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How does Acharya Prashant look at his batchmates from IIM-A and IIT-D?
Author Acharya Prashant
आचार्य प्रशांत
5 मिनट
152 बार पढ़ा गया

Questioner: Recently, you had a talk at IIT-Delhi and now you are here (IIM- A), both of these universities are your Alma-mater. Your batch-mates today would be at multiple corporate senior positions and you are a spiritual leader. So, how do you look at them and whom would you see as most successful? More importantly, how would you even define success? And how do you evaluate success?

Acharya Prashant: You see, success obviously is subjective. It depends on who 'you' are. Do we see that? When you say that one has to succeed, the underlying assumption is that one is currently not successful. When you say that you want to succeed, what you are saying is; you want to reach somewhere and the point where you want to reach is not the point you are currently at. Correct? And that’s a fair assumption because all of us are indeed restless. We are restless and that proves that we are not, where we must be. We are all desirous, we want to become something else for the other. This desire to become in itself is a strong indicator that our current state, our current configuration is not ideal, not final, something needs to change, something needs to improve within.

So, we are all restless but we are all restless in our personal and unique ways. At a general level, we could sum up the situation of every sentient being in one word - consciousness is restlessness. If you are conscious - you are restless. And if you are not restless, then you don’t need to succeed, you are already successful. So your restlessness is your demand for success. But our restlessness comes to us in very-very personal and very unique ways, therefore, success has to be different for each one of us. It’s like saying that each one of us is in bondage but (referring to different listeners present in the audience) you might be held by the right arm and he might be held by the left arm. He might be pinned to a wall, and he might be held to the floor in some other way. So, we all are enslaved, but freedom will come to us in very different ways, success is the name of that Freedom. And therefore, the efforts and endeavors of each one of us have to be particular to that entity. You have to define your own success, your success can not be a general thing. Your success can not be a social norm.

What might constitute genuine success for one individual, may actually have no bearing on the wellness, welfare of somebody else. Superficially, if you look at both of them you will find that both of them have had the same accomplishment. Both of them have cleared the same hurdle, but it would be fallacious to say that both have succeeded equally. The same event might be an indicator of deep success for one, but may not really be that significant to the other. But if the other one, this second person goes by the prevailing norms, he or she will try to console himself/herself that he is equally successful, when he is not. Therefore, to know whether or not you are successful or whether or not you are moving in the direction of your success, you have to first know where you are standing.

Let’s call success, we just said success is freedom, so let’s call success as one common point of liberation from your bondages. That destination might be common to all but the route taken and the exact milestones covered have to be different for each person. Therefore, we can not compare our success with the next person. If you want to know whether we are successful or not then we have to ask ourselves, "Am I really getting better off compared to my previous stage?" Not compared to somebody else. "Am I now better off compared to what I used to be? After all my restlessness is the reason I strive so much. Am I less restless now or is it so that the events that I quote as my accomplishments have actually made me more restless, more frenzied, more feverish, more insecure?" If you find that your achievements are, in fact, making you more insecure then they are not an indicator of your success. You are not quite mapping your route rightly, and that has to be very clearly known.

It would be quite ironical, the day people come and congratulate you for a certain accomplishment, and you feel no joy within. It is such an absurd situation then. The world, kind of, wants you to feel good about yourself but deep within you know that years of effort has not made any positive change to your internal condition. And mind you, it is not people that we live with, we live with our insides. Even when we are surrounded by a lot of people, we actually have to live with ourselves. And if you are not feeling good with yourself, it’s no fun living.

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