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The way of assured success || IIT Kharagpur (2020)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
51 reads

Questioner: How to get success in whatever I do?

Acharya Prashant: Success does not lie in doing any random thing. That is the first, the most important, and probably the last thing. The game is not at all about picking up some arbitrary thing to do and then investing yourself fully in it, plunging into it, spending a lot of energy, and trying to be successful. No, that is not the point.

Do you know why you are doing a certain thing? Are you sure what is worthy enough to be done? That is the moot question.

Choose the right thing to do, and in that lies success. In that lies immediate success. Immediate success implies that you have been successful right in the moment of the choice itself; you don’t have to wait for the outcome. In fact, if you have to wait for the outcome to determine whether you have been successful or not, then you are already unsuccessful.

Choose the right option. Make the right decision. Fight the right battle. And now it doesn’t matter whether you win or not because you are already victorious.

Victory lies in choosing the right road to walk. It does not quite lie in reaching the destination earlier than others. In fact, it is a frivolous comparison. “Am I reaching there earlier than others? Am I reaching there at all?” It is not about reaching there earlier than others in a comparative sense. It is, in fact, not even about reaching somewhere at all. It is about the immediate moment in which the decision is made.

The concept that we carry is that the real battle lies in the attainment of the goal. The real battle does not really lie in the attainment of the goal; it lies in the determination of the goal. What goal are you picking for yourself, and why? If you fight the wrong battle, isn’t victory worse than defeat? What is the point in speeding down the wrong road? What is the point in managing to obtain and eat huge quantities of food that your body does not need?

Do you know your real inner need? Is your decision-making aligned with your core self? That is the question to be asked. You must know who you are and what you really need, who you are when you are not defined by others, who you are when you are not ruled by your animal body. Who is it that you are? Once you know the nature of your self, you also know what your self is really asking for, longing for, and that makes your decisions; that decides what you would be choosing. That is the right decision.

Now you stand by it because you are choiceless. You have known what you really need, and there is no going back. The game is over. The choice has been made, and it is the right choice. Since the game is over, therefore there is no future; therefore you don’t have to look forward to the future to know the result of the game. It was all about this moment. Did I decide rightly? If yes, game over. If no, game over. If I decided rightly, the game has already been won. If I decided wrongly, the game has already been lost.

The future holds no significance at all. The future is now a child’s plaything. It will show you some situations, events will unfold, but they will not hold any deep significance for you. You may get some money as a result of your decisions, you may lose some money; you may gain respect, you may lose respect. All that will happen but on the periphery. Inside, you are already victorious if you have made the right decision. Outside, it may appear to people that you have lost a lot or won a lot depending on how the future unfolds, but you in your heart know fully well that it is not about how things show up in the future.

Irrespective of what the outcome of your decision is, the decision is right, you stand by it, you live by it, and that is success.

There is no success in chasing a stupid goal and managing to attain it. If the goal in the first place is unworthy, what glory is there in attaining it more speedily than others? And mind you, more often than not, the common, usual goals that we find people chasing are unworthy. The proof of that is that we all are dissatisfied, we all are restless, irrespective of whether we attain those goals or not. Ever seen any person satisfied with the goals that he has attained? In fact, the levels of dissatisfaction are hardly different between a victor and a loser. The victorious one does feel satisfied for a short time, and after that the same old fire of discontentment comes to consume him again. Why? Because that which he so effortfully won or attained was probably not worthy of being chased in the first place.

So, do not ask, “How to get success in whatever I do?” You are trivializing action. You are saying, “What will I do? Whatever.” No, no, no. Whatever is not what you do. You have to be extremely careful about what you do. Much more thought, much more consideration must go into what is worthy of being done.

Pause, reflect, take your time. Be open and alert and inquisitive. Life is precious. Time is not to be squandered in chasing unworthy goals.

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