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Does success depend on hard work or luck?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): Rajiv, is asking about hard work and luck.

Hard luck, Rajiv, that none of that will suffice.

Luck indicates the randomness of life. Luck indicates that you have no control over where you are born, which country, which place, what type of economic background, which gender. All of these are random occurrences in your life. None of us decided to be born, correct? It’s a matter of Chance, randomness, that is what is called as luck, chance, randomness. None of us decided that we will have five fingers. This again is happening out of some external force.

The everyday event that affects you, they do not happen out of your willingness. Just now there is this noise coming from outside. That fellow has not taken your permission to create that noise. Correct? All this is chance, luck. All the events that keep happening without your choice, without your will, but they affect you. Whatsoever affects you but happens without your choice, or without your will is luck. You cannot do anything about it. Are you getting it?

But, please remember, that fellow can create noise, luck can do a lot of things to you. But that fellow has no power over your mind. He can create noise but whether you will get disturbed, that depends upon your free will, if you can exercise it. Are you getting it?

There will be two kinds of people here. There is a noise coming from outside, type one, will say, “What can we do, it’s our bad luck that somebody is creating noise and because somebody is creating noise we got disturbed.” This will be type one. These are the people who are luck-dependent. “And what can we do, it's our bad luck, there was so much noise that we got disturbed.”

Then there is a type two, and what will type two say? “Alright, there is a noise coming from outside but, I decide that I will keep listening. Noise is there on the outside but this mind is my own. I am the master of my mind.” Now, these people will not be affected by this noise. Putting is generally, they have become independent of luck. Now, luck can have no role in their life. Are you getting it?

The type one category are the people who will always have luck as an important determinant in their life. If someone creates a silent atmosphere, they will say, “Oh! It was my good luck that there was such peace and silence. So, I could listen.” If someone creates a noise, they will say, “It was my bad luck that there was noise and I could not listen, I got disturbed.” So, in their case, there is no internal locus of control.

They are like a dead leaf, if winds blow that way the leaf goes that way, and if the wind blows this way then the leaf goes this way. They are totally dependent upon external situations; in other words, they are totally dependent on luck.

Most people belong to which type, type one or type two?

Q: Type one.

AP: Type one, hence luck remains a great factor in their lives.

I ask you, is it possible for you to discover type two? Can you find out that you have the capabilities to become type two?

Q: Yes sir.

AP: If you can become type two, then you are no more a slave of this world.

See, we are all young people, and we all like to be free. Right? No, young man or woman wants to remain in bondage. Correct? But if the external world has the power to disturb you, or create thoughts within you, or give you a particular personality. Then the external world has become your master. Right? And you have lost your freedom.

Those who are dependent upon luck become slaves of luck.

They become slaves of the entire world.

And a young man must not be a slave of anybody. Are you getting it?

Remember, luck can affect you on the outside, but you must be master of this (Points towards his head). If you are master of your mind. Then luck can have no effect upon you. Because battles are won or lost in the mind.

The second thing that you asked was about hard work. you spend a day in the college, let’s from nine to five. And often you feel very tired, don’t you? And you say, “Oh! What a tiring day, all my energy has been sapped away.” And then what you do? You go back and have a game of football. And you play for one hour, just one hour. You spend, let’s say eight hours in the college and played just one hour of football, when did you really spend more calories? In those eight hours or that one hour?

Q: (everyone) In that one hour.

AP: When did you really work hard? In that one hour—in terms of calories, remember, work, work in physical terms, expressible in terms of calories—when did you really work hard in that one hour or in those eight hours?

Q: (everyone) In that one hour.

AP: But what do you say, what tires you most those eight hours or that one hour.

Q: (everyone)Those eight hours.

AP: So, when you are not working, actually, spending less calories you say, “We are so tired.” And when you are actually working, you say, “I am not tired.” When work is playful then work is enjoyment, then work is enjoyable. When you are enjoying it, then hard work just happens. You don’t have to do hard work. when you were playing football, soccer then you had to do hard work or it just happens.

Q: (everyone) It just happens.

AP: It just happens and it does not tire you. It just happens and there is a sense of boredom.

So, hard work is not something is to be done. You have to just let hard work happen.

Hard work is not to be done. You have to let hard work happen.

And when will hard work happen?

When you are really enjoying. When you are really-really enjoying then you will find that you are doing so much of hard work without even realizing that you are working hard.

You will sit with your book and you won’t even know that the clock is now sticking 4 AM. And you will say, “Oh my God! I had been solving these equations since the last five hours! I didn’t even come to know.” Has it happened to somebody? That when you are deeply engaged in something, you don’t even come to know that time has been flying past.

Q: Yes sir.

AP: And so much of hard work just happens you don’t have to do hard work.

When you have to do hard work, then you must realize that you are not enjoying it. That it is donkey work. Then your mind is being tortured. You are forcing your mind to work hard, work hard, work hard. But the mind is not agreeing, because there is no enjoyment. And there can be no enjoyment till there is no attention.

The book may be there Infront of you and you are forcing yourself to be with the book, but your mind is wandering somewhere else. Right? Now, this is torture for the mind. It is wandering somewhere else and you are telling it, “Go into the book.” It does not like all that it just does not like all that. And then there is a lot of hard work.

Don’t work hard, enjoy what you are doing, and then a lot of hard work will happen on its own. This, does it make it clear? Alright.

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