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DOES ACTION FOLLOW INSPIRATION?

 

Here is a cliched fact. We are the sum of all the experiences that we encounter as we live. These skills may be good or bad. In either way, we feel inspired to do something new or change the way we carry out our tasks. Whatever the reason, most of the time we are inspired. The surge of adrenaline pushes us to become ambitious, and we begin to imagine taking action to turn those immature ideas into reality. Alas, the effects are ephemeral.

Imagine that we recently finished watching a documentary about the life of Elon Musk. It strongly depicted his visionary in turning an impossible idea into reality. The struggles and sacrifices and the criticisms he had to overcome to become the most influential figure. The story about how he founded PayPal and sold it to concentrate on SpaceX and building fuel efficient electric Tesla cars.

If we know more about Musk than I have mentioned here, then we might have already been inspired to do something new. The jumbled impossible ideas in our head will start to make sense as the neurons connect and provide meaning to our thoughts. So far so good. An hour later, we are still as determined as we were when we finished watching that documentary. Ok. Turn the clock 12 hours forward, and I bet that we are spending our time talking about the hundred reasons why Messi retired from the international stage. The inspiration is no longer there.

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Nature sure inspires us but for how long can we keep under its influence?

Sometimes, all these thoughts do not make any sense. The brain is fooling us. It wants us not to indulge in tedious tasks. For the brain, less means more rest. We slowly lose productivity in our daily tasks.

Or imagine watching our favorite TV series or movies. I bet that most of the time, we come out inspired at the end of the show. Then, we are energetic for the time being and after few hours, we are back to watching something to get inspired once more. The cycle repeats.

In my case, I am writing this post after more than three-month hiatus. Between this post and the last post, I have been inspired to write at least more than thousand times. I never made it to writing one, though. The thoughts about spending an hour in front of the laptop and writing a blog post so that it can influence those who read could never outsmart the idea of watching cool YouTube videos for that hour. I lost the reason for my writing. I decided that it required a lot of efforts and a lot of edits before it gets published. There was no profit in writing a blog post, or at least that was what I thought. That was it. Excuses piled up and before I realized that it was making me less productive, it was already too late.

But why so much hesitation? Why can’t we push ourselves beyond our limits and not slack in any possible ways? Why do we need to wait to get inspired until we watch the next exciting show? The reason is that we don’t get any incentive even if we had completed that task. To illustrate, let’s say that we want to create a new social media app that can challenge the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. We begin to work on it. Midway, we convince ourselves that there is no reason in continuing our work because our efforts do not get appreciated. We are not getting any chocolate. We are 100% sure that our idea will not persuade any investor. We are 200% sure about wasting our time, and that is when we quit on our idea even though we had watched a movie 12 hours earlier where the protagonist never gives up and shines on the big stage.

Why can’t we continue our inspiration in building something until we reached the end product? Or are we just lazy and living in a different reality where putting in efforts is not the best way to enjoy our free time? Or did someone inspire us to do so?

THE MIND PALACE

Mind Palace. Do not get confused. It may/may not be royal for you. For me, it where I sojourn whenever I run into any problems or face a dilemma. I did not consciously realize about its existence until I watched the latest episode of BBC Sherlock‘s “The Abominable Bride”. I won’t be talking about that interesting episode. I don’t want to. The intriguing thing was Sherlock’s ability to roam in his mind palace and solve a century old crime.

We all have experiences where we think over a particular problem and try to visualize what we would do when faced the problem in an alternate universe. Yeah, alternative universe. Just like those in DC and Marvel comics. It is interesting that we can modify whichever way we want to in our alternate universes. That way, sometimes, we try out all the possible options to overcome our challenges. After being certain that one of those options can solve our problems in the main universe, we bid adieu to the alternate universe and thank our alternate personalities (You, mirrored!) for allowing to make unlimited changes to their realities.

For me, most of the time, getting immersed in the mind palace works perfectly. I can manipulate what other people will react to the situation and analyze the changes going on in that reality. It is phenomenal. I can’t perform these absurd changes with the people I cherish in the real life. Now, don’t think that what I am talking about is no different than the dreams we have everyday. Well, you may be true to some extent but not fully.

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The mind palace. Royal and not royal. (Image copyright rests with the author)

In dreams, we are forced to see the things that we desire to see. Or we see interpretations of our lives where real life characters and the places we know of form a collage of that reality. On the other hand, in mind palace, we see what we must see. We see the reality as an extrapolation of the possibilities that we form at the present moment. We don’t enter mind palace in our dreams. We cannot manipulate the reality that we see in a dream. There, it is our mind playing the trick on us. While in the mind palace, we are the masters and our minds our slaves. As simple as that.

Now, there may be some of us who interpret my alternate universe as a part of my subconscious mind. In a subconscious mind, we are able to feed our mind stuffs that we want and bully it to change into a reality. Say, our car’s brakes failed. Imagine, in the worst case scenario, it will be quite a time before we run into a serious accident. What do most of us usually do? We imagine the options that we can implement in that situation. We enter our mind palace. We observe the consequences of the options that we have thought. Finally, the one with the highest probability of helping us in surviving the crash will be executed by our mind. Upon its execution, we would deduce if it was able to completely nullify the damages we had incurred in the aftermath of the crash. If it didn’t, we again enter our mind palace to find out where we went wrong. See, you won’t be able to perform these possibilities in your dreams. Your mind palace is the only savior here. Isn’t it interesting?

Therefore, I enjoy entering into my mind palace and changing how it looks to the outside world. Just like the actors had manipulated their dreams in Inception. You do not want it to be in a mess if DiCaprio came to implement an idea in your mind, would you? I have all sorts of things in my palace. You name it. Justice League members protect the city I live in. Robert Langdon and I meet often and have cryptography gaffe. I also have an aerial football field where I bring in Arsenal FC players to play with me. The most important thing that I enjoy when I am here is being Sherlock and the Flash at the same time. Slowing down my alternate reality so that I can access the environment in high speed and deducing the consequences of the ideas I come up with when I am in a deep trouble. I just hope that my mind palace does not make any errors. Else, it will be its own downfall. Hahaha.

 

 

SHH…THANK YOU LETTERS IN YOUR INBOX

Yeah, you guys heard it right.

In the next couple of months, I have decided to send a thank you note to almost all the people who have made differences in my life. The degree of difference does not carry any weightage to me. Even if people lent me their pencils in the exam, they deserve a thank you note.

I know it will be tough. That is exactly why I want to do this. On the new year’s day 2016, someone in the WordPress community talked about his experience of writing a thank you note to all his LinkedIn followers throughout 2015. He had written almost 1100 unique thank-you email/LinkedIn messages. It was amazing to see someone devote a part of his time to thank others who devoted theirs.

So, yeah, the inspiration from that blogger has influenced me to push myself. There are no fixed people in my list. It could be anyone. Family, friends, teachers, mentors, coworkers, brothers, sisters, followers. It could be in any medium. Email, text message, Viber message, Facebook message, or you may even get a phone call from me.

Now, most of you may already be thinking, “Since he’s a blogger, he is definitely going to write the same messages to all his people. Just CTRL+C and then CTRL+V.” Sorry, I won’t. Where’s the fun in that! If I decide to implement it (which I won’t), I will have finished the task in one day.

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Life’s too unpredictable as the weather! That is why I am gonna go along with it. (From left: me, Bikash and Achyut)

When you think about it, the task I am going to carry requires a lot of effort and thinking along the way. I have to emphasize about the relationships that I have developed with these people and mention few incidents with them that affected my life. Talk about how encouraging they were. Debate about how their weird opinions shaped my cognitive skills. Appreciate about the sacrifices they gave me in order to make me a better human being. Idolize about their visionary insights into some pressing matters that I was interested in. Pardon about any differences we had over the course of my life. Grateful for their considerations into picking me for their works. Providing me with even the smallest suggestion in whatever problem I was leading into. Anything in the way they molded me into the present Manasbi.

Tough work, right. Well, lo and behold, any day in this year, you maybe the lucky one to get a thank you note from me. Take time to read that. I may have spent days to write those two or so paragraphs. I am not so picky about getting a reply back because I may not be an inspirational figure to you in any sorts. Just be patient about getting one from me. You may or may not get it. It all rests on probability.

I am looking forward to learning from this awesome experience and share my thoughts along the way. Lastly, the very absolute reason that I wanted to do this was because sometimes I feel that life may be unpredictable and ephemeral at the same time. I may or may not live to be 80 years old. I may die this very instant, next day, next month, next 5 years or next 30 years. What I do not want to do is wait before it is too late to thank all the people who helped me along the course of my life.

Take time to imagine what the body of my letter to you folks would be like!

 

REALPOLITIK AND NEPAL

Wikipedia defines Realpolitik as “the politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral or ethical premises”. In a nutshell, people who implement realpolitik are able to modify their ideologies as long as their plans focus on the vested interests of the nation. In 19th century, Otto von Bismarck used realpolitik to unify all German-speaking states into one nation. During his reign as a German Chancellor, he faced oppositions that had ideologies opposite to his; however, he would diplomatically align to their principles so that they would not be an obstacle to fulfilling his grand plan.

In Nepal, realpolitik has the potential to transform its politics and build selfless leaders. Currently, Nepali politicians are so stubborn in sticking to their ideologies that they fail to acknowledge the wrong directions they often take Nepal into. The end result is that the citizens struggle to cope with the political instabilities.

In addition, the motive behind being a political leader in Nepal is to finally become the Prime Minister (PM). Interestingly, this job is the epitome of a successful political leader. It explains why there are a lot of incompetent applications for the single post and why there has always been two PMs every year. If a PM cannot deal with a major crisis, then it is certain that he will lose his position. The opposition parties will vote for no confidence in the parliament and the next day, newspapers will announce the resignation of the PM. Then, there will be no government for two-three months until another senior most political figure from the opposition party will be sworn in the office.

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“Shall we raise politicians who will practice realpolitik?”

Had Nepal’s politicians implemented realpolitik in their lives, Nepal would develop at an unprecedented pace. They would no longer bother adhering to the selfish motives put forward by their political parties; instead, they would take stringent measures to steer the country towards development.

For example, KP Oli led government has not been able to take any concrete measure to end the political stalemate and deal with the unofficial economic blockade imposed by India. Even after 100 days in his office, PM Oli cannot invite the agitating Madhes-based political parties and reach a consensus to end protests. Some analysts have even termed his tenure as a fiasco. Realpolitik persons would understand the subtle reasons behind Madhesis organizing protests without basing their decisions in preexisting stereotypes and take required actions. They would not hesitate to go against their parties’ decisions as long as their decisions solve such issues.

Nepalese need leaders who practice realpolitik. They need people who take decisions based on the situation the country is in. They want to be governed by politicians who change their moral ideologies according to the era they live in. They want to be followers of the government that places the interests of its citizens before the parties’ interests. They want laws that genuinely punish and not grant amnesty to corrupt leaders. They do not care if the government ultimately fulfills its selfish demands. As long as Nepal continues to progress in every possible sectors and, Nepalese can meet their daily needs without any political hassles, Nepalese may one day take the parties’ selfish motives into consideration. After all, history has taught that Bismarck fulfilled socialists’ demands and cancelled his plans to oppose Catholic Churches even though he viewed both of them as potential threats to his grand scheme of unifying Germany. Well, realpolitik ensured he remained in power and allowed him to accept differences so that when time came, Germans would unhesitatingly vote in favor of Bismarck’s dream.

One day, I hope to engrave Nepalese politicians as the next Bismarcks. One day…

 

NEPAL GOVERNMENT, PLEASE LIVE TELECAST YOUR TALKS

All is not well in Nepal. Beleaguered by poor leadership and unstable politics from time to time, it has not been able to steer towards development. On top of that, the growing stalemate between the agitating parties and the government regarding addressing the rights of Madhesis in the recently promulgated constitution has worsened the humanitarian crisis. Now, where am I leading this talk up to? Well, I have tried to understand the situation in Nepal from every perspective, but I have failed owing to the limited knowledge that comes out.

What is actually going on in Nepal? Who really imposed the economic blockade –India, Pahades, or Madhesis? Who is blaming who? Whose rights are we exactly talking about? Wherever I look, I find loose ends. Nor has any article in the newspapers or any person connected to the incident directly been able to clear out my dilemmas. I feel that all these self-proclamation of being a part of sub-groups is not valuable when talking about being a Nepali as the major group.

Madhesis are holding talks with the government to fulfill their demands. Sure enough, they have every right. On the other hand, the government says that they are holding talks with these agitators but in vain. Well, what did it say in order to convince Madhesi leaders to reach to a consensus? Getting authentic answers is the crucial link to understanding Nepal’s protests.

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For this purpose, is not it applicable for the government to publicly show the discussions it had with the agitating parties? Then, the rest of Nepal will be able to identify who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side. It is that easy. As our government makes the discussions in the parliament available, why does not it show what the talks with the Madhesis are really about? I am sure that most of us agree that we are on a neutral side because we don’t seem to understand the situation any better. We can decide who is doing what. Then, we can voice our support to the appropriate demands.

Please note that I am not voicing against any sides. What I want to know is the truth behind the protests that has been going on for more than hundred days. I want to analyze whether the decisions that the government is making authentic or just mere acts. I want to know how few Madhes groups justify the action to attack ambulances and then burn them knowing that there are victims inside.

We know that technology is accessible to most Nepalese, living in Nepal and abroad. Just once, please, please Nepal government, can you feed a live discussion about how you have been addressing Madhesis’ demands? You can at least do that to the people who nominated you, can’t you? Just for once, show what Nepali people have been missing from the news. Help us to analyze the crisis and reach to a decision. Improve our understanding and correct us if we have been blaming the wrong side.

You can do that. Please Nepal government. Only once. Then, we will never use our Right to Information Act again! We promise.

GUFFGAAF EPISODE 1: PLAGIARISM IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL

I have teamed up with Bikash Gupta, author of the blog “By the Sidewalk,” to create GuffGaaf. It is a platform where we talk about various subtle issues and share our thoughts. We are hopeful that you will listen to our podcast and enjoy our presentation. We have done our best to share insights in the concerned issues. To be effective in our next episode, we strongly urge you to comment various aspects of the podcast so that we can deliver more terrific ones in the future.

Right now, we are in a starting phase and since we wanted to check how the response would be, we decided to use Nepali language as the medium of communication. For those who are not familiar with Nepali language, downloading the podcast would not make any sense and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause you. However, you can be hopeful that we will be able to deliver future episodes in English.

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

For those familiar with Nepali language, you need to download the file in order to listen to our first podcast. I will only be able to link the file since embedding such files are not allowed in the free version of WordPress. Maybe someday I will be able to upgrade to a premium plan and then you can easily listen to the podcasts. I hope that you will appreciate our efforts by downloading the file. We apologize for this issue.

In the first podcast, we discuss about our experiences plagiarizing our projects, essays, poems when we were assigned these works in our school. We also talk about some flaws in our education system that does not penalize the students but appreciate the time they took to google pertinent information. At the end of the podcast, we share some ways that plagiarism can be controlled in the context of Nepal.

Please listen to our talk and provide your valuable feedback.

Link to the podcast: Guffgaaf Episode 1

Please click in the link to download and enjoy!

A NEW FORM OF STRIKE

If you stumbled here thinking that I would talk about the protests held by the opposition parties in Nepal, it’s just a coincidence. I don’t intend to analyze the strikes that are  organized whenever demands are not met. Nor am I here to brief on the hunger strike that was categorized successful given the mass support from the medical fields and the locals.

I have witnessed thousands of such bandhs. They all bear one common nasty quality: vandalization of public properties to the fullest. But what if, we organized a protest that would be supported by 99% of Nepalese? Wouldn’t that be great if it is for the benefit of the whole country? I thought about it and just seriously thought about it, so serious that I think it is a much better alternative than the ongoing ones. A Cleanliness Strike!

Yeah, you guys read that absolutely fine. A strike that is absolutely crucial if we are to make a nice image of Nepal to the outside world. We have always dreamt Nepal coming close to the most clean country in the world. A feat that is not impossible if we analyzed the level of cleanliness maintained throughout the organization of SAARC Summit in November. It covered the news headlines more than any other events. People questioned the capacity that Nepal had because they had never experienced it. To some, it felt like being a pedestrian of a developed country.

Now, for just one day, were we to organize a Cleanliness Strike, wouldn’t our country change its landscape? Our wildest imaginations would turn into miracles. But this time, citizens will not comment on the miracles because they themselves will be a part of it.

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When we take part in an event actively, we bear responsibility towards it. And that is the exact philosophy that must be cultivated in our citizens. Let the cleanliness strike be mandatory enough that even the lazy ones will flood the streets, even the politicians will feel ashamed that it is much better than vandalizing public properties, even the tourists will applaud at the new initiative and force them to prolong their stay, even the children will feel responsible to clean their cities, narrow passageways, and maybe even turn it into a week long revolution. Every denizens will find it hard to resist the temptation to stay back at their homes complaining that it is just for a day and tomorrow all will be back to where it was.

The best part is that Nepalese will realize that nothing was impossible. Their participation will justify that their attitude ought to be changed to see noteworthy developments. And voila, the strike would completely change the mindset of the Nepalese. Maybe in the next five years, we may come close to matching South Korea’s and Singapore’s emergence into a developed country? After all, we are free to dream, aren’t we? We just have to believe that it will work.

For the strike to be successful, no one must be allowed to rest back at home or cancel their active participation in the event. Then, at the end of the day, who knows our country will be credited in the international media for organizing a weird but fruitful event? After all, we have been dreaming about it since decades.

Let’s hope that it gets organized one day, because sometimes all it takes is one stupid crazy idea to be implemented and the next thing you know, it will prove more than just a miracle. Happy Cleanliness Strike folks!