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26 Lessons Life Taught Me After I Turn 26

I often wonder, why do people celebrate their birthday?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it. The celebration is great and we must do that to make someone feel special.

But what is the purpose?

Maybe to remind someone how special he/she is or to let someone know that his/her birth has made some difference to this world or maybe something else. Perhaps there is no single answer.

What do you think about this? Why a birthday celebration is meaningful to you?

You can also say ‘I don’t celebrate my birthday, my friends celebrate to get a party from me’. That’s also a fair enough answer.

I do also have my own perspective on this. A birthday celebration works like a reminder to me. It reminds how little time is left in my life and fills me with a sense of urgency.

As I become 26 years old today, I look back at my life to extract some lessons life has taught me in my good times and in my bad times. I remember one of Seneca’s quote where he said-

“It is not that we have a short time to live,

but that we waste a lot of it”

You might think, who am I to write about life lessons?

Honestly, I thought about the same a lot. Why should I write about what I learned after living for 25 years?

Everybody goes through different phases in life, everybody has a different story. We all learn numerous lessons as we go through life. In fact, this article is not just written for the reader but also for myself. It’s a template for me to know what I have felt after turning 26.

Ok enough of my rubbish, here are 26 lessons listed below that I felt are worth your time-

1. Personalities are not permanent

What type of person are you? Do you believe you are a born introvert or extrovert?

If you think you are a certain type of person from childhood and will remain like that, then you are wrong. There is nothing like a fixed personality. People change and so is their personality.

I was one of those shy, socially awkward, and geek type of guy in my childhood. Even at my teenage, I was the same. I had to listen a lot from my own family about how pathetic my social skills were.

But today I believe, I am not the same guy anymore. I have improved, my interests have grown. In fact, today I enjoy whether it is to give presentations in front of a packed audience or to talk with strangers.

So if you are thinking you can’t change then you are wrong. Of course, it will take time but eventually, you will.

2. Your beliefs shape you

Ever wondered why do you think in a certain way? Why do you behave in a certain way?

It’s because of your beliefs. What we believe is what we think and what we think is what we do. You follow a certain religion because you believe in that. People have superstitions because they believe in that.

Most often you are not even aware of what do you believe. It’s given to you by your parents, surroundings, and society. But surely you can change your beliefs. So if you know beliefs are so powerful, then believe in abundance, growth, and affluence. It will bring good to you.

3. Don’t compromise too much with yourself

There come some times in life when we feel like compromising with ourselves. Like when we try to please others, when someone criticizes us, when we go through some hurdles we try to over compromise with our original self.

Don’t be that guy. Yes, sometimes a little bit compromise is beneficial, like when you want a fulfilling relationship or when you move to a new place, but don’t do that by sacrificing your self-esteem.

I have been to different places for my education. What I experienced is, sometimes you feel lonely because there could be no one to share your story, finding a trustworthy friend could be challenging.

In such situations, you could sacrifice some of your principles, your values in order to make friends. They might not accept you the way you are. In such situations don’t lose yourself. Be the person who you are. You will find someone loyal, trustworthy sooner or later.

Don’t lose your integrity ever.

4. Passion is overrated

Follow your passion. How many people have advised you this line?

I am sure many. Have you thought what actually passion is?

It’s easy right. Things that makes us joyful and we have a natural inclination towards it are our passion. But is it pre-defined or people develop it?

Until you try something, how will you know you are good at it or not. And if you don’t know whether you are good at something or not, how will you find your passion.

There are many instances in people’s lives where they found it difficult to learn some skill, but with desire, focus, and deliberate practice they mastered it and it became their passion.

Do you think running was Usain Bolt’s passion from childhood? or writing was a passion for J.K Rowling from the beginning?

In the beginning, they just liked it. But even they had to work for years/decades to hone their crafts. Passion is not something people relate to natural calling. I don’t believe in that. Rather it’s more of a self-discovery process.

I never thought until 2018 that I could write blog articles someday. But today I feel like it is one of my passions. I want to write till I am alive. So my suggestion is to try more number of things, learn as many skills as you can.

In the process, you will learn about your likes and dislikes. Then work on things you liked to get better at them. Trust me, someday you won’t even realize and people will tell you ‘you are so lucky, you found your passion’.

5. Value skills, not degrees

When I was in school, I thought getting a college degree would be a great achievement. The highest degree in my family was a Bachelor’s degree. I thought getting a Master’s degree would be a proud moment for me.

Then I got a Master’s degree, but there was no excitement. Later, I have enrolled in a doctoral program but trust me even today I don’t have any extra excitement about the so called highest academic degree Ph.D. But the feeling that I am learning many skills and that wouldn’t be possible had I not enrolled in the Ph.D program makes me feel good.

I often think, why I thought degrees would make me happy?

Perhaps, this is what everybody taught me. Everybody asked questions like

‘Which degree you are pursuing?’ but nobody asked ‘What skills are you learning?’

Perhaps, I thought degrees would give a job. I was wrong. It’s not degrees won’t give you a good job but the problem is it doesn’t guarantee you the skills. Most importantly you will feel bad if someone tells you ‘you have the degree, but don’t have proper skills.

So I urge you to not give much importance to degrees. Hone your skills otherwise, some robots will take your job in the future. In today’s era, having a degree doesn’t guarantee a job but having a skill is.

A few days back I saw somewhere Elon Musk said- ‘In my company, I don’t care if you are a high school graduate or not, if you have skills welcome to my company’. You might think your place is still degree oriented but it won’t be for long.

6. Have an earning hobby

Do you remember during the examination time, most of us used to carry more than one pen in the examination hall.

Why did we carry multiple pens?

Because having a backup option is good. We wanted to be on the safer side. I wonder why we don’t follow the same strategy in life also?

Why do we forget to keep a small back up option in our career?

In today’s time, I think it’s a good idea to have a hobby which has the potential to earn in the future. Do your job sincerely, but keep a hobby which you like and can generate some income in the future.

This way, you will feel safe and perform better in your current job. Remember those friends whose fathers had a big shop or businesses. They were relaxed because they know they had a backup option.

You can do the same for yourself. Even if you are satisfied with your current job, still having an extra monetizable skill is beneficial. At least, you can earn some more money. Just imagine how many people will lose their jobs because of this pandemic. They can save themselves by having some extra skills. No one knows what will happen tomorrow.

7. Read books on diverse subjects

What would be the single line answer of the question

How to become the smartest person in the room?

The answer is- just read more books than everybody else.

Everybody knows the benefits of reading books. So I am not talking anything about that. But I would like to give you a suggestion from my personal experience

Don’t just read books on the same subjects, read about diverse subjects. This will make you more creative and astute. Read books on science, economics, health, history, personal growth, fiction novels, finance, relationships, spiriuality, etc. Just read multiple genre books.

8. Writing is powerful

You must have heard the line ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’.

There is a reason for that line. Writing brings out the soul inside you, which you never knew existed. There are numerous scientific studies which showed how writing leaves a profound positive effect on your life. Now you might say ‘but I don’t like writing’.

C’mon, you have already written so much in your examinations. and you don’t have to become a writer. All you need is to write down your feelings, thoughts on paper, or on the computer. You can just even write bullet points or make mind maps. Whatever you like but I promise, you won’t regret the decision to start writing. But this time for yourself not to pass any examination.

9. Choose your role models wisely

Who is /are your role model? Who inspires you?

The answers to these questions have a deep effect on your life. When you choose someone your role model, your life will be affected by your role model consciously or subconsciously in a positive or negative way.

When you choose someone as your role model, he/she become your benchmark, which means that you have instructed your subconscious mind that you can’t become more than your benchmark.

You must have heard the story of Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile under four minute. Before him, everyone, including sport researchers thought it is impossible to run a mile under 4 minutes. Had Roger Bannister made some runner his role model, he wouldn’t be able to achieve what everyone thought unachievable.

You try to imitate your role model’s actions even when you are not aware of that. Take inspiration from someone’s life and their legacy but try not to set a benchmark. And even if you want to have role models, choose them wisely.

10. Label your negative emotions

Managing our negative emotions well is key to a successful life. Researchers call it ‘Emotional Intelligence(EQ)’. Your success doesn’t just depend on IQ but also on EQ.

Everyone has to go through the ups and downs of life. I am myself a worrier, an overthinker. Sometimes I worry too much and I feel it’s normal. But thinking about controlling it doesn’t produce anything good.

So what should you do when you are angry, worried, anxious, or sad?

Research have shown that putting a label on your emotions helps you a lot to manage your negative emotions. What does it mean?

It means giving your negative emotions a verbal or written expression. You can write down about your emotion in a paper. Ask yourself-

Why are you feeling worried or sad? What can happen? What can you do to prevent this?

Writing down answers of these or even just talking to someone or to yourself loudly about your emotions helps a lot tone down your emotion.

What basically it does is, it transfers the negative thought from your emotional brain (amygdala) to the rational brain (frontal lobe), so you get a chance to think more logically and hence will be able to better handle with the situation.

Now you know people who often talk to themselves loudly are not crazy. By the way, I am one of them.

11. Relationships are key to a happy life

If any day you have to choose one thing among money, power, fame, and stable relationships. Choose the last one, it’s not me but the longest research done on happiness by Harvard Psychologists are saying. See the video below-

I hope there would not come any day when you have to choose. I wish you will get everything including money, fame, power, and good relationships. Humans are social animals. So if your relationships are not in place, nothing can make you truly happy.

12. Rise but don’t fall in love

When we talk about relationships, the most challenging relationship is perhaps the relation with your spouse or your girlfriend/boyfriend. I think the reason is obvious, you cannot choose your parents, your relatives but you can choose your better half.

When you choose something on your own, you expect much more from that relationship. And that’s where we make blunders many times and make our life miserable. The romantic movies, novels taught us that there is some soulmate waiting for me. Love is effortless.

Whereas, in reality it is not the case. Yeah, of course, love is a feeling at the beginning but after some time it becomes a choice. Like everything love also comes in a package, there are goods and bads.

You have to choose whether you want to handle the mood swings of your partner (which are not always pleasant, I am telling), whether you are ready to cheer the other person even when you are not feeling well, whether you want to face some uncomfortable conversations with your partner. At times, you might feel like giving up. In those moments it’s up to you to choose whether you want to still love that person or he/she doesn’t deserve so much of your time and energy.

Your romantic relationship is just a part of your life, not your whole life. Don’t lose your self-esteem in order to impress your partner. Rise but don’t fall in love as I wrote in one of my previous articles.

But yeah, when two people have love and respect for each other, perhaps, ultimately everything falls into place. As there is a saying in Hindi- ‘Aag ka dariya hai, aur doobke jana hai (It’s a river of fire and we have to sink to go through it).’

13. Your health is your actual asset

Our health is probably the most underrated thing in this world. We only realize it’s value when we lose it. And many of you are perhaps thinking ‘I understand man, health is important’.

Instead of knowing its importance, we don’t do much to keep it fit. A few years back health was not on my priority list, I didn’t know what an active body means. But after I started to inspect my food intake, running, and exercise I realized what it feels like to live with more energy.

People dream about driving a Mercedes, BMW, Ferrari, Rolls Royce but forget about the most beautiful machine they possess. Your body is the most beautiful and powerful machine. The choice is yours whether you want to run it like a 2nd hand car or like a premium car.

14. Learn about finance

This is the most neglected area by most of the people. Everybody thinks he/she knows about finance, whereas in reality don’t. Most people think ‘what is there, just earn more money, spend less, and save as much as possible, that’s all finance is’.

It’s only in recent times, I have realized that I need to learn a lot about finance and it’s a fascinating world. The problem is no one talks about this. Schools don’t provide financial education, parents don’t make children financially aware. In fact, parent’s are themselves unaware of this and it’s not their fault.

Finance is not a specialized subject. Everybody has to deal with money in their life. So it ‘s a must learning subject. Learn at least basics like-

How does the economy work? How do banks work? What is compound interest? How to invest money? What is wealth creation?

I promise you, these learnings will pay off you in the future.

15. Your salary alone won’t make you rich

Do you want to become rich?

Yes, the meaning of rich is different for different people. But here I am talking about monetary wealth.

For me, you are rich when you don’t have to work for money. When you can pay your bills even if you don’t work. It’s called financial freedom.

Are you thinking it is impossible?

Yeah, it is rare to happen in your 20s or 30s, but it is certainly possible in your 40s or 50s. You just need to plan your financial life well.

I am from a background where people think only a high paying job or a million dollar business can make you rich. But I can assure you it is not just that. Paying EMI for your home, car, gadgets, and what not with your high salary year after year doesn’t prove you are rich.

A person with a six figure salary can become bankrupt or live under debt whole life and a person with much less salary can achieve financial freedom.

Study the rich people everywhere in this world, you will find things common in them. All of them have multiple sources of income. They know how to grow wealth. If they can, you can learn too.

Ultimately being rich is not about showing off your luxury lifestyle but to reach a point where you don’t have to worry about money anymore. So keep in mind, your salary alone won’t make you rich but how you utilize your salary will.

16. Travel whenever you get chance

Who doesn’t love to travel. It’s amazing to see new places, new cultures right.

Till I was 20 years old, I haven’t gone outside my district, let alone state. Later I got the chance to travel to different places. When I experienced how it feels to travel, I realized why everyone talks so much about traveling.

But I felt the more you travel like a tourist, the less you will get out of your travel. Rather, try to talk with people there, know their culture, don’t have any prejudices about any place. Travel with an open mind. Your perspective about the world will change.

And yeah, travel solo sometimes.

17. Be a doer

I am a procrastinator. So this is the most important lesson for me.

Imagine a situation where you have brought all the fresh vegetables and fruits from the market. You know it’s good for your body. But what’s the point if you don’t eat them.

The same thing happens with your mind. We read books, blogs, watch videos, take seminars but what’s the point if we don’t act on them. You must become action-oriented rather than just collecting knowledge.

This is something I still tell myself time and again-

‘You can become something by acting on something not just by thinking about it’

18. Learn to live alone

Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to isolate yourself. Just learn to enjoy solitude.

Don’t rely on anybody. Become the captain of your ship. Many times nobody would want to travel on your ship. So learn to live with yourself.

The person who enjoys his/her own company can be in peace with himself/herself. Accept the fact that you have come alone in this world and will die alone. The better you understand this, the more peaceful you will become.

19. Television is really an idiot box

You must have heard the old saying ‘TV is an idiot box’. Well, I never really thought about this. I used to love watching TV. There were days when I used to watch TV for 5-6 hours daily.

But then I have come to know about the ill-effects of watching TV and how it actually makes us an idiot. I am not saying to remove your TV from your home but at least be aware of how much of your time you spend watching TV.

Numerous studies have shown that TV viewing is detrimental for the development of intellectual abilities, especially during infancy.

20. Don’t become a slave of social media

Today’s generation is not interested in TV right, social media is the new culture. It’s a great platform. I mean who thought 20 years back that we could be in touch with someone from other corners of the world. Social media have made it possible.

But unfortunately today the world talks about how social media is making us miserable. How it is decreasing our attention span. Don’t let that happen to you.

The problem is social media can become an addiction just like alcohol or drug. You might be even unaware of the fact that you are addicted. So keep track of your time while using social media.

You can utilize social media for creation rather than just for consumption. Limit your time and create more if you love social media. Remember data is the new currency, it is more valuable than money. Be aware of whom you are giving your data.

Use social media with a purpose, but don’t become a slave of it.

21. Spirituality is not about religion

We often think being spiritual is not my cup of tea. You don’t have to become a yogi or do meditation on Himalaya to include spirituality in your life. Spirituality is just like a lifestyle.

Am I spiritual?

I don’t know, maybe not yet. I don’t even have much idea about the word ‘spiritual’. But I believe there is something special about being spiritual, which elevates you.

Maybe it’s about believing in a superior force than you, or letting things go sometimes can make you more content. I perhaps don’t know much about it right now. But I do know that you don’t have to be from any particular background to lead a spiritual lifestyle.

As we go through life and become mature, we get to know more about it. But first of all, you need to believe in it.

22. Learn to enjoy small things in life

I always thought, my achievements would make me happy. But that never happened. Today when I try to remember my school days or college years, all I remember is the moments I had with my friends, the celebrations, the laughs, trips, etc.

I don’t remember my achievements. Even if I remember some of them, those achievements are ok but that does not bring any extra smile on my face. But moments with friends, people do. I am sure same is the case with you.

Therefore, don’t forget to enjoy your present in order to make your future. Don’t wait for big achievements, enjoy the small things in life.

Whatever you are trying to achieve, nothing much you will remember ten years down the line, but you will surely remember some moments you had with your friends.

23. The world gives more to givers

You may have heard a lot from people that the more you help others, the more god will return to you.

But today it’s being proven by even scientific studies. Adam Grant, a psychologist in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has shown in his studies that you will increase your chances of becoming more successful by helping other people. You can read his book ‘Give and Take’.

Help others not with a selfish motive, but to be at peace with yourself. We all know it right, whenever we help someone needy, we feel great. It is basic human nature to help needy people.

24. Science is just an instrument

This is what I personally feel. It has nothing to do with your belief.

When someone says, my religion is best. We call him/her immature or intolerant. Similarly, when someone says, science is everything, I see no difference between both the person.

Science is great. I am also involved with this. The invention of Science and scientific thinking is the biggest invention in human history. But I think it is just like an instrument.

It is quantitative. You can’t measure your feelings, you cannot make moral judgments using science. Science is like a beautiful instrument that you can use to create something worthwhile. Some people use the word ‘science’ just like religion as if it can give answers to everything.

Critical thinking is much more important rather than citing a research paper for everything.

25. Be a lifelong learner

How attractive this word ‘lifelong learner’ is right. But these are not just attractive words but a must have skill for survival, for growth in today’s era.

In our father’s or grandfather’s era, they just needed to learn any one skill in their early age and that was enough to live the rest of their lives with comfort.

But today, circumstances are different. Every 5 years some jobs are becoming obsolete and new kinds of jobs are arising. It means what you learned in your college may become irrelevant today.

In such a situation, the only way to ensure a comfortable life is to keep on learning new skills. Once you adopt this mindset, learning skills will become fun for you.

26. Explore yourself and the world

What is the most important thing I learned?

You can listen to many great people, you can read as many books or articles as you can, you can watch as many inspiring videos as you can but your answers you have to find yourself.

No one else can give you your answers. There is no single answer for everyone. You are unique among 7.7 billion other people on this earth. Your answers will also be unique.

How would you find them?

Explore yourself. Check what you like what you don’t. Try diverse things, talk with people from various backgrounds, travel to different places (not just the usual places), put effort to learn various skills.

Keep exploring yourself and the world around you, one day you will find your answers.

I know it’s been a long post. If you have read it, thank you for bearing with me. I hope you gain some good insights from it. I Would love to hear from you.

Have a great life. Until next time.


Source of images: Google images

Health and Fitness Personal Growth Science

How The Coronavirus Pandemic Shaping Humanities Future

It’s been 48 days since I wrote the last blog post on this website (wrote on 23rd February). From that time to now, a lot of things have drastically changed in the world. The world has witnessed a new pandemic in the form of the novel coronavirus. Almost a million people infected and more than 10000 died till now. No one knows how many more lives will die off the virus.

I have been reading from various sources about the virus and its implications. Though, reading or watching a lot of content about the pandemic does not serve any purpose except creating fear in your mind. On top of that, there are fake news circulating everywhere. The real knowledge is lost in this age of information.

This reminds me of one of the quotes from T. S Eliott

“Where is the life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Wherever I go people talk about the virus, news channels are showing the same news 24/7, internet is full of same content and conspiracy theories of experts. Sometimes it feels like someone wants to hijack peoples brain by repeatedly exposing to the same content.

No doubt it’s a tough time for us but consuming the same content throughout the day will not produce anything worthwhile except fear and depression. Of course, you should know what’s going on in the world but give priority to quality instead of quantity. Check the source of the information, whether it is reliable or not.

Remember knowledge removes darkness and ignorance but a little knowledge or fake knowledge is even more fatal than ignorance. A few days back I saw a tweet from Yuval Noah Harari. He is a historian, author of bestselling books, philosopher ( and one of my favorite human beings). Here is his tweet

In an ideal world one would expect people to learn a little bit about the science of viruses, what is it? How it causes disease? How it causes pandemics?

Nonetheless, we are not living in such an ideal world and we are imperfect people. However, we are very fortunate to live in this era.

See, such pandemics are nothing new to the world. In the 14th century there was ‘Black Death’ which killed almost 200 million people worldwide, in the 16th century there was smallpox then great plague, cholera, Spanish flu came one by one. For your convenience look at the list below-

Imagine all those times when millions of people were dying due to a virus but they didn’t have any clue why they were dying. All they used think was about some evil demons as the reason for the pandemics.

But today we know about the existence of viruses and bacteria. It took just two weeks to identify the novel coronavirus, sequence its genome, and to develop a reliable test to recognize infected people. We are already developing vaccines for the coronavirus.

It’s not the incident or event but your response to that event defines you. Soon this pandemic will be over but the world we used to see will not be the same. I am really curious about the concomitant upshot of this novel virus on our forthcoming world.

And we are going to witness a world we have never seen before. The choices we make now will affect the world we will inhabit once the storm passes.

Prof. Harari discussed beautifully about the post coronavirus world in one of his articles. Where he specifically said-

“In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.”

His contemplation is indeed very interesting and I will reflect upon his thoughts-

1. Totalitarian surveillance Vs Citizen empowerment

By this time you must have realized that in order to prevent the spread of this pandemic entire global population needs to obey certain guidelines (such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands time and again).

There are two ways to achieve this. And we are somehow seeing both ways to be operating in the world.

One way for governments is to monitor people and punish people who break the rules. This is what we have seen in some countries such as China. What was believed to be science fiction a year ago, that is true today.

Today the government can keep an eye on all the citizens with the help of technology. By closely monitoring people’s smartphones, with the help of hundreds of millions of face-recognizing cameras, and forcing people to screen their body temperature and medical condition, governments can quickly identify suspected coronavirus carriers.

A range of mobile apps track our movements and warn citizens about their proximity to infected patients. In this way, citizens are totally under government surveillance.

Now you might think, what’s the big deal, even companies like Google or Facebook tracks us. Even they know where we are going? what we are buying?

What we are experiencing in many countries is not something very usual. The surveillance has gone one step ahead. What Prof. Harari mentioned as the transition from ‘over the skin‘ to ‘under the skin‘ surveillance.

Although we were under the surveillance before the pandemic by Google or Facebook, but they only knew our external reactions like what we buy more frequently, they didn’t know whether buying that makes us happy or sad.

They only knew where we are roaming but they didn’t know how that makes us feel. In short, their surveillance is ‘over the skin’.

But now with tracking of your body temperature to blood pressure, the government wants to go inside your body. Previously they were interested to know what kind of news you are reading more, and now when your finger touches your smartphone screen to press a link, government can track the temperature of your finger and blood pressure of your body when you press that link.

Imagine a day, when authorities/companies tracking every response of your body. They will exactly know what makes you sick or what makes you happy , sad, or angry. You don’t know what coming years might bring. In fact, they would know you better then you yourself.

Of course, at this crisis moment government is tracking people for our good, to identify infected people, prevent the pandemic, and it is for some time. But this may not be the case. Yuval Harari put forward some great insights on this. Read below his words-

You could, of course, make the case for biometric surveillance as a temporary measure taken during a state of emergency. It would go away once the emergency is over. But temporary measures have a nasty habit of outlasting emergencies, especially as there is always a new emergency lurking on the horizon.

Even when the infections from corona virus will be down to zero, some data hungry governments could argue they needed to keep the biometric surveillance systems in place because they fear a second wave of coronavirus, or there is a new Ebola strain evolving in central Africa, or because blah blah…, you get the idea. A big battle has been raging in recent years over our privacy (The data war). The coronavirus crisis could be the battle’s tipping point. For when people are given a choice between health and privacy, they will usually choose health.

Instead of building a surveillance regime, it is not too late to rebuild people’s trust in science, in public authorities, and in the media. We should definitely make use of new technologies too, but these technologies should empower citizens. I am all in favor of monitoring my body temperature and blood pressure, but that data should not be used to create an all powerful government. Instead, data should enable me to make more informed personal choices, and also to hold government accountable for its choices.’

Asking to choose between privacy and health is a trap. You might not realize now but privacy is equally important as health in today’s generation and you should enjoy both.

An alternative to this totalitarian surveillance Harari suggests is ‘Citizen empowerment’. If people know scientific reasons of why they should wash their hands or why social distancing is important, perhaps governments don’t need to surveill them 24/7.

Why is more important than what or how (of a fact) to empower citizens. For a person who knows how beneficial it is to just wash your hands with soap, washing hands becomes natural. But for an ignorant person have no clue why should he/she should wash hands.

A self-motivated population is way more powerful than an ignorant population who need to be surveilled 24/7. Countries like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea have already shown this.

Somehow a lot of government authorities realizing now how crucial is people’s scientific temper.

2. Nationalist isolation Vs Global solidarity

A lot of people over the globe believe that globalization will take a halt after this pandemic. People will less prefer to travel to other countries and countries would separate themselves from other countries. Just the way a lot of nations are sealing their borders right now.

Think about the society where you are living. Imagine a gang of robbers entered your neighbor’s home, beat people there and loot everything. And then again the same thing happened in another home.

What should your society do under such circumstances?

Just seal all the houses, stop speaking with each other, and be in your home all the time or cooperate with each other, share the information of robbers with each other and make strategies to combat them.

You would always choose the 2nd option as It is more reliable and effective.

The same is true at this pandemic time. Countries which fought better with the virus such as Singapore, South Korea could share the information and strategies with other countries.

But the recent incidents have shown the lack of cooperation among countries. Even at this crisis time, many countries are busy in blaming each other and making conspiracy theories rather than thinking about the future of humanity.

The real character of a person revealed at the time of crisis. This is the time for all the world leaders as well as for us to show some character.

From the economic point of view also global cooperation is vital. A sharp decrease in the supply chain from one corner of the world will affect the other corner.

Therefore, thinking about nationalist isolation at this moment will result in a disaster. We must work together as a whole rather thank working as a chunk.

These are the decisions that are going to shape our future. This is the time to make choice between totalitarian surveillance vs citizen empowerment and nationalist isolation vs global solidarity.

Don’t feel like your own personal decisions have nothing to do with the world tomorrow. It’s the choices of every individual human which defines the world. The world is going to change for sure.

What kind of world we would like to see tomorrow is our collective choice. We can empower ourselves for a better future or we can remain ignorant and present our future generations a dystopian future.

Have a safe week. Until next time



  1. Yuval Noah Harari: The world after corona virus-Financial Times
  2. The coronavirus crisis- Inkstone News
  3. Home Deus-Yuval Noah Harari
Personal Growth

My Favourite Video Channels for Learning and Development

In one of my previous blogposts named ‘Why Reading is Essential for Unleashing Your Potential? I discussed the ill effects of spending too much time in front of television.

Since then a few people had asked me whether there are any positive effects of watching videos.

Sure. Why not?

I still believe that reading books are 100 times better than watching videos. However, in some cases, videos have an edge over books. For example, if you are trying to grasp some complicated concept, perhaps watching a video will help you initially to an idea about that.

It is not like you should abandon watching videos. In fact, in today’s time, it is not very practical. My suggestion only is to keep the ratio of reading: watching videos up to 60:40 or at least 50:50. Read more, watch less.

Videos can be a great source of learning, entertainment if you choose them mindfully.

Of course, everyone has their own taste. Here I am going to share with you my top 7 Video Channels (Streaming/YouTube). Because I think video streaming platforms or YouTube Channels have richer content, I am excluding Television from the list.

1. Curiosity Stream

This one is my favorite hands down.

The day I found this one, I literally thought ‘this is what I was looking for’

It is a place to stimulate your intellectual quest.

Curiosity Stream is an online video streaming service, just like Netflix or Amazon Prime video. But here you will get to see high quality documentaries on various subjects like Science, Nature, History, Arts, Humanity, etc.

The range of topics in each section are wide, ranging from space to psychology (Science), from ancient history to modern history. The best part is all the documentaries are informative and engaging. The subscription fee is just INR 1437 (20$ per year), much less than Netflix.

If you have a curious mind that looks to unravel different mysteries of nature, you should definitely check out Curiosity Stream.

2. Kurzgesagt – In a nutshell

This is a YouTube channel which takes an interesting and complex topic and explains it in a simplistic way. The best thing is, of course, their content backed up by amazing research and great storytelling.

Occasionally, they post all their research on a particular topic on their website You can rely completely on their content. The kind of illustrations and animations you will see in their videos is very unique. If you want see an example of how to make complex thing simple and effective, watch this channel. A sample video I am posting below-

3. It’s Okay to be Smart

Another reliable YouTube Channel to expand your knowledge on diverse subjects. The channel is run by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.

He mainly posts a science video every week. This channel can answer your questions which always baffled you, like why vegetables have different colors? why blue is so rare? etc. You can request to make a video in case you want answer of something. Video lengths vary from 4-15 minutes. I enjoy this channel and hope you will too.

4. Nas Daily

Well, this one is very different from other channels. The videos are of only one minute.

Have you ever thought how are people in Rwanda or Iceland? Who are the strangest people on earth?

This channel can give you these answers in just one minute.

You wouldn’t find this channel on YouTube (no official channel on YouTube), instead on Facebook. Why is it so?

The man behind this channel Nuseir Yassin has an amazing story. Read this post to know the whole story.

In short, if you want to see a better sight of our world, watch the one minute videos of this channel.

5. Ted-Ed

Another of my trustworthy channels that make short animated educational videos. The range of topics is very diverse. It covers almost everything. You will surely gain something after watching their videos. If learning new and exciting things about humans, nature exhilarates you, watch Ted-Ed videos.

6. TED

Here you can listen to the ideas of different leaders of the globe. The talks are usually 10-17 minutes. It is like listening to all the experts of different backgrounds. Your thought process will change if you consistently listen to different people on this channel.

It is definitely a thought provoking channel. Do watch

7. Helly

This list would be incomplete without a bookish channel. This channel is run by an Indian girl. Here you will find videos on book reviews, book recommendations. I have read many amazing books after hearing her recommendation. Thanks to her.

And yeah, she doesn’t only make videos on books but also on productivity and student life, how to become a freelancer, etc. Overall, I found this is really worth your time whether you like books or not.

These are my favorite channels. If I have to watch videos sometimes, these are the places where I turn. I feel all of them really make sound, reliable, and knowledgeable content in an entertaining way.

Do check out these channels. I am very hopeful you will find them worthwhile to watch.

I can’t emphasize more on the fact that your life will change once you stop or reduce watching television. It is really an idiot box (although a few good channels perhaps exist).

Read great books and watch quality channels. I promise your perception about the world will change. And the change will be a better one.

“Our view about the the world is shaped by what we read and what we watch”

Have a meaningful week. Until next time.


Health and Fitness Science

Bacteriophage: How A Forgotten Virus Can be An Asset to Combat Superbugs

What is the first word come to your mind after hearing the word ‘Virus’?

Disease, infection, infectious, harmful, etc. right.

What if tell you there are viruses that can cure our diseases.

Haven’t heard before! But there does exist such viruses, which are friendly to humans.

Just like there are god bacterias, there are good viruses.

These bacterias are known as ‘Bacteriophages’ or ‘Phages’meaning bacteria eaters.

These are good because ‘Bacteriophages’ are extreme enemies of deadly bacterias which has the potential to kill us. Believe it or not but phages are the most deadly beings on the planet.

Phages were discovered independently by two researchers Frederick William Twort at the University of London in 1915, and Félix d’Herelle who confirmed the finding and coined the term bacteriophage in 1917.

Below are some mind boggling facts about phages-

  • They are the most abundant microorganism on the planet. Much more in number than the total number of bacterias present. To give you an idea. They are everywhere, in soil, in water, in your body. Just your bare hand contains more than 10 billion phages. That’s a huge number right. The pie chart below depicts the number of phages compared to rest of the microorganism
Abundance of phages
  • Phages are 100 times smaller than bacterias. Under a normal microscope, they are not visible. You need an electrone microscope to see them.
  • The human gut contains almost one million billion phages. Whereas just one ml seawater contains one billion phages.

The most fascinating thing is that phages do not affect humans but only bacterias. Unlike other viruses phages can be a great weapon for us to fight with deadly bacterias.

How does a phage look like?

Bacteriophage Structure
Bacteriophage Structure

This is how a typical phage looks like. A head, a neck and a tail depicted in the above structure. Their genetic material is contained in a prism shaped head, surrounded by a protein capsid.

Like any other virus phages need a host cell in order to reproduce and become alive. When alone they are equivalent as dead.

Image of a phage under electron microscope
Image of a phage under electron microscope

How do phages kill deadly bacterias?

Phages are very specific in killing bacterias. What I mean is a particular type of phages can only kill a specific set of bacterias not all types of bacteria.

In order to kill a bacteria, phages first bind to the bind to specific receptors on the bacterial cell surface with their tail fibers and create a hole, a process which, along with attachment, is coordinated by the base plate.

Next,  a rigid tube is propelled out of the sheath, puncturing a hole in the bacterial cell membrane through which they inject their genetic material (DNA or RNA, double or single stranded).

From here, there are two ways via which phages can kill the host cell. One is known as lytic cycle, where after injecting (DNA or RNA) into the host cell, the phage genome synthesizes early proteins that break down the host DNA, allowing the phage to take control of the cellular machinery.

The phage then uses the host cell to synthesize the remaining proteins required to build new phages. During this process, the host cells gradually become weakened by phage enzymes (known as endolysin) and eventually burst. The whole process looks like the image below-

Different stages of lytic cycle
Different stages of lytic cycle

In another way, known as lysogenic cycle allows a phage to reproduce without killing its host. Following the injection of the phage DNA into the host cell, it integrates itself into the host genome, with the help of phage-encoded integrases, where it is then termed a prophage. The prophage genome is then replicated passively along with the host genome as the host cell divides. Something like shown in the below picture-

Different stages of lysogenic cycle

This process does not kill the bacteria directly but then under the right conditions (UV light, low nutrient conditions), the prophage can become active and come back out of the bacterial chromosome, triggering the remaining steps of the lytic cycle and kill the bacteria.

How does a phage decide whether to enter the lytic or lysogenic cycle when it infects a bacterium host cell?

One of the major factors is the number of phages infecting the host cell at once. Larger numbers of co-infecting phages make it more likely that the phages will use the lysogenic cycle.

This strategy may help prevent the phages from wiping out their bacterial hosts by toning down the attack if the phage-to-host ratio gets too high.

Because phages need a host cell to reproduce, they don’t want to run out of hosts. Thus, the tendency to flip to lysogeny at high abundance might have been favored by natural selection (explaining why phages are in such huge numbers).

But why are we suddenly interested in bacteriophages?

Although discovered first in 1917, we never paid enough attention to phages and there is a reason behind that.

In the earlier days, just a single cut in your body could have killed you. Bacterias were the culprits. We didn’t have any answer for them. People then moved their attention towards phages and successfully cured bacterial diseases by applying phages as weapons.

However, in 1928 Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin and everything changed. We invented antibiotics and they were so effective against bacterias that we forgot about phages.

We became so habituated with antibiotics that we used them more and more for less and less serious causes. We lost respect for the little monsters (bacterias) and the weapon (antibiotics).

As a result, with time bacterias started to become immune against our invented weapon (antibiotics). Today there are hundreds of bacterias which are resistant towards most of our antibiotic. They are known as ‘multi drug resistant bacteria’.

Once we feared that soon there might be some bacterias that will be resistant to all our invented antibiotics and we will again go back in time, where a simple cut can kill us. Sir Alexander Fleming warned us-

there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.

We have already created such monsters known as ‘Superbugs‘. And believe it or not but they can wipe out human existence.

In fact, according to a survey, by 2050 superbugs could kill more humans a year than cancer. The days when a cut or cough or simple infection could kill you or your loved ones are coming back.

In such circumstances, scientists again turned their attention to forgotten tiny phages. In fact, phages are perhaps better than antibiotics to combat with bacterias.

Because antibiotics are like unguided missiles. It kills everything (good and bad bacteria) that comes within its range. But phages are very specific, they are like guided missiles.

By now, you already know how phages kill bacterias (discussed above).

In fact, there are many instances recently, where doctors have used phages to treat patients successfully.

You might be thinking, won’t bacterias develop ways of defending themselves?

They will evolve against phages too. But wait a minute, phages are also microorganisms, so they evolve too. There is a constant war going on between phages and bacterias from billions of years. Fortunately, phages won the battle almost all the time.

And even if bacterias become immune against phages someday, we will still be able to win against bacterias. It has been found that in order to become resistant to even just a few species of phages, bacteria have to give up their resistance to antibiotics. It’s like attacking the enemy with two different classes of weapons.

This has already been successfully tested patients who had no other hope left. Bacteria have no answer to the combination of phages and antibiotics.

But why don’t we hear more about phages in medical science?

Unfortunately, although there is a growing interest among scientists about phages but treatment via phages is still in an experimental state. Pharma companies are reluctant to invest in phages to a great extent. As a result, it has not become part of medical treatment. There is no official approval yet.

But things are changing, in recent years phages are getting more and more attention. Research is going on to see how safe phages are if we inject them from outside.

We better do more sound research on phages and make them a part of our medical treatment before superbug kills millions of lives all over the globe.

It might sound weird but injecting the deadliest being on the planet into the human body might save millions of lives. And who knows one day your doctor might write you a prescription for phages along with or instead of antibiotics.

An informative video on this topic-

Please, never use antibiotics mindlessly. Do remember what Sir Alexander Fleming said-

Sir Alexander Fleming On Antibiotic Resistence


  1. Technology networks
  2. Khan Academy-bacteriophage
  3. Phage treatment of human infections
  4. Encyclopedia Britannica
  5. Advantages and Limitations of Bacteriophage

Health and Fitness Science

Medical Industry Vs Medical Science

Have you ever been in a situation where your family has asked your opinion before taking an important decision?

Although you were right at what you have suggested, your family neglected your suggestion and took exactly the opposite decision just because the majority of your family members support the opposite idea. Your knew from inside that what you said was absolutely correct and the wrong decision made is going to hamper your family in the future but you can’t do anything.

This exactly depicts the meaning of this article, where you represent medical science and your family members medical industry.

If anything fascinates me most in this world, that’s humans. I mean you think about our creature sometimes deeply and I am sure you will find the same thing too.

In fact, there is a ecologist named Ellis Silver, who argues that we, humans, are not originally from earth but from somewhere else. We are a foreign creature here. He has written a book also on this named ‘Humans are not from Earth: a scientific evaluation of the evidence’. You can read it if you wish.

Whether you believe him or not but humans are pretty strange. There is no denying about this

Look at other animals, birds, or any living creature. Among all of them, we have advanced most from the time we exist. We rule the world (you can say perhaps) but instead of all the advancements we are our lives are not advancing to that extent.

In pursuit of becoming happier, we are becoming miserable. We try to become healthier, but we are becoming prone to new diseases. Something is fundamentally wrong don’t you think?

Ask your grandfather (or even your father) about their lifestyle when they were young. You probably can’t imagine your life like that but when you listen to them carefully, you will be amazed that they were somehow more healthy and content in their lives instead of not having the luxuries of today’s world. Perhaps your grandchildren will experience the same thing.

All of us want to live longer and in quest of that, we have built a super special healthcare industry. And no doubt we have been successful in eradicating a lot of deadly diseases.

Antibiotics are one of the greatest discoveries in medical science. Vaccination has been a great weapon for us. Once deadly small pox, Diptheria, yellow fever, polio are almost gone from our planet.

The number of different organs that can be replaced in the human body is extraordinary.

Latest development is the stem cell therapy. Scientists believe that stem cell therapy can change the face of human diseases and alleviate suffering.

Take a pause and think again, instead of all this, are we healthier today? Are we living longer?

You know the answer is a big no.

So what is wrong with us? Is there any loophole in our healthcare industry?

But our medical science research upon things and then they prove facts.

How can there be any loophole?

Remember medical science is just like that younger family member who knows he/she is right (the example given at the beginning of the article) but there is an entire industry, who are the majority in number dictates everything in healthcare industry.

Why does this medical industry most often take decisions which are not aligned with a healthy life?

Because they want to make money. It’s a huge business for them. And it’s called fear business (or a business out of ignorant/innocent people).

Think about it, what does a business person want?

More customers, more revenue right. If people are not falling sick, if people are feeling great about their bodies then who will go to them.

Mind it, when I am mentioning medical industry, I am not talking about medical science. Science gives us facts upon extensive research, investigation for a prolonged time. So chances are high that science won’t misinform us or even if they do sometimes, they correct themselves in the future.

But how many of us really aware of the latest findings of medical research?

Very few, unless you are very enthusiastic, fitness freak or studying in such a specialization. Whenever we face any problem regarding our health, we consult a doctor with the hope that he is the expert in his domain and knows the solution.

But alas! in todays time even some doctors are ignorant about latest medical science and many of them utilize their patients as an instrument to earn money. Many of the doctors represent the ruthless dacoits of earlier times.

There are thousands of stories about how doctors cheat with their patients. They have collaboration with pharmaceutical industries and pathology labs. So they ask their patients to go through hundreds of tests and recommend them to take a variety of medicine even if they don’t need. Most of the hospitals are just merciless butchers.

There is a term called ‘Disease Mongering’ which means the practice of extensive tests and treatments done by your doctor to make you feel sick. It’s a practice to make money out of healthy people. Whoever has visited today’s super speciality hospitals must have experienced this.

Cartoon describing ‘Disease Mongering’

In 2011, there was an article published in ‘News Week’ named ‘One word that will save your life‘. If you are serioos about your health then please read this article once.

This article talks about new research which shows how extensive medical tests and treatments in hospitals do more harm to our body than good.

So, what is the way out for us who are not so aware of what new medical science is suggesting?

How can we protect us from these ruthless dacoits or merciless butchers?

Suppose there is an aquarium in your home with healthy fishes dancing and moving from one side to another. But with the passage of time, the water in the aquarium gets contaminated and the fishes start falling sick.

Now, what will you do?

You have two options-

  1. Either you take out the fishes, treat them and put them back in the contaminated aquarium.

2. Or you replace the contaminated water with fresh water.

In todays hospitals you can expect the first option to be applied. But if you are smart you will choose the 2nd option. To get rid of a disease you have to remove its root, not its symptoms.

When you say ‘I want to cure this disease’, you should heal your body through the fuels you are putting in your body. Medicines are meant to use only in emergency situations when you need some relief. You should not think of medicines as permanent solutions.

How many times you have seen any animal falling sick?

Very rare right. Does their biochemistry inside the body is better than us?

I don’t think so. They don’t disturb their bodies chemistry by putting any foreign element.

“Nature has created us, so the power to heal us is within nature itself”

Enough of discussion. What’s the solution/conclusion?

How healthy is our body depends on two things.

  1. What we eat
  2. What we think

Your life will change when you start eating foods that are aligned with nature’s choice.

Before that, what to avoid completely? Below is a summarised list. I am not going into details as these are established facts and you can research about all of them separately.

1. Refined Sugar:

It’s equivalent to poison. It does almost nothing good for our body and responsible for most of the diseases.

2. Caffeine:

You are thinking, it gives us instant energy, refreshness. It’s too acidic in nature and not good for our body. Even if you want to, maybe once per day is probably ok.

3. Table Salt:

A small amount of salt is required for maintenance of good health but that need is fulfilled from vegetables. You don’t need extra table salt to fulfill that.

Moreover, when taken in little excess it is responsible for a plethora of diseases.

4. Fried Food:

The frying and prolonged heating of foods lead to the formation of free radicals. We know how damaging these free radicals can be. Especially avoid those deep fried foods.

Avoid eating micro-waved foods. Microwave exposure causes a significant decrease in nutritive value.

5. Fast Foods:

Oh, man! these are equivalent to garbages. If you care about your health even a little bit, stay away from these garbages. All shit things like mono sodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (artificial sweetner) are found in so called fast foods.

Now there are few things which we are used to eat maybe from our childhood but in reality, they are not as good as we used to think. Some of them are like-

6. Refined Cereal:

White flour and polished rice are the two most widely used refined cereals in our day to day food. The outer husk is removed from wheat and rice while during refining. The outer husk is the major source of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Your body has to work much harder while absorbing such refined cereals. Gluten present in them also causes problems in many people. Avoiding them completely would be impractical for most people, but surely we can reduce their intake.

7. Milk:

I know this one surprised you. This one surprised me too. To be honest there is no direct evidence that milk harms our body.

Well, this a debateable thing at the moment but many experts believe that milk is required during infancy (talking about cow or buffalo’s milk) when the infant is not able to take any other solid or liquid food, but milk is not meant for lifelong use.

No animals except human beings continue to drink milk lifetime.

With age the enzymes which help in the digestion of milk become inactive in some people, as a result some component of milk get glued to various parts of the digestive system, resulting in overall blockage of the system and prevents the absorption of nutrients in the body. And don’t worry, even if you don’t drink milk, you will not become calcium deficient.

Still, I am arguing about whether you should drink milk or not. You observe your own body, research by yourself and find out what’s best for you.

You might be thinking about what to eat then?

First of all, don’t believe in any particular type of diet. Our biochemistry is so complex that it is impossible to micro manage it. Therefore, we should return to the pattern of eating to which our bodies have been adapted over millions of years.

I found an excellent chart describing how much and what should we consume daily. Hope you will find it useful.

Lifestyle Diet Chart

Our body is the best manager of its biochemistry. Don’t interfere by putting unnecessary toxic things into the body.

Our thoughts are another important factor for good health which we often ignore. Every thought you have have a powerful impact on the cells of your body.

Positive high vibrational thoughts can purge your body diseases and negative stressful thoughts can confer your body a series of diseases. Your frequency determines your life.

Just remember

“Hospitals are not about health, but they are all about diseases.”

Your health is your true wealth. Take care of it.

Have a healthy week. Until next time.



  1. Heal without pill by Biswaroop Roy Choudhury
  2. Is Milk Really Healthy for You?
  3. Disease Mongering

Health and Fitness Personal Growth Relationships Social

How to Live A Worthwhile Year

Another year is going to end. In fact, this time a decade has come to its end.

And like every time, most people at this point of time are busy retrospecting their life. How was their 2019, what went wrong, what went good, what new experiences this year brought to them? Whether this year is a good one or not so good one.

This is the time when most people are busy making their new year resolutions.

But how one decides whether the year passed is a good or not so good one?

Well, different people have different ways to measure their passed year as well as their progress. For some people growth of their professional career matters most while reviewing their year. For some, growth of their relationship or health matters most. It depends on the individual.

From my experience, what I have observed over the years is that people look at their passing years (or their overall life) in chunks, not as a whole.

For people in their 20s, maybe career matters most, for people in the 30s maybe relationships, in 40s health becomes very important suddenly (as it starts deteriorating), and in their 50s and after that people talk about spiritual growth.

This is how society teaches us to see our lives, in chunks. This is exactly like a person has been blindfolded and asked to identify an elephant. Obviously. that person will identify the elephant as its tail, trunk, tooths, legs, or by its skin.

Until you open your eyes and get the opportunity to see the elephant, you would not know that the trunk, legs, tail, skin all belong to the same elephant. They are not separate but part of the same elephant. Your situation would be exactly like the image below

Similar is the situation with our lives. Imagine our life as the elephant and your career, relationship, health as different parts, just like different parts of the elephant.

You can have a better perspective of life when you see it as a whole, not as chunks.

In the beginning, I said most people try to make resolutions for the new year. Sounds cool right but believe it or not, only 8% or less than that fulfill their resolutions.

And everyone has their own reasons why they couldn’t make it. And it’s human nature. We want to feel good about ourselves, we want to motivate ourselves. So as the year ends, we try to motivate ourselves by making new resolutions.

Psychology professor Peter Hermann call this ‘false hope syndrome’, which he said

“Their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves”

And this is a vicious cycle for a lot of people. Before every year beginning they thought they will do this and that, and the year passes by without fulfilling most of those. And then again repeat the whole process. As if, whole life is just pass unconsciously.

‘Ok enough, what about you? How do you review your year or your life?’ you must be thinking.

What I am going to share with you is my personal opinion and way of looking (And love this concept so much that one day I would like to write an entire book in this). You may not find it reasonable or suitable. In that case, you keep looking for your way what suits you.

As I said earlier, My way of looking the past years is not in chunks but as a whole.

I correlate it with the string theory of physics. String theory says there are 10 different dimensions of our universe. But because we live in a three-dimensional world, we have very limited ideas about our universe. (in fact, it talks about the possibility of the multiverse).

If somehow we can access other dimensions of the universe, we can uncover a lot of mysteries of the universe. You can read more about this here.

Likewise, our life also consists of different dimensions. When we can see and measure all those, we are in a better position to live a blissful life.

Mainly, I see life divided into five different dimensions.

1. Physical dimension

This implies the significance of your health, about your physical fitness. We all are aware of it and heard a hundred times from various sources. But believe me, you probably haven’t experienced that feeling, when you are so lightweight and high in energy the whole day. If you have experienced then you know what I am talking about.

And it requires immense commitment from you. You have to watch out what are feeding to your body, your workout regimes, and many other things.

Carol Alt said-

Carol Alt quote on food

2. Emotional dimension

This is where you take of your emotional health. How aware are you about it? Are you getting better at relationships?

In today’s world understanding human psychology is the biggest asset. Brian Tracy said

“Your network is your net worth”

It’s the people who lift us and make us successful in the long run. Are you taking care of your relationships?

In today’s era, people look for the love of their life and once they find them, they complain ‘But the magic is just lost, there is no spark left between us’. Often we try to feel others cup without even filling our own empty cup.

Are you falling in that trap? Remember ‘being in love’ and ‘falling in love’ is not the same.

Quote on Love

3. Financial dimension

No need to introduce this. Perhaps, all our life we stress most about this one. And of course, it matters a lot. With a steady financial condition, we have more freedom about the way we want to spend our time. We can travel more, experience more and buy some of those fancy stuff (although they never make us content).

Most importantly, proper financial knowledge is of utmost importance. Everybody taught us about the importance of money but rarely anyone talks about how to earn money and then spend it wisely.

Voltaire, a French philosopher once said

4. Intellectual dimension

How do we define intellect?

You must have some perception. Cambridge English dictionary described it as ‘the ability to think and understand in an intelligent way.’

Intellect is the ability to learn and understand things. It is your craving for knowledge.

And you know what is most interesting, intellect is not something fixed people born with. You can increase your intellect and become more intellectual.

Intelligence and growth are almost synonyms. If you are not growing that means your intelligence is fixed.

How do you increase your intellect?

Have a yearning for growth, read great books, talk with intelligent people of different backgrounds, watch videos of people you adore or respect. Most importantly, don’t stop growing. keep evolving.

Quote on intelligence

5. Spiritual dimension

A lot of people often say youth is the time to enjoy, to set your life, not to become spiritual. I know when you heard the word spiritual, you imagine a monk meditating in the Himalayas.

But that’s not all. Spirituality is not just leaving everything aside and becoming a monk (although you can do that). Just becoming more mindful at every moment is one step towards spirituality. A mindful person is also a spiritual person.

Humans are the only creature who has this option to become self-aware about themselves. Between a stimulus and its response, only humans have the capability to pause and become self-aware. The more self-aware you become about yourself, about your existence, the more spiritual you will be.

Quote on self awareness

Dimension 1 talks about your body, 2 and 4 about nourishing your mind, 5 about your soul, and 3 talks about enjoying your life by having a solid financial knowledge.

How do I review my year?

I look into each of the aforementioned dimensions. How did I treat my body this year, is it getting better, am I feeling more energetic?

Likewise, I reflect on my relationships, the kind of people I met this year, new connections I made, the kind of book I read and what new things I learned from those.

If I feel I have improved in all these dimensions this year, then my year has passed well, if not then it’s not a good year for me.

I am in a better frame of mind when I treat my life like this. It’s just like the above examples, when you open your blindfold you can see the whole elephant or when you have access to different dimensions, you get to know more about the universe.

And frankly, if you are very serious about making 2020 a productive year, then stress less upon making new resolutions and more on developing better habits.

Habits will take you where you want to go. Resolutions are like the trophy we want to win, and habits are like the skillsets required to win the match and get the trophy.

Focus on your habits, you will surely win the trophy.

If you want to read something more on habits, how to break the bad ones and make good ones then I recommend you to read the following two books which I found very useful

A very happy and prosperous new year.

May all your new year resolutions come true.

See you in the next year.


Personal Growth Science

The Art of Becoming A Buoyant Learner

Do you know what ‘polymath’ means?

Polymath, Renaissance man, multipotentialite these all have the same meaning. The above picture depicts the meaning perfectly.

It means a person having the expertise or skilled at multiple things.

Take Leonardo Da Vinci for example or Benjamin Franklin or Richard Feynmann. In fact, most people who left their impact in this world were all polymaths.

There is a famous quote which says-

“Jack of all trades, master of none”

You must have heard about this or at least definitely experienced it at some point in your life.

Remember the times when everyone including our family, friends, relatives tells us to specialize in one particular thing and abandon everything that has no link with that specialized goal.

But guess what, most successful people lived in the earth were polymaths. They had multiple interests and often one interest has nothing to do with the other one.

From a very early age, our mind has been programmed in such a way that we born to excel in only one specified area. We can’t be good at multiple things.

And then we read about people like Leonardo Da Vinci and others like him, and think ‘Oh come on! they were genius people, I can’t be like them’

Really! is that so? Henry Ford has a beautiful reply to that

“Whether you think you can or cannot

Either way you are correct”

‘What your mind can believe, it can conceive‘ as Napoleon Hill said in his ‘Think and Grow Rich’ book.

And then even if you believe that you can become a polymath, but then you would ask How would I learn so many things? How can I become good at multiple things in this short span of lifetime?

The most important question should be

How should I approach learning to learn better and faster?

This is one question which most of us never ask ourselves. Maybe we are not programmed to ask so. We think it’s an inherent natural ability that can’t be improved.

And one might think ‘why should I even bother about becoming multipotentialite’?

Fair enough. Not everyone is interested in learning multiple things. If someone wants to dig deeper only in one specified subject, that’s also great. We all have our own choices.

But skilled at many things doesn’t mean you have to monetize all those skills. A lot of times people learn something just to quench his curiosity or to have fun.

You look at the lives of great scientists, artists, writers, most of them had/have multiple hobbies which people don’t even know. But somehow these hobbies helped them to focus better on their main job. Today, scientific research also supporting such claims. I have written an article about this before.

Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, you probably have heard about all of them. They were great scientists, everyone knows them. But do you know they were also skilled musicians? Einstein used to play the piano. He was really good at playing the piano. He said once-

Life without playing music is inconceivable for me.”

Music helped Einstein in this thought process and helped convert the images to logic. Similarly, Heisenberg and Max Planck were also expert musicians. In fact, there is a beautiful article named ‘Symphony of Science’ on the Nobel prize website. You should read it sometime.

Anyway, coming back to the question ‘how should I approach learning?

I captured a beautiful (as well as meaningful) image from the book ‘The Intelligence Trap’

From the book ‘The Intelligence Trap’

If you just understand this curve properly, learning something (you like) will become easier and more fun.

So what does this learning curve conveys?

Psychologists have described four distinct stages of learning and they are as follows

1. Unconscious Incompetence

This is the very first stage before even learning something new. At this stage, most of the ignorant, overconfident people lie. Here people don’t even know what they don’t know (wow!).

You must have encountered such people who behave like they have all the knowledge of the world and they need to learn anything new. Basically, their mind is full of ignorance and it has no place to fill with any sort of new knowledge which ultimately leads to overconfidence. Therefore, you are incompetent as well as unconscious about it.

2. Conscious Incompetence

At this stage, people realize that they lack at certain skills and they need to work towards it. This is the beginning stage of learning anything new.

Until you don’t realize you don’t know something how can you even start learning? You have to empty your mind first to fill it. Here still are incompetent but you are at least conscious of that.

3. Conscious Competence

Now you are ready to put effort for learning. You start to look for the most efficient ways to learn.

Here I would suggest you to use the Feynman technique to learn anything new. This one I really found a great approach for learning anything.

What is the ‘Feynman Technique’ to learn?

This technique was named after the famous scientist Richard Feynman. In addition to being a great scientist, he was a fascinating teacher. In fact, one of his nicknames was ‘The Great Explainer’ because he was able to boil down incredibly complex concepts and put them in simple language.

It’s a simple four-step process-

  1. Take a piece of paper and write the name of the skill/concept you want to learn.
  2. Explain the concept to yourself and write it down (whatever comes to your mind). Draw diagrams, charts or whatever you find convenient to learn easily. This is like making your own notes.
  3. Introspect about your understanding of the subject. Identify the areas, which you haven’t understood properly and review them.
  4. The important part of this technique is to challenge yourself to make understand your learning to someone who is not an expert on that. Think about how can you explain your understanding to a child. Initially, you might think how is that possible to explain complex concepts to a child but with practice you can.

Take Einstein for example. You would agree with me that understanding the concept ‘Theory of Relativity’ is not an easy one.

But Einstein gave an amazing analogy to explain it simply. He said-

“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”

Now it’s easy to understand relativity right. So anything you learn, think about how can you explain it to others simply.

“A great explainer is a great learner”

I found a great video of Josh Kaufmann on learning anything new faster (in just 20 hours). You can see the video below-

4. Unconscious Competence

In the earlier stage (Conscious competence) you have to put effort, you have to think, make decisions to learn. In other words, you are aware of what you are doing. You are consciously doing everything.

But at this stage, after a lot of practice and training, you become skilled and now things happen effortlessly. You are unaware of the fact that you are even putting any effort.

You must have experienced this. Think about those times when you were reading an amazing book and you were so engrossed in the book that you were unaware of your surroundings. You felt like time just flew

. Or you were playing any musical instrument and you were so lost that fingers were coming automatically on the strings, you didn’t have to consciously put your fingers on the strings.

There are many instances like that you encounter frequently. This is known as ‘Flow State’, a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It’s a blissful state and to live a fulfilled life all of us should strive to experience more of such Flow state in all the areas of our life.

But there is a danger at this stage. Now that you know you are skilled at something, there is a great danger that you become overconfident and no longer want to consciously put any effort to improve. Your growth, learning might hit stagnancy. You will find many examples like that.

There is a famous quote by Bertrand Russell that says-

Becoming dead sure about everything is the danger at this stage. Do not fall in this ‘expert bias’ trap as described by David Robson in his book ‘The Intelligence Trap’.

5. Reflective Competence

If you can reach up to this stage of learning, you will achieve mastery over the subject you want to learn. Here, you are aware of your feelings, intuitions, and identify biases before they cause any harm. You reflect over your learnings and learn from your previous mistakes. You are aware of your shortcomings.

This reminds me of what Lao Tzu said-

This stage of learning is exactly the reflection of this quote.

See, I don’t believe that we are born to excel only in one particular thing. The biggest boon to born as a human is that our lives are not predetermined, unlike animals. We have the choice to explore our life as much as possible.

There are so many things to learn, to get excited about. Sometimes we just take it for granted that we are born on this beautiful planet as humans and we have the choice to learn so many things.

Explore your life as much as possible. That’s the best piece of advice from my side. As long as you are alive LIVE YOUR LIFE TO ITS FULLEST.

Every time I become hopeless, I remember the following quote and become excited again.

Death Quote

Have a learning week. Until next time.



  1. ‘The Intelligence Trap’ by David Robson
  2. Symphony of Science

Haruki Murakami: The Story of a Maverick Writer

There are always some people, whom either you adore a lot or you hate them.

There is no in-between. You can’t say he or she is an average person. The average word just doesn’t suit. I always admire such people for their exclusitivity. Whether they are really good or worse but the thing about them is they are original.

They don’t try to copy others, some might not like them but they never try to quench other’s satisfaction by losing their originality.

In the last 3-4 years, I have read different genre of books written by various authors. And I just love some of the writers. I am in awe of them.

Even in this amazing world of books, just like people in real life, there are some writers about whom people have mixed opinions. But there are some exceptional writers whom people either obsessively love or they hate him (because they can’t make any sense of their work).

Haruki Murakami is one such exceptional author. I have seen people who don’t like his works at all. And some people who just adore his works.

Where am I standing?

Well, I have read just 3 of his books and although there are many to be read, I am definitely in the category who just loves his books.

His books are not based on any fairy tale story neither any extraordinary people’s story and yet they transcend you to a different world. The stories are so relatable that for some moment you might forget you are reading fiction.

He will take you to the journey of a familiar yet adventurous world and then pull you down to the real life, make you grounded. It’s exactly a rollercoaster. In fact, he beautifully said in one of his books-

“Whatever you are seeking won’t come in the form you are expecting”

Every time I read his writings, it feels like I am diving deeper into the depth of my soul. He makes me feel more of a human being. He shows magic through his writings and he admitted so when he said-

“In part, the work of a novelist is similar to being an illusionist.”

Haruki Murakami

What surprised me most is his way of writing stories. He never plans his books. Just like a reader he doesn’t know the end when he starts writing a book. If there is a murder in the story, he doesn’t know the murderer until he finishes the story.

His writing is free flowing not mechanically planned. I believe that’s what helps him create such alluring works. I think-

“You can design creativity but you cannot plan creativity”

His story about how he became a writer is even more fascinating.

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949. Later he moved to Kobe and then to Tokyo, where he attended Waseda University to study drama. There he met his wife Yoko.

Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened a coffee house and jazz bar in Tokyo, which he ran along with his wife Yoko. Murakami got married just at the age of 23.

In 1978 Murakami was in the bleachers of Jingu Stadium watching a baseball game. When Dave Hilton, an American came to bat.

According to an oft-repeated story, in the instant that he hit a double, Murakami suddenly realized that he could write a novel. He went home and began writing that night. Before that, he didn’t write anything.  He described the feeling a like a “warm sensation” he could still feel in his heart

Wow! It sounds like a fairy tale right. But it’s true. Inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime.

He published his first noble ‘Hear The Wind Sing’ in 1980 at the age of 31 and won the best fiction written by a new writer.

Murakami’s initial success with Hear the Wind Sing encouraged him to continue writing. Later he wrote ‘Pinball’, ‘A wild Sheep’ etc.

His fame escalated widely after he wrote ‘Norwegian Wood‘ in 1987. This spreads his work worldwide. Later a movie was also made on this book by the same name in 2012.

Some of his best books include The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Sputnik Sweetheart, Kafka on the Shore, 1Q84, etc.

Writing about Haruki Murakami is a really challenging job. He is notorious for shying away from the media and he rarely does any interviews. You won’t get any information about him on the internet.

He lives in his own beautiful world. It’s very understandable why he does so. You need to be away from all kinds of distractions to create what he creates.

Another interesting fact about him is his passion for running. To date, he has run more than 30 marathons.

In fact, he has written an entire book on this named What I talk When I Talk about Running.

Murakami is turned 70 years old. Even at this age he always wakes up at around 4 a.m, writes for 3-4 hours, then go for a long run. His evenings are quiet usually.

Exercise is crucial for Murakami. He started writing is like endurance sports. You need an extremely focused and resilient mind for a long time. He said once-

” When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long—six months to a year—requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity. “

–in a 2004 interview with John Wray for The Paris Review

In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running he said-

” After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed for a writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years. You can compare it to breathing. “

All of Murakami’s admirers agree with me on the fact that all his works are so close to life. It’s his amazing ability to voyage his readers through his books to a roller coaster journey. And after each journey, the reader feels like living another life. A life filled with adventurous, failures, successes, and a lot of beautiful memories.

His books bring the readers closer to life by unveiling life’s layers.

In a prize ceremony, he said-

” I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm, to keep a light trained on The System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I fully believe it is the novelist’s job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories—stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness. “

If you are someone who likes to read books and haven’t yet read Haruki Murakami’s books, then you should try out his books. Either you won’t like them or you will fall in love with them madly.

Haruki Murakami has been awarded with many awards, recognitions throughout the world. In 2018, when he was nominated for an alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature, he withdrew his name by saying that he wanted to concentrate on his writings. Obviously he is not interested in awards, all he wants is to create mesmerizing stories that move people.

But as an admirer of Murakami, I definitely want the Nobel prize to be given to Haruki Murakami. Hopefully, he will get it soon.

I remember some beautiful lines about struggles in life from his book Kafka on the Shore

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

I love his books and who knows you might too. Give them a try.

Thank you Haruki Murakami for writing such spellbinding stories.

Have a meaningful week. Until next time.



  1. Life beyond numbers
  2. Writing advice frm Haruki Murakami
  3. Murakami
  4. Wikipedia

Personal Growth

Why Reading is Essential for Unleashing Your Potential?

Have you ever wondered why we need to read books in our childhood and then write in the examinations to get a grade or whatever?

Why reading and writing is the preferable medium for gaining knowledge?

Why can’t it be just watching videos and then answer everything orally during exams?

For most people, watching videos is much more fun than reading books. And it’s obvious as reading takes a huge amount of your mental energy while watching videos doesn’t.

But honestly, I am not writing this article to convince you to accept that one is better than the other. I will share some of my own experiences and recent scientific studies regarding reading and watching.

I mean, whether you read more and watch less or vice versa, it proves nothing. If you read more it doesn’t make your intellect sharp. Similarly, if you watch ore videos or television, it doesn’t make you a complete dumb.

Ultimately it’s your mindset which determines everything. If you read trashy books or watch worse videos, you will be dull. On the contrary, if you read great books or watch good videos, you will be benefitted.

But even then a question often comes to my mind. OK, both are great ways to gain knowledge or to have some entertainment, but which one is superior and why?

One of my friends used to ask me, ‘hey, do you think I.Q of people are decreasing as every generation is passing?

And I said to him ‘why do you think so?’

He used to say ‘we have heard about a lot of great scientists, philosophers, artists in the earlier times (before 21st century), but today numbers have decreased drastically. Why do we no longer have more of such intellectual people? Are we becoming dumb day by day?’

Although he was somehow correct, I didn’t have any proper answer for his queries.

Today I see many people around me who spend night after night watching movies or television or web series on the internet. But most of them rarely have read any book after their college/university. Once they got the degrees from academic institutions, their journey with books finished there.

According to a survey, more than 24% of Americans haven’t touched a single book last year. And if you talk about regular reading than more than than 90% of Americans don’t read regularly. On the other hand, most of them spend 3-5 hours watching T.V regularly.

There is no such survey in India. But I am sure the situation is even worse here.

As I said, I am not trying to judge anybody whether they read more or watch more. But I definitely want to share some interesting studies.

In 2013, a study was performed at Tohoku University in Japan. A team of researchers examined the effects of watching televisions on the brains of 276 children and its long term effects.

It was found that the more TV the kids watched, parts of their brain associated with higher arousal and aggression levels became thicker. The frontal lobe also thickened, which is known to lower verbal reasoning ability. It affected the intellectual abilities of the children later in life. Below a screenshot is taken from the research paper-

These negative effects in the brain happened regardless of the child’s age, gender, and economic background.

In the same year, another study showed the effect of reading on our brain. Gregory Burns and his colleagues at Emory University wanted to see the before and after effects of reading based on fMRI readings.

After reading, people had increased connectivity in parts of the brain that were related to language. There was also increased activity in the sensory motor region of the brain, suggesting that readers experienced similar sensations to the characters in the book.

Researchers also found long term of effects of reading. Reading keeps your mind alert and delays cognitive decline in elders. Research even found that Alzheimer’s is 2.5 times less likely to appear in elderly people who read regularly, while TV was presented as a risk factor.

In short, reading not only slow down the aging of the brain but also protect it from many brain diseases.

Brain on reading
A habit of reading protects brain

But one might think ‘I don’t like to read, what can I do?’

Sometimes, I really find it surprising. To keep your body fit and prevent diseases, you do some sort of physical activity right. You might not like to go to the gym regularly, maybe a few times a week you go. If you don’t like the gym, you go out and run. And if you don’t run, at least you walk.

Anyhow you move your body because you know it’s importance. But don’t you think your brain deserves the same or even more attention. Ultimately your brain controls your body.

Reading perhaps is the best exercise for the body. If you don’t like to read those fat novels, that’s ok. Read something related to your interest. Maybe related to science, history, productivity, economy, money, personal growth, psychology, science fiction, etc.

There are books written on every topic that you can think of. Choose some of them. I don’t believe that you don’t find reading interesting. Maybe you haven’t just found the right kind of books for you.

What separates us from other creatures on this earth?

It’s our brain. Specifically the neocortex part present in our brain. This allows us to think and imagine things that no other creature can do.

Imagination is a superpower given to us. You cannot create anything new if you don’t imagine first. That’s how we have reached to a digital age from the stone age.

Albert Einstein said- imagination is more important than knowledge.

Einstein on imagination
Einstein on imagination

Had Einstein never imagined about curved space-time, we would have never known how exactly gravity works.

How do you feel if something badly affects your imaginative power?

You don’t want to lose the superpower for sure. But knowingly or unknowingly, watching more television, videos, etc. doing exactly the same thing.

A TV show or movie provides the full visual image for us and eliminates any background information or musings by the characters.  We turn off our imagination and receive the story as imagined by the director. Basically, we see the imagination of someone else’s not ours. Sometimes it’s ok but frequently it affects us badly.

Whereas, When you read (or just listen) you have to create a vision of everything in our mind.  We use our imagination to craft the world and events described in the book.  This exercise stimulates many functions of the brain.

When you read, you are free to imagine anything. If a character in a book is written as ‘ a tall man with brown mustache’, you can imagine that character the way you like. Everyone will imagine the same character differently. You are free to create your own world.

I have really experienced whatever is written above. ’13 Reasons Why’ is a very famous web series on Netflix. It’s based on a book ’13 Reasons Why’ written by Jay Asher.

I have read the book and have watched the whole series on Netflix. Although sometimes reading the book might seem little boring but if you continue reading, eventually you will find it more engaging and joyful.

Not just that, studies have shown that reading has tons of other benefits. It can reduce stress, make you more empathetic, develop focus and concentration.

Now, I am not telling to abandon watching videos completely. That wouldn’t be a smart thing to do. Videos allow us learn something quickly.

The human brain likes to visualize things and videos are the visualizations ready for you. Watch videos for introductions to difficult topics, especially something unfamiliar. When it would take a lot of time to understand the topic, videos are really useful.

As I have said, ultimately it’s our mindset which determines the effect of everything, be it watching videos or reading books. Be very choosy while watching videos.

Don’t just watch anything mindlessly Ask yourself first, is this video going to be useful by any means? Watch good content.

If you have to watch TV, watch channels which provide useful information like Nat Geo, Discovery, History Channel, Travel XP, etc.

Similarly, read well written books, not just any book. Even if you read an article on the internet, read only articles with sound content.

Don’t ignore your brain and just workout for your body. If you love watching videos or movies, that’s ok but don’t exclude books from your life. Keep a balanced approach towards both reading and watching.

I remember a great line from one of my favorite books ‘Flow’ by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

“Many people give up on learning after they leave school/college because thirteen or twenty years of extrinsically motivated education is still a source of unpleasant memories.

But a person who forgoes the use of symbolic skills (reading, writing) is never really free. His thinking will be directed by the opinions of his neighbors, by the editorials in the papers, and by the appeals of television.”

From the book ‘Flow’

No wonder, the most successful or impactful people in the world like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Ratan Tata, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg etc. have made reading a ritual in their life.

If you want to give reading a try and thinking where to start, I am posting some of my favorite books below. I have a page in the website named ‘Books’. You can visit the page if you want to know a few details about the books.

Keep learning. Keep growing.

Have a meaningful week. Until next time.



  1. Jumpstart Your Dream Life
  2. Why to Read
  3. Study performed at Tohoku University in Japan
  4. Study at Emory University
  5. Reading lowers stress
  6. Reading Changes the brain