Remembering Sam Berns and his philosophy on a happy life

Sam Berns’s life was improbable. He was born with progeria, the genetic disorder that results in rapid, premature aging in children. It’s very rare that only about 250 children worldwide have been discovered yet. Doctors predicted that he will live up to 13. But proving them wrong, he died last week at the age of 17.

Sam Berns, at age 17, stands in front of some of his Lego creations. Photo courtesy HBO

Today I found a TED talk that was given by Sam. In brief, it was about his philosophy on a happy life. The way he embraces the life.

Here is the summary of his talk.

1. Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much you CAN do.
2. Surround yourself wuth people you want to be around
3. Keep moving forward

Judging his philosophy is up to you. But I do realize that he lived his life to the fullest by knowing that he would die soon. Even though his life was short as 17 years, I’m sure he enjoyed every bit of it. Having said that we can’t just frame happyness to be look like a defined model. It’s subjective.

You don’t need to be rich to be happy. Just look at Sam if you need any example.

Below is the TEDx talk I mentioned above. R.I.P big man! I learned something valueble from you.


Guy Kawasaki “The Art of the Start” @ TiECon 2006

In brief, he talks about 10 great facts to consider if you are going to start a company. Although he ran out of time, entire speech was entertaining and to the point. This is the most exiting keynote speech I’ve ever watched. Truely natural and authentic.

My new year resolutions for 2014

Year 2013 is gone already. There were great achievements, wins , loses , unfinished businesses and above all, I have wasted a lot of time. I haven’t lived my to the fullest during 2013. Now it’s time to plan ahead and move forward. 

So I came up with my new year resolutions to make things better for this year.

1. Blog more often

I started this blog in 2009. By that time, I was a student. I had plenty of time to read about technical stuff, do some experiments and share them with public. But life got heavier after I got a job. Product releases, targets and ladder climbing  kept life busy all the time. At the start, I intended to keep this blog as my technical journal. But I’ll be posting more life experience lessons in future with high granualarity.

2. Become a morning person.

Studies have proved that early risers are more productive than  night owls. You can find a good infogrphic here. I used to be a morning person in the past. When I was studying I used to get up around 4.30 in the morning. But now I have become a night owl who sits in front of a computer till midnight passes. This might be subjective, but I have felt that staying late night is less productive than rising early. Not only it burns your midnight oil but it spoils precious early hours in the next day. I need to get out from this habbit immediately. So I set a target to get up at 5.00 AM and gain more power to carry out the day.

3. Stay focus on my health.

During last year I have gained too much weight. Last December I exceeded 80kg. Although I’m inside BMI safezone, but I can’t let this continue anymore. I was addicted to Coke and chocolate milk which deposit hell of a lot sugar in my blood. So I’ll be getting rid of them in this year. Among bad stuff, I managed to grow some good health habits from last year.

  • Started to consume fresh milk instead of milk powder (This bit expensive. But I’ll be continuing this in favor of local dairy farmers).
  • Started to consume traditional rice. (Farmers have resurrected several rice species that existed in ancient Sri Lanka. They are far more nutritious than imported rice)
  • Playing Badminton with family members in weekends. 

I’m not fan of Gym. But I thought of getting a Gym membership since my workplace got a sexy gym.  Hardest thing with gym is I’ll have to maintain a controlled diet which will give me negative thoughts about gyms.

4. More involvement in farming

Last year my dad started an organic vegetable garden in our house. He was a retiree and spent lot of time mainting his home garden. Harvest was good enough and it inspired me to start my own home garden. So currently I’m in the process of transforming a bare land into  an organic vegetable farm. I’ll dedicate another post to tell about this effort. 


5. Read more about data science and machine learning.

Number crunching always facinates me. I love to tell stories by looking at numbers. During past few years, Data Science grew restless beyond its limits and I wish to hop into that bandwagon before it’s too late. So I’ll be developing my skills on applied statistics, machine learning and predictive analaytics. Cousera and Udacity will be  more helpful.

6. Improve my reading habbit.

I was an avid read at school. But when I got into IT industry, my reading reading was limited to technical stuff. Mostly I was follwing some technical blogs watching movies all the time. I really need to grow my reading habbit again. But this time I wont be reading only techy stuff, but some books on personal development, investing and some spiritual matters. Reading on my iPad mini gives is more comfortable than reading on paper. Not only this makes my reading list portable, but it enables me to listen to audio books, TED talks and watch videos on Youtube.

I have already picked several books for 2014


7. Good bye consumerism! 

Nothing to say much about this. Simply put, I need to live below means.

Thats a pretty lengthy list. But atleast it has been written in somewhere else. Whenever I feel like I’m taking a detour I can come back here and align my course.

Wish you all a happy and productive 2014!