Acharya Prashant is dedicated to building a brighter future for you
Competition, Planning, Career || Acharya Prashant with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
137 reads

Speaker: Manoj asks, ‘Given that there is so much of competition, how do I plan my career?’

Manoj, can I solve a problem if I do not understand it ? Can I solve a problem if I do not understand it? You said that there is so much of competition, so how to plan my career. Now, look at the three words that are involved in it. ‘Competition’, ‘plan’ and ‘career’. Do we really understand any of these three words?

Do we understand what is competition, and what is a competitive mind? What is a mind that is always competitive and that is always thinking in relation to the other? Such a mind is an afraid mind. Such a mind does not look at itself because it is so busy looking at the other, it’s life, all its activities. All its thoughts are determined by what is happening on the outside. So, if someone else is running at a particular speed, this mind might say that I have to run harder. If that fellow starts swimming, then this might say that I have to swim harder. This mind has nothing of its own. Somebody else dictates what it does? And it is always afraid. It is always afraid because its sense of accomplishment comes only in relation to others.

Are you getting it? Are you understanding this? Now at your age, when you are so young, have just entered the college, if you are thinking that far ahead, then there is a problem. There are thousand things that you can ask me, but see what you have chosen to ask. You could have asked me so many questions about yourself, but you are asking something that will happen three-four years later. Doesn’t that show that your mind is already apprehensive of something? And if your mind is so occupied that what will happen then, a few years later, can your mind be really alive to what is happening right now?

See , how do we enter college? When we enter college, we start thinking of what is going to happen in the fourth year or after fourth year. Now if that is important, what will happen to the quality of these four years? If my mind is telling me that the really important thing will happen at the end of those four years, then what will be the quality of my first year, second year and third year? The real important thing is there so, this becomes unimportant. If this becomes unimportant, then life becomes boring. Are you understanding this?

My whole attention is on events that will happen in the future, and life is right now. Life is right now and mind is thinking about what will happen years later, because mind is saying that only that which will happen years later is important, only that is precious, only that is real. Only when I get good result, or only when I get a good job, or only when something great happens in my life, only all this is important.

If you are not available to what is happening right now, if you are not available to what is happening in this moment, and you mind is thinking of future, then your life will be boring, dull. The real moment is right now. But if your mind keeps thinking of the future, it will miss life now. Then the life will be boring for you.

When life becomes boring, you start finding it valueless. Then studying becomes unimportant, results become important. Then studying a particular course becomes unimportant, getting a job becomes important. The result is that we live very superficial lives. Our actions lack depth. Neither do we study deeply, nor do we do anything deeply. We are not totally, completely available, attentive to anything. Are you getting it?

Why can’t you ask that Sir, what is it that can be done now? How can I use the opportunity that is available at this moment?

A fearful man has no awareness of moving deep in the ‘now’. You are forgetting that futures comes from present. You have completely forgotten that today leads to tomorrow.

Can a decayed seed give birth to a healthy tree? Future is that tree, present is that seed. But all of you keep thinking that let the present ruin, but we will keep imagining about a beautiful future. ‘Whatever I am doing right now is unimportant. If I keep keep thinking of past and future, if I keep thinking of this and that, if I am not attentive, it is alright. But, I will keep imagining a beautiful future.’

Future will come from this moment. If this moment is lived well, the future is bound to be beautiful. Your argument is exactly opposite to this. You say that let this moment go waste, I do not care for this moment, I care only for future. From where does future arise? Future emanates from this moment. The one who is sleeping today, who is unaware today, who is lost today, who has decayed the seed of today, how can he think of a beautiful tree in future? Imaginations, resolutions do not give a beautiful future. Those who live in today, they get a beautiful future as a ‘present’, a surprise gift. Those who live in dreams of tomorrow, they not not only spoil their today, they do not get anything in future. Those who live in now, in the present, they not only live today fully, they also get a beautiful future as a surprise gift.

Forget worrying about what will happen tomorrow. Forget worrying about what will happen four years later, pay attention to yourself. Do you know yourself? Do you understand the meaning of ‘career’? Do you understand the meaning of word ‘work’ and ‘livelihood’? Do you understand the relation between ‘work’ and ‘money’?

You have heard somewhere that there is a lot of competition and to survive in it one needs to do a lot of planning, without understanding what is ‘career’, without understanding that the mind which is always competing becomes diseased. Without understanding all this, you have jumped into it because you are afraid. Even this fear is not yours. This fear has been implanted in your mind, by your family, by the society, by the media, by your education. You have imbibed this fear. This fear cannot help you.

Go deep into what is available to you. Go deep into your mind. Understand the mind, understand the world. And then you will yourself come to know what is worth doing. You will yourself know what kind of career will give happiness. You will not be lost. Then, you will not study engineering because somebody else suggested. Then whatever you will do, that will come from your own understanding. So, do not be in a hurry to take any decisions. Wait, understand!

Observe the mind, understand the mind. Observe the world, understand the world.

Leave aside your fears and observe. Everything will be clear!

-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Have you benefited from Acharya Prashant's teachings?
Only through your contribution will this mission move forward.
Donate to spread the light
View All Articles