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When you are sure of yourself, you feel less angry at others || Acharya Prashant (2016)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
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Questioner (Q): There are certain reactions within me which I am able to see, but they are so instantaneous that I am unable to control them. For example, whenever my wife says anything about my business, I just go mad, I just shout, I just scream at her. How can I over come this?

Acharya Prashant (AP): When you feel more sure of yourself, then this tendency will reduce. If I really, really know that I am beautiful, you cannot make me feel ugly. But I must then be in total sureness, and I cannot be in total sureness if I am worrying a lot about my business, if it means a lot to me. Because in worrying a lot about the state of my business, I am actually worrying a lot about my capacity to handle my business, which means I am not very sure of my own capacity to live with the business, to manage it, to come out unharmed and untouched by it.

I take business now as a challenge, as something that can really overpower me or dominate me. Now it becomes something very meaningful. Now I have given it a place that it does not deserve. Now I have made it some kind of an equivalent of Truth. And when something becomes an equivalent of Truth, you become too small in front of it. That is called living in an inferiority complex.

When you are feeling inferior, then even an innocuous touch can hurt you. The other one had no intention to rub you the wrong way, but you find that you have been bruised for no reason. It has nothing to do with the intention of the other person; it has much more to do with your own self-concept.

At the risk of sounding impractical, let me suggest that one must treat all business with a little contempt— all business, even the business of life and death. When you can treat all business with a little contempt, then the business is not bigger than you; then the business is not your God or Truth. Now you are bigger—and bigger you indeed are.

Now when someone comes up with a suggestion, even if the suggestion is a stupid suggestion, and even if the person is your wife, you can still take it, bear it, live through it, tolerate it with a pinch of, whatever, salt or spice or turmeric, something. “I cannot be bruised or wounded unless I am prepared for it. Nobody can hurt me without my consent; it is impossible.” It is only when you have something within which is ready to get wounded that the other can wound you. And then the other will wound you even without wanting to wound you.

It is not about developing your skills as a better businessman, because howsoever skilled you are, situations, circumstances can always defeat you. It does not matter how deep is your business acumen; you can still end up in a loss. So, it is not at all about being so skilled that you feel confident. I am not talking of your confidence arising from skill or knowledge. I am talking of your confidence arising from the realization that no business is God, and that the Truth remains with you even if your business fails, and the Truth does not get amplified even when your business prospers.

Meanwhile, as time passes, as you gain experience or skills, of course, your business acumen, your deftness will keep deepening, sharpening, and, God willing, you will anyway prosper. But whether you prosper or stagnate, remain full, remain contented.

Q: I might see later on that my wife didn’t mean to offend me, but in the situation itself I always get angry and cannot see it. And that is just one example. This often happens with my friends and other family members also.

AP: It is the same way with everyone, and those moments are a very good opportunity to know of our hidden tendencies. You know, thoughts are easy to detect because they are in the conscious mind. Tendencies, latent tendencies, are deeper than thoughts; they are not detected so easily. But these impulsive reactions are a very good opportunity, when your deep tendencies are exposed. So, take these as opportunities. The moment they show up, catch them: “Oh! I just caught a glimpse of you. I know now what is sitting deep in the basement of the mind.”

Q: There is a pattern.

AP: There is a pattern, yes.

Q: Such things happen and the reaction is always the same. It happens a hundred times, and the reaction is the same every single time.

AP: It will remain the same even if you continue to know it. So, do not expect it to change.

For example, you are sitting in a cinema hall and a three-dimensional movie is being played. You very well know it is just a movie, and from the screen a giant boulder comes towards you, and what do you do? You very well know what the stone is, but the evolutionary instinct is so strong, the instinct to preserve the body is so strong, that you still try to dodge it.

In the conscious mind you are operating from the subconscious, and the subconscious is stronger than the conscious. So, it will continue to be that way.

Q: It is trying to preserve the self?

AP: Of course. It is preserving something that evolution wanted to preserve—the mind, the body, the tendency to further the body.

You see, success in business is the evolutionary equivalent of success in hunting. Today, businessmen fight over success in hunting down profits. That is the evolutionary equivalent of the ancient man competing with the other man to hunt down an animal. Hunting down an animal ensures your physical survival; it was so important to you, which is why success in business continues to be so important to you. It is that same age-old instinct. It will remain. Do not expect it to just go away, and be comfortable with it, laugh at it.

The more you go into yourself, the more you are seated, devoted, and surrendered to the Truth, the more these tendencies will become meaningless for you. Now, the stone still comes and you still try to dodge it, but now it is happening like a machine: the body is acting like a machine and responding to a threat just like a programmed machine does, but you are free of it; you are with your Beloved. It doesn’t matter so much.

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