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