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Anxiety even after achievement || Acharya Prashant, with IIT Delhi (2022)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Questioner (Q): Hello Sir. I am very happy with my life, I have achieved everything I wanted, even more than that. But you know, many times my anxiety levels go high for unknown reasons. I do meditations, I go on morning walks, and I do everything. But when any late call comes from the home, I feel highly disturbed, thinking something wrong is there. Or wondering what is happening. So, I just want to know what reason could be for it, and what should I do to improve it.

Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, there are things that could actually go wrong in life. There are insecurities, there are threats, and there are a few things that can actually go bust or fail. But the probability of such things happening is minuscule, no? Emergencies don’t happen every day. But we live in the fear of those emergencies every day.

So, on one hand, we cannot just have a blanket statement that all our fears are totally unfounded. No, that’s not true. What we are fearing is actually something that might become the reality one day. For example, our own death, or the loss of a loved one. Irrespective of how it sounds, the fact is that all that we are attached to, and all that we love, are bound to be separated one day.

But that one day is one among several thousand days that we are going to live, no? Several, several thousand days. Why live in fear every day? If something has a certain probability, then the importance that thing deserves must have some proportion to that probability, no? If something has a probability of one in ten thousand or one in a million, then we cannot be extremely unduly worried about it. For example, an air crash. It’s not that planes won’t crash; Irrespective of how advanced we are, and how many redundancies we put in. The fact is – planes do crash. And we know that there exists a probability of, let’s say, one in ten million of a plane crash. But if you are all the time worried while on the flight that your plane is going to crash, then there is a problem.

Now what to do with that problem? That problem is usually there because the mind has nothing better to do than be problemed. If you are on the flight and, let’s say, it’s a three-hour flight, and every minute of those three hours, you are just occupied with wondering whether the flight is going to crash, then I have to ask, “Why don’t we have something better to think about; something more useful to think of?”. I am not negating that the flight may indeed crash, but sir the probability is one in a million. And even that probability is being reduced every passing year with advancements in technology.

So then, why don’t I have a better book read on the flight? There is that screen probably available to me and I can watch a decent movie. Or I could contemplate on an issue of some importance. Or I could simply take an hour of decent sleep. Why is it that I have not filled up my life with something more meaningful and purposeful than worries?

See if you want to reclaim your life, the best way is to give it up to something worthy enough. If you want to have your life, give it up. Have a great purpose in life. Have something so beautiful to live for, that you don’t have too much time left to worry and be afraid. Otherwise, these are all internal insects that we all have. They’ll keep crawling, keep irritating, and they’ll dominate all your time, and attention. They will simply usurp the central position that rightfully belongs to something or somebody else, somebody higher.

So, that’s what there are these continuous micro issues in life, and they will remain, they will never go away. You fight them and you will make them even stronger. You don’t fight them; you transcend them. You dedicate yourself to something of beauty, something of truth, something of real importance. Something of importance beyond your little self. And then you find that you just don’t have the space, the time, the inclination to worry and do all those things.

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