Nirmal's Blog

Nirmal's Blog

Moments that make you

One of the defining moments in our lives is when we get rejected: for a job that we really wanted, for a position that we really wanted or anything that we strived to get. There could be many reasons for why the rejection happened. However, we need to keep these moments in perspective, not let these moments define us completely, and become stronger.

Mentally strong people use the “rejection” situations as learning experiences. They become self reflective and assess what they could have done better next time. Instead of blaming others or even themselves, they acknowledge that “rejection” is just a part of life. Everyone faces rejection in one way or another. We all respond differently to rejections. Mentally strong people also don’t let the rejection define them entirely. Rejection does not mean someone is a complete failure or a complete loser. They become even more hungry, work towards improving themselves, and focus on what they can control. I personally try to laugh off “rejection” moments as much as I can and strive to get better next time.

Make mistakes

If you are scared that you will make mistakes running a project or organizing an event, you are consumed by fear and discouraged to take action. No project or event runs as perfectly as planned. And by the way, what does “perfect planning” really mean? It’s better to prepare the best that you can and be extremely detail oriented/honest to make improvements next time.

If we don’t make mistakes now, how will we learn, improve or do better next time?

the money lessons

Becoming financially savvy will help any individual manage their personal and professional lives easily. The sooner you start becoming financially aware and responsible, the better prepared you will be for different stages of life.

Teaching kids and teens about good money habits early is key for their long term financial security and personal/professional success. Some things that I learned through an article about money and kids/young adults are:

For kids, money is a lot more visual. The best way to help them understand the concept of saving is to use a jar that lives in a visible place, so they can watch money being put away and spent at a later date.

Use a summer job not only as an opportunity to start the conversation about budgeting and finances but also about the responsibility of earning money and saving it.

Encourage them to ask questions when it comes to money and create a safe environment where they can come to you about it.

Source link: An age-by-age guide to teaching your kids about the value of money

Decision memos

I love this productivity tip.

A Fast Company article cited how former President Barack Obama made decisions when he was in the White House. The article stated how the former president preferred written advice to spoken ones and how “decision memos” get delivered to his desk with three checkboxes at the bottom:

  • agree 
  • disagree 
  • let’s discuss

This simplicity allowed the decision maker to make decisions easily while understanding the context. The decision maker can then spend more time solving the problem than spending time trying to understand the problem.

Nepal’s First and Biggest AI EXPO: AI Expo Nepal 2019

AI Expo Nepal 2019 is a joint initiation by Fusemachines and Artificial Intelligence for Development (AID) aimed to showcase the best AI projects/papers from academia and industry. The expo will be a platform that fosters active collaboration between experts and learners from industry and academia. The goal is to discuss opportunities and challenges in the industry, come up with practical/ethical solutions, and help Nepal’s AI ecosystem to grow.

Event Details: August 24, 2019 at Soaltee Crowne Plaza 

Sign up here for free registration: https://aiexponepal.com


Staying ahead

If you want to stay ahead, you have to constantly challenge yourself. Taking on challenges keeps you hungry, humble, and in a learner state of mind. The hardest part is not just getting to the mountain top but staying there as long as possible.

Do your goals scare you? If they don’t, then it’s time to change your perspective and your goals.

The weight of awards

At a recent award ceremony, one of the pioneers of taking wireless technology to rural parts of Nepal, Mahabir Pun was honored with the Pioneer ICT Award. On stage, he gave a short speech where he made a humble request to the media and people present in the audience to not nominate him for any other awards going forward. He said the weight of the awards keeps him from moving his work forward.

A very interesting perspective. My hats off to him. It takes courage and guts to say that on stage and also makes us aware of the significance of awards to the work we do everyday.

Why go to college?

At a time when technology has enabled most of us in the world to take online courses and workshops from anywhere plus colleges are an expensive investment, we need to reevaluate the importance of physical academic institutions.

For colleges, the questions to answer:

What is the value proposition of a college in a world where online courses and workshops have taken off and students have abundant resources (YouTube, learning platforms etc) to enhance their learning or increase their knowledge/skills?

How does a college justify that huge cost (or investment) for students to attend? What is the return for the students after 4 years of classes, late nights, weekend projects etc?

How can a college coexist with the growth of new and abundant online learning platforms?

For the US colleges that attract a lot of international students, how will they navigate the new landscape where domestic colleges start to offer quality, less expensive, and more industry driven education to its students?

As technology continues to make certain current courses outdated, how frequently will colleges update their course curriculum, keep teachers trained, and stay competitive with other colleges?

For prospective students, the questions to answer:

Why is attending college important?

What value will the college degree have once I graduate or if I want to start a business?

Will I get the expected return on my 4 year investment in a college degree?

If the job that I’m planning to get does not require a degree, how important will that college education will be?

If I am already very self motivated and have big dreams, will college actually be a hindrance to starting my freelancing business or entrepreneurial journey?

Lots of questions and they are more relevant than ever.

The beautiful struggle

Each journey in our personal and professional lives will take us through the highs and the lows. If we only decide to celebrate once we get to the mountain top, then we’re not realizing the beauty in the journey itself. The joy of reaching the mountain top is a feat in itself. To make our lives more happy and meaningful, we should take the good with the bad.

I remember a time when a speaker at an event I attended many years ago said “People are like plants: we need both sun and water to grow.

Take a walk

Walking has so many benefits. Walking can instantly lift your mood—especially when you go outdoors. A recent study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found that walking improved both convergent and divergent thinking, the two types associated with enhanced creativity. In a large meta-analysis of sleep studies, researchers found that regular walkers had longer and better quality sleep. Science says one of the benefits of walking is it’s one of the fastest, most effective ways to calm down.

The above sentences are from the Reader’s Digest website.

the valuable intangibles

Caring for the people as well as the project

Showing up and being present

Giving respect to others’ ideas and thoughts

Learning attitude

Working to make the world a better place

Are you ready?

Well…one is never “completely” ready. Launching a new project, starting a business, or something major in our personal or professional lives, an individual is never completely ready. We can prepare ourselves to be ready as much as possible.

From the outside, the new project or the new venture or the new change in personal or professional life can seem to be smoothly executed. The reality is that most people who start new projects and businesses are anxious, nervous but equally thrilled to venture into the unknown. Circumstances favor those who go through the “challenges” and “problems” and come out on the other side. Being ready is just a state of mind.

The success curtain

Biswas Dhakal, founder of F1Soft and eSewa said in a recent The Kathmandu Post interview that “everyone sees our success, but they don’t know our failures.”

Behind every success story, there are plenty of stories of “brilliant ideas” that never saw the day of light because of timing, execution, lack of funding, among others. It’s easy to fall in love with the success story and hope that we all have our own version of one hit wonders. But that’s rarely the case. Actually I’ve rarely seen an entrepreneur whose idea just took off in the market. It’s always important to understand the backstage preparation and work that took place before the curtain opened.

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AI Expo Nepal 2019

I’m thrilled to be a part of the organizing team for the upcoming AI Expo Nepal 2019 happening on Saturday, August 24 at Soaltee Crowne Plaza. The AI Expo Nepal 2019 is organized by Fusemachines and Artificial Intelligence for Development (AID).

The topic of AI has garnered a lot of interest from academia and industry globally. From movies, books, magazines, to conferences, workshops and talks, we hear of AI being talked about in all these places. Now for the first time ever, we’ll see what is possible in Nepal through AI prototypes that will be on display at the expo.

AI Expo Nepal 2019 will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, display of AI prototypes, networking to name a few. If you are interested in the field of AI, want to see the possible AI implementations in Nepal or want to network with like minded individuals, hope to see you on August 24th at Soaltee Crowne Plaza.

AI Superpowers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order

A couple of my friends are currently reading AI Superpowers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order. By hearing them talk about the book made me want to read it as well. I’m really looking forward to reading this book.

If you have read this book already or are currently reading it, do share your thoughts on the book.

To learn more about AI Superpowers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order, visit https://aisuperpowers.com/

Eisenhower matrix

I found it very useful to put all the activities that needs to be done on a project or a day on the Eisenhower matrix. By having everything up there on the matrix, we’re able to prioritize and work on them efficiently and effectively. There’s a web app of the Eisenhower matrix that I have recently started using – https://app.eisenhower.me/

Eisenhower matrix

Leading with vision

Dr. Sanduk Ruit is an ophthalmologist on a mission to restore sight to Nepal’s blind. He is the executive director of the nonprofit Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal, and has operated on more than 130,000 patients. He has adopted innovative surgical techniques for cataracts and often travels to perform operations, walking up to seven days hauling surgical equipment to reach patients who live in Nepal’s most remote villages. Why does Dr. Ruit do this? He lost family to treatable diseases and knows what it’s like not to have access to healthcare.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVCfYGJV_2s