Acharya Prashant: What is your name?
Listener: Kshitij Aggarwal.
AP: The question asked by Kshitij is why do needs often dominate ambition?
And he surely thinks that it is quite unfortunate that needs to start dominating ambitions. The reason is simple, he probably gives a lower priority to needs and higher priority to ambitions because he thinks that the ambitions are his. He has kept ambitions very close to himself. He believes that they are his own.
So, he deeply wants the ambitions to be fulfilled. But finds that instead, something else has to be done, first of all, we will understand this conflict. And we all face this conflict, this conflict is not only in Kshitij’s mind, this conflict in the mind of every single one of us. But we are all confused, we rarely know, what to do. There are always one or more options in front of us, and we are unable to see clearly which one is suitable. Right?
This happens not only once in six months, at the time of admissions or at the time of choosing a job, it keeps happening daily, day in and day out. What is this conflict? you will have to understand.
Our mind is dominated by ‘external influences’ which we have so far called is the development of ‘Ego.’
Our mind is not our mind, our mind is a collection of all external influences.
Our mind is divided into many many segments and many parts, and there are so many different forces that are controlling these separate parts. So, one part is being controlled by parents, one part is being dominated by media, one part is being dominated by society, one part by peers, one by corporations, one by thoughts of career, one by XYZ, and very very large number of parts.
Now, these different parts are your different masters. It’s like a person is tied to fifty different ropes being pulled by fifty different people in fifty different directions. Will that person be able to move towards any definite direction, any one direction.
Your mind is not yours, your mind has so many different parts and each different parts is dominated by somebody.
You are being pulled in that direction, in this direction, and as a result, there is no clear movement in your life.
Don’t you see that this happens with you? For two days you do something and forget it and you start doing something else. You take a resolution and you can stay with resolution even for fifteen days. You decide something and someone comes you and tells you something else and you start going in that direction and you are confused, you don’t know what to do? You always keep asking for advice, tell me what to do? One advice tells you to go that way, other advice tells you to go that way. And your life becomes just a random movement from here till there.
Just like Brownian motion. No energy, no direction, no sense, no rhythm and ugly confused random movement like that of a drunkard. Do you understand why all that happens? Do you see this?
Because your mind is not yours, only intelligence is yours and that is covered under layers and layers of influences.
You are being governed by these influences.
One influence you call as your ambition.
Kindly drop the notion all of you that your ambition is yours, no your ambition is yours. Even your ambition comes to you as a result of external influence.
Somebody has told you that becoming such and such thing in life is wonderful, that you have imbibed as your own ambition. It’s implanted ambition. It’s not yours if you look sharply you will find out that somebody else has given me this goal. As far as that thing called need goes you could see that it is external, so you resist it. But you resist that ambition as well then you see that is an external ambition.
The society puts the premium on respectability and money. The society has told me that this is what I must have. And you have imbibed it. You have started thinking that this is ‘my’ ambition. No, it’s not your ambition. It came to you from an external source.
When you will really find out Kshitij. What is really your own in Life, not external, not borrowed, not imported? What is really your own then there will be such energy and vigor behind it that nobody will be able to stop you. Today, you find that your ambitions have been thoughted, Right? Today, you find that you have an ambition but some need is overpowering that ambition. Right? that you can not meet or fulfill that ambition, that is what is happening with you. That is a sure sort proof that ‘that’ ambition is an external force, not your own understanding, not your own passion.
When you will discover something which is totally and completely of your own, no force in the world will be able to stop you. The complete force of your conviction will be behind you.
Are you getting it?
All of you hold interest and ambitions and desires please look at them. Please, look at them as intelligent young people. Are they your desires, are they really your goals? Have you been trained to go after these goals? Find out that from where is that goal coming to your mind?
Find out how and why you made that goal?
A particular company comes to a campus and three hundred students applied to it. How is it possible? How is it possible that three hundred unique individuals will all have the same dream company. How is it possible? Surely all three hundred have been influenced. You can not have three hundred similar pieces in nature. Nature loves diversity. But yes out of a factory you can have three hundred exactly identical output.
Only out of a man-made factory, only out of man giving influence, can there be such uniformity in goals? Otherwise, you are unique, its impossible that all of you will choose the same pattern of life. Don’t you see that your patterns of life are all so similar and so predictable?
Same kind of education, same kind of career goals, same kind of goals in personal Life. And not only to this point its predictable for the future as well. Your future can be predicted today with at least seventy to eighty percent accuracy. Just three or four options and that will cover up all of you. MS, MBA, core jobs, electronics jobs, and fathers business and finished.
Reaching a particular age, marriage, reaching a particular age, kids, then house, then raising the kids, then getting them into the school, then making them engineer like yourself, and then dieing at a particular age. Your life story is so predictable. It’s been pre-written by the forces of society and family and tradition. Where are you in all this? Why are you calling it ‘your’ ambition? There is nothing called you in this.
Find out that which is totally yours.
Find that out and then you will see what is the Joy of Life.
What is the freedom of Life then Life will not be boring.
Then your faces will not appear sullen. Then your shoulder will not be dropping. Then you will not be irritated and bored and frustrated most of the time. Then you will be full of energy and enthusiasm. And there will be a certain music in Life. Then you will not be afraid all the time. Your eyes will not look so scared. You will be free from fear. And you will be living, really living. Find out that which is your ‘own.’ It’s waiting to find out.
It’s waiting to be found out, it’s calling. don’t ignore that call.
L: What is anger?
AP: Are you often angry? Is he an angry kind of person?
AP: What is your name?
AP: Ankur, Sit.
Is anger something alien to you? Have you never experienced anger? You do experience anger all of you, Right? Then why do you ask what is anger? When your mind itself is a place where anger arises why cant you observe it yourself?
The observatory is right within you.
Why do you need to ask, what is anger? Because you don’t observe. You don’t find out. Maybe anger is nothing but the absence of this find out. So what is anger? Anger is this ignorance not knowing what is anger. Once you find out what is anger on your own by understanding, by observing. Maybe the anger itself vanishes. It’s a very strange thing when you try to find out what is anger? You don’t find anger, how to find out?
You know there is a beautiful story, a very simple story that’s told to kids, but look at the intent. One day the sun decided that I will find out what is ‘darkness?’ Everybody used to come to the sun and thank him that sun, “you are so great, wherever you go darkness disappears. You are the provider of light. You are this layer of ‘darkness.’ And sun got fed up of receiving all these compliments. The sun said, “all my identity is being linked to the darkness that I am this layer of darkness.”
Let me atleast find out that what this darkness is? So, Sun went all around the world looking for darkness. But it never found any darkness. Now, why didn’t he find any darkness?
Because wherever the sun goes darkness must disappear. Similarly, wherever there is observation, anger must disappear.
Anger will have to go.
‘Anger’ is nothing but the absence of observation just as the ‘darkness’ is nothing but the absence of light.
Are you getting it?
When you are angry, at that moment you never know what is happening? You can know it a second later. You can know it five minutes later. You know it may be a little while before the moment anger. But exactly in that moment of anger you never know what is happening? And if you can be ‘angry’ and still know what is happening then it will be a beautiful anger. Then it will be a very very conscious anger. There will be nothing but the exhibition of anger a kind of role play.
I am angry and I know that I am angry then it’s alright.
Our anger arises from the frustration of desire.
And we do not know that it is arising from there. We think anger is arising from an external factor, No.
Anger arises because you want to achieve something when you can’t get it, there is that feeling of frustration, irritation, annoys which you call as anger which leads to violence.
When you find it out at that very moment, that this is happening, this is happening. When you observe it when you catch it. Oh! this is what is happening, I have caught it, then you become master of the anger. Then even anger is there, it will be like your servant. But what happens in our anger? We become the servant of the anger.
The kind of anger which we experience, that anger dominates us.
Are you getting it?
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Ambition and anger
Books by the Speaker are available at: