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How to be excellent in one's work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
9 min
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Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, today I am listening to you from my workplace, so, I have a question related to work. You shared an inspiring story of Kabir and his profession, I want to have the same level of inspiration and energy in my profession. Your teaching has helped me to understand a lot about my concept of work and getting the basics right.

Please guide me to deal with procrastination and low self-image resulting in a lack of confidence. How to work like Krishna?

Also, I would like to thank the PAF (Prashant Advait Foundation) team for providing me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing session in the company of all Truth seekers of the PAF family. Bless us to always remain flat on the ground touching your lotus feet.

Sat Sat Nāman.

Acharya Prashant (AP): What have you asked Aashish? You distracted me with the last bit – lotus feet and all. I have arthritic feet and they are a trouble to me. I have trouble walking these days. I wonder how I have lotus feet?

No, Aashish. No, this is not what I said. Kabir is fundamentally devoted to the Truth. And in your question, you are talking only of the profession. You are asking, “I want to have the same level of inspiration and energy in my profession as Kabir had.” You are saying you want to deal with procrastination and low self-image and lack of confidence. And you are asking, “How to work like Krishna?”

How to work like Krishna? Be like Krishna. You cannot try to emulate the work of a Krishna without firstly being Krishna. At the centre of Kabir’s life is not his weaving but Ram. At the centre of Krishna’s life is neither Kurukshetra nor Arjun nor Radha nor Rukmini, not even Gita. At the centre of Krishna is Kṛṣṇatva , the essential Krishna.

Kabir is Ram’s first. The profession, etc. are secondary; they come way later. But because Kabir belongs to Ram, so, there is a particular quality in his work as well. And without even mentioning Ram, you want to excel in your work; that won’t happen, Aashish (Questioner).

Kabir excels in his work because first of all he is devoted to something beyond work. Are you devoted to something beyond work? If you are devoted to something beyond work, then you will not procrastinate work. If you are devoted to something beyond work, then you won’t have a low self-image and low confidence at the workplace.

The secret of Kabir does not lie in his skill as a weaver, it lies in Ram. Because Kabir is with Ram continuously, so, there is something extraordinary about his weaving. He is so immersed in his weaving that even his utterances, his songs, his verses contain numerous references to the loom, to the cloth, to the yarn, to the dye, to the colours, to the weavers.

Now, work is not a task, a chore. Now, work is not something that he bears. Kabir is weaving and singing. Obviously, he is not looking at the clock to strike 6 p.m. He is weaving and singing, and he might weave and sing all night. The weaving has been made facile by the singing, and the singing is occurring because there is Ram in Kabir’s heart. Are you getting it?

Professional success will keep eluding you till you have Ram. So bad. Let me qualify this. Even professional success will keep eluding you till you have Ram. So, Ram has penetrated all spheres of man’s activity.

It is not only about how good you are in the temple. So, Ram obviously, is the boss of the temple. And you also reluctantly agree that without Ram you cannot be good at your home. So, Ram was the boss at the temple. Ram was the dictator at the house. And, I am bringing you more bad news! Ram has infiltrated your office also. Without Ram, you cannot excel even at your workplace. Too bad, now where will you go?

Without Ram, you look like a fool in the temple. Without Ram, you get so much suffering in your house. Without Ram, you cannot excel on the sports field. Without Ram, you cannot accomplish anything in your laboratory. And without Ram, you can’t even make a good PowerPoint presentation to your client. You have no place to hide now. Run for cover, you won’t get any.

It’s not merely rhetoric, please understand. When you stand in front of a client and make an important presentation, what is it that makes you go weak in the knees? Expectations, greed. And there is only one solution to greed – Ram. You try to feel like a champion but in front of your boss, you discover that you have feet of clay. The champion comes crumbling down. Ram, and Ram alone can be the strength in your feet.

Without Ram, you can’t do anything nicely. You can’t fly a jet properly, you can’t sweep the floor properly; you can’t be a good prime minister; you can’t be a good anything.

Ram is inevitable. To the ego, Ram is a necessary evil. Ram is not out of date. Ram did not die in Ayodhya. We come and die, Ram doesn’t. Without Him, you can’t even move your feet properly. And if you can’t move your feet properly, just acknowledge that you are a brat trying to rebel against his father Ram.

Ram is the source of all excellence, Aashish, all excellence. Kabir’s excellence, Krishna’s excellence, the excellence of an astronaut, the excellence of a deep-sea diver, the excellence of a tailor, the excellence of a swimmer, the excellence of a professional… whatever. If you don’t have excellence in what you do, it is because you have been disloyal to Ram.

Who is Ram? The most attractive one. And you are saying your problem is procrastination. Can you procrastinate the one who is greatly attractive? If you are able to procrastinate, it only shows that you don’t have something in your life that is extremely compelling. You cannot postpone that which overpowers you, and only Ram can overpower you.

You are saying you are short of confidence. Confidence is such a shallow thing to ask for. The ones who have faith laugh at confidence. Do you have faith?

Then you have talked of low self-esteem. As long as, you are somebody who can be esteemed— you know what is it to esteem? ‘Esteem’ and ‘estimation’ come from the same root. To esteem, is to measure. As long as, you are somebody measurable, your measurement will be tiny. All measurements can be expressed in numbers and all numbers are smaller than a lot of other numbers, so, they are tiny.

Pick any number. Are there more numbers bigger than it or are there more numbers smaller than it? Start from zero. All material starts from zero, right? Pick any number now. Now, tell me – Are there more numbers bigger than it or more numbers smaller than it?

Q: Bigger.

AP: We are talking Mathematics, for a change. Yes?

Q: Depends on the number.

AP: It depends on the number, seriously? That’s why you should… Pick any number, are there more numbers bigger than it or more numbers smaller than it?

Q: Bigger than it.

Q2: Equal.

Q3: Can’t say.

AP: Next Sunday, we will have a class in Mathematics! There would always be more numbers bigger than any number if you are starting from zero. If the negative scale is not allowed, then there would always be more numbers bigger than even the biggest number you can imagine. Because when you go back, you have to stop at zero. When you go ahead, you don’t have to stop anywhere, you can move till infinity. So, there would always be more numbers bigger than any number.

Which means – whenever you will esteem yourself or measure yourself, you will end up with low self-esteem. You will find that there are many more who are bigger than you. Which means that low self-esteem can be treated only by becoming one with the Immeasurable, The One who is infinite, immense, beyond numbers, can’t be measured.

We have people with small measures; we have people of large measures. And both will suffer from low self-esteem. It doesn’t matter what your number is; the number is small. What is your number? Don’t bother to tell me. It’s a small number. What’s your number? How does it matter? It’s a small number.

And all your life is full of stuff that can be measured in numbers. Therefore, you always keep feeling small and small and small. Every number is so small. Be one with the Innumerable One, the Immeasurable One, and the name of that is Ram. Only then, can your low self-confidence be healed.

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