The result of action can neither enhance you nor reduce you


Question: When I want to do something, I plan a lot. But in the spiritual domain, it is said that planning is bad. What should I do, because when I don’t execute my plans, I don’t get the desired outcome?

Acharya Prashant: No, plan fully and execute fully with all your mind but remember fully that neither the action nor the result of the action, can mean much to you. Neither can it reduce you, nor can it enhance you.

What’s the fun in playing the game if you are not playing wholeheartedly?

Even if you are playing with a kid, the kid feels insulted if he comes to know that you are not playing with all your heart. Even in the most casual of games, you must be fully engaged. So, be fully engaged, give everything, every ounce of your energy, every last drop contained in your cells to what you are doing, apply all your intellect, there is no need to detest planning; plan with all your might but in the middle of all this, remain fully convinced that this cannot give much to you nor can it take away much from you – which will be little paradoxical, a little hard to manage, right?

So you are playing the game with all your might and yet are a little away, a little unconcerned, you are fully concerned yet you are remembering that it is just a game.

We often wonder whether that would take away our intensity? No, it does not. All it takes away is the noise surrounding your intensity. When we work towards something that matters a lot to us, there is not only the application of energy but also a lot of dissipation of energy.

Have you not noticed that?

Have you ever seen a man trying hard to arrange or manage or execute something that is really meaningful to him? Have you seen how much of energy he wastes, and this wastage, he includes as a part of his application. He says, ‘See how hard I am working’.

The fact is that out of 10 units of time, energy and attention that you give to the entire work, only 3 or 4 really went into the work. The other part went into worrying about the work, worrying about the consequences, licking your own wounds, shouting at someone, managing your own contradictions, that is what sucks up a lot of energy.

Unfortunately, this energy which is being lost in miscellaneous tasks is accounted for, by the inner accountant, as energy that  is needed for the task. Are you getting it? There is an inner accountant, he says, ‘You need 10 units of energy for this task.’ The fact is you needed only 3 units, 7 units were there just to be dissipated or squandered away. But those 7 are also written under the same head. It says towards the task; towards the mission. It is a false accounting.

It is a false accounting.

The spiritual man, the centered mind invests just 5 units of energy. So from the outside, it would look as if he has lost a bit of intensity because earlier he was using 10 units and now he is using only 5.

But all these 5 are now going only into that which is necessary. He is not using them to burn himself up like a car engine that has become more efficient in burning the fuel. So from the same liters of fuel, it is deriving more energy because it is not wasting.

We waste so much. That is why observing oneself is so much important.

How much of time, how much of mind just goes into totally random pursuits and this randomness is so deceptive, it never calls itself randomness. It says, ‘I am purposeful action.’ So don’t worry if you appear like losing intensity. Your work would still get done in a better way.

Before you enter anything that you do, never fail in telling yourself that existentially  you do not need to do it, that even if it was not to be done, that whether this was to fail, you would remain what you are.

Be totally convinced within that no outcome is going enhance you or belittle you;
and then plunge into it.

Like you plunge into a wrestling match with your 4-year-old daughter. Have you not seen mothers do that? A great challenge has been setup. The mother is there and the 4-year-old daughter is there. Now there is going to be a wrestling match and often the daughter wins. I used to have boxing matches with my younger brother and he would always win, he had to. What does that take away from you, what can it give you?

L: Just some joy.

AP: If you look for Joy out there, you can keep looking. And looking is such a past time. Your entire life can pass in looking.

My task is to disappoint you.

You will not get it there.

Not because it is impossible to get it but because you already have it.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: The result of action can neither enhance you nor reduce you

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: For real action, let the Real act on your behalf

Article 2: Let life be a spontaneous unplanned flow

Article 3: Before you chase goals, become goal-less

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON:


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