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How to remain motivated and excel every moment?

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

6 min
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Questioner (Q): Sir, I wanted to know how do you find direction in your life? How do you find the mission that you want to pursue and how do you find excellence in every second? That's my question.

Acharya Prashant (AP): You have to know what you are doing. You have to ‘know’ what you are doing. Once you know what you are doing, then the knowledge itself is the motivator. Whereas, if what is happening is happening perchance, or in an accidental flow, or in a very unconscious way, then you will very frequently feel a loss of energy. You will not know why you should exert yourself at all, and you will require tonnes of external motivation. If you're somebody who frequently needs to be motivated, through an external source then you should ask yourself, "Do I really know what I am doing?"

I will come back to the word I used a while back, Love. If you're doing something that you know is being done because it deserves to be done, then you will not demand returns from your efforts. That knowledge, that realization that what you are doing is absolutely important, makes you choiceless. And then you just do what you have to do without bothering about this or that. Otherwise, your energy level depends so much on the situations. Just got some positive results, you feel encouraged and energized. Let down by the situations, you feel demotivated, totally sapped off of energy.

So, maybe every day, two times, three times might be a good idea to question yourself, "What am I here for? What am I doing? What is this thing really all about? I don't have infinite time. I might be young, but still, all that I have left is, let's say another 50 years at most", right? And 50 years are nothing. In terms of historical time, 50 years is a blink. Those 50 years will just pass away like a dream.

"What am I spending my time for? What exactly am I doing this very moment?" If you don't ask this question then that which you are doing has immense power to suck you in and carry you away. This question must be asked but as we said, it's not comfortable asking this question because most of the time, the moment you ask the question it will become very difficult to continue doing what you are doing.

We like inertia. We do not want to change track, especially if our current track appears to be a safe, secure, and a generally acceptable track. So, to remain on that track it becomes imperative not to ask these bothersome questions. So you don't ask those questions. You don't ask the questions, in the short term, you will feel okay. Beyond the short term, one does not feel okay, in fact, one turns miserable.

Q: From the host of things that we… that he rightly pointed out MBA, the journey you are thrown 100s of things and even beyond after this, it’s going to be you struggling and try to find out what is that you have to do, even when you are working. So, how do you know?

AP: You can at least know what is it that is not worth doing. Yeah, start from there. Reduce your choices, reduce your choices. You see, there is a virtual pleasure in having lots of choices. The fearful child within us feels happy and secure. “Oh, I have so many things to pick from.” When you narrow down your choices, then you have to really be an adult.

“Fine, I have only these two things available to me. Even out of these two things, one is going to be struck off." Right? And then, there are only two places to look at. There is the world you look at. "What's there in the world that's worth doing? What's there that really demands the involvement of a person like me?"

And there is your internal world. "What is it in my internal world that demands to be addressed?" Look at these two worlds and you will come to know what is worth doing. Right? We are all pretty sound on intellect here. I am so sure that if we just exercise the same intellect in the inward direction, this question of what to do in life and how to make career choices will be answered quite soundly. It is not such a difficult question to answer. But for this question to receive a genuine answer, you will need to be with yourself. You will need to shut out the external voices for a while.

Q: How long is that while?

AP: How long is that while?

It's not very long. I mean your duration in the campus is sufficient. You are in your first year, right? You will get ample time in the second year (laughter).

Even one trimester is enough to answer that question. And, we are living in the information age, right? Information about the world is always at hand. The other information that you need is news about your internal dimension. That may take a while. But if you are someone who is honest with himself, even that will emerge pretty quickly, it takes not more than a few months.

Combine these two things and you see that's the most important decision that you make in your life, right? If life is time, then the question of career is the question of what you are putting your time to.

Don't make that decision casually. Don't leave it to situations. If you are not investing yourself in the right kind of work, in the right persuasion, then life can be pretty heavy to carry. Very heavy.

On the other hand, if you are spending 8 hours, 10 hours of your day at the right place, doing the right stuff then it is your work that keeps you energized, young, moving, alive.

Brands, vibes, day '0', day '-1', all these you will forget very soon. These are things that matter so much on the campus. The day you move out of these four walls, you realize you have a life to live. You have to get up from your place, from your room. You have to report to a particular office. And then it might be a 'day-0' company. If you cannot spend your day properly there... (shrug gesture).

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