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Question: Is it always true that a man or a woman will give their best performance due to pressure only?
Acharya Prashant: No, who said that?
The question is, ‘Is it true that we give our best performance only under pressure?’
Not at all. On the contrary, pressure brings the worst out of you. It is the bad bad education that teaches you that pressure is important.
All pressure is violence, all pressure is a torture, a distortion of the mind. The mind is being pushed by an external factor.
But what happens is — I understand from the way you are coming — what happens is, when the mind is deeply conditioned for a long period of time, it loses its internal capacity to see, to move freely. It becomes like a car whose engine in spite of being beautifully designed has become dysfunctional because of disuse.
A beautifully designed engine will not work, if you do not use it for ten years, twenty years. Will it work? It may be the best engine in the world. The same is the case with the mind. Our mind is a beautifully designed machine. It’s an instrument of the highest order, an instrument that man cannot make. But because of conditioning, we do not use the mind, instead we start using memory. Using the mind means, application of intelligence but our education is such that we substitute intelligence with memory, then the mind become dysfunctional.
What is the use of applying intelligence if memory can get me marks, what is the point in applying intelligence? So the car will not move Now what car needs an external push? In spite of having the best engine of the best design, the car is being towed away or somebody is pushing the car from outside, it’s the sad situation. Is it not? That is what you call as pressure,
Now depends on you whether you want to take care of the engine or whether you want to apply pressure. Pressure will not take you very far. And it’s stupid, you are applying pressure on a car that can run so fast on its own. What is the point in applying pressure? Leave the mind free and it will know what to do. Pressure is fear. Go into those moment when you worked under pressure and ask yourself, “Was I not afraid at that moment?” When you are under pressure are you not afraid? Is there not a lurking fear with in? How can your best be expressed in a climate of fear?
Your best is expressed when you are joyful, when you are fearless. Do not get into the habit of working under pressure.
In fact, refuse pressure, say, “If you will pressurize, I will not work. Give me freedom, let me be free and then my best comes out on its own. I am so joyful that I am working, not that I am pressurized so I am working.”
You can work out for two reasons – you are so happy that you are working or you can work because you are threatened to work. What would you like?
Listeners: Joyfully work
AP: Joyfully work, right! How many of you would prefer working under coercion, somebody has threatened you if you don’t work, you will be shot so I am working? How many of you would relish this situation? Nobody. That’s pressure.
“Work because work is beautiful. Work because work is like dancing in the rain. I am not dancing to earn something. I am dancing because it’s so nice.”
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Your best is expressed only in Joy The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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