, read, and heard news, life-styles, and glamour in social media, news outlets, and television. That attracts them at first hand, and they start to imitate the quality of life inside them. I’m not discrediting the more opportunities in the developed world, but this comes only after acquiring new skill-sets.

There is a cycle and certainty of things in life.
When the tide goes out, it’s sure that the tide comes back. The sun sets today but it rises again tomorrow; somebody dies somewhere but someone else is born in a different place. Somebody was born poor somewhere but dies rich in another place.
Sure, we have read and heard those stories.
Our life also flows in the same cycle and same patterns. This belief also plays a significant role in our decision to initiate immigration process.

I’ve seen many successful people from different walks of life coming from very humble and poor beginnings. They reach the pinnacle of success in the developed world. At one point they realize that it’s not difficult to get success but it’s very difficult to teach others to be successful.
They start to influence and give education to their roots where they grew up.
This is also a cycle of life.
Nobody becomes successful without harmonizing physical, mental and spiritual well being.
These successful people understand this at their core later in their lives.
They enjoy being in their roots and reflect back to the beginnings.
Their core belief starts with,
“If something is built to show, it’s built to grow.”
This belief hones them to lead the poor and disadvantaged community for progress and prosperity.
Among many reasons, this might be another reason my friend thought it is necessary to move into a developed country.

Successful people’s behaviour is public but their thoughts are always private.
Due to these private thoughts they are successful in the first hand. The way they think and do their tasks are different from normal people.
They always look for patterns and consistency in their lives.
There are more opportunities for these kinds of institutions which help to grow us in the developed world for private thinking, this is another factor to attract people from underdeveloped countries.
After kissing some successes, they build their foundation in their mind so that they want to make schools, hospitals or libraries at their birth places.
My friend has seen these activities in his home country so he might be influenced by them to make a moving decision.
If ordinary people can’t see what other successful people are choosing and doing, they can’t imitate and accept them in their own life.

I have experienced one important difference in people living in the underdeveloped and developed world as I worked in both places.
In the underdeveloped world, people rarely promote or encourage someone who has made some major mistakes.
They rarely appreciate and give second chances for growth.
But in the developed world, people never promote or encourage someone who hasn’t made some bad mistakes because if they do, they are promoting someone who has never done anything in life.
Life only flows with good and bad experiences.
Life tastes good and bad.
If you have tasted bad food, then only you always lean to taste good food next time.
This is another truth in life.
Repeated mistakes only happen when we don’t study mistakes, and repeated success only happens when we study mistakes.

I have not tasted any big success in the developed world yet, but I am a student of successful people.
I also noticed a very clear difference in the perception of success in the underdeveloped and developed world.
In the developed world, what everybody knows is not worth knowing, what everybody does is not worth doing. They stand on their own and live life to the beat of their own drum.
They put everything in their own perspective and act.
The pattern is quite the opposite in the least developed world, they try to copy the success of others which most of the time does not work without sound judgement, risk tolerance, and proper skills.
My friend might want to pursue the life of freedom in the developed world against mass approval.

My friend used to run a small business for a living in his home country but was not getting much success in recent days.
There is another mass belief that the developed world is strong in technology so that everybody uses it for their business advantage and prosperity.
This might have catalyzed him to make a decision to move.
In reality, technology is just one avenue to the developed world.
Developed world is powerful in developing a mindset for consumer franchise and service excellence.
They are very successful in reading customer psychology to promote their products and services rather than mere technology.
Imagine why the iPhone is so popular across the globe, it’s not only due to product, it’s due to skill to read mass psychology by apple company.
Most of the underdeveloped world focuses only on technology rather than consumer pschyology.
I would like to add one additional point here.
Why did Daniel Kahneman get the Nobel prize in Economics?
He isn’t an economist, he is a psychologist.
This is one example of how human psychology impacts to advance economic thinking. Underdeveloped nations are weaker to grasp this theme to advance businesses and entreperneurship.

Complex human activities cannot be automated.
Many human activities need an exercise of judgement.
Sophisticated machines and technology can smoothen the systems, environment around us, but can not replace humans.
Developed nations know this so they consistently focus on developing the human mind.
Underdeveloped countries are very poor to recognize this aspect.

Many people are attracted to move to developed countries because these countries act like a neutral market, gives an environment and opportunity to grow to everybody but has no responsibility in itself.
For example, the market does not care whether a trader gains or loses.
Traders have to develop the skills, knowledge, strategies, and psychology to consistently take profit from the market.
The sad part is underdeveloped countries act as polarized and induced markets, not neutral markets as developed countries.

Success comes from diligent application of the approaches we have applied.
There is very little focus to study failures in the underdeveloped world and most of the people focus only on success.
They may have knowledge, but they lack to turn that knowledge into wisdom through vigorous practice and application.
But it is quite the opposite in the developed world.
They don’t study only other successful people, they take a lot of time to study their own personal failures.
It is the mistakes that are more noteworthy in the developed world.
Each mistake brings its own new lesson.
There are many ways to get through this practice and application of mistakes.
The crucial fact is we can’t achieve anything important in life until we get into the motion and magic of practice, that part is lacking in the underdeveloped world.
My friend may want to join the motion of practice so that he wants to move to the developed country.

There are two types of people we generally encounter in this world; first category people who make things happen like inventors, scientists, entreprenures, and are mostly found in the developed world. They take risks and study failures a lot.

Second category people who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened, are mostly found in the underdeveloped world.
These people rarely participate in anything but read the news all day and watch the television constantly .
In which category you fall determines your destination.
Therefore, our life circulates with our thinking, activities, and participation.
Most of us regret many years from now that we didn’t participate in things of our choice but only watched things happening.

In order to succeed wherever we move, we need drive, knowledge, and discipline.
Developed countries certainly provide the proper soil to grow these qualities faster in comparison to underdeveloped countries.
Success is one of the most important byproducts of that plantation, but less so than any of those qualities in itself.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Are you suffering online? I am.

I received a phone call and my friend Sam asked me, “What are you doing at home during stay-at-home order, anything new?”
I became more aware of how I am spending my time. Little regret but no complaint.
“Nothing, same as usual.” I replied.
Actually I read two non-fiction books besides my regular professional books, journal articles, and reviews; the first non-fiction book was “Contagious” by Jonah Berger related to branding and the second one was “Poor Charlie’s Almanack” by veteran investor Charlie Munger related to investing.

The first most important lesson I learned during stay-at-home order: How painful it is to be online at home without in person or face to face interaction with the outside world.
All the time either talk to family members or spend most of the time on the screen.
I got more time with my family, there is nothing wrong but I also realized the value of face to face in person interaction more than ever as one of our human evolutionary spirits.
I used to think someday online digital work will replace the onsite in person work.
But now, I highly doubt it.

Life is a series of social and face to face in person interactions. These are vital- if you interact in person more, it works for you; but if you don’t interact in person, it weakens you, it decays you internally.
Our biology corrodes us from inside.
I am reporting only my sincere observation. I have not studied a scientific foundation to support it. But I strongly believe there is some connection to explore.
This is only my personal observation and feeling of the past few weeks.

Talking and sharing information in person are some of our most fundamental human behaviours.
In person actions connect us, shape us, and make us who we are.
Our words from mouth are not always persuasive online on the screen as they are offline.
There is always a hype around social media so that we ignore the importance of offline words from mouth.
Now it is the proper time to ponder to understand the value of being offline.
Think of your offline conversation for the first time with your dating partner after having multiple online conversations.
Being offline is about spreading love and life.
And being offline is natural, sustainable, and healthy.

Recently during this stay-at-home order, one of my friends, an assistant professor in university, complained to me, “Online teaching is boring, I have no enthusiasm to teach, I don’t see my students lively and most importantly, I don’t feel their expressions.”
“My teaching is very dry.” He added.

Now I am a firm believer that offline conversation is way more powerful and prevalent than online messages.
We were devaluing the offline activities because we like to spend time online, and never actually compared the difference between online and offline.
Now this is the moment to compare.
Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, and Youtube are technologies, they are not living things. They provide strategies to perform the task but can not replace the human liveliness.
Do you know why facebook and twitter conduct in person conferences spending so much money and resources?
Because these giant technologies inventors know at their core that humans are built to transmit the power of words via face to face in person interaction.
They are quite aware that their invention is just one tool of many to expedite human experience, but not to replace the same.

The second most important lesson I learned during stay-at-home order: There is a huge difference between spending time with family and with the outside world.
Family is our fundamental, a craft of social creation, but beyond family there is a growth elevator, an artistic part of life.
Art requires a significant amount of time to master but it happens mostly outside of home with colleagues, coworkers, mentors, and advisors.
This is the main reason we have neighbors to share neighborhood news, we have schools and universities to learn, we have shopping malls to shop, and we have our offices to work and collaborate, just to name a few of them.
We can appreciate our family time as a crafting time but our outside home time is interaction time for our artistic growth.
Learning art in life is a process and that happens through talking to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and observing gestures of mentors and advisors rather than inventing it online at home.
When we meet and talk to others, we don’t only transfer information; we transfer something about ourselves. Being outside home is about tapping our genuine enthusiasm for whatever we find useful, fun, and beautiful for us.

Outside home interaction is more than simply nodding, responding, and listening.
Understanding yourself is the secret of outside interaction.
People who make mistakes often are those who allow their emotions to control their decisions, which is one of our biggest enemies when it comes to poor social interaction.
For example, I have made more poor decisions online than offline personally.

We are missing many things during this stay-at-home order.
We are not getting a chance to chat at a party or eat with our coworker.
We are not having face to face conversation in churches, temples, chaitya, and mosques.
We watch movies at home but don’t get a chance to share with a colleague during lunch.
What do you feel when you don’t get a chance to share the hilarious movie plot with your best friend at coffee break?
Nothing is more satisfying and thrilling than when you and your friend go to a cozy restaurant and dine with full swing of chat and giggles.
This is called human necessity and we are missing it terribly.
We are understanding its value more than ever before.

We can share our thoughts and opinions online but nothing can replace offline chat, meeting, and laughter.
We are excited to talk about our vacation plans with our close friends at dinner gatherings, but now it has become a distant memory.
Imagine telling a story in front of a group, how entertaining it would be rather than posting online.
My kids are not able to share the warm weather with their close friends to go fishing.
My daughter once asked me, “What is the price of freedom?”
I said freedom is priceless.
Her question was sarcastic because we were planning to go Orlando, Florida, Disney World, and my daughter had a dream to shake hands with Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

Ultimately, we are social animals, our words from mouth need people around us, their expressions, and our instant responses.
We are missing all of these.
Let’s hope that we will go back to normal soon.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

Did you salute our healthcare professionals? If not just do it for our heroes.

Sometimes we all take something for granted.
We used to brush off things when not in need and we realize its value at the time of need.
Either we don’t understand its value properly or we pretend not to understand it.
Yes, I am talking about the value of our essential workers during the time of crisis like we are experiencing at the moment.
I am thinking about our health care professionals on top of my head, our janitorial friends who clean the hospitals all day and night, our nurses who make things ready for doctors and take care of the infected, our research scientists who are inside the research building to invent vaccines for COVID-19, and the security personnels to smoothen our lives at the time of isolation and social distancing in the society.
Majority of the population is inside the house to be safe.
We must remember and salute these essential workers who are outside their house for us when we are inside.
Please, let’s not brush off these people when there would be no crisis, no pandemic, and no suffering.
Learn the lesson if we haven’t, and treat them with dignity and boost their morale.
Their importance is, as never seen before, in the history of mankind.

We always keep our life and our survival at the top of our priority in the front line, but there are some professions in existence which always focus on other’s life first.
This is the ritual of these professions.
One of my friends said, “I’ve always appreciated essential workers, I pray for them and I love and respect them.”
But many of us have a tendency to forget these people immediately after the crisis is gone.
We follow more actors, models, athletes, and entertainers in social media, spend time in their gossip on television as if essential people.
World’s top actors, top models, top sportspersons, and top media entertainers are inside the house at the moment and scrolling the news everyday for the latest update of vaccines in research laboratories so that they can come out of the house and have a normal life.
There are very few committed individuals working inside these hospitals and research laboratories, and the whole population is counting on them.
I appeal all of you to salute them.
There is nothing more important than human lives so these people’s value and contribution is priceless.

I am not debating who is essential and who isn’t, everybody is an expert of something and has something to offer in society.
I am just reporting the governments’ categorization of who is essential and who isn’t at present that gives us a lesson who we should attribute our value to.
We must protect and nurture essential people every single day irrespective of societal conditions.
Where should our focus be?
My keen target right now is especially healthcare professionals.

Life is unpredictable, five month ago it was normal, no coronavirus, and after five month, it is upside down now but some people on earth try to make it predictable all the time.
They are healthcare professionals.
These people surround themselves with the most vulnerable people: diseased, sick, addicted, and infected in the society and take pride in transforming them into venerable.
They invent hope and give it to their patients when there is no outside hope, no available medications, and vaccines.
You have seen and experienced these vulnerable people at your home, or at your workplace or in your community.
For example, they are COVID-19 positive.
As of today, at time of writing this content, almost 2.2 million people across the globe are already infected and 156 thousands are dead.
In the US only, where I am living, 710 thousands are infected and 37 thousands are dead.
We don’t have any vaccines or medicines yet.
Infected people are isolated from their family but our healthcare professionals are their ultimate hope and they are next to their bed to feed, support, and console them.

It isn’t hard or difficult to become a doctor or nurse.
There is a traced track to become a healthcare professional.
But, It just needs courage to work.
A mantra of three words to inspire- “Do the work” whatever it could be, is inside or outside of them.
Trust us healthcare professionals, you will win this battle of coronavirus.

For some people imagining becoming a doctor or a nurse is the worst job on the planet at this time.
People are getting infected, and are dying every single day.
The viral epidemic is spreading everywhere like an unseen flame.
Smart doctors in the hospital are tirelessly fighting to win.
There is an equal chance that healthcare professionals might get infected while serving the infected people.
Many of them are already infected and some have already died, sacrificing their lives while serving others.
They’re facing incredible challenges from all sides and there is no one and nothing you can depend on or can talk to.
They are fighting with the virus even though they are having limited resources in some situations in many least developed and developing countries.

Imagine how sensitive this person should be as a doctor at the time of crisis.
If doctors tell the patients’ family members that it’s a disaster, we are losing him or her, a dying situation; not only will the patient quit but also their family members will be paralyzed with fear and uncertainties.
A doctor’s job is to smoothen out the emotional roller coaster.
When they see the face of a chronic COVID-19 patient, they have to give a small quiet glimpse of hope from distance and control the emotion.
They never let your patient or patient’s family members experience the same highs and lows as they’re feeling because the odds are patients’ family members aren’t built to handle these kinds of ups and downs like doctors are.

As a responsible global citizen, as we all are now, our number one job is to be there for the healthcare professionals when they are struggling, making sure they feel heard and they know we are on their side.
When we are confined inside our house, they are doing hard work outside to protect us.
If you are a relentlessly positive and candid doctor or nurse, you’re going to have a greater chance of success in your cases and you’re going to be able to remain positive, even in the face of failure.

At this time of global pandemic, everybody is scared.
But still we should not forget how to boost the morale of our healthcare professionals.

There are few things in life that we have control over, few things that we have no control over, and few things that we have partial control over.
It’s extremely important to spend our effort on things that we have complete control over.
We all depend on the doctor’s knowledge, their expertise, their service, their work experience, and most importantly, their unwavering hope.

As a doctor, if you are constantly learning about body organs and their connection to our emotions, many things are under control- many good things will happen.
As a doctor you are the most successful person on how to do finishing.
Finishing is extremely more difficult than starting.
You only realize this when you have to finish.
You have to finish this pandemic.
And you have to save millions of lives.
When Donald Trump was running for president, campaigning and winning the election was finishing for him.
Now after winning, running the office as a president is finishing for him.
People are dying every moment, he is surrounded by a bunch of doctors everyday and trying to finish the pandemic.
The country is virtually on lockdown.
Finishing is difficult but it’s the only option now.
But still, our president needs to finish it by listening and supporting the healthcare professionals, and his desperation to finish is reflected in his briefings everyday in white house.
As a doctor, your role is the major force, you have the mindset and experience to finish the disease.
You finish the pain.
You finish the suffering.
Ultimately, if you can not finish then you allow God to finish the suffering of the patient.
After the final finish also, you come back home and play with your kids.
If you remember that final finish done by God in hospital, how do you play with your kid?
But you still play with your kid because you have a power from God to do so.
This may be one of the reasons that many people see you as a form of god when they visit hospital with little to no hope.
No doubt, you have seen, experienced, and understood the hard part of finishing more than anybody else on the planet.
Therefore, we encourage you, support you, love you, and care for you.
You are an angel for us.

I would like to ask all of you a few questions to reflect your life at the time of crisis.
“What problem do you solve on a personal level?”
Think for a moment for your answer, your life, and your work.

“What pain do you remove from other people’s lives?”
Again, take time and think about what you are doing at the moment.

What I am trying to say is that many of the great doctors or health professionals in the world are destined on the promise of removing pain from people’s lives.
We, as humans, have a huge problem right now and we are looking for a solution.
Healthcare professionals are working tirelessly to find this solution for us.
Lets salute them.

Keep in mind, we have many blind spots than we have clear vision in our life.
For example, unexpected global pandemic coronavirus is one of the blind spots in human life.
We must unlearn what we have learned in the past to defeat the coronavirus.
We have to unlearn ego, we have to unlearn selfishness, we have to unlearn hatred, and we have to unlearn resentment in all human relationships.
Lets express our sincere gratitude for all these fighters, our health professionals, across the globe.
Thank you so much for your service to humanity.

And finally thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What did I learn from my friend about deadly coronavirus?

We all are living in very critical conditions across the globe. We are fighting everyday, every hour, every minute, and every second to survive. The viral pandemic is engulfing the whole planet, nobody is untouched.
Our priority has become to protect our family. During this painful lockdown period, our mind flows mostly with what’s happening around us.
Our mind does not like anything incomplete. It constantly asks why, why, and again why?
If we have a vacuum in our mind, especially on a topic not understood or clear, it tries to fill the gaps itself. When that does not happen, our mind goes searching for it.
This is the nature of our mind. It is very curious.

Sometimes, curiosity helps to turn mundane small talk into interesting beneficial intense discussions.
We don’t experience anything without interesting people, that’s what happened to me in one of my latest conversations.
I was talking to one of my virologist friends who does research in the national institute of health in Bethesda, Maryland.
I quote the words of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, “Those who aren’t curious learn nothing.”
I directed my attention to my virologist friend, completely shifting my focus to him.
I asked him many ‘why’ questions so that I can console my curiosity.
The following is just a small part of my conversation.

Moreover, recently, I was talking to many of my family members and friends and everybody seemed interested to know about this contagious coronavirus.
This kind of situation invokes our mind, we set aside our regular tasks and become more curious.
I am utilizing the time to ignite your curiosity.
Plutarch, a Platonist philosopher, has said, “Our mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.”

I asked him, “What is the main tool to defeat coronavirus caused disease COVID-19?”
He said, “We don’t know yet.
It could be vaccines or more people with antibodies.”

I asked my another curiosity, “Why is it different from the common cold?”
He said, “There are some coronaviruses that cause common colds. Most often, however, the common cold is caused by rhinoviruses, according to the CDC (Center for disease control and prevention). However, what we are dealing now is a new or novel coronavirus, this means it mutated in some way and became more deadly for us.”
“Actually, there is no cure for a cold, according to the CDC, and up to now the same applies to COVID-19.”

I asked, “Do we know the source of the coronavirus?”
He replied, “At present, the source of the coronavirus is unknown. Available evidence suggests that it has a natural animal origin and is not a constructed virus. It might have had its ecological reservoir in bats.”

I asked him the most common people’s question, “ Why don’t we have a vaccine for Covid-19?”
He added, “This is a little bit of a long process. We need to know about a virus to create a vaccine.”
“Our immune system has to learn how to fight a virus by knowing its face, which is actually the outside of the particle including telltale antigens.
The easy part is, scientists have already made the coronavirus RNA sequence available.”
“After its design, vaccines need to be produced, tested, approved, and manufactured in large quantities by big pharmaceutical companies.
The bottom line is, it takes at least one year to eighteen months, as health experts say.”

My other query was, “ Is it seasonal?”
He replied, “We have no idea yet. Viruses are unexpected creatures.”
“They enter without alarms and surprise us in different ways.”

I asked, “Is this virus like the flu or zika or ebola?”
He said, “The answer in most part is no or we don’t know. Yellow fever, measles, mumps are also caused by viruses but the vaccines developed in the past are very effective for them.”


I asked, “So what is the solution?”
“The answer is we have to control the virus in some way. We have to win over the virus,” he said.

I asked, “How does it spread?”
“It spreads through different ways of infected human contacts, sneezes and coughs. But now we are learning more and more about this virus, it can spread by just talking or even just breathing. We might pass them object to object to us. There is likely that we might be carrying this virus without symptoms,” he added.

I asked, “How does it grow?”
He said, “The genetic material of a virus is RNA, but it is DNA in humans. Therefore, when viruses copy their genetic material, it doesn’t proofread its work. These mistakes are referred to as mutations.”

By the way, “what exactly is mutation?,” I asked.
He said, “It is abnormal growth in viruses. Viruses can cause mutation in the human genome or they can do genetic material change in their own genome.”

I further questioned, “How does it mutate?”
He said, “This is an animal virus. There is a possibility, it will continue to mutate. It gets mutated and adapted to another animal. It jumps from animal to human and continues as human to human transmission. As it goes infecting people, it also passes through a stabilization, which is also a part of the mutation process.”
“It might mutate different parts of the world in various forms depending on various factors, for example population density, it influences the number of people infected and how many chances the virus has to mutate.”

Finally, I asked, “What are the best precautions not to catch coronavirus?”

He said, “At the moment, avoid close contact with other people and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.”
“Alternatively, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.”
“Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”
“Stay home.”
“Cover when you cough or sneeze and then trash it properly immediately.”
“Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.”
“Use a face mask if you are sick.”

We have to learn a lesson here, yes we have to learn a lesson here, we are not better prepared to combat the epidemic. We must be better prepared. Let’s focus on not spreading the virus at the moment. Until the major source of this virus is known, there is a high risk of its re-introduction and new outbreaks in humans.
Therefore, let’s fight against this virus and save lives.
We are together in this fight.

The information in this content is based on CDC (Center for disease control and prevention) and WHO (World health organization) information. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it’s possible that some information might change.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

When do you pay the price for being dull-inventor and innovator?

My hometown is on lockdown due to a pandemic coronavirus.
Most of the time I am working from home spending significant time on reading, brainstorming, planning, and analyzing the past experiments and results.
At this moment, world leaders and politicians are forced to go to the bottom of this pandemic, they are paying a lot of attention for not spreading the coronavirus pandemic.
They are processing and absorbing every single information of this nasty virus in more depth.

We support and encourage our world leaders and politicians to act fast against this viral tsunami to curb it. We will do our best to wipe out this pandemic as global citizens.

History has taught us that this type of pandemic occurs from time to time in our lifetime but I still assume that the huge devastation it has created is a consequence of our ill-preparation and foundation.
All politicians and leaders are learning hard lessons and we are paying the price of not having a focused robust research and development priority.

Keep in mind—we have no medications or vaccines to protect us from coronavirus until now. The only tool we have is physical separation (social distancing) from one another. Therefore, we need to use physical separation to stop this virus from spreading further at this point.

There are no shortcuts and quick schemes in medical research, we have to invest and investigate continuously to improve human lives.

Despite our geographical boundaries, coronavirus has taught us how to bring people together to fight against such pandemics, and how to share information together to protect us.

Another lesson for policy makers: research successes of yesterday are not enough but we have to continuously and consistently look for the challenges of tomorrow.
And how are we going to do this exactly?
The answer is: by investing, by inventing, and by innovating unwaveringly.
My pique questions.
What sets us off when we look for long term consistent A-level research and development?
What sets us off when we become eager to cut research funding?
What stimulates our desire to add funding in sports, politics and entertainment by cutting funding in scientific research and development?

This is the time to grade our leaders and politicians especially in advanced countries whether they have a growth mindset or fixed mindset especially for medical research.
People and leadership with a growth mindset never cut funding in scientific research and development.
We appeal to all visionary leaders to invest in young novelty seeking curious minds who make new inventions and innovations as attitudes towards their lives.

Suddenly, my cell phone rang and my uncle Addy was on the line.
We chatted a little bit about coronavirus, lockdown and its impact in society as well as in our professional life.
My uncle Addy said, “One day my department head of research entered my office and told, ‘Addy’- he is a new scientist in our group, pointing to a very young guy who came with him to his office.”
To Addy’s surprise, the new scientist looked very young and inexperienced.
My uncle Addy has been working in a pharmaceutical company for the last 30 years as a principal scientist.

Addy was quite shocked and went to his boss’ office the next day and asked, “What degree and experience the new scientist has?”
His boss replied, “He doesn’t have any previous work experience but he will succeed in our group.”

“I hired him because we need somebody in our discovery group who is young and thinks in a different way than we think,” the research head said.
“Addy, you are 60 years old now, and I am 66 years old. It is no offense, but trying new things for us is very hard. We are a company of invention and innovation. As we become older, our brain mechanism slows us down especially for you and me to immerse in the novelty.” Addy’s boss added.

“For our department we need novelty. This is possible only with people having increased sensory sensitization who immerse, explore, and experiment,” he continuously added.

Research also shows that young people are more likely to take risks, stay on the ball, and approach new and unfamiliar things without anxiety.
At one point Addy’s boss said something very interesting that actually inspired him to hire him right off the bat.

Addy’s boss said, “I already told you, we are old now to run this innovation company through only our perspectives.”
“I asked our new employee the same conservative interview question- Where do you want to be in five years?”
He said, “I would not dream about this but I would ask myself- Where do I not want to be in five years?- I would make a list and just do that”.
During the interview he said, “New ideas and concepts are nothing more than the unusual combination of existing ideas.”
“If we are looking for a completely new invention and innovation, “right” and “wrong” are often a matter of perspective. My “right” or “my truth” is nothing but only a function of my perception,” he added.

The old way of doing things in a new way is today’s necessity and this is possible only by young fresh brains.

This is absolutely no offense for old people. We have to learn from their experiences how to be in our own lane but we have to also evolve through overtaking at the time of crisis.
Science doesn’t lie, it explores the hidden mysteries of time.
When we become older, our curiosity gradually dwindles.
We collect more experiences, we become stronger in our feelings, knowledge, and feel proud how things work.
We don’t seek novelty because we stop asking questions.
We no longer want to go into uncertain situations.
We hesitate to take advantage of “free of charge” health tests because we are more focussed on negative results.
We enjoy comfort.
We want to put all the money in bonds and treasury bills rather than stocks.
We watch the same television channel even though we have 100+ channels on our TV.
We read the same newspaper.
Our curiosity gets lost because of our similar experiences, and same patterns in life.
Ultimately we become unable to break it and our learning becomes self-stabilizing.
When we become old, there is more downside to peek, our knowledge creates certainties and they become habits, and they entrap our mental capacities.
This has serious repercussions especially for research oriented invention and innovation companies.
The only way out of this problem is, old folks have to work with young curious minds.

The most harmful tradition among all is old folks start to instruct young people to follow rules and prevent them from reading their own intuition and trust.
Old folks stop listening to the young folks because old folks feel proud with “ value the old, shun the new.”

I am not making up these statements. In 2004, discovery channel had done a study that says after age 49, curiosity dwindles.

One of my friends told me, “It took me 4 weeks of daily training to ride the bike with confidence with no accident, but for the same level of competence, it took only 9 days for my son.”
My friend is 42 years old and his son is 16 years old.
The fact is: this applies to everything.

Young minds enjoy unconventional tools, procedures, and ideas. They learn faster because their neurons connect faster in different directions which didn’t exist before.

When we see the present interview process, first thing we look for is professionalism, energy, and self-confidence.
We judge these things on academic degrees and previous work experiences.
We assume these past actions as measuring tools for success.
Most of the older interviewers don’t even look at the hobby section in interviewee’s curriculum vitae or resume.
I am not being judgemental, I’m simply reporting.

One of my friends, who is still under 30, is a very successful computer engineer in silicon valley, earns a six figure salary, and told me that we can pinpoint a smart and curious mind from the hobby section of their curriculum vitae or resume.
As he said, “This is extremely important if you are looking for a self-monitored and intellectually curious mind. Their potential talents are reflected in the hobby section of their CV and resume. Interviewer should be qualified to read that. Their degrees and past work experiences make them sincere routine employees but not curious innovative individuals.”

He told me that if the interviewee has an everyday habit of doing mediation and aerobic activity, you simply can’t ignore that. These small everyday habits as an inventor or innovator work as a lubricant for your innovation engine.

The other factor we attribute to the younger mind is that they carry many ideas and they are able to filter bad ideas faster than old minds.
As two time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling said, “If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which one to throw away.”

Young minds observe their environment like anthropologists.
This is a key to success particularly in innovation.
They are interested in people who don’t look, think, speak or act like they do themselves.
They try to get behind the thinking of the others by relentlessly asking amazing questions.

At age 30, the world’s richest man on the planet, Jeff Bezos, had a successful regular job as hedge-fund vice president, but he quitted the job and started Amazon. His mind worked as an anthropologist, an innovator mindset.

Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity at age 26.

At age 18, Blaise Pascal invented the first mechanical calculator.

At age 18, Alexander Graham Bell invented the first modern telephone.

At age 17, Robert Heft created the modern day 50 star American flag.
Remember, these are only a few drops in a sea.

Age is an important factor for invention and innovation.
Deep immersion and trying out new things, as it appears, gets harder and harder as we become older.
Because of our past history of experiences makes it harder to immerse ourselves in the novelty.
Science is clearly supporting these findings.
In the invention and innovation group, it is essential to include the younger minds.
Invention and innovation loves youth. Nurture it.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

Have you ever used algebra and calculus in your life?

One of my former student asked his math teacher, “ Why do I need to know algebra and calculus?’’
He further questioned, “Where do I use it in my life?’’
His teacher gave him all abstract answers, not a single concrete and real life experience answer.
One of the answers was – “Algebra teaches procedures to manipulate symbols for better understanding of the world.”
Another answer was- “Calculus teaches the relationship between variable quantities.”
My former student was suffering in algebra in high school, so he didn’t grasp any information what his math teacher said to him and took the same question to two other professionals.
The first person was a doctor, MD in internal medicine in his city hospital, and asked him the same question.
The doctor replied to him, “I never used algebra or calculus in my life, except to use it to get admission to medical school.”
The second person whom my student asked the same question was his dad’s 81 years old math teacher, and again he asked the same question.
His dad’s old math teacher said, “I never used algebra in my life except to teach algebra at high school for living.”

Whether you agree or not, these two professionals are telling the truth. In most situations, the so-called subject experts especially in science and math like my former student’s math teacher provide a curse of knowledge.
Many journal articles, science stories, and reviews are written for other same people like authors, not for the general audience.
The main concern is why don’t we connect the general audience?

We have to make our science and math with a message that makes most of the ordinary people care.
Don’t let the curse of knowledge prevent you from expressing it well.
Take off the jargons, show how knowledge, discoveries and ideas are associated with things that ordinary people care about.
Knowledge is useless until we know it has value for others.

Have you ever tried to answer these questions?
Who are you as a person?
What are you trying to do with your life?
These are hard questions to answers if we go in depth but easy to answer superficially.
We can connect the first two questions with the following question. The answer to the following question comes how you answer the first two questions.
Is knowledge the means or the end for you?
So, what do you think the algebra is? The means or the end.
My former student is a 12th grader. I don’t know when he considered himself a proponent of real life education.
He told me, “I’ve met people with 10 times less knowledgeable than me and 10 times more knowledgeable than me in algebra, and people 10 times more knowledgeable than those- all of these knowledgeable people are truly dirt poor in knowledge of algebra in front of the professional wrestler lady I met in one event.”

He asked the same algebra question to a lady, a professional wrestler.
She said, “Yes, I’ve used algebra in my whole life, to achieve success in my field. Even though I never did any abstract algebra calculation in my life after high school, it helped me to think properly and logically in order, it gave me a tough brain training which I utilize every single day in my life.”
Only knowledge doesn’t help, but it’s connection to real life boosts us.
Many people in the core field of math and science like my former student’s math teacher forget that other people don’t know what they know.

How do we convey the work of scientists and mathematicians for an ordinary audience of nonscientists is challenging. To understand this part we need to communicate a gap in our knowledge.
The tendency to become overconfident about how much we know about the raw data and algebra needs to be addressed.

Math and science language are often abstract, but life is completely different, it is beyond abstract.
Abstraction makes it difficult to understand an idea and its connection to life.
Our brain contains so many tools that create connections.
If connection is so powerful, why do we slip so easily into abstraction?
Experts speak different languages, they think abstractly on math and science but ordinary people think on real ground.

Our experts on R&D want to make complex and sophisticated products and technology, but our customers or ordinary people want easy and reliable products and technologies.
The goal of ordinary people and customers isn’t meet.
Exactly the same applies in conveying science language, the huge communication gap exists.

It is estimated that only about 20 percent of papers cited have actually been read. Research shows that an average paper in a peer-reviewed journal is read completely by around 10 people.
This clearly indicates that the impact of most peer-reviewed publications even within the scientific community is infinitesimal.

Concise communication is a way of bringing math and science in our community.
Brain works on the concept of visualization, therefore, it helps to transform math and science to another level.
How did the wrestler lady visualize the high school algebra in her professional life?
She connected the lesson of algebra to her emotional maturity, and she conveyed it nicely to my former student.
She can inspire others why algebra is important in high school, her message carries emotion and strength.
Algebra not only helps to solve complex math problems or secure good grades in tests but also makes you think tougher in life.

Emotion and personal connection are more powerful to convey the message of abstract materials like math and science.
Most of our peer-reviewed journals begin with an abstract.
The beginning is already very dry for the general readers.

Robin Warren, a staff pathologist at a hospital, and Barry Marshall, an internist in training, discovered H. Pylori bacteria which causes ulcer in our body.
Initially nobody believed, especially the experts in the area.
At one point in Marshall’s life, he poisoned himself to prove his science due to desperation. Ordinary people paid attention, read their stories, as a result in 2005, they got Nobel prize in medicine for their work.
Science and math speak volumes, emotions, and diversity because it brings a broader audience to a cause, cause to improve life and cause to cure life.

When my daughter asks me, “Tell me a story,” at bedtime, she is looking for entertainment, not any instruction or knowledge.
I tell a story about periodic table, but not as abstract science, elements, symbols and names, columns and rows.
By my story, she makes the picture of a periodic table in her mind.
She shouldn’t remain only a passive listener.
The story provides the context of knowledge to my daughter which is missing in abstract science.

The wrestler lady, her story about algebra, its understanding and putting it into a real life framework is inspiring to others.

When my former student asked an algebra question to MD doctor, the doctor said, “When I was becoming a doctor in medical school, I needed every answer of my body organs as well as expertise. But now I have to convey my expertise to the masses.”
He added, “I must dissociate my expertise from the curse of knowledge. I know many things that the general audience don’t know but I should get around the general audience to share the information. I need to communicate as if I am in the audience.”

How we relate our work, our findings to the day-to-day work and day-to-day people is how we set our value in life.
Some of the existing curse of expertise needs to be cured.
We become a medical doctor with MD without taking a single communication class.
We become a CEO of a business with an MBA without taking a single class in communication.
We become a professor of mathematics with a PhD without taking a single class on how to teach and how to communicate.
Due to these leaks in our system, knowledge becomes a curse for the general audience.

Imagine attending an hour-long powerpoint presentation from an expert and nothing sticks in your memory after the presentation, you are just exposed with a curse of knowledge.

Remember, people care more about individual impact than they do care about abstract math and science.
Even though many current students are struggling to learn algebra and calculus in school and many of their math journey ends there.
At present most engineering designs are replaced by computer software so the real application of our algebra and calculus is debatable.
Anyway, utilize the power of algebra in your life, everybody.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

What is common in these giants: Rosa Parks, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, and Stephen Wozniak?

It was a Friday evening in July 2019 and I was playing with my kids at the center of a grassland around the children park in Richmond, Virginia.
One of my friends called me and complained that his daughter is not sociable at all. She prefers to read a book of 700 pages in a quiet room rather than watching a funny movie with us on Friday evening.
He worries that she doesn’t have friends, and asks me what’s wrong with her?
He has enrolled her in different classes: a kumon math class, a piano class, a traditional folk dance class, a taekwondo class, and a French tutor.
Along with the same complaint, my friend also praised that his daughter is very good in English both in reading and creative writing, but she is lagging behind in French class so that she visits a French tutor two times a week.
He mentions that all of these classes are either after school or on weekends.
He tells me that she is only interested in piano class but all other classes she is attending for the sake of his satisfaction.
He asserted to me that he wants to make her more outgoing and extroverted, because she is too quiet and too shy.
His worry is how she walks with life in a world full of extroverts?
I was shocked when he put his daughter in the pool of introverts and assumed her introversion as her biggest weakness.
He tells me about three things that are needed to succeed in life: social personality, verbal talent, and glamorous attraction.
I neither argued with my friend nor gave any suggestions or opinions from my side.
I only told him that you’ve got a gem at home, nurture her love for solitude properly rather than running behind shiny objects all weekend. The love for loneliness could turn into extraordinary soon.
Before hanging up the phone, I asked him one question when he said that she finishes 700 hundred pages book in 5 days, “Have you ever finished 700 hundred pages book in five days?”
He doesn’t have any memory of reading such a big book in his recent past.
I told him that finishing a 700 pages book in five days, and practicing piano alone requires monomaniacal focus and good temperament. Research shows that temperament is mostly inborn but personality is growth.

After our telephone conversation, I remember Abraham Lincoln, the icon of culture. I’ve also watched the live video of Tony Robbins, the icon of personality. I’ve read the biography of Mahatma Gandhi, the icon of conviction, Bill Gates, the icon of sheer focus, and Sir Issac Newton, the icon of reasoning. Everybody represents their own unique genetic code and growth.
Many of us still believe that being quiet is not good. We expect our kids to be sociable, outgoing, talkative, and presentable.
We try to teach our kids that extroversion is a necessity but introversion is a weakness.
We push them to go out, make new friends. Not only that, recently we have started to praise them based on the number of subscriptions, likes, and followers in their social media profiles like facebook, instagram, and youtube.
We aim to make our kid a very good neurosurgeon but at the same time we enroll them for basketball training and piano class expecting equal excellence in all sectors.
There is nothing wrong with this expectation but we should not forget to read a child’s psychology, physiology, and intuition. There is a science that a kid brings his/her uniqueness roughly fifty percent from genes and fifty percent from a growth environment.
Jerome Kagan and Carl Schwartz have done substantial research behind these types of developmental processes in human beings.

My friend enrolled his daughter in various activities but our brain isn’t capable of paying attention to too many activities or tasks at the same time. During multiple activities, our brain has to switch back and forth between different tasks that reduces focus and increases tiredness.

I still believe jobs like research scientist or a writer in any corporation are more of a thinking job, mostly solitary introvert jobs but during job interviews job seekers fake their thinking personality into charismatic salesman personality.
The good news is that corporations like Amazon and Google have started to break this stereotype, but it will take time to come into its full effect in various sectors.
Our society still labels people who work most of the time alone are as erratic, weirdo, eccentric, introvert, screwball, and oddball.
And most importantly “the inadequate”.
These words are still a topic of gossip at the dinner table.
One of my friend’s dad is a comedian by profession, a very outgoing and sociable person. But his private life at home is quite the opposite. He locks himself inside the quiet room to read and write hours and hours.
He always tells us that if you cannot develop introversion on your passion, you cannot become an extroverted leader in your field.
“Life is not the business of only extroversion”, he says.
Worship your conviction, even if it is ridiculed or neglected by the society. It is your private life, your lonely moment, your period of reflection and introversion that determines who you are.
If you can not groom listening power then you cannot become a good speaker.
If you can not write a good book then you are less likely to become a good teacher.
If you can not remain quiet then you can not focus on looking and cannot become a good observer.

First time I learned about Rosa Parks in depth from my daughter, when she was doing a project about her. She was a quiet introvert who initially refused to give up her seat on a bus that brought revolution and she became the mother of the civil rights movement.
Larry Page, the founder of Google, and Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.com, one of the world’s largest websites, are two other introverts. Both have transformed the face of people’s connection across the globe. Both are the synonyms of human connection.

When we remember Stephen Wozniak, apple co-founder, what comes to our mind? Of course, the iphone in our pocket and the mac laptop on the table, but very few of us are aware of his introversion, love to work being alone. Thomas Edison’s ten thousand failed experiments reminds us why he went to the laboratory on his wedding day. Isn’t that introversion?

When we wake up at 4 am in the morning to think on a blank sheet of paper while the rest of the world is sleeping, it’s not introversion. It’s a creation.
My friend complained that his daughter takes a book inside the bathroom. But, in my view, she does it to absorb author’s few lines in quiet moments. My friend, that is her natural progression, that’s what makes her different from others. She isn’t abnormal, she is going to be creative.

People who spend time alone use many mental images intuitively what they already know and they are also capable of identifying what needs to be changed. Quiet seekers know that we can not grasp the complex information at once so that we grow gradually from kindergarten up to PhD. I remember in my science class doing retrosynthesis of a complex molecule on a white sheet of paper when nobody is around.
Sometimes quiet moments produce sticking ideas.
And these ideas get polished and produce life-changing products.

Getting people’s attention as extroverts should not be the prerequisite for everything.
We as parents demand attention for our kids. We have to teach them how to attract long lasting attention via hard work, dedication, and commitment.
Attention needs a breakage of recurring patterns, but we can still win life by being a quiet person, ignoring the herd.

Both history and recent science have shown us that working alone is not bad at all, it is a distinct habit to nurture and produces astounding results.
Charles Darwin, an icon of new thoughts, and a solitary nature walker, was an introvert.
Anders Ericsson, a research psychologist, says that extraordinary comes when you follow solitude for deliberate practice in your field.
We all are born and grow with a spectrum of introversion to extroversion in life, it’s very difficult to find out where we fall in the spectrum but whatever catching point we embrace we have to amplify it, nurture it, and grow it.
As Susan Cain, author of the acclaimed book Quiet, said “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”

It is true that few people do the thinking job in a quiet place and few others design it for sales and marketing.
Both are equally important for our society.
We as a society become a lot better if introverts and extroverts work in unison depending on a person’s natural strength and DNA map.
Finally, I didn’t answer my title, but you know now, including these four giants, almost around forty percent of the world population are introverts.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Is your job comfortable or sustainable?

I was in a hurry for the office, when I came out of the house I saw uber and lyft stickers on my neighbor’s car.
I had seen him driving a taxi two days ago.
I remember him telling me that he was driving a taxi for the last 13 years.
We had a conversation in our jogging a month ago about life, job, and family.
He is a sole breadwinner for his family.
In our conversation, he’d told me that he has not paid the rent for the last 2 months yet, he doesn’t have regular income, no savings, no 401(K), nor an IRA account.
“My friend, I am a PhD and I don’t have all of these you mentioned. Life happens in hustles, not in plans.” I shared.
I am very familiar with his three kids who are all under age 10.
Sometimes his kids and my kids play together.
He came to see me on Saturday evening and told me that he sold his taxi and loaned the new car to use as an uber drive.
He teared up, looked down and said something, I couldn’t imagine expressing myself here.
“If my mom would have grabbed one extra glass of wine when I was in her womb, I would be better off.” he said.
I consoled him by saying you are not alone. American culture is strange, as a nation we have 23 trillion dollars national debt and 14 trillion dollars consumer debt. At least one in four people who make 100,000 plus a year still report living paycheck to paycheck. We are in a society where we carry i-phone insurance but we don’t buy insurance for our kids. He listened to me but still I could feel his pain in his appearance.

I added, “You can drive an uber for a few years from now but 10 to 20 years from now, you may not drive it because all cars will be driverless.”
“You can not unlearn what you already know but you can transform it into something else.” I emphasized.
We don’t need to create new jobs but we have to invent a new tweak in the same old job.
After we know the basics of our daily job, it’s easier to live in a bubble than reality. What’s important and harder is how to navigate the repetitive daily job with the people, technology, and most importantly, the unknowns around us.

Everything changes with time and change comes a lot faster in today’s fast pace technology.
We must change and adapt with the changing circumstances, therefore, sometimes we might have to be a little bit ahead of time by learning a few new tools and skills.
There are many tough decisions we have to make in life. Deciding to change the way we work in our comfort zone is the most difficult part. It certainly involves making difficult choices and making a habit of saying ‘no’ to many unimportant things in life.

Through my elementary to middle school, my family used to have only a portable national panasonic battery radio in the house as a technological equipment. My mother used to cook breakfast for me everyday for sixteen years until I finished high school listening to that radio. Nowadays, she receives calls from me and other family members and says, it’s not difficult to use a smartphone, push ‘f’ icon to scroll facebook, push a green phone icon to accept a call and a red icon to end the call. My mom didn’t get a chance to study after 6th grade. I am bringing this up here because she was scared of the smartphone in the beginning but now smartphone has become her new best friend, a very comfortable piece of device. She hesitated in the beginning because she thought it was hard and difficult to use, but she was forced to adapt to it because many of our family members are out of home. She needed it to talk to us in time of need. She learned and adapted with it. I love you mom, you are awesome.

Comfort is the result of repetitions. My neighbor was very comfortable as a taxi driver, he didn’t pay attention outside of his comfort zone so he didn’t see that he is losing his job very soon.

Remember that sustainable life is lived outside of the comfort zone that brings growth and independence. Be as aggressive as you want with your repetitive mundane daily job, work harder than you ever thought with it. But the repetitive job may crush you very soon due to automation.

We all grew up with our family, especially parents telling us we were talented, special and unique, the truth is that most of us are almost the same, never try to go beyond the comfort zone. There is pleasure sitting in comfort. We don’t want to lose the pleasure because if we lose it, there is pain. And nobody likes pain.
We all start from different points in life but only those who grow gradually who step out of comfort to win the game of life.

After my conversation with my neighbor, I remembered the quote from late Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and cosmologist, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
If we adapt we survive if we don’t we become extinct.

Uber and Lyft made all private cars accessible for an independent income source for hundreds of thousands of people but the same became hurricane for taxi drivers.
Taxis became things of the past now.

Automation will eliminate more and more jobs in the near future.
Its impact is already in manual labor jobs but it will not be limited there. Many skilled and cognitive labor jobs will also be disrupted immensely, probably permanently.
I recall my uncle’s best friend, who was an investment officer in a bank.
I also remember his quirky face when he was talking about Robo-advisers with my uncle.
He retired early from bank and now is a freelancer as a personal finance expert and teaches finance in undergraduate college.
Robo-advisers are coming after expensive investment advisers and their high paying jobs.

In the age of automation, many jobs will be lost especially to AI.
If we are seriously thinking about this issue as Yuval Noah Harari, a historian, predicted that, “Industrial revolution manifested a working class, the AI revolution will manifest a useless class.”
Automation could invite mass unemployment and destitution if we are unprepared for it.
Looming automation and declining employment will spark financial insecurity for the disadvantaged.
Majority of our institutions, current bureaucratic systems, and government mechanisms are not prepared to manage technology-centric upheaval.
For example, we have 16 million Americans as retail workers, 11 millions construction workers, and 4 million truck drivers, who will be affected directly by automation in the first stage. This is only a very small snapshot of a bigger picture.

When we do repetitive tasks continuously, smart technocrats and entrepreneurs always question: is it possible to continue repetitive work in our absence? This is how automation enters in our life to free our time.
If automation and robots do the mundane tasks, we as humans will have more time to imagine, explore, and discover. But this is possible only if we are eager to break the barrier of comfort that we have been living for years.
We shouldn’t only go through the comfort job but grow through it. This is the only way not to be outsourced by robots and technology.
Automation is an achievement of curious minds to make human life easy and luxurious.
Comfort is always broken by curiosity.

We have advanced a lot in neuroscience, we exceled it in its understanding but still we don’t know the full picture of how the brain produces curiosity.
Our body is made up of mainly carbon and hydrogen and the brain also has the same composition but its uniqueness is unknown.
Imagine the power of a curious mind.
Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity because of his curious mind.
Think of this curiosity generated machine which is about 2.5 petabytes of memory as one petabyte is roughly 13.3 years of HDTV video.
The more we explore curiosity, the more we discover automated-technology.
Curiosity has human connection therefore, one curious mind links to another curious mind.
For example, Nikola Tesla invented the AC motor, but Thomas Edison refined it for our use and we are utilizing it for automation now. Language processor ELIZA was conceptualized by Joseph Weizenbaum but Siri and Alexa are about to revolutionize us in the age of automation and AI.
The more curious we become, the more chances of advanced technology to reshape our lives.

Mark Twain said, “There are only two important days in life, the day we were born and the day we discover the purpose of our life.”
After finding the purpose, the curious minds go all in to achieve their goals. They make their failure a curiosity towards success. They give us incredible technologies which we consume regularly.

We all have two persons inside us, one is real that represents us and the other is across us who is controlled by others.
The other might be our family, friends, or society as a whole.
Out of these two persons, who do you listen most determines everything in your life including your everyday job.
We must listen inside us, our gut, and our intuition that tell us what needs to be acquired or changed in a everyday job.
Always move with your gut and intuition, break your comfort zone, instill curiosity and live a happier life.
I asked my neighbor friend, “If you were going to build a career from scratch using the available resources, how would you do it?’’
He replied, “I would spend time studying human interest and curiosity.”

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina