What is experience?

Our mind can accommodate the entire universe. That is why, there are skies upon skies available for our flight. Don’t be content easily. Those who remain content easily remain insignificant. Their joys, ecstasies and silences become insignificant.

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How to deal with problems positively

Problems are part of our life. They teach us lessons and make us a strong person every time we stumble upon them. If we did not have any problem in life, I don’t think the human civilization could have evolved into such a glory today. When you find yourself entangled in problems, it is not the end of everything. A problem is just a bend in the life’s journey and you can easily maneuver around it if you know how and when to turn. When we don’t find a way out of the situation we are in, we feel we are the most miserable people in this entire world. But if we all are to take out our troubles and keep them on the table to be exchanged with that of others, I am sure that after a brief silence, everybody would choose to take back his or her own troubles. We would be able to appreciate what we have only when we compare ourselves with those who are more miserable than us. In fact, we all have adequate resources within us that can help us maneuver out of any difficult situation, but the problem is that we don’t easily recognize those assets in us. Life is beautiful only if you know how to decorate it with the colors you have in your heart. If you can see both sides of a coin, you can definitely find your way out when you get stuck. But if you focus only on one side of the coin, you cannot have a bird’s eye-view of the situation around you.

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The key messages to the youth of Bhutan from the fifth YouTurn Talk

Photo of Youth Center staff with Lama Shenphen after the inspirational talk

During the fifth YouTurn event held at DYS Auditorium in Thimphu on the evening of Friday, 31st March 2017, Lama Shenphen Zangpo made his message to the youth of Bhutan loud and clear. Speaking from the Buddhist’s perspective, he said that a peaceful mind is the most important factor that can promise a happy and content life. If your mind is not in peace, you will never be happy even if you are the richest person in this world. So whether you are happy or not mainly depends on your inner peace and self-contentment. As Buddhists, we don’t have to try to become good human beings because we are born with natural goodness or the Buddha Nature. The only thing we should do is to cleanse ourselves from the negative qualities such as desires, ignorance, jealousy, greed, and ego and anger which chain us to endless suffering and pain every day. We should never let those factors obscure our mind and block our path to enlightenment. Another major source of unhappiness is that we focus too much on what we don’t have and often forget to focus on what we have. It is important to be content with what we have because too much expectations would always bring disappointments and frustrations. If we learn to appreciate what we already have, we can have a happier life than the rest of the people. In a nutshell, the following were some of the key messages he conveyed to the youth of Bhutan.

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The power of a positive mind

When obstacles appear on our way, we feel we are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Our mind shuts down and our dreams and aspirations go blank. It is at this point of time that we should reflect on our inner strengths and make sure that what we cannot do does not interfere with what we can do. Whenever we find ourselves caught in the midst of problems, we should never forget the fact that we are given this life just because we are strong enough to live it. The real beauty of life lies in how positively we take it. Life is never a bed of roses. We all have our own share of problems to deal with. But in the middle of difficulties lie opportunities. We must never get discouraged by a few failures in life. The real success lies in being able to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. People say that today’s failure helps us develop strengths needed for a better tomorrow. So if we know how to live with a positive mind, we have no reason why we should be discouraged by our failures from pushing our way forward. It is said that indeed the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. We in fact have all the resources within us that can help us cut our way through all kinds of problems and difficult situations. But we often fail to recognize those strengths within us and miss the opportunity to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Lessons that can be taken from Passu’s life

Photo of two speakers for YouTurn: Passang Tshering and Dasho Sangay Khandu with Sherig Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk in DYS auditorium. Photo taken on 30th September 2016

During the launch of YouTurn, the monthly inspirational talk for youth initiated by my office on 30th September 2016, Mr. Passang Tshering who blogs at Passu Diary shared some of the most important and interesting episodes of his ordinary life that had the potential to motivate and inspire young people to look at life positively. With his good oratorical skills and a good sense of humor, he could easily connect himself with the lives and experiences of young people and hence, everybody in the audience enjoyed his talk. His stories really carried lots of values and lessons the youth could take home. There were over 160 youth in attendance and all of them appeared to have enjoyed his stories. Following are some of the most significant lessons I could pick up from his life stories for the benefit of young people:

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Five inspirational stories that might help you start your day with a positive mind

Life becomes so dull at times that we often need external inspiration and motivation to push it forward. I believe that positive energy is something that can be transferred from one person to another but we should know exactly how to tap it. Whenever we feel low and desperate, all we need is someone who can give extra thrust to our life through their experiences and stories. The real beauty of life lies deep within the layers of problems that engulf us and to get to the core to conquer this precious jewel, we often need some external forces to push us from behind. At the end of the day, a positive mind is what matters the most. The following five inspirational stories may help you change the way you look at life.

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A humble man with big dreams

Photo of Mr. Tashi Namgay, the Founder and Executive Director of Bhutan Kidney Foundation. Image source: his Facebook profile.

Having gone through several ordeals in life, Tashi Namgay has finally earned a smile on his face that can melt the hearts of many. He is a man who has found the extraordinary courage within himself to walk the path not so commonly walked by his contemporaries. Today, he is admired by many people for his noble initiatives and contributions to the society, firstly as a social worker and secondly as the Executive Director of Bhutan Kidney Foundation, the non-profit organization he founded in 2012. To me, he is a great source of inspiration especially for young people. He bears testimony to the fact that nothing is impossible if we are truly determined to achieve what we aspire to achieve. This is a story of how determination, hard work and love for humanity can carry a person far into the realm of happiness and contentment.

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Celebrating the end of my two years of blogging journey

As the month of April draws to a close, it’s time for me to look back and celebrate the end of my two years of blogging journey. I started my blog in April 2014 for which I still owe my friend Riku Dhan Subba special gratitude since it was he who always encouraged and motivated me to start blogging as he thought the world deserved to hear my stories and experiences. So finally I gave it a try in April 2014 and looking back from where I am now, I can clearly feel I have become more visible than I was two years ago. It’s amazing to know that many people have come to know me just through my blog and it makes me humble when people say they read my blog regularly and that they draw a lot of inspiration and motivation from my writing. Today, blogging has become an important part of my life because I can’t afford to leave my blog unattended no matter how busy I am with other assignments. I think what started as a passion has now become a kind of social responsibility for me now because I can feel the pressure if I don’t update my blog for a week or so. I feel that only through active blogging, we can engage the readers and followers of our blog meaningfully and that’s what I have been trying to do over the years.

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What youth can learn from their role models?

When youth and children look up to us as their role models, we have the most sacred responsibility to guide them onto the right path not only by telling them what to do, but also by demonstrating what is best in us so that they can observe and learn from us. We have the best opportunity at hand to help them define and re-define the meaning of their life through our own lifestyles so that they can rise up in the right direction with right values. But if the role models fail to demonstrate what is good for their fans or followers, the result can be catastrophic. Just as the simple but unique hairstyle of Ronaldo during the World Cup final in 2002 could change the hairstyle of millions of his young fans around the globe, the role models can definitely influence the thinking and behaviors of those who look up to them as their source of inspiration and motivation. Hence, I feel all those who are respected by youth as their role models must always walk the right path so that those who follow them do not fall down.

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Problems are not always as bad as they are thought to be

Life is like a car. Once you get behind the wheel, it becomes your responsibility to get to your destination no matter how bad may be the condition of the road ahead of you. Challenges are everywhere and sometimes they make you feel that you are more unlucky and miserable than others. But if you look around carefully, you would find that there is nobody in this world who would not have undergone similar experiences you have been through. Problems are part of life and there isn’t anything that can be done to strip them off completely. But as nothing happens without a reason, I think it’s also important to realize that problems are there just because there are solutions. It’s true that every problem has a solution and if you can take time to think and explore it, you can definitely find your way out. People say God has plans for each of us but I am sure they don’t always materialize if we do not strive to implement them. Whenever we are bound in a chain of problems, sitting down and crying won’t break us free. We must always have the courage to pave our path through the wilderness of time as we move forward in life.

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