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Be dedicated to the action, not the result || Acharya Prashant (2012)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): So, what should I do? I can have a fake gloss. I can borrow gloss from somewhere and that will deceive others into thinking that core is present. So, what do I do? I can have no substance. I can have no intelligence. I may have no understanding of what I am saying, but I will speak in such a glossy manner that others are impressed.

I repeat, others have come in. Wherever there are others, there is a problem. Others have come in. So, why do we put on fake gloss? To impress others. And why do we want to impress others? Because we see ourselves through the eyes of others. We don’t have a sense of completion within ourselves, our selves-worth is inadequate, so what do we do?

We say, “Well, I am okay only when you say I am okay. And so that you can say I am OK, I will try to impress you. And how do I impress you? By putting on fake gloss.” That fake gloss is what we call as masks. So, don’t worry too much about gloss. Gloss is there. If you are intelligent, it will show up in your words. Gloss will naturally be there.

The problem arises when the absence of gloss is sought to be covered up with a fake mask. Just avoid that. And how do you avoid that? By firstly seeing, what all are the masks that we keep putting on daily. Day in and day out. What are all the falseness’, all the fakeness’ is that we are wearing day in and day out.

Even at this moment, and when I say observe, we don’t have to go to an observatory to observe. Every moment is an opportune moment for observing. Even at this moment, some of you are attentive. Attention is core. And from this attention will come understanding and action that will be gloss. Some of you are born with others, still others. Even in this moment, a few have their faces turned back. Even at this moment, some of you have their hands on their faces and have turned towards others.

They do not even know that it is not them but their masks at work. The problem with ignorance is that ignorance does not know itself to be ignorant. Ignorance thinks, “I am intelligent.” And that is the reason why the ignorant man may have been trapped. The first step is to see ignorance as ignorance. To look at it directly and honestly and to acknowledge that this is fakeness, this is falseness. This is ignorance. If we are not doing that, where is the room for movement, or any development?

Q2: How to stop getting influenced by others?

AP: Others again. Others again. Others again.

Yes sir, there at the back. This is your friend, right? You may not know me, but you know him. The speaker. By not paying attention to his words, what you are telling yourself and everybody else is, “That I have no sense of self-worth.” Because he is worth amongst you. But having no regard for what he is saying, you were showing an absence of regard for yourself. Yes, I am talking to you. Don’t you see what we are doing. Till the point I am speaking, you somehow managed to stay quiet. The moment one of you, your own friends rises to say something, you let yourselves loose. If you are intelligent, you will see to your content. What you are saying is, “What you are saying,” that is me the speaker, “What you are saying is important, so alright. We can pay attention to this. But what we are saying. But what one of us is saying, is not important at all. So, when he speaks, we don’t bother to listen.”

That’s not how young men and women with self-worth operate. He is one of you. Listen to him.

Q2: One listener asks his question.

AP: I will rephrase it for those of you who cannot hear what he is saying. Let me hear what he is saying. He is writing a particular book. Wonderful. So far, so good. (Audience applauds)

AP: He seems to be writing something, and that is wonderful. Doesn’t matter whether the attempt comes off or not. Doesn’t matter whether he’s finally able pull it off or not. But the thrust of his question lies in his last statement. And his last statement is not only his. It belongs to all of us. His last statement was, “Will I be successful or not?”

Now, two things. One, am I writing, am I doing something for the sheer pleasure and love of it? Or am I doing it for the sake of success? And second is, how can you ask somebody else whether there is any guarantee of success? Remember, there is no thought of success without an accompanying thought of fear of failure.

Whenever the greed of success beckons, it is always accompanied by an elated fear of failure. So, if you are writing because you want to write, then you are already a winner. Then it doesn’t matter whether you are published or not, whether you sell even 10 copies or not, whether anybody thinks you are worth anything or not.

Then, it doesn’t matter. You are already a winner. Just the process of writing is efficient. “I wanted to write; I have written. And I do not bother whether anybody thinks anything of it or not.”

But if you are writing for the sake of success, pay sharp and clear attention to what we mean by success. When will an author consider himself to be a success? The author of a book would consider himself to be a success when he is able to first get published, and second, sell N number of copies. And maybe third, get favorable reviews from critics.

Who decides if you will be published? You or another? Another. Who decides whether to purchase your book? You or another? Who decides whether or not to give you a favorable review? You or the other? What have you done? You have already become a slave to the other. You are saying, “Now, my happiness will be determined by the whims and fancies of others.”

How many of us want to live the life of a slave? How many of us are extremely excited by the idea of slavery? How many of us are thrilled? And if you are not thrilled by slavery, if you don’t fantasize slavery, then why must you always try your joy, your satisfaction to the opinion of others. You want to write a book. That is in your own hands. Do that. Why go beyond that? Why think of anything beyond that?

If I have written something that is worthy, will the other publish it and read it and buy it for his own good or not? Not because I want him to, but for his own sake. If I have actually written something that is worthy of being read, will you, you, and you and everybody else purchase that book and read it for their own sake, or not? Or will I have to go and beg you to read?

My attention must always be on what I am doing, what I love to do, and excellence in doing it. But unfortunately, that never happens. We always do things for others. We read; we study so that our answers in our examinations may please the examiner. We do not study for ourselves.

So many of us here might have enrolled into an engineering course just to please somebody else, or out of opinions of somebody else. Others are so predominantly present in our lives that we have been pushed out of our lives.

So, in my mind there is an entire crowd present. But one person is missing. Who is that one person? Me. Except me, everybody else, the entire society, people who are even dead, even they are present. People who passed generations back, even they are here. But I am absent.

You are writing a book. Wonderful. Fantastic. But why do you want to spoil everything by becoming a slave to the opinion of others? Why do we want to spoil everything? Do it for yourself. That’s it.

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